This week, I'm going to do a Charlotte-like experiment, but instead of with exercise, I'm doing it with food. Starting today, for the next 7 days I'm going to go gluten free vegan. I'm also going to incorporate some raw foods as well, and eat as much organically as possible. I'm calling this experiment "The Great Food Reboot Experiment."
Why am I doing this "Food Reboot" Experiment?
Metaphor: You know how your computer can get bogged down with spam and spyware and eventually becomes slow & sluggish, and stops performing optimally. Your PC can get so sick that you end up taking it to the PC doctor where they basically wipe out the entire system and reboot it. Voila! Your PC is performing much better. So, I'm going to try this with my body with food.
The motivation behind this experiment is to see how much my current diet (what I eat daily) is affecting some health issues I've been having. I want to be clear also in that I am not doing this so I can become a skinny biatch. I want to focus on seeing what some of the health benefits are even in this short experiment. At the end of the experiment, I will re-introduce some of the meat, dairy, and gluten based stuff to see how my body reacts. It's much easier to see the affects when you're starting from a cleaner slate.
I've been having this wicked insomnia which has gotten better since March but I'm still not back to normal sleep, so after trying a couple Internet detoxes, I started to wonder if what I eat is also contributing to the insomnia. As well, I have a Type II allergy to cow and goat milk and I haven't been so good with limiting my consumption. I've been eating some kind of dairy every day, multiple times throughout the day. Oh how I love cheese and ice cream!
In recovering from my ED relapse last fall, I also noticed that gluten-based foods trigger food binges for me. Classic perps include pizza, chinese foods (like chow mein or breaded sweet & sour chicken), hamburgers, cookies, cakes, and burritos. I've tried wheat-free versions of some of these foods, and I don't get the same "heavy bloated I-feel-so-fat" feeling which typically triggers the binge-purge desires, and when I couple eliminating dairy, there is definitely no binge-purge desire. So, it could also be perhaps the gluten-dairy combo which triggers me. I'm not sure yet, so that's why we do experiments like this.
Now, I'm not starting this experiment cold turkey, so this is what I did to prep...
I started weaning and prepping for this last Monday (4/28). I started by cutting out dairy all together which actually wasn't too hard, and then day by day I'd start eliminating gluten containing foods and meats. The meats was a bit tough but not as hard as the flour. The first day I was able to go completely without any flours was really weird. I actually did suffer some withdrawl like symptoms like the shakes. I think I eat the floury stuff more out of habit than anything. If you'd like to try a food reboot experiment like this, I HIGHLY recommend that you do a weaning week before hand.
...an Omnivore like me does not feel deprived at all ...
Having fun with the recipes and good eats
During the week, I'll share as much as what I am eating as possible, as well as any yummy recipes that I come across. For my birthday recently, I got two Raw books I've had my eye on for some time: Raw Food/Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis, and Raw Food Life Force Energy by Natalia Rose. There's some cool stuff in these books, and I've been really curious about trying raw foods. Raw Food/Real World has the most amazing food pictures as these two own a raw restaurant in NYC called Pure Food and Wine.
I'm also really fortunate that I live in the SF Bay Area as there are a plethora of vegan, raw, and gluten free restaurants and options out here. In fact, during my weaning week, I was eating lunch at Cafe Soulstice, a raw and vegan place, a few days Their food is so amazing that you don't realize that you're eating raw or vegan. Seriously, their food is that incredible, that an Omnivore like me does not feel deprived at all. The picture above is one of their famous dishes, The Kale Quinoa Toss, and not only is is filling, it made me feel warm inside. They also have this mock salmon pate, that I sware tastes like the real thing. It's made with almonds, and it's amazing.
Noticing affects already
During the weaning week, I had this asparagus and carrot with sesame dressing salad from Delica at the SF Ferry Building. I have a new view of the asparagus experience. I'm only doing this experiment for 7 days because it's short yet long enough to feel the effects. Just after the weaning week, I already feel a noticable difference in how my body feels. I feel lighter, and less bloated. Cheese really does make me feel bloaty and farty. I could play the Pull-my-finger for days if I kept eating Gouda and Colby. And actually, I'm not missing the dairy as much as I thought I would because I like not having the bloaty feeling more. And the feeling of eating more raw vegetables and fruits really is making me feel more vibrant.
If you have any tips, advice, recipes, or thoughts, please share. I'm having fun just learning about new ways to cook and look at food. The other day I had this raw "cheese" made out of cashews and it was pretty amazing. These raw and vegans folks are so creative.