Hey, guys. Happy Sunday! It’s my favorite day of the week. Sundays to me signify sleeping in, relaxation, long runs (it’s the “Long Slow Run” day of my training), grocery shopping (favorite activity – dork alert), writing, yoga, me time and usually a quiet dinner with friends.
Yesterday I went to my first follow-up appointment with my nutritionist. I wrote and about my first appointment three weeks ago, the strict meal plan he put me on, and the tummy problems behind my initial visit. The first week I was super gung-ho about the meal plan, the second week I was kinda half and half (reintroduced protein shakes and went way overboard with them), and by the third week I was more or less not following it at all.
I was frustrated with myself for not keeping it up, but I couldn’t get the voice out of my head that was saying, “You’re young, you’re healthy, you don’t have any weight to lose, why are you being so restrictive?! And you’re a food blogger, so you need to be baking yummy treats and coming up with innovative recipes! You can’t follow such a strict plan.”
I got it in my head that most people who see a nutritionist have health issues and a significant amount of weight to lose. Since I don’t, I wasn’t taking my plan as seriously as I should have.
Well, yesterday I came to terms with the fact that yes, while I am young, healthy, and I have no weight or body fat percentage to lose, the stomach problems I experience are just as serious as trying to lose weight and/or find health. My stomach problems affect my life every moment of every day, and finding balance has become something I need as opposed to something I want.
I have to treat my meal plan as somewhat of a healing process, and while that’s hard to accept because I already eat a very clean, healthy, plant-based diet, I have to accept the fact that I need a change and I need to dedicate myself to it in order to see the benefits. And I am so determined!!! I know I have the willpower to get through this. I have just been letting that little voice in the back of my head saying, “Come on, Jordan, live a little!” take over.
I will live a little, and I will do so by taking the steps toward healing my chronic stomach issues and the imbalance they have left me with.
Highlights from my visit:
– We tweaked my meal plan so now it includes only meals that I was really enjoying on the first meal plan, and we’ve eliminated foods that I didn’t love. My breakfasts will now be a rotation of green smoothie one day (yes!), 1 cup oatmeal with flax and a side of berries the next day, and fruit with raw nuts the next. My lunches will still be a large green salad with a rotation of sweet potato, beans, squash and tempeh. My dinners will still be a salad with non-starchy steamed veggies and a rotation of squash, beans, lentils, soups and tempeh. I’m excited about it! (First green smoothie of the meal plan pictured below! Recipe = 1 banana, 2 large carrots, 1 large handful spinach, 1 large handful kale, 1/4 large cucumber, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 large handful ice. Blend!)
– I asked him about juice cleanses because you all know I am addicted to 3-day cleanses and I am planning on doing one in the next few weeks from Juice Press before my trip to Cabo. He told me that there was nothing wrong with doing juice cleanses, as long as I understood that the juice was not cleansing the body, but rather the body was cleansing itself under the conditions of drinking juice and eliminating food. If you’re interested in hearing more about this, send me an email and I can give you the full rundown of what he said, because he explained the science behind cleansing (and even water fasting!) to me and I found it incredibly fascinating and eye-opening. In the end he told me to use my discretion about whether or not I want to cleanse this month.
– I told him that I struggle with feeling like I’m eating “enough” because of how much I exercise. I’m training for a half marathon, I practice yoga every day, I cycle several times a week, I’ve just started swimming again, and I live in NYC so most days I walk several miles per day. Being so athletic makes me feel like I need more food in order to feel sustained and recover from my runs. He told me that’s not the case, and trying to eat more food doesn’t necessarily mean I am digesting more food. If you eat when your body is not hungry, your food will not digest properly and instead it will sit in your stomach and decompose (ahhh!) and that’s definitely what’s been happening to me. I eat post-workout even when I’m not super hungry, and then I have lunch. By lunchtime my body is all out of whack and I don’t digest my food properly, leading to bloat and stomach pain. #sensitivetummyprobs
– I lost three pounds! Yahoo. Obviously weight has nothing to do with the reason that I am seeing a nutritionist, but it feels good to know that applying his meal plan (even though I was only halfway following it until now) is something my body thrives on and will help my metabolism and digestion.
All in all, very successful visit. Mainly successful because he reminded me that I do have a problem, and it’s up to me to correct it. We even discussed the possibility of me changing my diet from being entirely plant-based, and he advised me not to. He said that would be me looking for solutions in the wrong places.
The only solution is the toughest one to admit: I need to eat more balanced meals. I need to control my snacking and put myself on high-watch. In a way it bums me out because I see my friends and family eating, enjoying food and not worrying about how much they eat / when they eat / what they eat, and I wish I could be like that. But I was born with the sensitive stomach gene, and I need to take care of myself in a different way.
I am certainly up for the challenge! Has anyone else experienced similar problems? I would love to hear about them. Comment below, email me, and let me know your thoughts on the experience.
I have been getting a lot of questions about the Mung Bean Pasta I posted on my Instagram last night. I used the brand “Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine” from the dry pasta section in Whole Foods. The pasta is made only of mung beans and water! I added roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts (roasted at 350 degrees Farenheit for 35 minutes with some cumin and pepper) and some raw snap peas.
The amazing cauliflower alfredo sauce recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie’s page. This is the version I used:
– 1 ½ cup raw cauliflower
– ½ cup nutritional yeast
– 1 cup almond milk
– 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (vegan butter)
– ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard.
See CCK for the full recipe & instructions!