One Week of Eating Healthy

I did it! I went one week without eating anything unhealthy! I can barely believe it!

Well, that’s not completely true. When I set my mind to do something I generally do it. I once gave up all TV, computer and video games for a solid month, just to prove I could do it. That first week sucked, let me tell you, as I barely knew what to do with myself. As the month went on, though, I found more and more non-electronic things to do, and by the end I didn’t even miss it.

Indeed, I basically stopped watching TV after that. I just never went back. I still watch sports, but that’s it, and even here I watch far less then I used to. As a kid, the TV was always on, even if no one were in the room. It was the default entertainment option. As a kid I watched cartoons and as I grew older I watched more and more sports, sometimes sports I didn’t even care about. I did it because I didn’t know what else to do, and I can thank that one month period for weaning me off this bad habit.

Anyway, this is not about my TV viewing habits. Perhaps I’ll make a post for another day. Today is all about eating healthy. I have gone seven full days of eating impeccably healthy. Indeed, I ate virtually the same set of meals every day, with only minor variance.

For breakfast, every single morning I have had oatmeal. I love oatmeal, and now that it’s cold outside it seems to taste even better. It’s like a hot water bottle for your insides. I also mixed in seeds, nuts and fruits. This gives me more nutrients and makes it healthy rather than just filling. I’ve had this every morning, accompanied by a spot of tea, black of course.

Tastier than it looks.

Lunch has been more varied, depending on whether I needed to pack a lunch or if I could eat at home. On Wednesday and Thursday I had simple sandwiches with a side of fruit. Now, I know as soon as I said ‘sandwich’ the paleo-diet followers out there instantly got on edge. First, I never said I was eating paleo; I said I was eating healthy. Second, I love bread and would never eliminate it from my diet. Third, this was homemade bread, with almond flour no less. It’s damn healthy and damn tasty and, I believe, gluten-free.

When I wasn’t having delicious, delicious sandwiches, I was basically having dinner at lunchtime. I would have brown rice, steamed veggies, a green salad with a light vinaigrette, and chicken. One day I had fresh salmon instead. Note that I got my chicken fresh from a local market and cooked it all virtually the same day. I then stored it and simply reheated it as required. Sometimes I didn’t even do that, as chicken is the only meat I like to eat cold as well as warm.

That’s basically it. I had oatmeal, chicken, brown rice and various fruits and vegetables. I know some people will think that sounds boring, but I have a limited sense of taste, so I don’t need or even desire a wide variety of flavours. More to the point, I’m not here to eat an exciting meal every day. That’s the main problem with most people’s diets today. Everyone wants what tastes good, which usually isn’t healthy, or at least not as healthy as it could be.

I would happily eat that one meal for the rest of my life. I would have to mix the vegetables up to ensure I get all my proper nutrients, but the base would stay the same. I essentially did this as a kid. I went through all of high school eating peanut-butter sandwiches for lunch and a Pepsi to wash it down. True, not the healthiest choice, but I had no problem eating it every single day. I occasionally went with friends to get pizza, but that was always a social thing, never a desire to eat something different.

That said, these meals aren’t too different from my regular diet. Add in pasta, a pizza on Thursday and homemade nachos and that’s basically my regular fare. Meals are easy. I was far more worried about snacks.

Fortunately, I suppose, I had no junk food in the house … because I ate it all. No chips, no crackers, no chocolate, no sweets, no anything. Even if I were tempted to cheat, I would have nothing to cheat with. That’s a good thing, because on Thursday night, my longest working day, if I had chips on hand I would have eaten them. Having that quick bite to eat while dinner is being prepared after such a long day was so very tempting…

I would have even eaten these food-coloured monstrosities.

For snacks, I have eaten instead nuts and fruit, not necessarily at the same time. I am currently snacking on pistachios, actually. I’ve forgotten how much I love pistachios until this week. I dip my grapes into vanilla Greek yogurt, very tasty, and I spread peanut butter on some apple slices. I suppose that peanut butter was the worst thing I put into my body this week, as it was simply no name brand peanut butter. I think I can live with that.

All in all, a very successful week. I have proved to myself that I can do it, and it should only get easier from here on in. In that week I’ve already noticed changes. I want to say positive changes, but I’ll leave that for the reader to decide. I’m struggling to find the correct words to use, so let’s just say I’ve been detoxing. Yes, that appears to be the most polite term.

On about the fourth day, give or take, I experienced interesting stomach sensations. It felt like a stomachache, but lower and deeper. I then had to go to the toilet. This proved to be rather smelly, something even I could smell. It also, um, had a slightly different colour than usual, much lighter in appearance. Not that I look at it for long! Heavens, no.

I’ll spare both of us that image.

This process continued multiple times throughout the day, with at least three rather panicky trips to the bathroom. By the end of the day, my colon appeared scrubbed clean, if the evidence left behind is any indication. I mean, I would hope so! I went through a similar experience back when I first gave up pop. That time, it included feeling terrible, flu-like symptoms, as well as acne breaking out. Those all went away within the first 10 days, so I’m hopeful that, since I haven’t seen them yet, I’ve avoided those symptoms this time. Certainly, my adult diet is much better than my teenage one, so that perhaps played a part.

Bathroom experiences aside, I am extremely happy with my first week. They say it takes 23 days to cement in a new habit, and I am seven days into that. In just over two weeks time I will discover whether this is a new life time eating habit destined to give me better health or just another failed attempt in the annals of diet history. I trust it’s the former.

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