January: WHOLE NEW YEAR

I am sitting in a very very cold cafe, my hands wrapped around a warm cup of tea. I’ve discovered that Starbucks will put your drink in a mug, if you ask. Tea just tastes better in a mug. My tea is undisturbed- no milk, no honey, no sugar. A few months ago I would have said there is no way that I could drink tea or coffee without milk and sugar. But here I am. And I even like it.

The point? January is going to be about food. Not a diet, per se, but a month spent thinking about the food I eat, what makes me feel better, what makes me feel tired. Today is Day One- a month spent eating entirely “whole” unprocessed foods- no dairy, no sugar, no legumes, no breads. This is actually my second time to do this, which is why I sound relatively sane and not angry and defensive.

The first time I did this (in September 2014) I was pissed. I don’t like rules. I don’t like being told I can’t have certain foods. I am suspicious of diets and fads and cutting out entire food groups. Like legumes. What is possibly wrong with beans?

People on diets are annoying. People on diets who only talk about what they won’t eat and why what you are eating is terrible and toxic are the worst kind of annoying. For example, from a food support group: “I don’t care for that particular blanket term on my food journey”. Food journey? This was a discussion about whether La Croix was acceptable or not. La Croix is WATER. Water, people. I don’t care to be that particular kind of person. I’m not planning on eating this way forever.

Still I did it. I’m not sure how, to be honest. A friend had completed one and reported her skin cleared up, including excema and allergies, she had more energy, felt better than she had in years. She also posted a pretty amazing picture of her arm, which was all toned. I was motivated by clear skin and toned arms.

It was really hard. The first week I was angry and depressed. But I kept on. It took me until Day 26 of 30 before I found a way to drink coffee without dairy and sugar and like it (for me, coconut milk and cinnamon).

So back again. Because I had so much more energy. I didn’t need an afternoon nap. My mind felt more engaged, and well, open. I wanted to try new things. Because it forced me to cook more, and read labels, and feed my kids better. Because I also looked better than I have since I had kids.

The book this experiment is based on is called It Starts With Food. And it does. I have so many ideas, but I have to be present and engaged and awake to make them happen. So this month it’s about sustenance and energy.

I also love this list of healthy family food habits. I am especially intrigued by #7.

So wish me luck. Because a whole month without bread is going to be really hard.

xo A.

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