Today was hard.

Countdown status: 31 days of elimination diet complete, only 1 more to go (!!!!!!!!) until my first follow up appointment with my functional medicine nutritionist.

Regardless, the elimination diet is still incredibly challenging, especially on days like today. It’s not that I all of a sudden started craving sugar again (that passed around day 18…), or that I was dealing with a massive caffeine withdrawal headache (like at the beginning). Instead, today was hard because I left the house at 7:30am with no hopes of returning before 8:30pm and 13 hours is a longgggg time to be away from your kitchen when on a strict diet.

Elimination / Detox diets take a lot of planning and preparation, don’t get me wrong, but the amount of thinking required when leaving the house for an extended period of time is excessive. Unfortunately, I was tasked with hosting an event for work this evening, and had little time this week to devote to planning out my meals for the day on top of everything else. Thankfully, I’ve been in this spot a few times before, either during this elimination diet or when I was vegan, and I’ve developed a few strategies to combat hunger and avoid the temptation of digging into whatever food is available (tonight it was mini deli sandwiches, a delicious looking fruit bowl, and A LOT of cookies).

First, my most effective strategy so far is using my MediClear Plus shake to my advantage. Though most people drink shakes for breakfast or post-workout, I’ve adapted to using my shake as a meal replacement, regardless of time of day. Instead, I woke up a little earlier this morning and scrambled 2 eggs with 1 ounce of Kite Hill Plain Cream Cheese Style Spread (basically almond milk cream cheese that tastes as good if not better than the real stuff) and 2 tablespoons of avocado. When breakfast is going to be your only opportunity to use a kitchen until 8:30pm, you have to take advantage of it.

Next, I had a mid-morning (ish) snack around 11am: Pink lady apple, 2 brazil nuts, 6 raw almonds, and a beef stick from “Nick’s Sticks.” They cost around $3 a piece, but they’re certainly worth the taste and convenience.

I snacked on a cup of celery and one and a half cups of raw carrots around 1pm, holding off on my oh-so-exciting salad for lunch (2 cups spring mix, 8 kalamata olives, 1 cup edamame, simple dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and dijon mustard) until 3pm.

Our event began at 5:30pm, so after running around and setting up all afternoon, I finally broke out the MediClear Plus shake around 5:15pm. My boss joked that I needed to eat it quickly because it is so unappealing that it will scare off our guests…but it kept me sustained until arriving home at 8:30pm, as I hoped.

I finished off the night with 4 ounces of roasted chicken and 2.5 cups of steamed broccoli and cauliflower with tamari. Oh, and 1.5 teaspoons (plus a few more “tastes”) of almond butter straight from the jar. It’s the only vice I’m allowed, don’t judge. =)

Today was difficult, but manageable. I altered my normal meal plan, took advantage of the time I did have at home, and included healthy, elimination-diet approved fats throughout my day to avoid getting hangry (hungry + angry = not a good look on me). I also tried my best to drink as much water as possible throughout the day, as this often helps control my hunger as well. I can’t say that sneaking one piece of candy or one cookie didn’t cross my mind, but I got through day 31, and that’s all that matters for tonight.

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