Sometimes, when I feel like I’m indulging too much (about once a day, especially when I’m trying to stick to a diet), I wonder if my diet is really all that different. I’m only maintaining my weight. I’ve gained 5 lbs in the last year, and I’ve steadily gained since I lost all the weight 3 years ago. So, I feel bad a lot of the time. I feel like I’m slowly failing, losing traction on a slippery slope. I’m so afraid I’ll slip down to the bottom and beyond.
But really, my diet is vastly different than it was before. I have to remind myself that I’m so much healthier than I was before. Before, I ate a lot of pizza and sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, cheese, quesadillas, bruschetta, pasta, tacos, chips and dips. I used to eat queso flameado, which my husband describes as a vat of cheese and grease, with onions and mushrooms. I was pretty proud to have eaten a salad once a week at least.
I ate Girl Scout Cookies. I ate a big cookie almost every afternoon around 3 o’clock. If I managed to wait beyond closing time for the building restaurant at work, I ate Snickers bars or Milky Way bars, raided the office candy jar for chocolate and Jolly Ranchers. If I was really hard up, I ate Musketeers. I was doing good if I bought a banana or apple instead.
I ate oatmeal for breakfast, which wasn’t too bad, but I always ate two packets of instant or who knows how much of the steel cut. I tried not to add more than two sugar packets to the steel cut. I often added peanut butter and cinnamon. I drank coffee too.
When I went gluten-free, I tried all kinds of new products. I tried gluten-free cereal, poptarts, cookies, crackers, chips, pancakes, muffins, frozen burritos, bread, French fries and pizza. Some products were good, some were bad. All were unnecessary. I’ve given all of those up. I make pancakes sometimes, I was making muffins earlier this year, and someone gave me half a loaf of bread recently.
I’ve basically given up candy, including the office candy bowl, thanks to my husband. He gave up fried chicken in return for that promise. Now, I’m free of that candy bowl.
My diet is very different than it was. Now, I have turkey sausage or boiled eggs for breakfast, with Brazil nuts and hot tea. I have a protein shake or salad with chopped beef or tuna salad for lunch. I still struggle in the afternoons sometimes. I try to bring cucumber or celery and eat them with a nut butter.
For dinner I eat my husband’s homemade curry, or beef sausage with mustard and mayo, or roast chicken. He makes great salads to go with, like walnuts, spinach, bell peppers and beet horseradish with olive oil and vinegar. Right when I get home, I want to eat something sweet, so I often have kombucha and a couple dates or sugar-coated nuts or Turkish delight (a gift).
If I manage to stick with just the kombucha (8 oz.) before dinner, I still may want dessert. That might be coconut ice cream or dates or sugar-coated nuts or muffins when I made them. When we go out, I eat way too much at Mexican restaurants, and I eat tortilla chips and corn tortillas (not Paleo, I know). If we go get a burger, I get a gluten-free bun, no fries.
I AM eating better. I’m eating really well. I eat salads and enjoy them. I crave vegetables. But I also eat lots of nuts and nut butter, lots of butter butter when I cook, which isn’t bad, but the high fat is excessive.
So yes, my diet really IS different. Not that anyone asked, but I think it’s important because it’s a question that I keep asking myself. I should feel good about what I’m eating. I should continue to try and improve my eating, but I should still pay attention to what I’m doing so I can fit in my clothes.