About two weeks ago, I changed my diet to eating “Gluten Aware”. I also cut way down on eating added sugar. My diet consists largely of plant-based foods, although I still do eat meat, eggs and cheese on occasion. Plant-based to me means lots of greens, veggies (cooked and uncooked), fruits, legumes (such as beans, lentils, chickpeas), nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts), seeds (chia, sunflower, pumpkin, flax), and of course delicious nut butters, almond milk, smoothies, and cold-pressed vegetable juices. The world of plant food is vast and full of flavour, I think it is sad when people do not explore these wonderful flavours. I have been strictly vegan and vegetarian before, but I find the best diet for me is one where I listen to what my body needs and allow Myself some wiggle room while maintaining a healthy diet as my LIFESTYLE. I don’t believe in condemning myself for eating some meat when I feel like it. There are no vegan police and I do believe that I am doing my part for our environment and the best for my body by regularly choosing veggie meals.
Sugar was a hard craving for me to kick, which is surprising because I didn’t really think that I ate that much sugar. But what I didn’t realize was how many things sugar is actually in! It’s in so much of the packaged goods we buy at the grocery store – even the healthy granolas. It’s in the obvious things like pastries, sweets, chocolate, muffins and cookies. And it is addictive in a big way. Your body will actually crave sugar at certain times of the day when you are used to eating it at those times. So to kick your cravings it will require a fair amount of willpower (obviously). It won’t be easy at first, and you will daydream longingly of the muffin section at JJ Bean around snack time. You will have thoughts , “is there no joy in life anymore”, and “why shouldn’t I treat Myself…I Deserve it”! But there truth is: You deserve better. You deserve a clear mind, a strong immune system, healthy digestive function, optimal brain function, and a great sleep. Sugar will directly affect all of these things…and not in a good way. I can’t speak much to affects of gluten, but I will do more research. I decided to give it up because I watched a few Ted Talks that spoke about how eating “GF” could improve symptoms of anxiety and OCD.
When I am quitting something, it is important for me to know my “why”. Once I am strong in my “Why” then tackling those cravings and keeping myself accountable feels easier. Because I know I am in it for something better. Something that I have control over. We do have the power to choose what we put in our bodies, and what we put in our bodies is a reflection of how good we will allow ourselves to feel. If we don’t make the big changes, we won’t get the big results. So many of us (Myself included) complain about our various ailments and about not feeling good. Here is some brutal honesty: how much are you actually doing about it? I used to tell Myself I was doing everything I could to feel better, but was I really? I was doing alot, yes, but I needed to step it up even more. Sometimes it’s the things we least feel like doing that will actually make the improvements in our quality of life. The things that we usually know we “should” be doing but just haven’t got around to it yet. Well I’m telling you, and I’m telling Myself – that you need to do it now. Because your best life is waiting for you. You just have to be willing to give up the fake stuff.
Benefits I have noticed from cutting out sugar and gluten:
- More mind clarity (less foggy/scattered thoughts)
- More stable energy
- Improved digestion (better bowel function)
- More balanced mood
- Better sleep
- Less cravings (after the first few days the cravings taper off)
- More motivation
- More trust in my Body
- Sense of accomplishment and power