No Grains, No Gains December Topic: 2014 Maintenance - what changed, what stayed the same!
It is interesting to look back at 2014 as a whole! The year ended with me still very dedicated to this lifestyle and way of eating - I did the Whole30 in April of 2012 and have stayed primarily Paleo ever since!
A few things changed with my eating template this past year, however.
1. I got really, really sick in January and had to be put on a Low Residue Diet for a couple of weeks (which meant my beautiful veggie addiction had to be tempered in favor of low roughage foods). I couldn't even really eat much meat. So I started to eat lactose-free cottage cheese in this time period in order to keep my protein up.
And I fell in love!
I've literally had this cottage cheese for breakfast (with sunflower seed butter and blueberries) for breakfast more than 95% of my mornings since I got sick. It's the absolute perfect breakfast for me - keeps me full of energy all morning and is so freaking tasty. Also very easy to get ready in the morning!
2. I also went to see a therapist for the first time in March, because although I was eating a really healthy, well-rounded diet, I was getting more obsessive with calorie counting every year. It was taking up a large portion of my day, thinking about and recording calories. I stopped cold-turkey in the spring and haven't looked back since.
This big change in my maintenance behaviors really altered my outlook - all of a sudden, everything felt less oppressive and easier. A weight off of my shoulders.
And it reaffirmed what I had always believed - that a mostly paleo/primal, grain-free way of life was the best way to maintain my weight. It didn't have anything to do with calorie counting. I've maintained my weight in about a 3 pound range all year. Easily.
3. I do have about 5% of my diet that I don't keep Paleo - when I go out to eat (which is VERY rare) or when friends/family make me dinner (also not the most common situation). It is a 5% leeway that allows me to never feel like any food is "off-limits" to me, rather it is MY choice not to eat it. However, this year, I learned that this 5% can quickly spiral into 10, 15, 20, 25% if I didn't keep tabs on it.
This led to me conducting little experiments - like No Chip 2014 (which I will admit, we faltered in November and ate some chips at a party! But almost 11 months with no social eating of chips is a win in my book) and No Chocolate November (which also failed slightly as I ate some M&Ms in a moment of stress on Thanksgiving Eve... but over 20 days without my oh so craved chocolate is also a win to me. I definitely broke my habit!).
But my husband and I had to get real about our adherence to Paleo. We were veering off course and suffering from it (bloat, digestive issues, skin issues). Having bread at a restaurant once a month or beers with friends once a month never hurt us before... but it hurt us when it started to become too common.
So overall? Most things have stayed the same. I remain committed to this way of eating. As a flawed human, I sometimes veer off course and don't always pick the healthiest options - sometimes opting for easy or fun. But I never stay away long (um, like a day? Digestive issues are enough to push me right back to Paleo!).
As for 2014 as a whole, non-diet-wise??
Well, if you read my blog, you've certainly gotten an ear-full over the year about what has changed for me, what my struggles were, what I've learned. It's a novel in and of itself!
I haven't necessarily changed much this past year, but rather, have grown more confident and dedicated to the things I know are important: living in the now, not taking this beautiful life for granted, being loving, and taking REALLY good care of my body, mind, and spirit.
I hope that my learning can continue in the coming year, that taking care of myself means a full life, where I can help those I love and make this world a little sweeter sometimes :)
Follow the other members of No Grains, No Gains:
Karen at http://gardengirlkp.blogspot.com/
Leigh at http://poonapalooza.blogspot.com/
Gwen at http://thesunnycoconut.com/