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Last week, I told you I was all into The Plan, a “controlled experiment” to help identify what healthy foods cause inflammation in the body. (You’ll want to go back and read that post to understand why you should care about inflammation.)
I’ve jotted down some notes to give you a snapshot of each day. I apologize for the length of the post, because I realize most of you don’t care what I’m eating or how I feel. But for the 3 of you who do, here are the highlights:
I left you on Day 5, when I was about to shuffle into the kitchen for a bowl of Flax Seed Granola (which I ate) so that I could have sufficient energy for a P90X2 workout (which I did).
The workout was terrible! I was so weak and tired. I could hardly lift the weights.
On a good note, Day 5 dinner was the best one yet: Chicken with Spicy Apricot Glaze (I cooked in crock pot and shredded); zucchini, kale, onions , carrots and basil sautéed in orange oil, topped with shredded Manchego (that’s cheese!); all atop a bed of arugula. I did not take a picture, but I promise to give you this recipe in a future post, because I will make it again. And of course, a glass of red wine and one ounce of dark chocolate….
Day 6: Weight loss, .2 lbs. Today, I cannot, WILL NOT eat another bowl of Flax Seed Granola.
Yet, according to The Plan, I cannot have a different breakfast until Day 9?? I rebel. I search The Plan recipes and find a smoothie filled with ingredients already proven “friendly” to me! Yeehaw! The Smoothie hits the spot (the spot that says, “if you feed me Flax Granola today, I will vomit.”)
I’m allowed to test a new protein today, so I choose two soft-boiled eggs atop my lunch salad. This food gives me the energy to tackle a challenging workout, so I push myself– probably a little harder than I should have, considering my energy levels are still not great. (hold that thought)
It’s Saturday, and we normally eat out on Saturday. I’m not supposed to “test” a restaurant until Day 18!! The thought of spending my Saturday in the kitchen after cooking all week makes me hyperventilate. We end up at BD’s Mongolian Grill, where I can choose exactly what ingredients I want in my stir-fry. And all is right with the world.
Day 7: Weight loss .6. Yay! That means two things: First, eggs are a friendly food for me. Second, BD’s is a friendly restaurant for me, as long as I choose friendly foods in my stir-fry. The bad news is, I’m so sore from yesterday’s workout, I can hardly move. I’m so frustrated with the way I feel—These are the same workouts I’ve been doing for months, only, I feel like I’m completely out of shape and have no ability to recover. I take a LONG nap today—the kind where I fall asleep immediately and do not move for a few hours. I eat leftover food. I’m crabby.
Day 8: WEIGHT GAIN 1 lb. According to The Plan, there is no “unexplained weight gain.” It can happen for any number of reasons:
1. Because you eat a food that causes inflammation (I did not test a new food)
2. You’ve had too little or too much water, or drank water too close to bedtime. (Probably—because of the nap, I found myself chugging water around 7:30 pm to get my daily amount)
3. You’ve had too much sodium. (none)
4. You’ve over-exercised (Apparently! Only, this would not have qualified as “over-exercise” two weeks ago.)
5. You’ve deviated or didn’t have enough protein or fat (Nope. Followed The Plan exactly yesterday.)
6. You didn’t get enough sleep. (Maybe. I’m up at 5:30, so…yeah)
7. Your body has not recovered from prior inflammation. (Maybe?)
8. Stress (Yeah…over the fact that I feel like crap and gained a pound!!)
9. Yeast overgrowth (nope)
10. Hormonal factors (nope, this should be my skinny time of the month)
11. Allergies (nope)
I’m STILL exhausted today, so I have to take ANOTHER nap! It sounds so luxurious, but it feels more like an intrusion into my very full days. When I wake up I drink some black tea and “test” a slice of whole wheat bread (toasted, topped with sautéed zucchini, avocado, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds) This is absolutely DELISH, and it perks me up, completely! In fact, it’s the first time in 8 days that I feel somewhat normal—after eating the bread.
Dinner is a non-event: More chicken. More vegetables. (yawn). I never eat this much meat. The kids are curious about my sudden obsession with poultry. Even Jon is starting to complain. And he NEVER complains about my cooking.
Day 9: Weight: Same. This could mean bread is a reactive food for me, but after I felt so great yesterday, I’m not convinced of that. (Part of the way to know if it’s causing inflammation is to notice the way you feel after eating it.)
Since my muscles are STILL sore from my workout on Day 6, I suspect I still have muscle inflammation. I try bread again at snack time and feel good, again.
