Bringing More Food Back Into My Diet (or Staying Vegetarian For Now)

This past week was my first post-cleanse week. Right when I started the cleanse, my plan was to have a steak on my first post-cleanse day. I was craving meat like crazy and that seemed like a good way to celebrate doing a cleanse (and being vegan) for 28 days.

But as the days in the cleanse went on, that plan started to change. I am still in the weight loss challenge at Orangetheory (1 week left to go with that) and my need to have a steak right away went away. Plus, I’ve got an amazing trip coming up next weekend with my mom and sister-in-law and my mom made reservations at a fancy steakhouse. I’m sure that that steak will be so much better than anything that I can make, so I’m going to wait.

My first post-cleanse grocery trip was a little overwhelming. Suddenly I could get whatever I wanted. If I wanted ice cream, I could have it again. If I wanted frozen mac and cheese (one of my favorite Trader Joes splurges), I could buy it. But I tried to focus on eating similarly to the cleanse plan.

I did get some frozen turkey burgers and frozen tilapia to keep in my freezer, but right now I don’t know if I’ll be eating them anytime soon. But they seemed like good “emergency” meal things to have. But I’m pretty much vegetarian at home right now.

The main things that I brought back into my diet were eggs and dairy. I’ve been eating eggs (1 whole egg and 2 egg whites) for breakfast most days. As much as I wanted to keep just having fruit for breakfast, that never satisfied me. I need protein in the mornings. I usually scramble the eggs up with some spinach and onions and top it with a 1/4 cup of cheese (which is the actual serving size and not just me dumping some cheese on top). I also added some greek yogurt back into my diet. I love to use it instead of sour cream for baked potatoes (my mom and dad now do that too). So I had it on Saturday night with some sautéed potatoes and onions. It was so yummy!

I also had a meal out this week. When I was in San Diego, I went out for dinner. There weren’t a ton of choices on the menu that seemed like good choices and almost everything had meat on it. I’m sure I could have asked for things to be made without meat, but the menu said “no substitutions” all over it. I feel good about my choice of Huevos Rancheros, but my body did have a big jump on the scale the next day. Not being able to control the oil, seasonings, and salt is not good for me as far as losing weight.

I tried not to freak out about the weight gain. I knew it must have been from salt in the food. But I had some good clean meals the few days after and that weight gain is gone.

Clean Eating Dinner

My weight now is just under where it was at the end of the cleanse. So I’m still heading in the right direction even with the weight gain from Monday’s dinner.

I don’t know if I’ll be adding meat back into my diet this next week before my trip. I have a full day tomorrow where I won’t be home from 11am until maybe 10 or 11pm and then the next day is the Oscar party (I’m hoping that I can make good choices while I’m at the party).

But the main thing I’m doing (which is one of the lessons I learned at the end of the cleanse), is that it’s ok for me to have a treat or splurge every once in a while. It’s safer for me if those treats or splurges don’t happen in my house so that they don’t become a regular part of my diet. And when I’m not out or enjoying a treat, I need to focus on good clean foods at home. That way I can balance it all out.

It’s taken 31 years and a lot of different diets, but eating right without being super restrictive is finally making sense to me.

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