Tomorrow will be the 30th day of not eating animal products, gluten, or sugar. I have a confession to make, I have had sugar and gluten. Both were purely accidental. On a very hot day last week, I took my 3-year-old friend out to lunch at one of our favorite neighborhood spots; they make amazing lemonade. My little friend loves lemonade, truth be told, I do too, and this place makes a super yummy watermelon lemonade. Halfway through my glass of watermelon lemonade I realized…sugar! I was not going to ruin a perfectly enjoyable lunch by freaking out. I crashed horribly about an hour after finishing the lemonade. The sugar gave me a true high of false energy then I felt awful and was on the verge of needing a nap. Was the lemon delicious? Yes. Was it worth it? No. Today I picked up a lentil, veggie salad from a little organic shop right below the yoga studio I teach at in my neighborhood. I realized as I was eating the salad that there was couscous mixed in…gluten! I felt great after finishing the salad; veggies, protein, carbs, and some healthy fat from olive oil drizzled on it, a great meal. In the first two weeks of changing my diet I would have freaked out over these two slips. I wanted everything to be perfect. Truth be told, there is no perfect. For me, a perfect diet is one that fuels my body so I can do all the activities I love doing and leaves me feeling healthy.
The big question I am now asking myself is, will I continue with this diet just as it is? I am not 100% certain. I know I am going to remain vegan, no animal products. This is something I have been wanting to change in my diet for quite some time and I am sorry I waited so long. As for the gluten and sugar? I am going to keep them to absolute bare minimums while doing my best to keep them out of my diet 99% of the time. The amount of label reading to ensure I did not ingest these products has been really hard for me. I was already a label reader prior to this change, but eliminating gluten and sugar took it to a whole new level. I want to keep gluten and sugar out of my diet as much as possible, but I also want to fully enjoy going out to eat and sharing meals with friends. And, I really miss chocolate. There, I said it. I made raw brownies recently (http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2011/04/the-raw-brownie-2/- I added some cinnamon and cayenne to the recipe), they were great. These brownies tasted just close enough to the real thing to make me desperately long for the real thing. We all have our weak spots.
I feel better. I have more energy. All of the little digestive issues I was having dissipated over the course of the last few weeks. While there are foods I have missed, I have not missed the bloating, indigestion, severe acid reflux, or other issues that would be far too much information for this blog. I feel more creative and curious in my kitchen. My body longs for fresh veggies and fruits, which makes me very excited since the seasons are beginning to change and there will soon be a whole slew of new veggies and fruits to play with in the kitchen. My kitchen also feels alive, because it is. My refrigerator is filled with fresh veggies and fruits. There is so much color, so much life, you can’t get that from a box or bag of prepackaged food. I have learned more about my relationship to food. I have also learned to really listen to my body, and without anything artificial my body has learned to discern what it needs for fuel. All of this has made the journey into this diet change worthwhile.