The great grain-free reboot: a thirty-one-day challenge

“You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven today and we don’t know where she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres

The great grain-free reboot. A 31 day challenge - #healthylivingI recently experienced the joy that is the annual check-up at the doctor’s office. After sitting for some unknown period of time under a piece of paper thinner than the stuff I blow my nose with, my doctor entered the room and took a look at my chart. “Have you been exercising?”

I don’t know why she felt the need to ask as we both knew the answer to that question. I’d seen what number appeared on the scale minutes prior and though I have let my hair grow long since my last appointment and was wearing boots at the time, I’m pretty sure those two things combined didn’t weigh enough to fully account for the difference. But I could be wrong. My hair is quite thick after all.

“Yeah, well I kinda sorta stopped going to the gym.” My gym had upped their monthly fee from only an arm and a leg to the whole thing. Being fired by my personal trainer hadn’t helped either (some people are simply un-trainable). “But I regularly take the dog for walks and I do have to run after two boys.”

My doctor raised an eyebrow. Admittedly, I could have found another gym that charged less for a monthly membership, but I’d rationalized, not only would I save money, I had more time for writing this way. (The sacrifices I make for my art)! Besides, walking the solid mass of muscle and squirrel-lurcher-extraordinaire that is my dog, Her Royal Highness, often results in a full body workout.

My doctor put her pen down and made full eye contact. Never a good sign. “You know, after thirty, your metabolism slows down drastically.”

I grimaced. I’d passed that particular milestone … er … it doesn’t matter how long ago – just accept it happened. Okay?

fruit crustini -
How I got to where I am – Exhibit A

My doctor didn’t have to say anything more. I knew what she meant. After a winter of excess, it was time to do some damage control. I was going to have to be mindful of what I ate again. In other words – may God have mercy on all my friends, family, and co-workers.

While I agree that lifestyle changes are more effective in the long-term, I decided to kickstart my rebooted effort with a thirty-day (or in this case thirty-one-day) challenge. I announced to the hubby that for the month of March, I would go grain-free, thereby forcing myself to eat more veggies, while still allowing me the occasional bit of sugar (and let’s be honest – a glass or two of wine).

To his credit, my hubby decided to take on a dietary challenge too, choosing to go the ketogenic route or keto for short.

I wasn’t familiar with the ketogenic diet at the time, but now, after a week into our individual challenges, I can say that I believe the butter and egg lobby groups got together to cook this one up and maybe the avocado group too as evidenced by the empty egg cartons that keep appearing on my countertop as if by magic and the wall-o-butter packages that now fill my fridge’s dairy compartment. From my perspective, it seems to be a lot of work (so many labels to read), but we are finding there is enough overlap between the two to keep each other honest.

So far, the kids haven’t noticed we’re doing anything different. They have homemade pizza. We have homemade pizza (albeit with a tapioca and cheese based crust which proved to be pretty yummy and crisper than the cauliflower kind I’d tried before). They have tacos. We have tacos. Okay, ours were more of a taco salad as the “super easy” zucchini tortillas I attempted to prepare for the adults proved to be more dip than a shell (that may have had something to do with the lack of eggs when it came time to make them – see above).

And is it working? One week in and I’m down two and a half pounds, while the hubby has dropped somewhere closer to six. I’d say he is an overachiever, but he can lose that much just from skipping a soda now and then. (Guys, seriously, that is so unfair).

But just as importantly I have yet to take my grain deprived frustrations out on an unsuspecting co-worker or loved one (at least, not that I’m aware of). So that’s a plus.

Will that continue to be the case, or will the news coming out of the city of oaks include a crazed woman demanding spaghetti? Will I soon be able to pass as Cookie Monster’s understudy? Or will the next several chapters of my current WIP include excessive references to cake? Only time will tell. I’m posting this to help me stay accountable. But one thing is for sure – a month from now, with any luck, I hope you’ll be seeing less of me.

Final food for thought (aka related reading)

26 thoughts on “The great grain-free reboot: a thirty-one-day challenge

  1. Good for you Ali never easy this. I manage a bit of a shift but saying good bye to all bread ( and a few other things) so you can do this. Why am I not surprised though, in choosing a plan, it didn’t hit the wine? Coincidence of course. If you want to be amazed and maybe impressed there’s a blog I follow if this guy whose dropped from 35 stone to 14.5. But then again you may prefer to assume that’s simply another bit of fake news…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wine is a key component in my overall happiness, which in turn affects my family’s overall happiness. It was an easy choice.

      Wine is made from grapes that grows on a vine, and fruit is a plant. Therefore wine is salad 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My annual physical is coming up next week. I dread it less than in the past, only because my diabetes forced me into a fit and healthy lifestyle. Still, it’s a challenge to keep it all up, even when it’s mostly second nature. Ongoing commitments are tough. But you can do it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. The hubby and I are treating ourselves to new camping gear if we manage to hold firm, which is in our case an excellent goal. Quality of sleep is a huge motivator for both of us – especially when we are away from home.


  3. I took all the wheat gluten out of my diet about 3 years ago after battling with arthritis. The arthritis is much better, and there are so many good substitutes out there that I haven’t really missed it. Luckily a GF diet doesn’t preclude wine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been thus far surprised as to how many options there are out there as way of substitution. Had I not specifically know what that pizza crust was made of, I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference between it and some thin crusts.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you, Allie! Have you read The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden? It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it. It’s about the history behind how the recommendations for dietary fat were put in place and how sugar (and a few other things) is the culprit for the health crisis we are in, not fat. It’s actually a lot more than that, but it’s a fascinating read and the second half of the book is filled with really great recipes. Oh…and he says wine is good for you so there’s that, too.

    I did some changes in my diet several months ago and even though I did lose weight (at a very slow and healthy pace), the most noticeable change was in the quality of my skin. It was truly incredible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t read that particular book, but I’ve been reading a number of stories that similarly place the blame on sugar. I’ll have to check it out – especially if there are recipes too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Repeat after me: “Portion control, portion control, portion control.” Okay, and knock off the milk chocolate in favor of dark chocolate. No one in their right mind should drink soda (especially diet [look it up], and up the kale intake. Do that and walk a couple of miles a day and you’ll look as good as me.
    ―Anonymous 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I laughed when I read this post, Allie. I am quite a thin person with very little interest in food other than what it looks like (although my cakes get very high praise from everyone). My team at work are young ladies and they are always battling with their weight and are always on some or other weight loss programme. I feel so sorry for them as they seem to be obsessed with food. That seems to be the outcome of dieting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 you are quite the lucky one then. I’m not obsessed with food, but I do quite enjoy it as it is usually associated, in my case, with family gatherings and celebration of every day. I like to think I am not dieting, but merely watching my diet. (And I love your cakes)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.