Let's face it - a diet change can be daunting. Relying on old eating routines to fuel your days can be easier and more comfortable than committing to breaking old norms and creating new habits. But you have to start somewhere. Whatever your reason for wanting to overhaul your food habits, from health reasons to environmental to new year's resolutions, the goal of Splendid Spoon is to make that change as easy and seamless as possible. We like to think we're a simple, mindless way to take healthy eating off of your to do list while still having a real impact.
Meet Erin*, who put this idea to the test by embarking on a 90-day complete diet overhaul. Her goal was simple – improve her health in order to avoid becoming diabetic (read more about Erin* here). She committed herself to these simple rules:
1) Eat Splendid for breakfast & lunch every weekday, and do a Reset Day monthly.
2) Move more by doing something active daily.
Here's the last chapter, Volume 4, of her unedited, unfiltered 90-day journey.
WEEK 4 IN REVIEW ________________________________________
Week 4 Starting Weight 292.6
Ending Weight 294.5
Starting Waist Measurement 50
Ending Waist Measurement 49
This week has really confused me. I actually did fairly well in my eating, but it was the first week that I didn’t do a daily journal entry. <<insert questioning thought bubble>> Instead, I continued to log my food in the Lose It! app, which has been great in terms of seeing the impact of my choices. That said, I just don’t quite know how to account for the uptick on the scale. I know the scale is not the end-all and be-all, but I just can’t shake wanting the validation; and when these numbers go in the wrong direction, UGH! My mood is totally shot. UGH again! I feel I need to have some measure of what’s going on. I continue to lose in my midsection, which is awesome, but I still feel as though I should be shedding the pounds at a higher, more consistent rate. As a result, I’ve decided to make an appointment with a nutritionist and hopefully get some direction. We’ll see.
Soups: Nothing new this round. Still enjoying everything! :-)
Smoothies: Quite randomly, my mother emailed me the results of an allergy test I’d taken last year. I had gone through this weird coughing spell and couldn’t seem to figure out the culprit. Turns out, it was asthma, but before I knew that, I got tested for allergies. Well, to my surprise, I was reminded that I have a really high cashew allergy. We won’t talk about how I’d been popping those things like tic-tacs! OMG. Things clicked because I discovered that when I’d drink the Raspberry Cacao, Strawberry Goji or Blueberry Coconut, I’d always end up coughing. The killer part is I LOVED these flavors, but sadly, I have to let them go. Onward!
TWO HORRIBLE WEEKS IN REVIEW ______________________
Week 5 Starting Weight 294.5
Week 5 Ending Weight ???
Week 6 Starting Weight ???
Week 6 Ending Weight 299.6
Starting Waist Measurement 49
Ending Waist Measurement ???
All the cliches come to mind in this moment: It’s not how you start, but how you finish. We fall down, but we get up. We may have lost the battle, but we can still win the war. That’s actually not quite how that last saying goes, but that’s what I need it to be right now. This was a really tough couple of weeks in the sense that I knew I was going to be busy - much busier than usual - but I couldn’t even begin to fathom how not in control I would be of my schedule OR my eating. It alllll started with neo soul artist India.Arie. What? I know. My dear friend, Ashley, got tickets to her show from her husband’s company. These weren’t just any tickets, mind you; we’re talking about box seats and VIP accommodations. We enter through a separate VIP entrance and good ol’ Ashley takes us straight to the bar. Uh Oh. Since I didn’t come out of pocket for anything, I told her to order whatever she wanted and I would treat. This girl orders *us* two Moscow Mule doubles. I think to myself, “Ok...that’s a lot; but, I’ll sip on this through the show and be good.” No, no….by the end of song two, bottles of Rose had begun to flow. Yes, that’s bottleS, as in plural. Having imbibed to the fullest, of course our first order of business was to eat once the concert - which was EPIC - was over. It was nearly midnight in a suburban part of town, so where do we end up? At a chain restaurant, making a bunch of wrong decisions. Cutting to the chase, this one day kicked off a two-week slide of conscious unsouping.
If I’m really, really honest with myself, I leaned in to this slide. I did, especially in its second week. I had so much going on - crazy work schedule, period cravings, medical emergency of my best friend’s parents, having to care for their super cute, but super anxious dog - that I just wanted a break from thinking about my food. And all of this crazy let me know that the tired, oft-used excuse of not having time to make healthy choices or needing quick and easy meals for my busy schedule? Nah. My food choices don’t hinge one bit on easy because there’s nothing easier than popping a lid and microwaving soup for two minutes. There is zero effort in twisting the lid off a smoothie. What I learned - the hard way, but really needed to experience - was that these two weeks weren’t about that. When I got on the scale and saw that I was essentially back where I started, I was so angry with and disappointed in myself...but I’m not defeated.
That’s a lot of gloom and doom and heavy, I know, but there really were some bright spots in all my deviance! HA! I met with my nutritionist and she took a metabolic reading to find out exactly how many calories I should be consuming to maintain my weight and how many I would need to cut to lose weight. I cannot overstate how important and useful this having this information is. I went from severely undereating by about 600 calories to overeating by about 700 calories, and in neither state was I aware of how far off I was from my target intake. I was shooting in the dark before this reading, but just this bit of knowledge alone has been transformative. The second win for me in these couple weeks is I never skipped a workout. Even while eating like an insane person, I got all my walks in, I did all my scheduled lifting and I even squeezed in a Zumba class (which I will continue to do weekly). All things considered, I feel I am even more prepared to take on this challenge of changing my eating habits in a real, meaningful and sustainable way.
