Monday, October 28, 2013

The No Bread Challenge

A couple of weeks ago my boot camp instructor challenged us to go two weeks without eating bread. At first I scoffed at the idea but I can't pass up a challenge so I went for it. I envisioned just not having sandwiches for lunch and I'd be fine. When I agreed I didn't realize that "bread" is actually everything that I eat. Suddenly it meant I couldn't have bread, pasta, crackers, pizza, or Cheez-Its (gasp!). The first three days of the challenge were HARD. By the late afternoon each day I was feeling miserable. Two days I thought I would vomit and one day my hands were shaking. I think my body was literally going through detox! Once I started day four of it though I was good to go and I'm happy to report that I went the full two weeks without "bread"!

So how did I survive?

Nuts - I think I've eaten more nuts in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life. They were my go to snack since they are easy and portable. Nuts (and cheese) kept me going.

Make Ahead Meals - One of the things I found the most challenging was having meals ready when I needed them. Before I would just whip up a PB&J while I made the kids their lunch but that wasn't allowed anymore. I found that it worked best if I made a dinner the night before that I could have leftovers of the next day. I ate a lot of chicken and steamed veggies and you know what? I didn't hate it. Veggies are always a struggle for me since I don't like them. Cooked I can do but raw in a salad - ick. If I didn't have a meal made ahead I would whip up some scrambled eggs with veggies since that's pretty quick.

Fruit - If you run into me now I will most likely have a banana or an apple in my bag. Before this challenge started I wouldn't have been caught dead with fruit in my bag (the kids bag - yes, but not my bag).

New Foods - Since basically everything in my prior diet was on the "do not eat list" I had to find new things to eat. Much to my husband's dismay I brought home things like edamame, quinoa, and kale chips. Although I didn't love everything new, I was proud of myself for trying them and would eat some again.
And these don't even taste bad - who knew?
I'm now a week or two out and am still loosely following the diet. I'm not being as strict about it but am trying to keep up with the habits I formed over the challenge. I don't think it's reasonable (for me) to completely exclude "bread" but I have been eating more healthy as a result and do want to keep that up. Some people say that they feel worlds better after not eating bread but honestly I didn't feel a huge energy boost or anything like that. However, I did lose a couple of pounds and I feel better about what I'm eating so I'd call that a win!
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