Friday, May 4, 2012

Grain-Free Conclusion: Bring on the Pizza!

I had pizza last night for dinner.  It was awesome.  After 30 days of eliminating any type of grain, you do begin to miss certain things.  Ending my work week with pizza on the couch with my husband while simultaneously clearing out our DVR every once in awhile was definitely one of them. 

But I truthfully don't miss grains that much.  It's now five days past my challenge and the only things I've eaten are my favorite Kashi oatmeal dark chocolate cookies post-workout and pizza for dinner last night.  The truth is, I've grown to enjoy eating loads of vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, and fruit.  Greek yogurt with strawberries and pecans for breakfast is much more appealing than eating tasteless whole wheat toast.  Cauliflower "rice" packs more of a nutritional punch than its grainy counterpart.  And I've discovered coconut oil adds a subtle flavor and healthy dose of fat to meals.  With every bite I take I know those foods are helping me stay lean, get stronger, and fight off disease.  Why would I trade that for anything less?

As far as my very unscientific experiment, I saw very little in terms of measurable results.  There were no changes in circumference measurements or body fat percentage.  My energy levels and sleep patterns were good before and I wasn't able to detect any significant differences.  However, I am holding steady at one to two pounds below my normal weight which I attribute to water loss.  That daily bloat that accumulates making your pants and sweaters a little tighter by the end of the day disappeared.  Can't say I didn't mind seeing a flat tummy morning to night.

I speculated prior to cutting grains that I am not a particularly carb-sensitive person.  The lack of measurable results only confirms this for me.  To learn more about what dramatic physiological changes can occur and if this is something that might benefit your health, check out these books:

             

One surprising aspect was the amount of mental focus it required.  The first week was challenging but it was amazing how quickly choosing grain-free foods became second nature.  There were definitely times in social situations where I had to resist something but successfully doing so was very empowering.  It got me thinking.   If I can give up grains for 30 days, what else can I accomplish if I put my mind to it?

In conclusion, I am happy I gave up grains for April.  I'll still enjoy a splurge every now and again.  Let's not talk crazy here.  It did solidify healthier habits I had been working on for some time, like increasing my consumption of vegetables.  It made me take ownership of my health and be responsible for what I put in my body.  And while my measurements didn't show the instant butt lift I had been hoping for, it definitely proved you can do anything if you put your mind to it.  That being said, I'm looking forward to issuing myself another 30-day challenge, whatever that may be.