Feed on

Many moons ago, I used to listen as my mom reeled off the list of foods that didn’t agree with her, shake my head, and say caring, sensitive things like “Face it mom, your body rejects food.” Honestly, I thought much of it was mental. Or cultivated. How could so many different things bother one healthy person?

The universe is now meting out justice for my prior smugness, as I’ve felt vaguely yucky and puffy for several months now–always a little sick to my stomach or bloated and heavy. So at the suggestion of a friend and pilates teacher, I’ve spent the past two weeks on a new plan she recommended. It’s called Engine 2, and it is a low-salt, low-sugar, no oil, no refined grains, vegan diet. I’ve modified it slightly: I’m allowing myself yogurt, a tiny bit of olive or canola oil for sauteing, and some fish. I’ve cut out all dairy other than yogurt, all sugar other than fruit, all white flour and rice, and I am limiting my sodium to 1,000 to 1,200 mg. per day.

It’s been a steady diet of vegetable stews, beans, tofu, whole-wheat tortillas, and brown rice at home. Instead of my favorite pretzels, cheese crackers, and candy, you’ll now find me snacking on veggies with fat-free hummus and various combinations of nuts and seeds. It’s strict, isolating, and tedious.

So of course I feel fantastic. Transformed, even. This low fat, low-salt, plant-based diet is clearly what my body–if not my taste buds or brain–craves.

Supermodel Kate Moss once controversially said “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” She clearly never ate sticky rice with mango, Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, or pasta with a buttery Gorgonzola sauce. (As an allegedly coked-up supermodel, she probably never ate much of anything.) The question for me remains, does anything taste as good as feeling well feels?

4 Responses to “My Horrible, Wonderful Diet”

  1. christine says:

    My mom who’s a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (acupuncture & herbal medicine) says everyone should go vegan, that it would cure a lot of health problems. I know it to be true, but why’s it so darn hard??

  2. tlalbaugh says:

    My stepmom, who is a major foodie (a cookbook author) and yet has always had a body/system that’s sensitive, once went on a year-long anti-inflammation diet per her rheumatologist that to this day she refers to as “The Diet That Made Me Want to Stop Living.” It did help her physically at that point, but oooh boy, she was a very high-maintenance, unpleasant, unhappy person that entire year. She says the key for her now is balance…

  3. Amanda says:

    I’d slowly start trying things and see how your body reacts. For one thing, you need fat, and cholesterol (not like most Americans eat it, but you do need it for cell adhesion and fun functional stuff like that). It’s possible you have only a few things that bother you and that you can avoid, rather than the whole kitchen sink.

  4. blg says:

    Agree with balance.

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