Seventeen Days.

I haven’t eaten bread in over a week.

I know, it sounds crazy. Particularly for the people who know me well. I am, among many things, a bread eater. Sandwich bread, rolls, biscuits, flatbread, tortillas … I love just about any kind of bread. So when I write that I haven’t eaten bread in over a week, you should take notice.

The Reader and I have started a new diet. We decided that we were tired of feeling sluggish, lethargic and downright lazy all the time, and that we were also tired of the weight that neither one of us could really seem to lose. Not to mention that our energy levels stood in direct contrast to our toddler’s, who can generally be found bouncing off walls and attempting to dance on ceilings.

Extremes were called for — so we called them in.

We started with clean eating — removing all of the preservatives and chemical additives from our daily diet and eating as many whole foods as possible. But we needed something a little stricter to really get the ball rolling. That’s where the 17-Day Diet came in.

It’s been exciting so far. I have eaten more fruits and vegetables in the last week than I have probably eaten in the last year. I’ve started to include, broccoli, green and red peppers, and onions into my diet, plus a few fruits that had rarely touched my lips until now. This diet is forcing me to expand my palette a bit, and I’m finding ways to make things that I would have previously thought inedible taste, well, pretty damn good.

As far as the diet itself, my wife is more of an expert than I am. After all, she’s actually read the book; I am still behind in that area. However, that is not to say that I don’t know the basics. Thus far, I know that the first phase of it involves eating primarily fruits and vegetables, occasionally supplementing them with lean meats like chicken, turkey or fish. Starchy vegetables like corn or peas are out, as is bread, processed sugar or anything you can’t pronounce. Yogurt is still in, as are eggs in limited amounts. Low-fat cheeses are okay, too. After 17 days, the diet shifts into another phase, which expands the fruits and vegetables available to you and re-introduces grains in a limited capacity. The third phase expands the menu even further, and the final phase provides the blueprint for maintaining the results you’ve achieved while re-introducing your favorite not-so-healthy foods in moderation. As I understand it, the point of the first phase is to kind of “reboot” your body and get it back on a healthier track. And I can honestly say that it is working. I feel completely different.

Also, I’ve lost ten pounds in under a week. Amazing what happens when you cut soda and Taco Bell out of your life for a while. Ha.

I am discovering a whole new world. And I have my lovely wife — and her desire to keep me alive and healthy — to thank for it.

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About [rlh]

Ryan L. Haddock is an aspiring writer, emphasis on the "aspiring." He mostly writes short stories, but that is only because he doesn't seem to have the attention span necessary to write a novel. At least, not yet. He is also a husband and a father . . . yet he is still struggling valiantly against the notion that he has to grow up. View all posts by [rlh]

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