Sunday, July 10, 2011

Countdown to a new lifestyle

Tomorrow, the new diet begins. With regard to my usual routine, I've been pretty lax this weekend. I've not worked out anywhere near as much as I should, and yesterday (Saturday) I played it a little faster and looser than usual with the diet. Knowing that something very strict and difficult to maintain is imminent, I figured I'd just let rip and go with the flow. We had guests for dinner last night, and while I cooked something pretty healthy - I didn't pay quite as much attention to every tiny nutritional detail.

Knowing that tomorrow (Monday) may be the last time I ever drink a latte or eat a "normal" piece of bread is certainly an odd feeling. If I had to pick one of the two potential allergens, I think I'd rather it be gluten than dairy. While working around the gluten content is going to be a colossal pain in the ass, life's little comforts (for me) tend to come from dairy. I don't overdo it by any stretch of the imagination, I'm not gorging on cheese or snarfing down cream buns or anything - but a non-fat latte in the morning is something I really look forward to each day, so I'd rather not go without long-term.

In preparation for the month ahead, I went to Whole Foods yesterday and tried to stock up on appropriately dairy and gluten free foodstuffs. It was more of an undertaking than I was expecting, and I ended up spending over and hour and a half scanning food labels and picking through nutritional info to find things that I'll actually be allowed to eat. Whole foods like fruits and veggies are the easy part, but there are lots of things that you'd expect created for those of a sandal-wearing, hemp-loving persuasion that simply aren't appropriate. Stuff that's dairy free often has gluten in it, and vice versa. I'd been told by a number of friendly vegans that I could peruse concoctions designed for them, and I'd be fine. Not so. Fake meats are packed to the hilt with gluten, it seems. The human equivalents of snausages, while healthy and friendly for vegetable-folk, are totally off the menu for me.

Fortunately, I did make a pleasant discovery; coconut milk, and coconut milk-derived shenanigans. I was unaware (until this weekend) that it's the latest dietary hotness thanks to a marketing campaign spearheaded by the omnipresent supertrainer Jillian Michaels. It (we're told) is the latest "superfood" discovery, thanks to all kinds of "good fats" and there are all kinds of goodies made with it. Lucky for me; I'm a big fan of the stuff. Macaroons and Mounds bars are some of my favorite forbidden goodies, so it's fortunate that the vast majority of coconut milk products have a faint whiff of both about them. There's a brand humbly called "So Delicious" that makes yogurts, milks, and ice cream - and it ain't half bad. Having experimented with a variety of milk alternatives in the past, I'd come to the conclusion that they all tasted like shit. Almond milk is borderline acceptable (sorta...it's all relative) but frankly I'd rather suck the sweat out of the gusset of my cycling shorts than drink soy milk or (shudder) rice milk. There's potential for a whole tirade about calling anything "milk" that comes from a nut or a grain, but we can save that for now. The bottom line is that coconut milk, comparatively speaking, isn't bad. I'm not going to be steaming it and pouring it over an espresso shot any time soon, but I could imagine using it on cereal without it making me want to retch.

So...one evening meal left, and then we're all in...
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