One Week Later….

First vegetarian week down! I only had a few moments of temptation where I nearly gave in, but I’ve held strong and have been meat free for over a week now. I must say, it hasn’t been terribly difficult. I attribute much of that to having a lot of food options at home, and a supportive husband who isn’t waving hamburgers and steaks in my face. I haven’t eaten out since this began, and I think that is where the real challenge lies. As mentioned before, there aren’t many restaurants here, and the vegetarian options are probably lacking. I’m known for going to a restaurant and ordering the same thing every time. I could list a restaurant and have family and friends know immediately what I’m going to order. I’m a creature of habit. There are few things you can rely on in this world, but you always know what I’ll order at TGI Fridays.

We’ve tried several recipes this week, none of them exceptionally noteworthy. The kids are all taking turns being sick, so my time in the kitchen to experiment has been limited. Hopefully this week I can get to my recipe list and get going. I found a quick rice and bean dish that should have tasted great, but was bland and boring, and I wouldn’t even know what to add to give it flavor. Oh yes I do, pork tenderloin. In a few more weeks…

I credit my dear darling husband for a wonderful grocery shopping trip he took for me, coming home with a lot of fresh produce and other good stuff. While this journey is mostly about giving up meat, I want this to also be about being mindful of what I’m consuming. I’ve been putting some eating advice I’ve read to the test, and much of it seems to be true. For example, if I start my day with junk, I tend to eat junk for the rest of the day. If I start out eating healthy, the rest of my food choices fall in line. As a result, I feel more level and can handle what the day hands me. Also, the kids really do see what I eat and copy it. If they eat well, they are better behaved (I just read The NDD Book by Dr. Sears–I have so much to say about it later). Good healthy food=good day at the Wolfe house. Tuesday was an exceptionally bad day for me. I was up the night before dealing with a sick Zach, and Josh had to go to Minneapolis for the day. A long day. When I brought Zach downstairs to get the morning started, I fell down the last four steps, while holding him. I braced to keep him from getting hurt and took all of the impact on the right side of my body. So, I’m tired, I have a sick kid (and have had at least one sick kid for over a week), and I’ve just fallen down the stairs. Not a good day. What do I reach for? Comfort. Straight for the Doritos and a can of Coke. I snacked all day, eating sugar, refined anything, and not much that was good for me. And  the rest of the day was horrible. I had no energy, no patience, and I was the one having meltdowns. I don’t know why choosing a banana or an apple was so hard, and why reaching for food that doesn’t make me feel good is the comfort food. I know eating better makes me feel better, so why is it so difficult to stay on track? Eating well on Tuesday would have made my day more manageable, I know it.

Another food tip that works is eating one ounce of dark chocolate everyday to satisfy the chocolate craving. It has worked for me. Josh bought me some dark chocolate, and I can’t eat more than an ounce of it at a time, but it tastes so good! When I’m done eating it, I don’t want anymore. If it had been a bar of milk chocolate, it would have been gone in an minute, and I would want more. In the absence of more chocolate, I would reach for more sugar.

I’m also finding eating less processed foods to be more satisfying. I know why I can eat a ton of chips, but a carrot seems so daunting. To eat a carrot requires a lot of chewing (if this is starting to sound DUUHHHH, just follow me here). Eating a brownie or some chips requires very little chewing, so that crunchy feeling isn’t satisfied. I’ve read (yeah, I should start citing my sources) that chewing is a satisfying feeling for humans, and many of the processed foods on grocery store shelves don’t satisfy that in one serving. So you eat more and more. Something to think about.

While my week has been less about not eating meat and more about eating whole foods, it has been a success.

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