At first, we tried our favorite juice recipes as smoothies, but some of them did not taste very good! We experimented around and found a few favorites. Then we started to feel like we could work the blender and get out something predictable and edible.
I had to learn some new habits. I had to have a way to carry my smoothies to work to have some for lunch. A couple of two-quart bottles and a cooler took care of that. I also stopped drinking coffee and have been drinking green tea.
I started to notice former food habits that tried to sneak back in. Driveup windows could no longer provide acceptable items other than green tea, iced or hot. Other than the smoothies, acceptable snack items were nuts, seeds, fruits, or vegetables. Raw. French fries no longer counted as members of the vegetable kingdom. I did not view this as a set of rules to follow to play a game or to be correct, but rather a group of conditions that would correctly execute the experiment. Each day was an experiment and I was trying to use all of my awareness to understand what the results were.
I started to notice the things people said that were not helpful:
- “You should be careful. You may not get enough protein.”
- “You need to chew things or your gums will recede and your teeth will fall out.”
- “Aren’t you losing weight too fast?”
- “You aren’t going to get enough calcium without dairy products.”
- “I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t give up my . . .”
- “You’re still not eating solid food?”
- “What does your doctor say?”
- “(after seeing me eating peanuts) Ah, so you’re off the diet, huh?”
There seemed to be quite a bit of resistance to this way of doing things, even if it was me doing this and not them.
Bela and I talked about it and we both decided to do it for a month and then check back and discuss it. At one month, we decided to keep going. We had settled into a routine with two dominant smoothies with a variety of others and minor variations. Once a week or so we would go to Chipotle Grill and eat a salad loaded up with most of the toppings, but still avoiding grains. Mine was veggie and Bela had some chicken on hers. If we did not go there, we would make a similar salad at home. The sour cream or greek yogurt and shredded cheese on these salads were the only dairy we had.
I started to notice an improved energy level. At my Sunday yoga class at the prison, I no longer dreaded moving the tables and chairs in the room. I used to wait until one of my class arrived to help, but now I cleared the room in less than ten minutes without even breathing hard. One day, a client at the theatre followed me from the front door down through the depths to our business office for something and then back to the front door. There are a lot of steps involved and when we got to the top, I noticed that she was winded and I had to slow down to let her rest. She was thirty years younger than me!
I started to notice a quieter mind. I teach meditation and meditate daily. I am also in the habit of various mindfulness practices, and from time to time during the day take a read on my mental state. I noticed that there were less intrusive thoughts, less mind chatter, a more quiet mind. In the discussions of rajasic and tamasic foods, we mentioned that they both cause problems for the mind that affect the meditation. Eating all satvic foods was having the expected effect.
I started to notice more flexibility, in part due to the weight loss. This was obvious when teaching the weekly yoga class and in my personal practice.
My clothes started to hang on me and I had to search for the smallest things in the closet. I ran out of holes in my belt and got a smaller one.
At two months, we took another checkpoint. We decided to keep going! I seem to be only ten pounds from an ideal weight.
Next time – recipes