So, I have been Plant Paradoxing in a “more than” causal way for the past 6 weeks. I feel like I’ve been strict. Strict is relative though. Being , a rule-breaker by nature, cheating happened. Sometimes by accident and other times by design.
Following is a summary of my experiences to date in implementing the Plant Paradox Way of Eating.
HOW EASY IS THE PLANT PARADOX TO STICK TO?
It’s personal, of course, depending on your starting point and where you tend to indulge.
During these first 6 weeks, I have mostly kept in mind Dr Gundry’s, Rule Number 1: What you cut out is more important than what you add in. With this as a guide, the easy pieces have been:
- cutting out all grains
- cutting out dairy that does not come from Italy or France (ie – the correct cows). An occasional homemade coconut milk matcha latte is In. The odd traditional cappuccino or latte is no longer a part of my life. I don’t miss them. I’ve always preferred my coffee strong and black. Lately I even prefer them bulletproof style, with a splash of extra virgin coconut oil and/or grass-fed butter.
- Cutting crap meat out of my life is something I have been working on for awhile. Grass-fed beef, sockeye salmon and pastured chicken is easy enough to come by in Bangkok these days, thanks to the Paleo Robbie on-line grocery store. Where I struggle at times is with the derivative aspect: knowing that we are what we eat ate. Thus, a grass-fed chicken was most probably raised (unnaturally) on grains which are filled with lectins and on the “Just Say No” list. So, I have from time to time in the past 6 weeks eaten meat that was otherwise healthy but not pastured as Dr Gundry prefers. If I continue down this Plant Paradox path, this may just mean that when eating out I’ll veer more steadily toward the vegetarian section of a menu. In principle I’m fine with that.
- Cutting out added sugar and processed foods is pretty easy for me as I have been reducing them for years.
- Cutting out legumes and reducing fruit has been easy enough, and I can always add the legumes back in with a pressure cooker, down the road.
Rule Number 1 issues arose when I did not properly plan for a day out or work travel (during the past 6 weeks I had a 10-day business trip to 5 cities in the US) and also when I just wanted to socialise with friends. My obvious cheats during the past 6 weeks include:
- Improperly sourced veggies, dairy or questionable items – let’s not even talk about the deep fried reuben (as in the sandwich but without the bread) balls (Eeeuww!) I ate in a small MN town – during travel. Not really sure what I was thinking there.
- A conference in New Orleans derailed me on alcohol. To be fair, I was up against skilled bartenders in this cocktail-crazed city + a fun group of gung ho conference attendees. Whereas usually I’m a simple wine woman, I found myself in Hurricane, Hand Grenade (disgusting, and abandoned on the bar after one sip) and something called a Big Banana, (sounds disgusting, but in reality quite tasty) heaven. Fortunately, this was a short conference.
- A weekend back home in Colorado and an evening out with girlfriends led to more indulging of the drinking variety.
- Chips (the traditional corn kind) and salsa (with those evil tomatoes and fresh chile peppers), here and there, because Houston, Denver (and I learned on my first ever visit) Indianapolis = Mexican food. Consistently Mexican is the kitchen I miss most, residing here in far away Asia. The minor win out of this flour and corn tortilla mudslide is I consciously ate only a handful of chips on each of 2-3 sittings, compared to my prior norm of wolfing down basket after basket. Baby steps.
- I like my red wine – fortunately 1 glass per evening is allowed, but there were 3-4 times while home in Bangkok when I enjoyed a few at a sitting when out with friends. There were also plenty of days when I drank no wine, but the objective is to savour a maximum of one 6 oz glass nightly. Well, all I can say is that this rule seems, in particular social situations, uniquely crafted for failure in my world at this time. When I’m on my own, though, 0-1 glass is fine.
- I think – no, actually, I know – where I am also cheating is with portions of the “limited quantity daily” foods: cheese, protein and dark chocolate. I’ve recently purchased my first ever food scale to help with that. Otherwise, this is a slippery slope. I understand measuring is especially an issue with protein, as too much in the diet, like sugar, increases TOR, which leads to an increased pace of aging. No bueno. I do not anticipate any troubles in the future reigning myself in on these items once I get a sense of what 2-4 oz of chicken or 1 oz of cheese looks like. Well, 1 ounce of cheese does sound rather puny…
MY RESULTS SO FAR
Energy: My energy has been high. I’m wired for sound upon waking up and I experience no mid-day slumps. Actually, I expected this, as it happens during my annual 1-month detoxes (where I eliminate red meat, dairy, processed foods and wheat [but not other grains]). This year I subbed in the Plant Paradox approach to eating instead and have experienced similarly higher energy levels. I have always loved this ready-to-go feeling and would be glad to maintain it year-round.
Weight: Shock alert: I’m down a respectable 7.8 lbs (!) since starting. Given the numerous cheating events detailed above, this thrills me. I’m encouraged enough by this result alone to, wait for it… Cheat Less during the next 6 week period. I expect the food scale and a commitment to better planning should help with that, plus the fact that no trips to New Orleans are in my near future.
That’s about it so far. I mostly am trying this to see how much better I can feel on a regular basis without cramping my style too much. No one wants to feel deprived. I’d also not be sad to bid a permanent adieu to a few lbs.
I’m going to stick with the program for another 6 weeks.
Feel free to tune in to my 12-week update at the end of April.
Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your challenges and successes as a Plant Paradoxer.