While comparing my first three weeks on the diet, where I lost a lot of weight, to the last three weeks, where I've just maintained, one thing stands out. When I'm losing weight, I seem to be eating more. Not really eating more, but consciously reminding myself to eat the healthy superfoods. It really does take a lot of chewing to get in all the recommended servings of fruits, live foods, meats, and vegetable proteins. Eating enough dairy or grains is easy, too easy, but if I focus on eating enough of these other groups, I feel constantly satisfied and I don't overdo the other stuff.
The first step is to break out of my breakfast rut. I could eat eggs and grains every morning, but if I add in some fruit or vegetable, first thing, the whole day runs more smoothly.
If I chop up lots of good veggies for lunch, I can toss any remaining into my dinner, and finish up all my servings of that. Each meal also needs a protein focus.
If I do all that, I don't crave so much excess of the grains, dairy, or sweet stuff.
If a gatherer is eating just to feel better, they need to start eating foods that actually will make them feel better (even though those don't often taste like chocolate!)
Just when you think the holidays are over and get back on the diet bandwagon, along comes a birthday. Birthdays are hard on your metabolism, especially as the number increases!
I haven't been wanting to eat out all month, and I avoid it whenever possible, but on my birthday I ate out twice, and got into black dot toxin territory both times. At least I don't think I got into regular toxin territory. I got to choose the restaurants, so we had Thai food for lunch and Indian food for dinner. My thai food had some rice noodles and a bit of cabbage, but otherwise was pretty decent. I tried Beef Laab (beef was the best choice there, the only neutral), and it had just beef and onions and cilantro, lemon juice and ground chilis. It was really good. The noodles and cabbage were in the form of spring rolls, oh but yes, I did have some of the dipping sauce for those, which undoubtably had toxins like cornstarch or maybe even corn syrup. And yes, I am still regretting that! For dinner, I splurged and had a keema dosa, my old favorite. The dosa is a Southern Indian sourdough flatbread, made with rice (basmati usually) and lentils (a black dot). The filling was ground lamb and peas, superfoods both. I did manage to avoid dessert at both destinations, even though Mango and Sweet Rice is super tempting, if I only were a hunter, it has coconut milk in it. It wasn't too hard to avoid dessert because I had my own beneficial & neutral dessert waiting for me at home. I made a ricotta pie (using 1/3 cup agave instead of sugar) with a teff crust (using grapeseed oil and agave for the oil and sweetener, and added the lemon zest as recommended in the pie recipe). It certainly fit the tab for dessert, though I think I'll use less crust in it next time, to make it a bit thinner, and I may not beat the egg whites quite as much, it was so fluffy that for somebody expecting cheesecake, it was a bit weird. It grew on me though, my two year old and I finished it off pretty fast.
The scale chides me for my birthday celebrations still, and I gained back a bit of my losses. That will just be temporary. I find it much easier to lose weight when I actually follow the portion recommendations, namely, eating enough vegetables. It's nice that celery is a superfood, it's so convenient. Sugar Snap peas are a nice snack as well.
The healthy thing I did on my birthday was to receive a far infrared sauna. I couldn't find one anywhere to use, so I just went and ordered one for my birthday, with my husband's blessing, and his help putting it together. I love it! I like how I feel after using steam rooms and traditional saunas, but this one is more comfortable for me during use. On days when I don't get time to use it, I feel some withdrawal, it certainly helps my moods and warms me up. It's still a cold, harsh winter. We've been shoveling snow until we can hardly stand the sight of it! We need the moisture to get us out of the drought, but it sure piles up, and every place is running out of places to mound up the snow. It's nice to look forward to the sauna, after being out in the weather.
This is working, 11 pounds off in less than a month! I've been 99% compliant, with just a pinch of black dot toxin here and there, and one or two restrained restaurant visits, both generally less than once a week. This way of eating feels totally natural to me (as long as I don't compare myself to what every other american eats and puts in their shopping carts!). I don't feel hungry, and I'm not really counting. The more I focus on fitting in all the recommended portions, the faster the weight goes away.
