I Learned to Listen to My Stomach
Sticking to a limited diet helped me better understand what my body needs rather than what I crave emotionally. The old Lauren reached for a chocolate something at the end of lunch and most likely dinner, too. Now I grab fruit — I love cherries or blueberries — and notice how much more stable my blood sugar feels. Often, sweet treats give me a quick energy soar followed by a crash and then a craving for more sugar. Removing the baked goods eliminated that cycle altogether.
I also developed better habits when it comes to eating carbs and meat. For instance, I loaded up on animal protein — such as a piece of wild salmon or organic chicken — at lunch rather than dinner since it helps fuel me during the busy workday. Dr. Lipman actually suggests consuming a heavier lunch and lighter dinner in his book Revive.
And after five days without any grains, my body told me via an achy stomach that I take a break from starchy vegetable break in lieu of some soothing carbs. When I asked the nutritionist why my body was reacting, she said it was probably a combination of the added fiber from the smoothie powder packets and influx of dark veggies (broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale), and my body detoxing (she described it as bad bacteria dying like bugs — ew!). Drinking some fennel-infused herbal tea, taking activated charcoal tablets (to speed up the detoxifying process), and adding healthy grains back helped me to feel better.
Sticking to this strict plan eliminated the food guilt I’d often feel after stuffing dinner bread and butter into my mouth or polishing off an entire chocolate molten lava cake. When I did eat carbs, I choose ones like sweet potatoes and quinoa, which are packed with vitamins. Ultimately, my cravings had less to do with sugar crashes and struggling for energy and more to do with balancing out my nutrient intake.