Hey ya’ll! Betty here, checking in one last time. I am writing to you from the finish line of a very tough race, and you know what’s here at the finish line? Pumpkin spice lattes! Pumpkin spice lattes and what turns out to be another leg of the race. Re-introduction of the forbidden foods is the home stretch!
In recap: for the past 21 days I have given up: sugar, dairy, eggs, grains, legumes, nightshades, nuts, caffeine, and alcohol. My two goals at the start were to 1) survive the challenge and 2) make observations about how my body reacted. Midway through the challenge I realized I would meet both of those goals! And then it hit me that I would have to endure the slow and painful process of reintroducing the foods I had cut out. For me this translates to adding one of those foods back into my system every three days. So even though the challenge is technically over I’ve still got a month left, but I’m ready and I am pumped up!
The main reason for excitement (besides lattes of course) is that my body has gone through some remarkable changes throughout this challenge and I have learned how to listen to what my body is telling me. In the upcoming month of reintroduction I’ll continue to learn about my body and take some steps in learning to work cohesively with it instead of fighting with it.
Results of this challenge:
- So much energy all the time!!! Before this challenge I usually got a little sleepy after meals and snacks, but these days my energy levels are stable and solid and I LOVE IT.
- My moods have been more even-keeled, which is really a win for everybody I ever interact with.
- Unintentional weight loss! In the first week I dropped 6 lbs while still eating 2500-3000 calories a day. This means the weight was mostly inflammatory and maybe a tiny bit of fat. I noticed that my ankles slimmed out a bit, as did my hips, and shoulders. Interesting to note that inflammation decreased in joints that I have consistently had problems with.
- Joint stiffness and soreness have drastically decreased. Already at 24 years old I have joint stiffness (absolutely made worse by my job in construction), but after just 21 days of changing what I put into my body, my knees have stopped creaking and I can squat for a few hours every day before I start feeling stiffness.
- Generally less hungry. I eat breakfast at 5:15am on weekdays my next opportunity to eat is at 9:30am. Before the challenge I would be ravenous by 7:30-8am, but during this challenge I found myself only mildly hungry around 9am. The same pattern holds true for the other meals of the day.
- The longer I went without something the less I craved it. In the beginning of the challenge I was somewhat convinced I would lose my sanity if I didn’t get some good local cheeses into my life, but here we are at the end of the challenge and cheese is not first (or even top five) on my list for reintroductions.
Challenges within this challenge:
- My roommate and wonderful friend, Amelia, is a straight up bo$$ in the kitchen and she loves to share. She’s been churning out homemade ice creams on the reg. This month’s go-to flavor is pumpkin spice, which we’ve renamed “Biddy Bait”, and let me tell you, when there is fresh Biddy Bait in your freezer but it’s not allowed in your mouth things can get a little dicey.
- No matter how hard you try and how accommodating your friends are, you will see them less and you will miss out on some fun times.
- I’ve gotten to the point where I really enjoy spending time in the kitchen, but setting that time aside (hours every week) to be in the kitchen is still challenging.
- Sometimes the only thing you can order at a restaurant is a sad, shitty salad, and it will still cost you $14.
Going into this challenge I expected to watch my body and its reaction to the changes, almost like some sort of controlled science experiment. What I didn’t expect was the self- confidence and personal growth that would accompany the physical results. As it turns out, I can hold my own in the kitchen, and accomplish something hard when I set my mind to it. This challenge has been a journey, and it’s not quite over, but already I taken away so much more than anticipated.
So much love and thanks to Lucia for sharing her infinite knowledge with us and to my classmates for rockin’ this thing even when it sucked. Y’all are superstars, don’t forget it.
Peace and blessings!