Sandi’s Dietary Leap – Part II

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My three week real foods challenge is done. Yes, I ate whole foods for three weeks. And thanks to, the food I was eating was delicious. Morning glory muffins, shiitake mushroom stirfries, scrumptious salads. I did not feel deprived for a moment. And that’s saying a lot for a girl who has a seriously sweet tooth. I was not perfect – a few handfuls of corn chips were consumed – but the vast majority of my diet was veggies, fruits, legumes and whole grains.

I am feeling significant benefits.

  • My energy is higher. I still am tired at the end of the day (which I would expect after a full day of kids and work) but I have consistent energy throughout the day and am not feeling like I need to reach for chocolate during my afternoon meetings.

  • My moods are more stable. I am less irritable even when I am tired and my husband is describing me as “more even keeled”.

  • Food is more flavorful. Nectarines taste sweet and veggies are so much more appealing than when I am eating too many sugary, high fat foods.

So how am I going to sustain these benefits? Well, here’s the plan.

  • A girlfriend and I are trying to support each other in eating more whole foods. I found some recipes, she grocery shopped and bought over the groceries and in 90 minutes we made five salads (while our kids played). So we now have in the refrigerator edamame and carrot salad, black bean and corn salad, cucumber salad, a healthy salmon Caesar salad and a quinoa tabbouleh. Yum!

  • My hubby has agreed to make two pots of whole grains for the week (like brown rice and millet).

  • The kids are helping me chop up veggies so they are easy to grab and go.

Just today, I received several marketing emails encouraging me to enroll in “cleanses” or “detox plans”. These typically involve shakes, nutritional supplements, herbal laxatives and other special foods. In fact, if you go to a natural foods store or some pharmacies, you will see significant shelf space devoted to these kinds of items. Of course, these may be helpful for some health conditions and working with your doctor is advisable if you want to do this kind of therapeutic cleanse.

But, if you want to have more energy, fewer sugar cravings, and stable blood sugars – then a whole foods immersion is the way to go. You don’t necessarily need any special (and oftentimes expensive) detox products. Just pump up the whole foods, avoid the processed foods and see how you feel.

I challenge you to give it a try and let me know what you think.