A review of the rules:
- Avoid all simple sugars such as candy, sodas, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc. These are almost pure forms of glucose.
- Avoid vegetables that are grown underground, corn, bananas, and foods enriched with maltodextrins or corn syrup.
- Avoid wheat, rice, rye, barley, and oats.
- Eat a minimum of 3 servings each of above-ground vegetables and fruits daily.
- Eat at least 6 ounces of protein every day.
- Avoid low fat foods.
- Don't count calories!
Goodbye bread, cookies, pizza, soda, ice cream, potatoes, pasta, cake, candy...but, that just made me depressed, so I started thinking about all the foods I could eat.
Woohoo broccoli....and apples....and nuts....can't forget about the cheese, I love cheese.....
I'll admit, the "good" list wasn't as exciting as everything I was saying goodbye to, but it did have some perks. We rarely purchased nuts because they're so darn expensive, but now they're a staple in my diet. I'm allowed to eat pretty much as much as I want, as long as the foods fall within the rules. I've always loved fruit, and now I'm able to eat it in many different forms (more on that later.)
Since I was already doing the low-ish carb diet, it wasn't too hard to cut out carbs almost all together. Instead of doing a few mini muffins with fruit for breakfast, I've started making smoothies. A cup of almond milk, a couple of cups of frozen fruit, and a handful of spinach makes for a surprisingly filling breakfast. This blog has many "green" smoothie recipes that are pretty tasty.
While trying to get my 3 servings of above-ground vegetables and fruits daily, I've taken to eating fruit in many different forms. I liquefy fruit into my smoothies. I try to eat one piece of fresh fruit daily. I love fruit leathers like the ones from Stretch Island Fruit Co. (the raspberry ones are my favorite.)
I also found out that I like fruit mashes. I found the Buddy Fruits Pure Blended Fruit pouches at our local Kroger when they were 10/$10. I picked up a variety of them and have found that their Apple & Cinnamon are my favorite. They taste just like applesauce, but are made up of only apples, concentrated apple juice and cinnamon. No preservatives to make them have an infinite shelf life.
Unfortunately, getting veggies into my diet has been more difficult. I'll admit I'm a picky eater, and the only veggies I truly enjoy are carrots, potatoes and broccoli. Neither carrots or potatoes are allowed in my diet, and I only like broccoli when it's cooked, which can be difficult to do for lunches at work. I try to mask veggies with my fruit by adding a handful of spinach into my morning smoothie or getting fruit mashes that are a fruit and veggie blend. I'm not perfect by any means and I know I'm not getting my 3 servings of vegetables every day, but it's a learning process.
I've also started to eat more nuts and dairy than I used to. They're both a good source of protein and are pretty filling. Since you're not supposed to count calories on this diet, I just take a bag full of nuts to work and snack throughout the day. I've also taken an entire bag of sharp cheddar cheese sticks to work and keep them in the fridge for when I get hungry.
Dinners have been the most difficult for us to transition. A mix of working too many hours, not being prepared, and my pickiness has meant that we haven't made the best choices when it comes to dinners, but we're better than we were. We've almost kicked pasta entirely out of our house and have replaced it with dinners of a vegetable (usually broccoli,) and a meat. Our biggest hurdle is the days, like tomorrow, when I work 9-5 and then have to come back to work around 6:00 for a performance. An hour is just not enough time for both of us to drive the 20-30 minutes back home, prepare and eat dinner, and then drive back to my work. Those nights, we typically meet up for dinner out, but we've been trying to make better choices on where and what we eat. A chicken quesadilla with vegetables and black beans with a side of fruit is much better than a heaping pile of pasta.
Now, my favorite part, dessert. Christina also has an awesome video on PCOS snack ideas and a few of them I've moved from the snack category to dessert. An example would be fruit (fresh or frozen,) with sugar free whipped cream. There is also sugar free Jello, pudding and ice cream. I've tried the sugar free Jello brand mousse, but I wasn't a fan. I looked for sugar free ice cream and found "no sugar added" varieties, but the list of other ingredients were so long and unpronounceable that I put it back on the freezer shelf. One of my favorite sweet treats that I've found are sugar free candies geared towards diabetics, mainly the Russell Stover brand ones. They're made with "sugar alcohol" which, according to the package is a "unique blend of sugar substitutes," whatever that means. I know it's not the healthiest treat, but one of these every so often won't completely derail my diet.
Tomorrow I'll share some tips and tricks that I've learned that make this diet not suck as much.