As March began so did my new healthier eating. I started out wanting to simply cut back on my meat and meat byproducts and introduce some healthier alternatives to my dietary staples. After about 2 weeks I had pretty well cut out all white and processed sugars, milk, eggs, cheese and of course meat. I've spent a great deal of time this month trying new recipes and educating myself about the new foods.
Many challenges have emerged, some I was expecting and others were a bit of a surprise. I expected that relearning how to think about food and grocery shopping would be difficult and it certainly has been. I didn't even know what many of these items were, let alone what to do with them, or where to find them. A month in I still feel like there is so much I don't know. But I'm encouraged by the great progress and increased sense of comfort I've gained in such a short amount of time. I expected giving up cheese would be the most difficult change, but it has actually been sugar that was the biggest challenge. I guess I just didn't realize how many "healthy" products actually have a good amount of sugar in them, like spaghetti sauce and peanut butter. I have been unable to even find a cereal without it. Perhaps the biggest surprise challenge has been in eating out. The area I live in has nothing but big chain restaurants and when my husband and I wanted to go out to eat one night I spent an hour online looking at the menus online. I couldn't believe that many of these places didn't have any options that were both healthy and meat free. I had never really paid much attention to the salad options on menus before but when you really look at what is there, they are not at all healthy. Even if you have them remove the meat, you are still looking at too much salt and calories.
One thing that wasn't a challenge but certainly was surprising is how quickly my body became unaccustomed to these meat products. Last week I had taken my migraine rescue medication one day and (as sometimes happens) an hour later my blood sugar dropped and I needed food like right then. I didn't really have anything ready or easy except my husband's cereal. So I had a bowl of frosted mini-wheats with 1% milk. For the first time ever this cereal tasted ridiculously sweet and the milk made me feel sick to my stomach. I had heard that when you don't normally have meat products and then have some that it will make you sick, but I was surprised that it only took a few weeks for that to happen. Isn't it interesting that you can go years without eating a vegetable, then have one and you are fine. But you can't reintroduce a meat product after only 3 weeks without getting sick.
Overall my body is happy to be consuming such wonderful foods. I have yet to see an impact on my migraines. But my body is happy about these changes so I intend to make the same commitment for April.