You may be wondering how I survived two whole weeks without four of our major "food groups": Sugar, Legumes, Grains and Dairy.
|A Sunday lunch for the family. They got Cheese/Meat Doria while I got just the meat part with an egg baked on top.|
I learned some great new recipes. I even made mayonnaise (a little challenging) and pesto (super easy). I also made salsa that I can use for some meat/fish dishes later. Today, I am planning to make a cucumber salad. Yesterday, I made chocolate chili, which was a big hit. The day before, I made three garlic-based dishes, which everyone loved. Even Y is loving all of these new dishes and he eats his share when he returns home from work.
|Garlic-based dishes that the whole family can enjoy.|
|Homemade mayonnaise using Olive Oil|
I read up on the rule about omitting legumes, including soybeans, because my husband was so concerned about it. I found out that soybeans, in their fermented form, are totally okay, and like Kimuchi and other fermented foods, are quite nutritious. So, soy sauce, miso and natto are fine, and Japanese people typically eat these daily but in very small quantities. Unfortunately, tofu, fried tofu, and other tofu products are not okay.
I did just fine with skipping the white carbs (rice and pasta) at meals and felt filled up with my meat/seafood and veggies. The kids still got to eat rice and pasta, but they also tended to eat more veggies...because they were there.
I found some easy recipes. I used the pesto for marinating chicken and later for a fish dish, so I found the pesto be very versatile.
|A typical lunch for me at home. Pesto-topped scallops, some bits of marinated steak, nice big salad.|
|Ground meat sauteed with mushrooms, basil and onions with a side of mashed cauliflower.|
I experimented with making coffee at home, using coconut milk and some flavored extracts. Sometimes I was successful, sometimes not. But, it was fun to experiment.
When I went out to cafes to meet up with friends, I managed to avoid the heavy mocha cafes, and made do with a coconut milk steamer at one place and an oolong tea at another place.
I felt more energetic. I thought I could do more and accomplish more in one day. The only time I felt truly relaxed was when I attended my weekly yoga class. This was not such a good thing. One hour per week is not enough relaxation time!
Now, the bad parts.
Have you ever drank coconut milk straight? No? Okay, have you ever put it in coffee? Yeah, I thought so. It takes getting used to. Even one of my friends grimaced when I told her I had resorted to putting coconut milk in my coffee.
My emotions began to get the better of me too. Because I was not numbing myself with sugar and carbs every time I felt any kind of stress (or anger, sadness, frustration...), I was feeling every emotion very intensely. This was really hard on me, and I felt like I was going through withdrawal. After the first week, this started to go away, and I began to feel more positive in general. In the end, I found that coming to terms with my emotions and understanding where they were coming from, and also talking it out with friends really helped.
The one thing I could not give up was chocolate, so I resorted to 72% cacao, which is satisfying enough, but watch out...slippery slope there!
And the dairy...I knew that it would be hard to give up dairy, but I have been able to avoid cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. The main issue is that I still want milk in my coffee. So, I have been putting a couple tablespoons of hot milk, a few table spoons of hot coconut milk, and then hot water. This combination is WAY better than my old combination, which was more like 2 cups of milk each time.
There are times, when out and about, that it is really hard to avoid these four food groups. Last weekend, I went on a women's retreat, and somehow, I was able to stay on my diet while there. I was very proud of myself. We even went to a nice restaurant on the way home, and I had German style hamburg...no carbs, lots of veggies. But, the next day, I had to take Ailin to a dance practice from about noon to 8pm. I didn't have a chance to eat lunch before leaving, and the timing of the practice sessions meant that I couldn't nip off and get something to eat right away. I couldn't eat lunch until 3:30pm. By that time, I thought I would die, but the choices were really limited. So, I ended up getting a KFC chicken burger. KFC is my least favorite restaurant on the planet, but that's how limited my choices were. Then, I topped it off with a donut from Mr Donuts. Call it stress combined with extreme hunger. I should have brought some snacks along at least.
This weekend is Ailin's birthday, she requested me to make Italian dishes for both her family party and her friend party. I haven't decided what to do for the family party yet ... should I sit down and eat with them, or should I make some alternative dishes for myself? I will likely just eat smaller portions and focus more on the veggies. For the friends party, it will be easy to avoid eating with them because I know I'll be busy hosting the party.