I’m trying the Whole Thirty diet, and am half way through my 30 days. This is an elimination diet, meaning you don’t go near food that is likely to bother your body. Sugar, sweeteners, dairy, legumes, processed starch (chips, bread, pasta), all grains, are all out the window in favor of whole veggies, home-cooked meat (not that additive-saturated processed crap), and a few fruits. Tree nuts are OK (thank heavens), and spices are encouraged.
The objective is not to lose weight, though some people do. The objective is to feel better–less groggy, puffy, tired, compulsive, dull, achy, and scattered. The diet’s proponents claim it can have life-changing consequences, and will certainly shift your relationship with food.
Mine has shifted all right. Instead of looking forward to my one cup of jasmine green tea with agave nectar and cream, I choke down the plain variety and wonder why I bothered. I put off eating because fixing stuff I don’t like is just drudgery. Eating it is worse than drudgery, and when this thirty days is over, brothers and sisters, there will be some CHEESE consumed in Western Maryland.
Why subject myself to this? Because with my health and energy, I’ve reached the point where I have to acknowledge: What I’m doing isn’t working well enough.
That tread desk is good, staying away from gluten isn’t a bad idea either, leaving out the caffeine can’t hurt, and nobody needs to eat much meat… but all of that wasn’t moving any needles in the right direction. So I’m going Sherlock Holmes, and investigating the unthinkable for thirty days.
I knew food was part of my reward system (books are another part), but I’m left with the realization that I might have to demote food to a subsistence necessity. (This is me, grieving for my long, lost cheddar.) What then? What manner of treat doesn’t go in my mouth? The usual answers–a massage, a writin’ buddy date, flowers–don’t have the immediacy or simplicity of food. If I finish a scene that has really been a slog (what scene isn’t?), I can go to the kitchen for a snack. If I have put in a particularly good day on the tread desk, I can pat myself on the back with a cup of hot chocolate.
If court was awful (and it often is), I can comfort myself with cup of decaf Constant Comment (with agave nectar and half and half). I’m not a glutton, my caloric intake is well within the charted guidelines, but I do try to make food something I enjoy.
And thus my question to you: What are your micro-rewards or micro-comforts? When the day has been trying, when there’s something mundane to celebrate, how do you treat yourself? I don’t envision a life without chocolate or cheese, but I would like to have more variety in my pleasures, until that fine day when somebody comes up with an edible book.
To one commenter, I’ll send a signed copy (not an ARC!) of No Other Duke Will Do.