My Post-December Detox

I eat pretty well on a regular basis. Ask my boyfriend. He’s continually astounded by how well I eat. I don’t think it’s THAT good, but he does, so let’s go with that. But then the month of December comes and the snacking goes to shit.

December is always a difficult month – lots of crap to eat in the office and then the holidays come and you’re told to splurge because “it’s the holidays,” and then before you know it, you’ve gained 5 pounds. Let me first say that 5 pounds is no reason to get your panties in a twist. Honestly, between water weight and what we’re eating on a daily basis (did you eat a burger last night or a salad?), I don’t think it’s crazy to fluctuate in the 3-5 pound range from week to week. (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m just going off my own experiences and things I’ve read.)

Even though I was making my own lunches (and oftentimes my own dinners), exercising regularly (5-6 days a week), and living in a city where your feet are your main mode transportation (I ❤ you, NYC), I think my weight still went up a bit in December. At the beginning of the month I was still hopping on the scale every few days. But after I realized that the number was making me feel like shit, while I didn’t physically feel like shit, I thought that I’d better cool it. At least for December.

And so that’s what I did. I splurged, ate what I wanted (but not to the point of sickness), exercised a lot, and didn’t step a foot on the scale. If I felt sluggish one day, I’d work out some more (having a gym in my building’s basement is the best). But now… now December is over, New Year’s Day is over, so it’s time to get my eating back on track. There won’t be cookies and chocolate in the office anymore so this should be relatively simple. Here’s my detox plan…

Replace coffee with green tea: I’m not totally getting rid of coffee – I love making coffee in the morning. The process is almost therapeutic for me. I love the smell and setting the timer for steeping. The only thing I don’t really like the taste. Of the coffee. So sue me, but whatever, that’s why there’s honey and whipped cream. I’ll continue to drink coffee in the morning because it’s my crack but I’m going to go back to drinking tea first (which is something that I always used to do before I started getting into the groove of using my Fellow). I’m generally of the belief that drinking caffeine on an empty stomach is a recipe for feeling like shit. It sends your digestive system into overdrive and bloats you.

Go to the gym three mornings per week: Thirty minutes on the elliptical and I’m golden. I was doing four mornings before the New Year, but I want to have two mornings to wake up slower, do my 8-minute flow, and drink my tea in peace.

Yoga at least 3 times per week: I’ve been doing yoga 3+ times per week since 2011. I’m going to continue this, obviously. Even if I’m not sweating after every class, it’s still beneficial to move and stretch.

Continue to make all of my own lunches: I need to make more turkey chili STAT and find a few new soup recipes. I’m going to keep eating warm, soft foods during the winter (Ayurveda, FTW). More risotto, too! 

Eat less dairy: Since I consumed my cheese for the year on New Year’s Day, I think I need to eat less dairy. Dairy is gross and pure fat. I’m going to go back to not keeping any cheese in my fridge and only coconut milk.

Drink 3 cups of green day per day: This is just good for your metabolism, so duh.

Bring snacks with me to work: You know what the best way to eat shit during the work day is? Not bringing your own snacks with you. Then you end up eating whatever is left around in the office kitchen, or going out to get a cookie or some other processed nonsense that will sit in your gut for an extra week.

Eat minimal processed foods: My guilty pleasure are the peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets from Trader Joe’s and those are processed, but I can pronounce all the ingredients, so I’m giving that a goddamn pass. I’m really into apples and carrots these days. 

Meditating: Always. Twice a day. I’m going to try to incorporate longer sessions into my evenings or weekends a couple of times a week though. It’s so important and so relaxing.

I think that’s about it. If you see me posting pictures of crap food on my Instagram, yell at me. 

Say Cheese.

My colleagues and I like to go to the Calexico cart in SoHo for lunch every now and then (meaning a few times a week, but I go about once a week). I always get a burrito with a side of crack sauce because: CRACK SAUCE. It’s so good. Calexico is fantastic Mexican food and it’s decently priced – about the same as Chipotle. But this past Monday I decided to switch things up and have a quesadilla instead.

Oh boy, did I ever regret that decision. Don’t get me wrong: It was delicious. In the moment. Then… then I wanted to die. I felt sick and bloated for a good two days after. It wasn’t tainted food (Calexico, you’re delicious, it’s not you, it’s me, I swear) it was that my stomach wasn’t used to all the cheese that I was eating.

Since I was diagnosed with a sinus infection in February, I’ve steered clear of dairy (well, mainly cheese). I still eat greek yogurt on the regular and mac’n’cheese sometimes, but never foods that are HEAVILY packed with cheese like this was. 

So, what’d I do? Stopped drinking the iced coffee that I was having in the morning (the iced part of it makes you bloat and slows down digestion) and exchanged it for green tea. Then I ate meals that consisted mostly of whole-ish foods: carrot sticks, zucchini, hummus, chicken, and pita (this is not really a whole food, I know, but it’s delicious). And some nuts. And guess what – the veggies kept me full and I felt great!

I also realized on MyFitnessPal that my fat intake was way too high compared to my protein intake. I have it set right now to 50% carbs, 20% protein, and 30% fat. I don’t know if this is the best settings for weight loss, so if you know, let me know. I only want to loose 5-10lbs that I gained over the horrendous winter, so if you have any suggestions over what the correct ration is, I’d love to hear it.

But I’ve learned my lesson: no more quesadillas or anything really loaded down with cheese. My insides cannot take it.