Breaking up with carbs? We’ve all heard of it, wondered, thought about trying it, maybe stuck to it for a couple days but eventually just came to the realization that carbs are life. Am I wrong? Didn’t think so. This strict diet plan is more than just about eating less tortilla chips. It’s a very real commitment that requires effort and a whole lot of will power. Before doing research for this article, I never thought it was possible, mainly because pasta, (don’t judge, it’s usually whole grain), is an essential part of my diet… but I thought it would be a great idea to actually try it out this time, just to see how far I could go and if it was really worth it.
The day before beginning my detox, I ate four whole wheat cheese wraps and a bowl of Chinese fried rice. Excessive I know. I really wanted to get it out of my system. Then I hid my jars of rice and packs of pasta in a far away pantry and took a long deep breath. “You can do it,” I said to myself, “bikini season is coming”.
After only one week of not eating carbs and struggling with hunger-induced mood swings, I realized I was just not doing it right. It was literally torture. Yes, I had lost some weight but I began doing something very unusual: every time I got hungry, (when I would usually eat tortilla chips with hummus or a honey turkey wrap from my favorite deli), I would make myself eat yogurt or fruit or drink large quantities of iced coffee, instead of actually trying to cook something healthy and carb-less. Clearly, I wasn’t taking this seriously, I was just doing it for the research, so I decided to bring out my recipe stash, (and by that I mean Google), turn on Chopped and try again.
This time it was not torture, but I did have to wake up about an hour earlier every day in order to give myself time to prep something worth eating. Doing this, I – not a fan of cooking – found myself constantly searching for healthy carb-less recipes online and calling my mom to ask her about cooking times for vegetables and tips on how to make a good stew. It was honestly a whole new world. Yes, it took more time and effort but it was also so much more satisfying, and made me want to improve in every aspect of my life. I began drinking more water, sticking to my gym routine, turning down sugary cocktails at Williamsburg bars, I even stopped pressing the “snooze” button on my alarm in the morning. It turns out that when you make a real effort to keep your body healthy, your mind catches up, and soon, everything becomes easier.
At the end of the two weeks I realized that – as much as I love garlic bread and a good pasta – I don’t need them as much as I thought I did. Without them I felt lighter, and I don’t just mean weight. I felt more awake, more active and more determined. I felt in control.
My conclusion after this whole ordeal was that much of the reason as to why people are so afraid of letting go of carbs is because it is just so easy not to. Everywhere you go, carbs are at your disposal. They are filling, they are tasty, they are very affordable and they’re easy. If you’re a city native, like me, you understand that a 24-hour day is not enough for you to accomplish all of your daily tasks. Spending busy weeks in the office, days running through crowded Manhattan streets and hours typing emails at a hundred miles per hour, the last thing you want to worry about is what you’re going to eat for lunch every day. I get it, you want your lunch to be fast, convenient and filling; hence the classic carb addiction. I don’t blame you, mostly because just two weeks ago, I couldn’t even imagine a life without my late night pasta… but it’s possible, and it’s worth it.
You owe it to yourself to live a healthier life. It is not about dieting, it’s not even about getting slimmer… (although that motivation does help)… it’s about feeling alive and well, both inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, you should certainly enjoy a good croissant once in a while, but just for fun, try and feel what’s it like to live without it. Join our challenge and begin your wellness detox by breaking up with carbs. You can do it!