Today, I go searching through The Plan website and look at all the different menu options, and find a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding for BREAKFAST! Oh…this is so good. Not very filling, but really good. And since I won’t eat the Flax Granola any more, it’s good to have options.
I do 45 minutes on the elliptical, because this dreary Kentucky winter is wreaking havoc on my mood. I need some endorphins!
Dinner is roasted butternut squash with butter and cinnamon, and a chopped salad with chickpeas. It’s really, really good. And (bonus!) does not involve chicken. I choose to skip the chocolate tonight. I really don’t want it.
Day 10: Weight loss .4. Yay! That means bread is okay for me, as I suspected. It also means my body recovered from the over-exercising incident.
Today, I get to test a new protein. It occurs to me, at this rate of only being able to test a new food every other day, I could be testing foods well into the next decade! I intended to test white fish, but it makes more sense to test foods I eat every day…like Shakeology. Plus, I need to incorporate some of my quick go-to meals back into my life.
After the Shakeology, I feel good enough to do an hour-long workout with cardio and light weights. Thank God.
Dinner is leftover squash and chopped salad, so no cooking tonight! I skip the wine and chocolate.
(Honestly, I like a glass of wine now and again, but I don’t want to get into the habit of needing it every night. Know what I mean? Plus it makes me tired, and I don’t need more tired in my life right now.)
Day 11: Weight loss .8. This makes me very happy because it means Shakeology is not causing inflammation. No test /no workout.
Tonight’s dinner involves more zucchini , more onions, more spinach…I do not want this dinner at all. I’m making my kids “breakfast for dinner” and I want to cry because I want what they are having. Waaaaaaaa…
Turns out, I’m out of some key ingredients for the vegetable timbale recipe, anyway (oh…darn…). So I just boil some eggs and throw them on a bed of mixed greens and sautéed zucchini.
After a glass of
whine wine, I don’t care nearly as much…
Day 12: (Today) Weight loss .8. I have that yummy smoothie for breakfast with a piece of toast smeared with almond butter. It tastes really good.
I get to test tomatoes tonight. Dinner is chicken parmesan, and I’m excited about it.
This is where it gets tough for me, though. Tomorrow we are going to a friend’s house for dinner. I didn’t have the heart to say, “I can only eat zucchini sautéed in EVOO over a bed of greens, goat cheese (not cow’s cheese) chicken (but no turkey) whole wheat bread (no pasta) red wine (not white) and only dark chocolate between 50% and 60% cocoa…”
So, I will be polite and eat what I’m served.
Next week I’m having new countertops, backsplash, sink and carpet installed. My house will be completely torn up for at least 3 days. That means no cooking. Normally this would excite me. Right now, it freaks me out. I’ve invested enough time into the process that I don’t want to screw it up just yet.
Review of The Plan so far:
1. I’ve lost 4.8 pounds in 12 days. I am happy with the weight loss. I feel like I’m eating real food (as opposed to a cleanse, where I lost weight on smoothies). However, these 4.8 pounds are the same 4.8 pounds that I’ve lost and gained back repeatedly in the last year. I’m not throwing a party until I lose another five pounds and keep them off. And at the party, I will not serve Flax Seed Granola.
2. The recipes are mostly tasty and filling. The menu plan tries hard to offer variety, but at the end of the day, it ends up being things like “arugula” instead of “spinach.”
3. I’m finding myself wanting to deviate from the structure more and more. To just put together my own meals and snacks with friendly foods. Rebel.
4. I’ve learned some of my favorite foods are NOT causing inflammation: half and half, Shakeology, wheat, goat cheese, dark chocolate and eggs.
5. I have yet to test some of my OTHER favorite foods: cow’s milk cheese, beans, fish, bananas (most fruit, actually), pasta…
6. I miss bananas.
7. I don’t like the way I feel most of the time. Weak and tired, mostly. Thank God I can eat bread and Shakeology. Both of those gave me instant energy.
8. One of my friends started The Plan Monday and she lost 4.8 pounds in 4 days. Unlike me, she feels energetic and strong—and has not exercised at all! We text each other 35 times a day to discuss the details of our digestion and bowel movements.
9. Discussing digestion and bowels is what old ladies do.
10. Being comfortable discussing my bowels will be helpful when my 87-old-father comes to visit in two weeks.
If you’d like to buy The Plan so we can discuss our bowels together, click the icon below.
Thank you for all your lovely comments on my anniversary post. You made me cry. Stop that!
The winners of the i-Tunes gift cards are
The Chubby Dove
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Send it to me at thescooponbalance (at) gmail (dot) com.