“What are some sizable changes to Charlie’s list of consumables in the next several months before her follow-up lab work? What do you hope to accomplish?”
Oh, the joy of adding a few whole grains! I can’t even tell you. So far we’re sticking with brown rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oats. These have a good mix of fiber and carbs that provide slow-release energy and prevent the blood sugar spikes of white rice and bread.
Charlie doesn’t eat much at a time, so she still has to heavily prioritize veggies to maximize her nutrients, but there’s a nutty, warm sense of fullness that comes with eating a bowl of say brown rice, shredded chicken, and kale. Swapping out the brown rice for cauliflower is still delicious, but you lose some of that satisfying textural depth.
(That said: cauliflower rice takes on other flavors better than brown rice. Sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for. So there are solid pros in both camps.)
There were previously a few restrictions on veggies that we had to watch out for, specifically around sugar content. This made me wary of using a lot of ingredients that were technically on the safe list but with higher natural sugar, like sweet potatoes.
Now veggies are in the clear. Since one of my guideposts for this journey is diversity—lots of different kinds of flavor, as many vitamins as possible, and far fewer chances for the body to overdo any one thing—this means I can add back in some of Charlie’s favorites: sweet corn, for example, and peas.
All in moderation, of course, but the moderating happens naturally by eating lots of lots of things instead of by specifically limiting certain things. This flows out of and leads back into a mindset of abundance which is not usually what we think of when we think of “diets.”
That’s why I’m toying around with a new word for what this meal plan is. Instead of a “diet,” it’s a “destress.”
It destresses your body by not requiring it to strain to perform without the resources it needs.
It destresses your body by not overloading it with food it doesn’t have the need for or capacity to carry (here I’m picturing my 19-year-old self with a way overloaded backpack).
It destresses your mind by not wondering if you’re doing what you need to in support of the marvelous, odds-defying physical form you live in.
It destresses your mind by replacing shame and guilt with joy and confidence. No, it’s not magic; it’s a journey. And it’s better together.
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