I’m not ready
So, here we are. The 10th of May, right? Sigh.
I started a 30 day challenge on May 1st in order to eat as few processed foods as possible. While the organizer of the challenge said it shouldn’t be hard or impossible and if you need to “bend” it a bit you can, I still tried too hard to outdo myself.
Plus, I really miss hummus, chocolate chips, and pancakes. And organic ketchup, salad dressing and Smart Balance. I need to not overeat any of these things but I don’t want them out of my life totally either.
I was a little embarrassed to say this at first but to be totally truthful with you — I’m just not ready for this challenge!
May is a very busy month for me and I just came off of a week of Derby, birthday celebrations (mine), wedding, graduation parties and Mother’s day. These were challenges I realized ahead of time and I tried to plan around them but got a little overwhelmed too.
While the rest of the month won’t be quite as crazy as the past week, I just don’t think I am ready to take on this challenge fully. Perhaps in June? Or maybe never!
I just can’t handle the pressure of another challenge right now. I’m going to keep eating as few processed foods as possible and do a lot of reflecting on where I want to go next with my goals.
I learned quite a bit on this one week I participated in the challenge though:
- I’ve been reading ingredients and labels like a mad woman! I should be doing this all the time.
- I need to get back to meal planning so that I don’t get too repetitive and bored with what I make. I also need to keep trying new foods!
- I need to check out restaurant menus ahead of time and see what vegan-friendly dishes seem the least processed and most nutritious for me.
- I love fruit! I had been keeping fruit to a minimum due to sugar content but now I’m enjoying a few servings a day and getting more variety. Plus the natural sugars in fruit are so much better than those added in processed foods.
- I can keep processed soy products (like tofu) to a minimum. I’ve really enjoyed focusing more on veggies and beans to bulk up my meals.
- I won’t buy anything with ingredients I can’t pronounce or that should not be in a product (for instance, I just want “peanuts” in my peanut butter).
- I want to make my own foods as much as possible (like homemade bread, nut butters, milks, salad dressing, etc).
- I love drinking coffee and tea “black” or just using an unsweetened nut milk for “creamer” but I have a caffeine habit.
- I don’t have to buy canned soup, frozen meals or burritos at all!
This one week of the challenge also helped me realize some goals I have as far as changes in my daily diet go. I think these are the changes I wanted to make originally and used the challenge to try and help me get there.
But let’s just take the challenge part out of it for a bit. Here are the Big 5:
- Break the caffeine addiction
What started out as 1 cup of coffee a day at work has turned into 2 and that doesn’t count the weekends when I can have the equivalent of 4-6, thanks to the coffee maker and Starbucks iced coffee. I’m not sure how I’m going to do this yet.
- Eat 100% whole grain
For me, this means oats, oat bran, brown rice, whole grain couscous, other whole grains, and only homemade whole wheat bread. I don’t even want to buy store bought bread anymore, it’s just not as satisfying. I also don’t miss whole grain pasta now that I’m back in spaghetti squash mode. So I think I’m done with that too.
- Limit to one alcoholic beverage per week
Alcohol should be a treat and not a daily indulgence. We visited a winery over the weekend and I chose not to buy a bottle because I don’t enjoy it as much if it’s readily available to me all the time. For me, it should be a treat enjoyed only while out with friends or having a girl’s night potluck 🙂
- No diet soda, ever!
The stuff makes me feel like crap, plus all those chemicals give me nightmares (not literally but just the thought of what they are doing to me). Why do I torture myself? I am working toward nipping this in the bud. Pom + Seltzer is helping 🙂
- Eat only the best foods
Basically, I want to eat a healthy vegan diet, full of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes and whole grains. I still plan to keep processed foods to a minimum, but I can’t eliminate them totally yet. I will buy organic and local when I can and I’m hoping to try lots of new recipes soon. I want to eat what makes me feel good, only when I’m hungry and also be an environmentally-conscious consumer.
This is not a challenge and I have no time frame in mind, but I will be working hard toward achieving these goals every day.
I love Mondays! They make me feel so inspired and it’s a new day to work toward a new goal. I feel a little bad that I’m “quitting” this challenge but I’m still planning to keep it in mind as I make my own changes.
What changes do you hope to make in your diet?