I took before-and-after pics, just to remind myself what I looked and felt like when I was bloated from overeating those "trigger" foods, and I was shocked when I compared the two. After one week of no sugar, fruit, or flour, I kept going for another two weeks. I continued to feel good, not only because I was limiting my sugar and refined carb intake, but because passing on those foods made my diet shift to healthier options.
Aside from getting my bloat under control, it also felt refreshing not to be gripped by sugar cravings. I went to a party and instead of obsessing about wanting to eat a piece of the cake, I was able to fully immerse myself in the amazing conversation I was having with a fellow mom. When working from home, I felt more focused with fewer distractions of food calling me from the kitchen.
After three weeks, I wanted to start incorporating fruit again. With this experience under my belt, I knew I couldn't go back to eating a three-cups-of fruit smoothie. I started by adding blueberries to my salad, mixing raspberries into my almond milk yogurt, and snacking on half a banana with peanut butter. My belly felt fine and I felt emotionally satiated.
Fast forward almost two months later, and I'm able to eat small amounts of fruit each day, a bit of pasta, a slice of bread here and there, and even a homemade piece of lemon almond cake without any bloating. The difference is that this little experiment changed my mindset. I'm in control of the food, not the other way around. I know if I eat too much sugar (fruit included), I'll feel terrible the next day, and that's the motivation I need to avoid overeating.