Need. Whole. Foods.

I wish I had kept a food journal (or at least blogged) during the time that I lost so much weight. What I recall about that period is that I was so disciplined in my eating habits -- what I ate, when I ate, portion control, etc. I was never tempted by sweets or second servings. I'm definitely not as disciplined these days and it would be nice to have had a record of my thought process and feelings from that time, which leads me to this post.

This past weekend I had an epiphany - a breakthrough of sorts.

As you know, I'm refraining from eating refined sugar this month. Along those same lines, I've loosely tried to not to eat processed foods. I've been doing so well and haven't really had any temptations until the past weekend. It was full of birthday dinners and Championship Sunday. In other words, lots of opportunities to "fall off the wagon" and over indulge.

My aunt turned 71 young last Friday. She wears Citizens of Humanity Jeans, Ugg boots and shops in the tbd and Savvy departments at Nordstrom. We all want to be her when we grow up. Anyhow, here's how the weekend went down:

Friday

Turning 71 was cause for celebration so I took her out to dinner at a restaurant of her choice. We ate at Outback Steakhouse where I haven't dined in years. Turns out they have a gluten-free menu so I ordered a grilled 7 oz. sirloin steak, baked sweet potato and steamed vegetables without the seasoning (it has gluten). The baked sweet potato was the best I've ever tasted and I even asked the kitchen how they made it. I walked out of the restaurant not overly stuffed for a change and very happy with my meal.

Saturday

After my long run I had some baked chicken and rice for lunch followed by a green smoothie (still obsessed with them). Historically I always overindulged on crap food after a long run so I considered this a win.

That evening I joined the rest of the family my aunt's official birthday dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (again, her choice). It's another restaurant I haven't eaten at in years and remembered why. We had to 90+ minute for a table, and then the service was so slow. We spent almost four hours there - it sucked the life out of me.

They do not have a gluten-free menu so I had to improvise. I ordered edamame for an appetizer, then potatoes, a garden salad (no dressing) and a protein-style Kobe burger (no bun) for dinner. While everyone else got stuffed on bread and other appetizers I was able to finish my meal and avoid a food coma.

Sunday

I went into Sunday feeling pretty good about my weekend eating so far. Instead of cooking a ton of food for the football games we ordered sushi takeout. We picked up our order then stopped for frozen yogurt. I wasn't tempted to get any, but I did feel sad that I wouldn't have something sweet to eat later. We asked them if I could have a cup of fruit toppings with sliced almonds:

"Dessert": Fresh Fruit with Sliced Almonds
"Dessert": Fresh Fruit with Sliced Almonds

It was one of the best "desserts" I've ever had. I'll be replicating this at home.

After the 49ers clinched the NFC title we celebrated...with baked corn tortilla chips and fresh pico de gallo. I can never say no to chips and salsa and overindulged - big time. I spent the rest of the night feeling sick to my stomach. All I wanted was real food. I normally don't eat this late, but when I got home around 9 pm that evening I made myself a green smoothie and ate an apple. It was the only thing that made that gross feeling go away.

As I sat on the couch drinking my green smoothie, it hit me.

I've gotten to the point where I only WANT to eat real food. Whole food.

None of this processed junk. Just the thought of it makes me ill.

This was kind of a long tangent to get to my point, but I needed to document this entire experience so I remember. This was not an uncommon weekend for me so I need to be able to remember how it felt so I can refer back to it the next time I'm in a similar situation (like in two weeks at Superbowl Sunday...).