“What are your thoughts reflecting on the original experiment behind you, and what comes next (food changes and new balance of meals)?“
What surprises me most, looking back on the past four months, is how easy it all seems now. “Easy” is the wrong word, perhaps. There were a few days early on in my food prepping that were so long that I was in tears by the end. It’s been a few years since I worked in food service. Pro tip: invest in a good pair of clogs.
But even with the added physical challenges, the prep process has become part of the rhythm of our week. Shopping one day with some anticipatory chopping, cooking the next. Drew’s talked before about how many (many) hours this process has taken, and it has… but primarily because we were learning so much as we went along. If I was to start this process again from the beginning I could cut my early week’s time in half. Minimal frustration. No tears.
I still spend a lot of time researching, but that’s because I’m excited to find as many ways as possible for this kind of eating to work for the most people. Can I shorten prep time? Can I make a dish a little less hands-on? Can I expand my regional culinary repertoire to keep the weekly menus diverse and exciting?
The amount of success Charlie has had with her new way of eating positively impacting her bloodwork is a testament to the difference our diets have on our bodies. Not diets like “I need to drop 25 lbs in two weeks to fit into my bridesmaid dress,” (though those diets affect us too, obviously) but the changes we make—big and small—in what, when, how, and even why we eat.
Knowing how much can change in four months should be an encouragement to anyone looking at their bloodwork results and feeling hopeless. Tightening up your diet for 16 weeks is enough to see some dramatic results. This four-month process is a demonstration of defiance. A kick in the teeth of despair. An act of affirming agency. My work now is to show how this can be accessible to just about anyone.
How do we move forward now that our first four months have been such a success? Charlie can’t go back to eating as she used to, but her doctor was so delighted with the progress that she has significantly relaxed the restrictions. The big changes: whole grains (in moderation) and all the veggies. That brings back corn, peas, butternut squash, and other favorites that have been on the no or slow list since we began.
This means that while cauliflower rice and turnip noodles will continue to be staples of our diets, Charlie can also enjoy the benefits—nutritionally, texturally, and otherwise—of steel-cut oats, quinoa, and even some brown basmati rice. Our weekly meal plans will include a healthy balance of meals that are safe for the first four-month “detox” or “stabilization” phase, as well as meals that include this wider variety of grains and veggies—something for everyone!
We’ll check in with Charlie’s doctor in another four months to see how the experiment continues to unfold. In the meantime, join us by adding a meal or two from the recipe page to your meal plan this week. Drop us a line with any questions you have. Let us know how we can support you. We’re proof that it’s way easier when you have a team on your side.