It’s no surprise to those who know me that I like food. I do. I like grabbing a quick meal to go, I like stopping in for a quick bite to eat at random places, I like cooking, I like baking & I like this about me. Girls who don’t eat annoy me. I mean that in the nicest way possible but seriously… Oh, you won’t eat that ONE cookie on this ONE day because it is 200 calories and it will make you fat? We can’t be friends. You’re judging me because I am drinking a coke zero and diet cokes are sooooo bad for me? We can’t be friends. It’s probably why I love our Sunday Supper Club so much. We’re a group of friends that get together on Sunday nights and cook & eat together. We. Are. Awesome. (Love you guys!!!)
Anyway, being this way and loving food & cooking and not being one of those annoying girls who doesn’t eat has consequences.
Some of you know I work the night shift as a nurse. I’ve been working nights since 2012. Four long years of battling night shift cravings. 2am trips down to the Subway at Denver Health to refill my Coke Zero (#1 addiction for sure) or 2am trips at my current hospital to grab something from the vending machine because let’s be honest – when you’re dead tired at 2am and your patients are driving you nuts, do you really want to eat those carrots & the hummus you brought from home or does a bag of Doritos or Peanut M&M’s sound better?
That being said – eating like crap makes you feel like crap. Add eating like crap to not working out like I used to when I was in Colorado and I have a bit of a problem.
You see, everything I mentioned above (grabbing food to go, snacking on a cookie, cooking with friends, a vending machine trip, etc.) is fine IN MODERATION ONLY. If only these habits were in moderation….
So, I went cold turkey to reign in the bad habits I’ve created while working the night shift. On February 1st I gave A LOT up & I am sticking to a solid meal plan. No meat. No glutens/grains/etc. I have made allowances for certain things – I can still eat out if I want to but my options are limited – a raw smoothie/juice at Jamba Juice, a bowel of Veggie only soup at Panera (no bread on the side obvs) or a veggie raw unwhich at Jimmy Johns (I just discovered there is a Jimmy Johns right around the corner from me. I have yet to go but you can bet I will in the next month). If I go to a restaurant, I can have a salad. And then there are the foods that I can eat and should be eating that I make at home. Raw fruits, Raw Vegetables, Nuts, Legumes & Cooked Vegetables. In addition – I can have cooked eggs 3x a week, certain cheeses & string cheeses (a good snack & I just refuse to give up cheese) & yogurts for my smoothies. I can have my coffee and organic cream but ONLY with coconut sugar. I completely gave up regular sugar in my coffee & I gave up coke zero/diet coke. Of course I have cheat days (which will NOT include diet sodas – I have to be the strictest on these)… Hellllooooo Super Bowl & Valentine’s!!
So far…. it’s been fine. To be honest, going all out has been a savior. I have a very all or nothing personality & being super strict with the changes were the only way I could figure out how to succeed. Picking my quick food allowances ahead of time was also really helpful. Writing this all down before the first of the month helped too. I can look at my sheet when I get bored with my food and remind myself that oh, yeah, I can have that…
Day 1 was the hardest. I actually had to cook before work which I rarely do. It’s weird sleeping in & waking up late and starting work at 7pm. But… I did cook.
Breakfast: 2 eggs with natural pineapple salsa & a coffee
Snack/Pre-Work Meal: String Cheese & Raw Smoothie (Spinach, Apple, Banana, Blueberries, Strawberries)
Dinner: Baked sweet potato (425 degrees for 45 mins – make sure to poke fork holes in the potato before baking!) with coconut oil & salt/pepper with sauteed zucchini & coconut oil & salt/pepper.
AM Snack at 4am-ish: String Cheese, Carrots
Day 2 (Woke up around 3pm after working the previous night)
Breakfast: 3 eggs with natural pineapple salsa & a coffee
Snack: String Cheese
Dinner at 1am-ish: 1/2 Sweet Potato, Bag of Almonds, String Cheese, Coffee
*Work was so busy and I had to transfer a patient to the ICU after calling a rapid response because of quickly deteriorating health. I only got 10 minutes for lunch and was slammed with work, so didn’t get to eat much.
Day 3 (Woke at 3pm after working the previous night)
Breakfast (at 4pm-ish): Romaine salad with almonds, shredded cheese, Coffee
Dinner: Sauteed Red Pepper & Zucchini with 1/2 c cooked Pinto Beans
Dessert: Black Tea (Chai) with Honey & Cream, Banana, 2tbsp Almond Butter
Coffee from Starbucks
Raw Fruit Smoothie
Onion Soup from Panera (Apple on the side)
*I didn’t eat much today. I’m still finding it difficult to maintain proper caloric intake & balance with this new change. I’m working on it, though 🙂
The headaches from giving up diet soda have been consistent. I am trying to drink a lot of water of course. I am still receiving caffeine in my coffee so they’re not caffeine related. They’re the result of giving up crap that your body has been taking in for so long. The studies show diet sodas are insanely addicting. Hard to give up. I miss the mental aspect of it too – grabbing a quick coke zero on the way to work just because I can.
Habits are hard to break. But I’d much rather be healthier.