The NMA has asked me to post about my diet changes and offered me his famous gnocchi, so how could I say no? I am not doing this to talk about myself; I was simply hungry at the time and agreed to it.
My diet wasn’t terrible recently; I skipped breakfast, ate a turkey sandwich for lunch, and then cooked dinner. I went out to eat occasionally so I felt I was doing pretty well. When I say I cooked dinner, I mean I cooked a pile of meat 7 nights a week. I never had pasta; I had pasta with meat sauce. I didn’t have bean burritos; I had crispy tacos piled to the top with chicken with enough room to squeeze in a pinch of lettuce. That’s a salad, right? On top of all that, I drank 5 or 6 cups of coffee and didn’t exercise.
Then the NMA came along. Or as my wife would put it, when the NMA brain washed me.
I read his first blog entry and made the comment “Anyway, best of luck, I could never do this.” I enjoyed the entry so I continued to read them and wonder how the NMA could survive living like this. Then, the smoky black bean burritos recipe caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. It was better than any chicken taco I’ve ever had and was even more filling. So I continued choosing a few of the meals to try. Each time, I was left full and feeling good after I ate. This is when I realized how much worse I felt when I did eat an unhealthy meal. I guess you just become used to how a McDonald’s hamburger sits on your stomach.
After reading the entry on the NMA’s struggles with coffee, I decided to do a 10 day challenge of my own and not have a sip of coffee. Luckily, my wife stuck by me through the first couple days as I experienced extreme PMS. But, I’m happy to report I didn’t have a cup of coffee for 3 weeks. I drank one last weekend, my favorite, a regular Dunkin Donuts coffee, no cream or sugar of course. Insert your favorite “I like my coffee like I like my _____” joke here. But, I drank only 3 ounces of it. It tasted different, not nearly as good as I remembered.
As for my diet, I wake up every morning and drink a NMA smoothie. I took out the protein powder since it didn’t taste good to me and put in a half of a banana. For lunch, it’s usually leftovers, a veggie wrap, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For dinner, I refresh the NMA’s blog over and over until his recipe of the day is posted and I try to make it. I also have been reusing many of the recipes that I have already made and trying to perfect the pizza. I also always eat a salad with dinner and fresh fruit as snacks.
I started off as a meat eater, never thinking about it for a second. If the meal didn’t have meat on it, it wasn’t a meal. But this blog has opened my eyes to the fact that meat does not have to be a part of the meal to make you feel full. It is amazing how good I feel now and how much happier I am. I don’t go through the normal energy swings all day or feel completely exhausted when I get home.
I bought an elliptical a year ago and like many workout machines, it sat in the basement collecting dust. But, with more inspiration from the NMA, I have run every other day for 30 minutes the past month.
As the NMA knows, it would be impossible to do this alone. My wife, Kristin has really been extremely supportive over the past month. Just think of the reaction I got when I told my pregnant wife (who could live off of hotdogs) that I would be limiting the amount of meat I cook. She only cracked up a couple of times; demanded a burger and wished ill upon the NMA, but all in all has been really wonderful and I just wanted to thank her.
So, I guess the point of this all is, you don’t need to make any drastic changes overnight. Just try it once, make one meal and see how it goes. If there is a certain aspect of your life you want to change, then challenge yourself. I still eat meat, just not nearly as much. I feel great and enjoy eating again. Give it a try.