WEEK 7 IN REVIEW ________________________________________
Week 7 Starting Weight 299.6
Ending Weight 291.3
Week 5 Starting Waist Measurement 49
Week 7 Ending Waist Measurement 47.75
I. Am. So. Proud. Of. Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I kicked off this week with renewed purpose and understanding. I felt so strong, so accomplished and so clear in knowing exactly what I am doing and why. What a great week. I have consciously resouped! I am killing these smoothies! I have met all my workout goals! The best part of it all? I have not been deprived in the least. I’ve eaten out and like Oprah, I, too, have had bread! But, because I’ve stayed in my zone, I’m seeing real results. This is the lowest weight I’ve achieved since I started this journey and I. AM. THRILLED. :-)
No new reviews, but I will say that I am starting to pay more attention to my smoothie-soup combos. Since I now know what my calorie target is, I am trying to be more conscious of pairing the higher calorie soups with the lower calorie smoothies, and vice versa. It’s not a huge deal and I won’t go out of my way to do so, but this small change does allow me to budget calories more toward snacks or a bigger meal, especially on days when I know I’ll need it. For example, I often have lunch meetings, as I did this week. So I might opt for the Orange Hibiscus or the Green Matcha on the lower calorie end of the smoothies; or one of the lentil soups, either the Lentil and Kale or Red Lentil Dal, on the lower calorie end of the soups. Again, it’s a minor thing, but small changes over time equal big results!
90 DAYS OF SPLENDID SPOON LATER… ________________
Starting Weight 300
Ending Weight 288.4
Starting Waist Measurement 54
Ending Waist Measurement 46.5
All I Need in This Life of Sin is Me and My Splendid
For the heads and pop fans, you’ll recognize the title of this, my final entry, from Beyonce and Jay Z’s first hit together (sampled from Tupac, of course #RIP); apropos because I thought that at the end of my three months of souping and sipping, I’d look like Queen Bey. Uhhhh, I do not. Admittedly, I can see from this side of the journey that I might have been a tad unrealistic in my expectations of what this process would be like, what my results would be and just how arduous the task of really, really changing habits actually is. I can say this because I know now that I didn’t properly factor in...LIFE. I naively believed that in committing to three months to changing my relationship to food and adopting a healthier lifestyle, that somehow I wouldn’t be tested in the ways that life tests us. WRONG.
Since my last post, I have lost a loved one, moved my mother in with me and planned a VIP anniversary reception + two-day, city-wide symposium for work. At the beginning of the month, my best friend was hospitalized for a week with the craziest, most random infection. For the most part, she’s fine. However, as we’re both only children, we’re more like sisters and are each other’s “person”, which when something like this occurs, is totally overwhelming. To some degree, these are simply a series of tasks. However, they are also very heavy emotional weights; ones that, at times, I felt too weak to lift. In the battle between choosing a better me and the “same old, same old” that led me to seek change in the first place, the totality of these major life events often gave the old way the upper hand.
Lest you believe this to be a tale of failures, Ls, and disappointments, au contraire mon frere! Yes, it is true that I didn’t end the way I began. BUT, I also didn’t end the way I began. And do you know why? The North Star. I promise I’m not under the influence of anything, but check it out: the North Star’s claim to fame is that while the whole of the northern sky moves around it, it remains virtually still. So yes, it is absolutely true that I had more than my fair share of overconsumption, poor choices and emotional eating. But unlike other times in my life when the worst of me got the best of me, everytime I opened my refrigerator door I found jewel-toned smoothies and earth-hued soups waiting for me to correct, redirect and change course. Sadness, anxiety or uncertainty may have led me to reach for the carbiest (that’s a word), fattiest temporary salve, but every time I opened my refrigerator door, I found a touchstone, a “reset” button, and my daily reminder to choose better. To do better. See? North Star.
I do see now why the company resists the “diet” label. I think the SS team knows that the rewiring necessary for lasting change is super hard. I think they know that at the most basic, fundamental level, the smoothies and soups are almost like training wheels, introducing delicious, whole-food nourishment in easily accessible, convenient and mindless ways until you are ready to do so on your own.
Even as I’m currently in the midst of one of the most hectic periods of my life, I do need to take a moment to puff my chest and pat my back...which I’ll do right now! On days where I ate like an unhinged crazy woman, I still at least had either soup or a smoothie. When I traveled to Virginia for my dear uncle’s funeral, I took my workout clothes and worked out. I’ve awakened at or before 5AM to work out before work pretty consistently; and, in the numerous trips to help pack my mom for her move, I’ve packed soups and smoothies to take with me. When neither soup nor smoothies were available to me, I tried to incorporate some kind of fruit and/or vegetable somewhere in the course of my day. And finally, as I type these last words, I’m sitting comfortably in a pair of my old jeans that I couldn’t even get up past my knees last year. :) I count these as WINS, and I’m so very proud of them.
I’ve still got plenty of work to do and progress to make, but all I’m saying is be on the lookout for my update...it’s gonna be fuego!