It really just started when my tan from Hawaii faded and I noticed the dimpling on my thighs – yes, it was cellulite. How could this be? Obsessively, I googled how to combat cellulite at 2 in the morning and I found three things: exercise, topical creams and diet.
Exercise – that was taken care of - I worked out 5 days a week with a double on Tuesday and Thursdays and sometimes on Saturdays. Topical creams – I had already become obsessed with a Brazilian cream that smelled tropical and seemed to be working, so why not buy it in bulk and slather it on? Lastly there was diet. My diet wasn’t horrible; at least I didn’t think so – not until I committed to at least 21 days of a keto plan in conjunction with intermittent fasting. Here are three things I learned:
Mind Over Matter
I started on a Monday at work. This worked out in my favor because I was busy. So busy that I forgot that I had not eaten since the night before. I was attempting to drink black coffee for the first time in my life. And I hated it. It tasted like coffee beans and that’s it. At noon, I took out my Whole Foods carton of eggs, sausage, stewed tomatoes, and roasted veggies. After the carton was empty I had a couple of mini cucumbers and then that was it until dinner, which was another healthy portion of protein and greens. It turns out the intermittent fasting was a breeze and cutting out sugars was easier than I thought. Annie B. Kay, a leading integrative dietician from the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health states, “Diets where we eliminate whole types or categories of foods are often easier than being mired in the complexity of making ongoing food decisions about what, when and how much to eat. Those decisions have been made for you.”
Keeping a busy schedule made it easier to adhere to the diet plan. Yet, on the weekends, I struggled. I woke up and unless I kept my mind busy or I was out of the house, I found myself watching the clock. I would casually walk to the kitchen and see all the options in the kitchen and immediately wanting everything. I realized – I was an emotional eater. I was not eating my feelings when I was sad about something - it was out of boredom. I was not even hungry. I thought that emotional eating was an excuse for over weight people – but I am far from being overweight. And eating out of boredom was not something that I prescribed to until I committed myself to intermittent fasting. There is something to be said about mind over matter and committing yourself in a way that challenges your mind.
Sugar is good. But in a very bad way.
“What are your thoughts on refined sugar?” I asked Chef Joel Gamoran of the fyi/A+E TV Show, SCRAPS as we sat down to breakfast. I was cutting into a stuffed berry French toast with an iced mocha on the side. He was being “good” and had an omelet. His answer didn’t skip a beat, “Not good.” Eek!
Once my mocha-a-day’s came to a screeching hault because of the refined sugar involved, I quickly realized something by the end of week one: the “coffee” that I was drinking made me buzzed well into the evening. Very rarely was able to have a mocha after 2pm. This in fact, had nothing to do with the actual coffee – it was all sugar. I was ingesting cups of sugar on the daily. It was the sugar that made me have sleepless nights and made wired.
Bad news – sugar is in everything. Especially a lot of prepared food (a busy person’s go-to), even the best fruits have tons of natural sugars. Being on Keto has made me more aware just how much sugar plays a part in the way we feel on a daily basis. How, when you remove the sugar in your diet, you can actually sleep throughout the night and not have random googling sessions of how to loose your cellulite or online shop.
Plant Protein is here to stay
When I think of protein, I think of eggs, meat and beans – all things that I have had during the last three weeks. And although there is a huge industry pushing the sugary snacks, there is another sizable industry pushing against it, promoting the clean eating. Part of that clean eating includes plant protein.
In early 2019, Tulo House will open as NYC’s first plant-based milk bar and café. The concept stemmed from cofounders (Australian health coach Laura Hopkins and Elite Model/philanthropist Shannon Rusbuldt) making nut milks and hosting classes in their own homes.
“Protein in our diet is so important because our body doesn't naturally store it like it does fat and carbohydrates, so we have to incorporate it through food,” states Laura. “Foods like quinoa, pumpkin seeds, almonds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are all incredible sources of plant protein.”
Charles Coristine, President and CEO of the organic snack brand LesserEvil is a large proponent of plant based protein.“We are going to have to stop eating as much meat if we are truly going to change the course of this planet. It’s just not sustainable. We are tearing down the rainforests, destroying the ozone layer and using up a tremendous amount of fresh water with animal agriculture.”
There are some who believe that it takes 21 days to start or break a habit. Other research I found stated it was closer to 60-day mark, where new changes can start to show a difference. The true test will be the maintenance of this lifestyle choice and I can feel a difference in the way my body looks and feels already which is motivation for me to continue on.
Writer’s Update: Day 30 something – Back from vacation and I’m still intermittent fasting. I’ll admit, I did have a few drinks with some dessert. Overall, the cravings I used to have for sugary food and drinks have ceased. Adjusting to the time difference, I started to eat earlier and made sure that I was well hydrated in the hot weather.