What happened when I cut out white foods for a weekMonday, September 13, 2021
FRESH off my meat-free diet which I'd done for a week, and very encouraged by the two pound weight loss, my next endeavour was to try to see what would happen if I cut out white foods for a week — bread, pasta, rice, and flour. At the end of my meat-free week, which I detailed a few weeks ago, I was down to 143 pounds, and a week later, with strict daily exercise, lots of fruits and vegetables and water, even with adding meat back to my diet I had lost another two pounds. So when I started my week where I planned to cut out whites, I clocked in at 141 pounds.
Starting weight: 141 pounds
Ending weight: 137 pounds
Goal weight: 130 pounds
This week I didn't plan on any exercising — the goal was to see how much I would lose by just cutting out white processed foods from my diet. I was interested in seeing some movement in my belly area, as well as my love handles.
This was also my supermarket day, and today I substituted white for wheat and whole grains with everything. I hadn't eaten any breakfast at all, and for lunch I made a spicy chicken sandwich with wheat burger buns and the whole works, topped with a fried egg.
Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs, using whole grain pasta. Snack items were dried cranberries, fruits, and trail mix throughout the day.
For breakfast I had toast, jam, and peanut butter, using my raisin, oat and cinnamon wheat bread, with lemonade. This kept me full for quite a few hours, and I didn't even need to snack until lunchtime. Lunch today would be a Jamaican favourite — boiled dumplings and salt mackerel mixed with cho-cho. The dumplings were made with cassava flour, and I didn't even notice the difference in taste. I needed something sweet after, and I had made a banana bread just for the occasion. Made with wheat flour, this was a nice treat. Dinner would be chicken parmesan, served with some roasted eggplant, since I didn't want to bother with rice.
I had bought some riced cauliflower and this would be the base of my meal for dinner — but first, breakfast and lunch. I was running late for work, so breakfast was coffee and a ripe banana, and I was too busy with meetings to even snack on anything before lunch. So by lunchtime I was famished, but not too hungry to derail my diet. I had lunch from the canteen — yam, green bananas, potatoes and pumpkin, with stewed fish and vegetables.
The dinner plan was a riced cauliflower stir fry, and I did it as I would fried rice, with eggs, shrimp, veggies and bits of ripe plantain for sweetness. This tasted so amazing, that I saved some for lunch the next day.
The stir fry I had saved for lunch didn't make it to lunch — I had it for breakfast, with coffee and an orange. This kept me pretty full up to way past lunchtime, and by that time I just wanted something simple, so I crushed some cho-cho, curried it in a sauté, and ate it with some boiled brown rice. Curried crushed cho-cho is a delicacy that everyone should try. Lol.
Dinner today would be less fancy — fried chicken and some bulgur rice mixture I'd bought. This was surprisingly good.
I realise now that I could get used to the diet changes, as there was nothing I was missing, except jasmine rice. I planned to make the brown version for lunch while working from home. For breakfast I had some chicken soup — I woke up very late and was craving it. I just did a simple broth with corn, potatoes, chicken foot and yam and some noodle soup mix. That kept me until about 2:00 pm, when I made rice and pork and beans from the can and some avocado pear. This was absolutely delicious.
Dinner was curried goat with whole wheat pita bread. I again snacked on trail mix throughout the day, and did have a treat in a chocolate bar after dinner.
It's winding down now, and to be honest, I don't see myself going back to white. Breakfast today was more toast with my oat bread and coffee. Lunch would be stewed peas and brown rice, and dinner, barbecued chicken with more pita bread. I didn't have time for anything fancier, as I was under pressure at work.
This was the last day of my diet and I didn't really crave anything I had not been eating because I had just substituted. Breakfast today was a fruit salad, and some granola and yoghurt. Lunch was a hearty red peas soup with wheat dumplings, and dinner was ackee and saltfish with breadfruit.
Next morning when I weighed myself I was down four pounds — ending the week at 137. This was amazing, because I hadn't even made any attempt at real portion control, or done any exercise, apart from walking to do errands. Now I realise that processed foods add so much weight! I also realised that as the week progressed I was also more alert and active and just generally felt good about myself.
Next project: cutting out dairy.
Debbi Spence, a mother of two with a community natural juicing business, is currently studying for a master's degree in nutrition & dietetics.
Have you managed to transform your body through weight gain or weight loss? Want to share your story with us? E-mail allwoman@ jamaicaobserver.com