Over winter break, I decided that upon my return to Boston, I would start a new diet. Originally, this idea came out of my dislike of my own body–definitely not the best way to think about food. I went back and forth with myself about what I could and could not eat, what to limit, what to absolutely avoid.
A week before I hopped back to Boston, I caught a killer cold. Usually when I get sick, I feel really bad for about a day and then it passes. This time however, I was down for the count. I ran a high fever, was dizzy, achy, and found myself in bed for the better part of a week. During this time, I wasn’t consuming a ton. My body detoxed from caffeine, alcohol, and most processed foods. Was this a blessing in disguise? I’d like to think so.
I decided that rather than make some foods “bad” and some “good,” instead I would cut out all meat, dairy, and processed sugars. I would limit my caffeine and alcohol intake.
It’s been three weeks and I’ve never felt better. My mood has been stable, I haven’t felt as stressed out, and my body feels lighter. I no longer feel the intense need to exercise everyday. My bloating is far less than it used to be. The best part is that I don’t miss what I’m not eating.
So what am I eating? Well, mostly fruits and vegetables! I’ve been stocking up on fresh fruit to curb my sugar cravings and leafy greens root vegetables to fill me up. I’m a huge lover of grains like lentils and quinoa which are packed with protein. Nut butters, fish, tofu, polenta, beans, and eggs are my other huge sources of protein. I’ve gotten into the habit of eating smaller meals throughout the day rather than large meals. I’ve also been trying hard not to eat right before I go to bed, which helps me to wake up feeling good. I’ve been better about subbing coffee for tea or Kombucha. The biggest thing for me is always making sure I have healthy food and snacks on hand.
I also write down everything I eat. It might sound crazy, but it totally works! I use the guided food journal “Eat Pretty, Live Well” to track how I feel, my beauty goals, and my eating habits. This journal goes along with the book “Eat Pretty” which talks all about what foods do for us from the inside out. This mentality and book completely changed the way I look at food! I’m a huge fan of the journal because it emphasizes affirmations and internal goals rather than caloric, weight, or size goals. I also feel so much more in control when I can track what might be making me feel sick.
My food/eating/body image journey has been such a life changing experience and in no world did I ever think it would be as public as I’ve been making it! But I do think it’s important to talk about. The support from readers and peers has been overwhelming and I feel so lucky to not be the only one going through something like this. And hopefully someday I’ll stop talking about food and start talking about how much I love my body. I’ll eat to that.