Sunday, April 8, 2012

What Does Tristi Eat?

I've been asked lots of questions in my life, everything from how to homeschool to how to write a book to how to keep balance in everything. But no question has been asked me so regularly as, "What do you eat?"

It's true that my new diet is perplexing. We've all been raised to eat according to the food pyramid, and the thought of doing anything contrary to it is kind of out there. It's also true that my new diet is working. I haven't been able to weigh for almost a month because I broke my foot, and getting on a scale with a cast on would probably make me fall off the scale and need a cast on the other foot, but the last weight I have to report is a loss of 84 pounds, and that's really significant. Not only am I losing weight, but my overall health is a lot better as well. (I mean, except for the whole car accident thing, and then the whole breaking the foot thing. But those are totally unrelated.)

So, what do I eat?

Simply put, I eat meat, eggs, vegetables (except potatoes and corn), nuts and seeds (except peanuts), and some raw dairy. Now that my pancreas is doing so much better, I do have an occasional piece of fruit, although when I first started, my pancreas was so inflamed that I didn't eat any fruit at all.

It really is very simple.

Every meal or snack has some protein in it, whether it's an egg, a piece of chicken, a handful of almonds. I also have a good dose of vegetables on the side. I drink lots of water. I don't count calories. I don't measure portions. If I'm hungry, I eat. I don't worry about fat grams because I'm eating the healthy fats. And the weight's just falling off me. Almost in chunks on the floor. I've done this without exercise, because I haven't been able to exercise for a long time (see above mention of car accident, and above mention of broken foot). This has all been through diet and nutrition, and I'm not losing muscle mass because I'm keeping my protein up.

So now let me break it down a little more to give a broader idea.

Breakfast - when it comes to breakfast, we've all got it in our heads that we're supposed to eat different foods in the morning than we do at any other time of the day. I don't know why we think that, but we all talk about "breakfast foods." I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast as I would at any other time of the day.

Any Other Time of the Day - here are some of my most common meals/snacks:

A baked yam with a little sea salt and butter (no butter substitutes)

A chicken breast baked with herbs and seasonings

Nice big green salads with any variety of vegetables in there, with sugar-free dressing (no sugar substitutes, either) and without croutons - I like having some egg and some chicken in my salads

Turkey, beef roast, lean hamburger, steak

A taco wrap with all the taco makings rolled up inside a lettuce leaf

A hamburger wrap with all the hamburger makings rolled up in a lettuce leaf

Vegetable soup from scratch - take a wide variety of carrots, celery, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, etc, and dice, then simmer just until tender/crisp - don't cook until the color's gone! Throw some canned tomatoes in there, and season with lemon pepper, oregano, sea salt, and throw in whatever meat you've got - can make more of an Italian soup or Mexican soup or what-have-you with what you add in there.

Meatloaf without the crumbs. Delicious!

A handful of olives and a few slices of pickle.

Sunflower seeds.


Almost any kind of fish, baked and seasoned in any way you can think of, or pan seared.

Chicken sausage (from Sunflower Market or Whole Foods) sliced and cooked up with green peppers and onions.

It takes a little getting used to at first, I'll admit it - but now, it's not hard at all. People keep asking me if I'll be on this diet forever, and the answer is, yes, but with modifications. As time goes by, I'll add a few more things to the list of foods I can have, and down the road, I will be able to cheat a little from time to time. The thing to keep in mind is that I'm not doing this to lose weight, although it's the most noticeable benefit, and believe me, I'm tickled to death about it. I'm doing this to heal my body, and so I want to keep things in balance and not throw my body out of whack. When someone is losing weight and they eat a piece of cake or drink a Coke, they can get back on track right away and that indulgence might not ever show up on the scale. But I'm pulling sugars out of my body so my pancreas can heal, and I'm pulling caffeine out of my body so my adrenals can heal, so my ability to cheat is different from someone who is losing weight, if that makes sense. Cheating is not the end of the world for someone on a diet, but I'm still balancing on the edge of health and illness, so the ramifications for me are different.

So! That is the story of what I'm eating. Yes, it's different. Yes, it has been hard. But you're talkin' to a girl who liked to eat Zingers for breakfast, who weighed 300 pounds a year ago, and who was a whole lot more sick than she thought she was. If I can get my health under control, believe me, it can be done. Your path might be totally different from mine, as everyone has different challenges, but this is what's working for me.

And if you'd like to meet the man who has been helping me and my family change our lives, you can learn all about him here:


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love hamburgers wrapped up in lettuce also.

LJB said...

I'm really proud of you. You look amazing, but far better than that is the renewed energy and health.

I'm seriously considering getting off sugar, but frankly it scares me.
So for now I'm trying to be more mindful about how I use food/sweets to meet emotional challenges. I want to learn to eat only when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. That in itself would be a giant step for me!

safire said...

I'm always curious what other people eat so thank you for sharing!