Well darlings I have once again embarked upon yet another healthy eating adventure. If at first you don’t succeed,
erase all evidence that you ever tried dust yourself off and try again and again. So here we go again. My skin is really terrible, this bloat is going nowhere and my general wellbeing is poor. I do zero exercise, eat zero vegetables, consume copious amounts of sugar each day. All this to say my lifestyle really is unsustainable and I need to change. But I do sound like a broken record, because I have sang this tune so many times. In trying to plan my latest healthy eating trial, I came across my notes from five years ago in which I was trying to do the same thing. It’s a little demotivating. I just want to lie in bed and stuff my face with all sorts of sweets and cheese and pastries and pancakes, but life is not fair.
At the tail-end of 2020 I came across an article talking about the best and worst diets of the year. I only peeked in the article to see what these were and that’s when I was introduced to the Mediterranean diet which was rated number one. (Keto was the worst by the way). In short, the Mediterranean diet consists of lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes; moderate amounts of protein (chicken, fish) and dairy (none for me), limited red meat, NO added sugars and processed foods and so on.
One of my friends pretty much just eats vegetables and protein; she’ll have a big bag of mixed vegetables and some fish/chicken and that’s her dinner sorted. I wish I had that willpower; rice or potatoes always creep in somehow. Plus she runs 10km once a week and I average 10 steps a day.
Last week was the first full week on this lifestyle. I just grilled some chicken wings and made a big batch of tomato rice and vegetables. A good way to incorporate vegetables is to mix it in with my food in one form of stir fry or the other (this is actually the only way I will eat vegetables). So I boiled rice, and then in a pan I fried onions, tomato paste, bell peppers, spices, mixed vegetables. Then I added the rice and spinach and mixed it all up. Put it in a container and ate it all week. I definitely was planning on exploring more recipes and cooking healthy things each day but I could not be arsed! The other option for me is grilled salmon and sweet potato chips with spinach on the side. For a period in my life that was my constant dinner (without the spinach and with lots of nando’s peri mayo). For a treat I may have one of the alpro diary free treats. I also got diary free ice cream. I am also considering dabbling into fajitas…
I wonder how long this stretch of healthy eating is going to last. In the past I went on these healthy trends because of my constant bloat, but now I have bad skin to add to my motivation. This time I need to do it for the sake of my skin. The sad part is that I actually thought my skin was getting better. I have not eaten any sweets in two weeks and I have been using a slew of serums (vitamin c, niacinamide etc) and salicylic acid. My face seemed to be getting better, I have a few leftover pimples from that weekend I binged on Haribo and twirl chocolates, and even though I still had a ton of acne scars my face did not feel as rough so I was happy about that. Well on Friday I had to Facetime a colleague for a meeting and when my face appeared on the camera I was shocked to see how it looked. I was super oily and all the scars was magnified to a million. It was jarring and depressing. One things I have realised is the massive difference in the iPhone and Samsung (android) cameras. The latter is helpful for boosting self esteem as it automatically applies a blur effect to the pictures. Of course when you use the Samsung camera everyday you don’t realise this until you switch to the iPhone and yikes!
For the longest time I thought that simply not adding sugar to my food and avoiding fizzy drinks meant I was sugar free. (Same way I was dairy free and eating yogurt and cheese). Now I realise that I need to take it a notch higher and actually read the food labels on things I buy. I will actively start monitoring my sugar intake because I suspect I am still ingesting way more than the recommended daily limit (25g for women). I have honey with my oatmeal every morning and I just realised one tablespoon has 13.1g of sugar! Add in the sugar in the oat-milk and I have almost hit my limit, and that is just breakfast. I just want my skin back to flawless for Pete’s sake! I am envious of people who can eat all the sugar and cheese they want with no consequences.
I also need to start drinking water! A few months into lockdown I started having sharp persistent stomach cramps and my pee smelled weird. Turns out I was not drinking enough water. In December 2020 my lips started cracking like crazy and I assumed it was just the weather. I noticed that my lips were also darker and just looked weird. Google suggested a form of ezcema/contact dermatitis which results from licking the lips but I eventually realised it was also because I was not drinking enough water. It is easy for me to just drink water. I won’t drink fizzy drinks or other sugary things, I just won’t drink anything. I have limited movement so I don’t feel thirsty and so do not notice that I am dehydrated until my body starts to act up. My skin issues are probably caused by this; because God knows I have not been drinking water and minding my own business.
The Mediterranean diet is not great for weight loss and I am really just trying it out because I need a lifestyle overhaul and this includes a good sustainable diet. In the long run I do hope that it will cleanse me from the inside out, resulting in clear skin and flat stomach. Fifth time’s the charm? Only time will tell.