March 24, 2010

Elimination Diet: Day Three Check-In

So I'm on day three of this elimination diet, and I'm definitely feeling different. I don't know if it's the placebo effect or the actual change in diet, but I feel better with each day. Except for the mornings.

I teach four sections of the same class (A,B,C and D periods), all in a row on some days. This makes my mornings...heavy. Both mentally and physically, I've been relying on coffee all year to give me the energy to get out of the car when I pull into the parking lot at school.

So, naturally, my biggest issue is the caffeine withdrawal symptoms. Each morning, I've been really foggy, really cranky, and kind of dumb until about 10:30 a.m., when I snap out of it. Yesterday morning, I was so foggy that, during first period, I didn't think twice before allowing one of my...craziest students to run an errand for me, and then sending another equally...crazy student to tell him that I had given him the wrong room number for the errand. 15 minutes after class had begun, we were all finally back in one room. All for an errand that should have taken 5 minutes at the most. Foggy teaching is a danger to us all.

I have to admit that I was most concerned about giving up wine and caffeine while trying to survive the life of a teacher, but it actually hasn't been that bad. Other than my early-morning fogs, I haven't had the degree of cravings I thought I would. I don't miss the wine at dinner (trust me, no one's more surprised than I am.), and my meals on this diet have tasted good enough to keep me from craving carbs and sweets. I'm even doing OK without cheese, as long as I avoid Whole Foods during the after-work rush, when they put out those cruelly tempting samples of cheddar and aged ghouda all over the store.

I've gotten a lot of questions about what it is that I actually can eat (usually, with just a smidge of judgment thrown in). So I'll tell you.

For breakfast, I've been drinking an almond butter, almond milk, and banana smoothie, with added flax seed and brown rice protein powder. According to the diet, I'm supposed to be eating more in the mornings, but I'm usually in a huge rush and don't have the time to pack a lunch (a new thing for me) and make breakfast at the same time. The shake is surprisingly good.

Today's lunch was a quinoa salad with pea shoots, shredded chicken, dill, and balsamic vinaigrette. It was gorgeous to look at, and even better to eat. Tonight for dinner I'll have chicken and...some other stuff I haven't decided on yet. I'll probably use a vegetable recipe from the Umami site.

All in all, it's going well. Other than the foggy brain, my one major complaint is that green tea gives me horrible dry mouth, and I'm terrified of breathing dragon breath all over my students. Don't worry, though. I stocked up on gum.

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