Thanks so much for the comments on Monday’s post! I really appreciate it.
My second attempt at starting early went much better, thankfully. The timing of my day was off, so my “lunch” meal was really at dinner time, but that’s okay. Today (Wednesday) was better, and I’m sure Thursday will improve on today.
One thing that is much harder than I expected is paying so much attention to what I can and can’t eat! I am not someone who tends to think a lot about what I eat – I’m sort of plain, and stick to a lot of the same foods, so I really already know whether they are good for me or not, or whether I like it or not. I haven’t had to think about something like restrictions. It’s hard for me to remember not to drink orange juice first thing in the morning, or have bananas, oats, honey, even soy!
I knew some parts might be easy – I hardly have caffeine in my diet since I don’t drink coffee, and I’ve already been on a one-meal-a-day plan for a few weeks by accident, since I didn’t have much of an appetite. However, I’ve had more physical activity since I went out to run errands and get light exercise, so I felt the effects more than I expected – mostly just a passing light-headedness, but still.
My Stop & Shop experience was a little harder than I expected as well. There were some things that I just could not find, like buckwheat noodles, and I had to make do with the next best thing (like wheat-free brown rice pasta). I couldn’t find any avocados, so I bought an all-natural guacamole that didn’t contain items on the restricted list to try with the mango for my smoothie, which I haven’t made yet, since I’m mixing things up and combining commercial with homemade for the smoothies etc.
The hardest part was actually the produce section itself. I felt so out of my element, even though I do eat fruits and vegetables. I am so used to buying what I am familiar with, and it was totally unnerving to be finding my way through fruits and veggies that I just didn’t recognize. I tried to read the signs to follow them, but honestly, I never even heard of Swiss chard before, so without having the sign directly above it (and not with 4 others), or a sticker right on it, it was hard to be sure exactly what vegetable/fruit matched which sign. For as educated as I am, I definitely felt pretty stupid! I kept wishing my sister was with me to help, because she knows lots about nutrition and eating healthy. She even has a DVD about how to grocery shop from the degree program that she did at Columbia for community health education and nutrition counseling. I watched it with her once because a friend from high school directed it. So while I kept going through the produce stands again and again, I just kept racking my brain, trying to remember the more exotic items that may have been in the DVD. I’m going to guess that I would have had better success at Whole Foods, but it’s about 30-40 minutes away and Stop & Shop is 5, so I figured I may as well start there first.
Overall, it felt good to learn new things and buy new food to try, even though it makes me nervous. Since it went better than the day before, I’m trying to be positive and think of it as a win!