A Night Off

Almost four days I was exceptionally healthy.  I mean full on plant based gluten free amazing diet.  It was strangely easy because I was making amazing recipes that I loved and it was carrying over to lunch the next day.  Suddenly I was waking up in the morning feeling fresh and awake, and I was looking forward to the next healthy meal because I knew it would make me feel amazing.  I started having pure green smoothies in the morning and holy crap, what a difference!  I mean I don’t love them, but the way they make me feel is super charged and ready to go.

And then Tuesday evening came.  I knew I was going out to dinner with friends and I knew I wasn’t going to watch what I eat because I was having too much fun.  I had a healthy day and then headed out with them.  We went to a greek restaurant and I ate roast lamb, potatoes, greek salad, some break and then dessert.  I’m sure it was the dessert that was too much, but it was a really heavy meal.

One thing happened right away.  I felt sluggish and heavy, and my stomach wasn’t super happy about life.  I knew it wasn’t a big deal because it was one meal, but I still didn’t feel great.

The next morning was when the real difference started.  Only one heavy meal and my morning reverted back to being sluggish, kind of groggy, slow and my green smoothie looked like mush.  I felt like I had to force myself to drink it.  But afterwards, when the green goodness started working, I felt amazing!

It really made me realize just how much food can affect my body.  Everyone says it can, and I always nod and say yes, and yes I do feel kind of crappy after eating a whole pizza to myself, but I kind of always just shrugged it off as something I ‘knew’ that didn’t need further attention.  Now, I’m completely re-thinking my morning problems.

The other day while hiking I told my friend that she was trying to treat the symptoms of her relationship problems and not the actual illness.  It’s like taking a tylenol because you have a headache when really the problem is you have cancer.  (super dark comparison but you get it!)  I’ve been struggling with mornings forever and I’ve always tried to find ways to make them better.  Set the alarm earlier, put the heat warmer, make breakfast the day before… I’ve tried a lot, but nothing has worked.  What I didn’t consider is that the mornings are really just a symptom of being unhealthy.  With only four days of super healthy nutritious everything, I got up in the morning bright and chipper ready to be my best.  One night of dessert and heavy food and I was ready to crawl back into bed, call in sick for work, not shower and binge watch Netflix.  One meal.

I’ve started to re-think my ‘cheat’ days.  I’ve always thought of them as a treat to myself for doing such a good job.  Now I know that the treat is really not something I want.  Yes, I love candy.  Yes, please melt cheese on anything so I can eat it.  But feeling great really overshadows all of that, and I don’t think you can really understand that until you truly feel great!

There is this saying I’ve always hated.  ‘Nothing tastes as good as thin feels’.  Lame.  I don’t like thinking of thin as the only thing that matters.  So let’s change that up a little.  ‘Nothing tastes as good as being your absolute best feels.’  I couldn’t wait to get back on the veggie train today.  I even walked down mid morning to the juice track down the road so that I could add even more veggies to my day.  By mid afternoon, after a green smoothie for breakfast, a quinoa, manage and avocado lunch and a beat, carrot and ginger juice I’m finally feeling good again.  And now I’m brainstorming as many different high nutrient dinners I can think of for possibilities tonight.

I’ve always told myself I need to change the way I think about food and I’m finally starting.  I can feel it when I walk through the store.  I look at foods in terms of nutritional value instead of calories or carbs.  I look at my breakfast smoothie in the morning and I think ‘what else can I add that’s green!’  I finally started adding a sprig of kale (just a little) and I can feel my skin starting to glow.  When I put coconut oil on as moisturizer, I’m feeling like my skin is healing from the inside and outside at once, meeting in the middle.

Here’s another crazy things I’ve noticed.  This time I’m going to stop on protein.  I add protein to everything.  Chia seeds to my morning smoothie, beens blended into soup, quinoa at breakfast… I don’t crave meat.  I’m a meat eater.  I looooove meat.  When I get the chance I reach for it without a second thought.  I’ve always thought of vegetarian or vegan diets as depriving myself.  But I noticed last night when I ordered lamb that I wasn’t craving meat in a way that was telling me I had to have it.  I’m not feeling deprived of protein at all!

I don’t need any more evidence to convince me that what I eat makes all the difference.  I’m obsessed.  Everything I do has become about feeling the best I possibly can.  When I think of something I don’t like, like the fact that I don’t have enough energy or my mornings are hard, I know it’s all about what I’m feeding my body.  No excuses.

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