I'll be getting an infrared sauna soon, I'm so excited! It will work without turning the temperature up really high, which will be nice as I don't really like hot saunas or steam rooms (even though they make me feel good after use). I'm looking forward to the detox and the warmth, which sounds like it is a lasting warmth like you get from the summer sun. I get so cold when I'm losing weight, and this winter has been exceptionally winter-ish.
At this rate, I'll reach my goal by summer. I expect that the weight loss will slow down the closer I get to my goal, and then taper off once I'm at my healthy weight. I just love feeling satisfied and losing weight at the same time!
For somebody who spent 3 days debating finger lengths and genotype, I'm glad I just called it a draw and went with gatherer. If I were choosing a type, I'd choose gatherer, even though I was once hoping for another millimeter to show up on my ring finger so that I could be a hunter. I couldn't be happier with who I am and who I'm becoming. Gatherers truly can have excellent health.
I cheated a tiny bit over the weekend, and haven't lost more weight yet (still at -6 pounds). But I threw the rest of the sugared chocolate away, and am going to be more carefult when eating out. We went to an Indian restaurant, and I had to order paneer with a spinach cream sauce. Other than cream, there were no obvious toxins, but I'm sure there were some. Not to mention, I liked it a lot and ate too much!
Moving forward, this diet is powerful, and toxins really do sabotage things.
Sunday I made a nice lamb roast. The recipe was from Cook's Illustrated. You cut the roast apart and trim all the fat and silverskin, and brine it in garlic and salt water for 2 hours. Then you rub the inside parts with parsley and roasted garlic, tie it back together with twine, brown it on the outside and roast it. You reserve the meaty trimmings, and some extra roasted garlic, and chop some onions for making an Au Jus. Without thinking, I used chicken broth, which is probably not the best choice as a black dot toxin. I served the roast with steamed asparagus and basmati rice. It was a nice meal that everyone liked. It was a lot of work to prep the roast, but worth it. My cat loved the extra trimmings, and won't stop singing for more.
Today I made a celery salad, with a lemon juice/olive oil dressing, and added toasted cumin seeds. I served it with cold slices of the roasted lamb. Quite a good lunch.
I will be going to a restaurant again this weekend, but it's pretty safe since all this restaurant has are pizzas and salads, and I just love their compliant arugula salad, so that will be it for me there. No temptation to eat pizza, which would turn my insides inside-out. Part of me is not happy with the choice in restaurant (it'll leave me hungry) but it's better than eating too much of food that's only 1/2 compliant again.
I really was surprised today to see my weight go down another 3 pounds, so 6 total?
I usually weigh after breakfast, so I'm sure there's some fluctuation in there, but wow, definite downward trend. I was drinking a lot of fluids today too.
Granted, I have quite a few pounds to lose, and I was pretty shocked at the number right after the holidays! I am still breastfeeding my youngest, and I have a really hard time controlling my appetite while breastfeeding. I usually have to wean the baby to lose the baby weight. (Maybe that's a gatherer trait, breastfeeding and pregnancy may emphasize the hoarding tendencies?)
I did lose some weight the summer before last, but have been cheating and gaining since, back up to my high weight. I want to get down to lower than my low weight this year (lose 45-50 pounds). Judging by how easy it's been to stick with the gatherer diet, I'm confident that it's possible. I think dairy was my missing link, I craved it so, and now I know which dairy to reach for at those times. It's better than chocolate, if you ask me, even if it is just cottage cheese so far. (I haven't yet found or made any of the other superfood cheeses).
I've never really done calorie restriction, or much counting of portions, etc. I tried calorie restriction before BTD, and reduced my calories more every week, until I got down below 1000 calories and gained a pound! That's when I learned it wouldn't work. I've still had some ups and downs. The first up was general poor health after mono, then I struggled until I found BTD, and it went down. The other two spikes were my two pregnancies. I think that now I may be able to avoid those ups and downs. I wonder how the gatherer diet would affect my pregnancy weight gain? The world may never know...but maybe.