I wake up most mornings ready to start eating healthy, and get that bikini bod I want, but on this particular Monday morning I decided to try not eating bread for a week. Just to see what happens because why not? People do no-carb diets, people eat gluten-free, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
But on day one breakfast, already I was struggling. I went in for my usual bowl of yogurt with Grapenuts and sliced bananas, but took pause to think if Grapenuts were considered bread. I know that they’re healthier and at least less bread-y than Nature Valley’s granola, but I wasn’t sure if they are created by wheat. Another problem I had was that the usual lunch destination for my friends and I on campus is mainly a deli bar, with delicious ciabatta rolls, which was one of the many things I had to avoid over the course of the week. Since this specific week was Passover, I had a few bowls of subpar matzah ball soup, but I was wrong in eating that because unleavened bread is still bread.
I gained some knowledge from my gluten-free friend, who said that rice and potatoes aren’t considered bread because gluten-free people can eat them. So I ate a lot of rice-based items including Rice Chex, rice cakes and Special K. But this information led me to the realization that my new diet was too broad. Am I eating gluten-free? Am I not eating carbs? I would say that not eating carbs is the goal, shedding pounds and living a healthier lifestyle is always where I’m aiming to get, but this week showed me how hard that is. I like to eat, and carbohydrates are, in my mind, everywhere. It leads to a pretty boring diet. A friend of mine who did the whole no-carbs thing last summer, mentioned that I could still eat meat (my mom used to say I was going to turn into a chicken nugget because of how much chicken I ate -- it’s a personal favorite), dairy products and vegetables and that the vegan options in our school’s dining halls cater to the lifestyle I was trying. The thing is, I’m a picky eater. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I still judge food by the way it looks -- not the best habit to have.
Anyway, the beginning of my week went by pretty well in terms of sticking to the diet. I made sure that everyone I came in contact with knew about my temporary eating habit. I even ordered chicken parmesan without the bread from the campus café, which took a little explaining on my part. When Thursday came, so did a visit from my dad, and I thought it would be hard to find no-bread items when we went out to eat, but I stayed strong and didn't eat the warm bread that was placed on our table and ordered a salad.
This way of eating also kept me from getting my favorite jumbo blueberry muffins from one of the cafés on campus as well as the asiago bagels. I was proud of myself for not giving in to those temptations. But by the time Friday came along, I was ready to fall back into my usual eating pattern -- bread very much included. The dining hall had grilled cheeses and tomato soup, a combination that is not offered frequently.
I think I will retry my half-assed attempt during the summer, when I can control what eating options are offered in my house and therefore be better prepared to tackle the no-carb challenge.