November 29, 2022

A Goal For December

I've mentioned several times that I've been struggling hard with food lately--eating too much and too frequently. A couple of months ago, I was doing great! I had zero cravings for junk food and probably 95% of what I ate was unprocessed. I felt awesome, too.

Over the last several weeks, I'm not sure what happened, but I started craving junk food again. I noticed that once I eat something sweet, I crave sweets for about three days--and it's SO hard to get through those few days without feeding the craving. I know that if I can power through, the cravings will stop; it just feels so hard in the moment!

You all know I love goals and challenges--sometimes I get too ambitious and I quit (like 75 Hard), but sometimes I really enjoy them and I finish whatever it is that I set out to do (like a blogging streak--I haven't missed a day since December 2019).

I've been thinking this week about how badly I want to get back to feeling in control and not having any sugar cravings, and just feeling my best. I've been reading (very slowly, but surely) the book "How NOT to Die" by Dr. Michael Greger (Amazon affiliate link). It's all about how diet relates to our health and how "food is medicine" (it sounds really boring by my description, but it's actually very interesting!).

The book inspired me to want to try eating whole-food plant-based for a month. I'm currently still eating a vegan diet, but there are a LOT of junk foods that are vegan. I think challenging myself to eat whole foods for a month might be just what I need to get rid of the sweet cravings and feel good about my choices again.

Jerry made my favorite whole-food recipe last night--beans and greens! The first time he made this, I must have been having a rough day (or week or month) and it was SO good and comforting. And now it's a big-time comfort food for me. Thankfully, it's super healthy! Here is the recipe that he follows. (He uses collard greens instead of kale, and great northern beans--I like it better that way--and he adds an extra can of beans in there, too.) 

Of course, I'd love to eat whole foods all the time and not just for a month, but I think setting my sights on a short-term goal will help me to work on long-term goals afterward. (Does that make sense?) I can pretty easily control myself with "junk" foods that aren't sweet--like tortilla chips, for example--so after the challenge I may add stuff like that back in. I love lentil tortilla soup topped with some tortilla chips! It's the sweets that do me in.

I already know a ton of recipes that are made with whole foods, so it will just take some time to put together a menu for the month. I like the idea of a menu for the whole month so that I don't have to figure things out on the fly. I can make extra sauces and things to freeze for later in the month, too. I also like to prep ingredients here and there throughout the day so that I can cook dinner super fast, and it obviously helps to know what I'll be making.

As far as what is considered a "whole food"... I am just going to use my best judgment. There isn't a black and white list as to what is a whole food and what is not, so I may eat some foods that other people may not consider to be "whole" (nutritional yeast, for example). Something like maple syrup is controversial, too--it has a ton of sugar--but because it's one of the least processed sweeteners out there, I'll still use it to add to sauces (a lot of Asian sauces that I make call for some sort of sweetener) and things like that.

So anyway, I'm just going to use my best judgment and not be ridiculously strict. The whole point is to eat food that makes me feel good! I'm going to keep a simple journal, too--hopefully that will help me figure out the effect certain foods have on my body and cravings, etc. I'm looking forward to doing this challenge! Let's just hope that I stick with it ;)


  1. My dad LOVES Dr. Greger and I have received his books for holidays, including his cookbooks. You might want to check and see if they have his cookbooks at your local library. I make his barley tabbouleh from the How Not to Diet cookbook all the time. My dad eats BROL for breakfast every morning.

  2. You might enjoy reading the book Fat Funeral: The Scientific Approach to Weight Loss by Daniel Dell'uomo. It's available for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. His definition of whole food is that it has one ingredient. It's a very scientific approach and has 1500+ references- but is very enjoyable to read. His 'rules' are don't eat white flour, sugar, vegetable oil or processed meats. You don't need it as a 'diet' book, but you might enjoy reading it to learn more about whole foods.

  3. I get the three-day holy crap I'm addicted sweets problem. Dark chocolate squares save me there, but if I have dessert, I'm on a sugar quest for three days. For me that's more physiological than psychological. But once the sugar is gone, why do I go back to it? for that, I'd suggest SHRINK YOURSELF, a book by Dr. Roger Gould. His book isn't about sugar or carbs or fats or any particular food. It's about the underlying psychological issues that lead us to overeat or make poor food choices in the first place. Sending all the good vibes that your new challenge helps you.


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