I made it past the halfway mark! 23 days down, 17 to go. …
So this past week has been crazy. With both my birthday and Pete’s birthday over the weekend, I had a lot to do leading up to a big birthday dinner Friday night. A lot of it was unbeknownst to Pete, who turned the big 3-0 on Sunday. (Hooray!) His birthday gift from me included a surprise visit from his brother and friend, which meant a full, fun weekend.
The big weekend also meant a cheat day for me. A big cookie and a piece of cake? Yes, please! I did stick to my plan during dinner Friday (a bunless black bean burger with avocado and a cup of fresh fruit), but happily sat down to a piece of yellow sponge cake with chocolate buttercream icing afterwards. A friend made it and it was heavenly. So was the monster cookie, also made by a friend. Everyone commented on how exceptionally delicious they both were.
At the same time, I was a little shocked that the sweets weren’t more satisfying. They were INCREDIBLE, don’t get me wrong, but the sugar itself didn’t leave me floating on clouds like I thought it might. In fact, half a cookie was plenty at the time, and I couldn’t finish my piece of cake. When I did go back for more sweets, I was actually disappointed that I didn’t want to finish it. I was craving non-sugary food.
What’s happening? I thought. Then a slight panic set in. Will I still find chocolate to be God’s gift to mankind when this plan is over? … They said this would happen.
“They” being The Daniel Plan writers. They talk about craving real food once your body gets used to it.
Chocolate has always been my go-to treat. It makes me happy, whisks me out of bad moods and gives me a boost of energy. And yet I haven’t really missed it. I do feel slight temptation when I see chocolate around the house, but it’s not that “gotta have it or I’ll die” kind of temptation. It’s more like “Man, I wish I could have that … but I’ll be OK.”
The first couple of weeks of my plan, I had my “date brownies” to rely on for a chocolate fix, but those were just dates, unsweetened cocoa powder and walnuts—no sugar. I’m used to having chocolate every day, but now it’s been several days since my last chocolate high. It reminds me of that year in high school when I gave up chocolate for Lent … and swore I would never go that long without it. Ha.
As for gluten and dairy, I have added the slightest bit of that in my diet this past week. I thought I was buying gluten-free bread at the grocery store last week, but got home and realized it definitely has gluten in it. It’s one of those sprouted wheat loaves that’s twice as expensive as regular bread and housed with a bunch of gluten-free stuff in one of the frozen aisles. I think the only dairy item I’ve had is the cheese in some spinach artichoke dip I brought home from the birthday party.
I have found that I need a little more time in the morning to get breakfast ready. I can’t have my typical cereal since it has gluten in it, so it’s either pumpkin flax seed granola with almond milk, a banana or a fruit smoothie. I could do eggs, but who has time for that? Not me.
There have also been multiple mornings where part of my breakfast is a small bag of Snapea Crisps in the car on the way to work. Not super proud of that, but it could be worse. At least there’s no gluten, dairy or sugar!
Some other tidbits:
- Without my daily chocolate, caffeine hasn’t been a problem. I don’t drink coffee, and caffeine-free hot tea is fine with me.
- With a hectic week last week, my exercise was less intense. Think walking in lieu of TurboJam. But I did start my birthday off with a Zumba video, and the past two days I’ve done some recommended exercises from The Daniel Plan.
- I have just over 2 weeks left on the plan, but afterwards, I still want to cut out a lot of sugar and dairy. Probably eat less bread, too.
- One facet of this plan is “focus.” Part of that is not dwelling on negative thoughts. So, when I feel like I’m not exercising as much as I should or reading the book of Daniel as often as I should, I try not to be too hard on myself. Then I make an effort to improve.
- Some people have asked if I can have meat on this plan. Yes, if it’s not pumped full of hormones. You should go for lean, grass-fed and antibiotic-free meat when possible.So far, I’ve had chicken, salmon, Italian sausage and one bite of steak.
- Pete has discovered a love for roasted veggies. I’m glad he likes vegetables because I see more and more of those in our future.