Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Getting Creative

After deciding to follow the book 'The Conscious Cleanse' in late January, I've been reaping the benefits that come with taking better care of myself.  In a nutshell, I've cut out all processed foods, processed sugar, gluten, fats and oils...basically anything that isn't a fruit, a vegetable, nut, or non-gluten grain.  I've learned a lot about how my body reacts to processed foods and am finding that my weekend 'free eating' is getting to be a lot less worth it come Monday morning!  I've also found that I'm getting really bored.  Time to think outside of the pizza box.

Now that I've done the 'cleanse' portion of the eating plan and have added in those things like dairy and gluten and taken note of how my body reacts to them (not good), I'm beginning the actual 'lifestyle change' process.  One can only eat so many dressing-free salads and whole-fruit smoothies before one gets incredibly bored.  I shop the edges of the grocery store, with just a quick nip down a couple of the middle aisles for brown rice and quinoa or these really good non-gluten crackers made by Blue Diamond called 'Nut-Thins' (the box weighs, like, air...it really feels like it's full of 'nothing'!), and though I was raised a vegetarian, I wouldn't go so far as to call how we ate particularly healthy.  A great majority of the foods that were available in the 1970's for vegetarians, namely the products put out by the Loma Linda Company and Morningstar Farms, were very high in sodium and additives   In our new, more enlightened age, cutting out every nonorganic 'food' that has more than one syllable should help extend our lives.  But I'm learning why so many American's are overweight and why every restaurant we go to of a weekend has a line waiting to be seated!

Eating well requires some time.  Picking out fresh produce at the store, preparing meals from whole foods, and making sure that you're consuming all of this while it is still at its nutritional peak can be a time-consuming task!  I work two jobs and tell myself that I don't have time to work out, as the only 'free' time I would be able to scrounge would be part of my sleeping time.  As it is, I'm getting up 10-15 minutes early every morning in order to prepare food to take to work with me.  And this is after the couple of straight hours on a Sunday that I spend trying to prep some of this ahead of time!

But I'm learning.  I've been cruising some good vege and vegan blogs (I'll do a post here soon about which ones) and am getting some good ideas on ways to dig my way out of the salad slump and truly make this a lifestyle change.

Today's lunch was the result of this branching out and I must say was thoroughly enjoyed after yesterdays' sad leftover fruit and quinoa.  Spinach, romaine, red and green peppers, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, grape tomatoes, and half an avocado spread between to slices of pita, a little bit of a quick spread that I made from Vegenaise (click here for info on that particular gem!) with garlic powder and chopped chives, and I can honestly say I'm full after topping it off with a cup of the microsalad (recipe here)

But the reason this post is on the home page and not in its usual spot is that the most noticeable benefit so far is my weight loss.  I've lost 14 pounds in two months.  So much so in fact that I've had to cull my closet as some of my favorite work slacks and skirts were so large as to literally fall off of me and are therefore no longer wearable!  I'd almost lost hope that I would get back to the size 7 that I used to be.  But I'm now down to a size 9 (did I mention in only two months?!) and am fast on my way to pulling out the rest of my 'skinny clothes' from the garage storage.

And that's a great fashion story....right?