Two weeks in, 8 pounds lost.
You may be wondering what the heck I’m eating. Here’s a sample menu:
Breakfast: Omelette with cream cheese and broccoli and uncured, nitrites/nitrates free pepper bacon from Wegmans. (I love you, Applewood Smoked Pepper-bacon from Wegmans.)
Lunch: Big salad with eggs, cheese, meat (usually nitrites/nitrates-free cold cuts or even more bacon), whatever veggies are on hand with all the full-fat dressing I want (making sure it’s no or low-sugar). When I’m working, I hit the local Salad Works.
Dinner: Another big salad with whatever I’ve got on hand, with organic, grass-fed steak or salmon or broiled chicken with the skin or organic grass-fed beef hamburger with cheese/avocado/uncured bacon. Tonight it’s going to be green beans with butter and swordfish steaks.
I drink coffee with cream or soy creamer and as little Splenda as possible. I’ve come to appreciate green tea, either decaf or caffeinated. I’m giving up the diet soda, but the first week I had a lot of diet pepsi. For the first week I drank two cups of broth most days, as recommended by the Atkins folks so that you don’t get the side effects of low-sodium (which Alex and I both got within a day or two–this totally stopped it.) In emergency situations when I really want something sweet, which happens late at night when I used to have a baaaad cold cereal habit, I eat a spoonful of peanut butter, and that seems to do the trick. In general I snack on cheese, cold cuts (again, no nitrites or nitrates allowed), cucumbers or peppers and pickles.
We love how much our diet has shifted to whole foods, and we are amazed at how many vegetables we’re eating.
I rarely feel deprived eating like this, surprisingly. When I’m chomping on pepper-bacon and an omelette every morning, I’m looking at Alex and we’re saying,”Is it really okay to eat like this?” Because for so long I believed bacon was the satan of pork, or of dieting in general, and it’s difficult to change what you believe. But so far, I feel good and the other benefit of this kind of eating is that it’s easy to plan. Just don’t eat carbs.
I get asked, “Is that really healthy?” Well, if you believe the science, then yes it is. In fact, it’s healthier than eating what Americans normally eat (and what I ate too much of), in other words, a diet that might be low in fat but is heavily loaded with processed foods (including multi-grain bread and boxed cereals) and sugar or fructose or high fructose corn syrup. In fact, I had to go to the doctor this week for something unrelated and my blood pressure is the lowest it’s been since before I got pregnant. I had pre-eclampsia so I pay particular attention to my blood pressure readings. Since giving birth, my blood pressure has not been technically high, but just this side of prehypertension or dipping into the prehypertension range, hovering somewhere around 120/80, or a little higher. Last week it was 110/70, and I know these numbers fluctuate depending on situation, but I haven’t had a reading that good in over two years. (Before I got pregnant, I was usually around 118/60. And I weighed less, too.)
I also get asked, “Are you doing Atkins?” And the answer is yes and no. Yes, we’re eating foods that are approved for the first phase of Atkins (induction). But counting carbs is too much work for me. I know that sounds silly, but I don’t want to be bothered. I just want to stay away from what I can’t eat and leave it at that. So we are loosely following Atkins. Mostly we are just limiting carbs as much as we can. And when you can eat pepper-bacon and steak, it’s pretty interesting how little I miss pasta and cold cereal (two huge food cravings I used to have).
We won’t eat exactly like this forever. This is what we’re doing to lose the weight, and lose it pretty quickly. 4 pounds a week is nothing to sneeze at, or to take lightly. Alex has lost about 5 pounds in two weeks, though he’s only trying to lose about 15 (while I’m trying to lose 35–bastard). We’ll eventually put fruit and nuts and legumes into regular rotation, and then we’ll probably have the occasional pasta dinner, because I am half-Italian, and can’t face a future without my mother’s home made gravy and spaghetti and meatballs. It’d be like a betrayal of my Jersey-Italian cultural heritage or something. And I can’t have that, can I?