So, how has these first four weeks been? Did I curse, cry and sleep through the whole thing? No, not really. Excluding alcohol completely wasn’t too much of a problem, especially here in Berlin. Going to clubs sober is somewhat of an experience, but bars works just fine. So no, I haven’t isolated myself. And the perk of waking up fresh faced on Sunday is unbelievably nice.
Suger and carbs has been more difficult. I tried to exclude it completely at the beginning but found it too difficult. Carbs shouldn’t be excluded completely of course, but I could definately scale down on it and also shift to better carbs (sweet potatoes, cauliflower, black rice, whole grain bread). So I decided to keep it simple with 2 rules; 80/20 rule and the better alternative rule.
80/20 rule is vital for me to sustain a more healthy lifestyle long term. If I set out to eat healthy 100% of the time, I will give up after 3 days. This I know from extensive experience. I am simply not diciplined enough. So, giving myself some time “off” makes it work. For example, I went to dinner with two friends this weekend. I had a really nice pasta and a tiramisu for dessert. Felt a little guilty about it, but decided that this was this week’s 20% and decided not to fret about it. There is of course a degree of dicipline to this rule, can’t make use of that 20% every day. But giving myself a little freedom on Freday and Saturday does the trick.
That said, the 80/20-rule only works in combination with the better alternative rule. Basically it means that I try to always pick the better alternative when I’m straying from the 80%. For example, if I have an extreme suger craving I get some of dark chocolate (at least 70%) instead of grabbing a Snicker.
So what DID I eat? The usuals doctors, personal trainers and diet gurus suggest; lots of vegetables, salads, lean proteins (chicken, fish and turkey), fruit and good carbs (Cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoe, a little whole grain bread, quinoa, etc.), greek yoghurts, soy milk, nuts and cottage cheese. I have also been drinking a lot more water (at least 2 litres a day), green tea, red tea, and herb teas. Puh!
Generally I eat out a lot, but always choose a salad, a wrap or a soup. Another thing I’ve tested is to stop eating at 6p.m. all days except Fridays and Saturdays. I have a habit of always eat when I’m home and eat pretty late, but this “rule” has actually worked very well. After six o’clock I drink water, tea, and if I’m super hungry then I have warmed a little low fat milk/soy milk and mix it with some cinnamon and cardamom.
Now, I know I sound like a super diciplined citizen with all these great habits and rules. BUT I must admit I have strayed. Not with alcohol, but I DID end up at the candy aile while visiting Sweden for a weekend. Not once, no twice actually. And on occation I have eaten a little more bread than necessary. And at a reacent visit to the cinema I somehow ended up with a jar of popcorns (which according to new studies contain a lot of antioxidants, so I figured it is ok once in a while).
All in all however, I’ve stuck with the plan and I actually feel really great after this first month. My skin has more lustre, I have more energy and I feel more balanced. So I will continue this plan until Christmas, to see if I really can get some habits to stick. Usually it takes at least 3 weeks to create new habits (and make them stick), but I figured that it’ll take a little longer for me. I have also combined thie règime with exercise, quite a lot of it actually. I have had personal trainers on multiple occations, but this time I decided to take my accumulated experience and actually design my own program.