May 10, 2012 by Caroline Mincks
Well, that’s a depressing name for a diet. Appropriately enough. Actually, when I thought of it, it sounded funny in my head, but written out…well, it sounds like a real bummer.
It’s not, though! Actually, this is something that I think is going to really help me. So far, I already feel miles better…and it has only been a few days. I have always believed that the first line of defense against illness and malaise is the physical body. If your body doesn’t feel good, the rest of you won’t feel good either, and my body has (of course) been feeling wonky since Ethan was born. When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that the percentage of women who have postpartum issues isn’t higher, simply because of what our bodies go through during pregnancy and childbirth. I was lucky enough to have a pretty low-key experience, but some women go through some really traumatic things. Even with my dumb luck, I still went through the same thing every woman deals with – pain, aching, sleep deprivation, nausea, you name it. It’s a rough nine months, and then it’s a rough however-long-it-takes to recover…and all the while, you feel like a stranger in your body. It’s heavier, it has a new shape, and there are all sorts of surprises to deal with (scars, stretch marks, etc). On top of all that, most new moms find themselves eating whatever they can quickly stuff into their mouths – often foods that aren’t terribly healthy and are about convenience and filling rather than nutrition.
I looked at my diet for a few days and it was pretty bad. On average, I was eating next to nothing and definitely nothing good for me. Pretty much just coffee until late afternoon, when I’d shovel down a microwaveable meal, and then I’d eat whatever I had thrown into the crock pot for dinner. Now, it’s not impossible to make a healthy crock pot meal – it’s easy. But I was being lazy, and the result was a lot of very fatty meals with a lot of processed food. And I wondered why I wasn’t losing the baby weight? My poor metabolism probably wanted to throatpunch me.
So I sat down and did some research, looking for information about eating well on a tight budget. I made lists of the healthiest foods that also provided a lot of variety and were easier on the budget. Then it was off to the grocery store. A heart-stopping $100 later, I had a completely full fridge and pantry, filled to the brims with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food. It was terrifyingly expensive, but a lot of those items were bulk/nonperishable, so I won’t have to buy them every week. I’m pretty sure that the next time I shop, the cost will be significantly less. I plan to pretty much stick to this list, occasionally swapping an item or two or adding something “extra” to create a new recipe – it will be easier to just “restock” rather than shop from scratch or from a random list of wants.
I’m forcing myself to eat three meals a day and no food that is processed, at least for a little while. I’m not a huge believer in the trendy detox diets, but I think it’s important to jump into this headlong and just get all the junk out as fast as I can. I’m doing my best to get all of my fruits and veggies, cut down on the bread, consume as little additional sugar as possible, and make sure I’m getting enough protein. Three days into this diet and I’m already feeling a huge difference. I have a lot more energy and I feel far less weighed down.
I am also making sure I am exercising every day, at least a little bit. If nothing else, I do the Bodyrock beginner’s fitness test (3 rounds of squats, push-ups, tricep dips, and crunches, totaling a 12-minute workout). I think once my body feels a little more like it’s actually mine, it will do wonders for my psyche.
I know I’m repeating myself a lot in this post, and I apologize – I tend to talk myself in circles and say the same things over and over again even in real life. Bad habit that I made absolutely no effort to break or even curb before I wrote this entry. Anyway, I’m going to keep a close eye on myself, get creative with the cooking, and hope that I can find a natural way to ease my anxiety. If this doesn’t work, I’ll go to the doctor, of course, but I want to at least try this out before considering other methods. If I can eat my way back to mental health, I’d much prefer to do that!