It was very challenging in phase I having to steer clear of dairy, wheat, soy and sweeteners. This diet has made me appreciate how lucky I am (or was *keeping my fingers crossed*) to be able to eat these foods. Phase II has been a bit of an adjustment after 21 days on the elimination phase, it’s been weird having to make an effort to plan and pack a specific food group for at least two meals for three days. Although I initially thought the hard part was going to be the elimination phase, I now feel like the hard part is knowing that at the end of this phase I may have to make a lifestyle change. That’s a big deal. And I’m not sure if I’m ready for the results yet.
When it came time for me to reintroduce soy, I decided to go with soy snacks. I went to Ying Ying Soy Foods in St. Lawrence Market and bought tofu bacon and smoked baked tofu. I liked them both but I think the smoked baked tofu would be best in a sandwich. I had my first tofu sandwich at The Beet a couple summers back and it was very tasty, which drove me to search for smoked tofu in Toronto and Ying Ying Soy Foods popped up. What I love about it, is that it’s already flavoured and ready to eat straight from the package (organic and non-gmo). Bonus: You can try out samples before buying. 🙂
The weekend of February 13/14 has been set aside for Lunar New Year Hot pot dinner since Christmas. It’s one of the major reasons why I wanted to start the diet right away, so I could be in the reintroduction phase by this time. Thankfully, it worked out. When I gave up red meat, I decided to also give it all up – turkey, chicken and fish.
For my first meal, I made stir fried glass noodles with soy sauce, red peppers, cabbage and pork. It was good and a nice change from brown rice.
The next day (February 13), I went out to T cafe and had a tea marinated chicken panini. As I was eating it, I realized that this was the first bite of chicken I’ve had since the last week of December or first week of January. Unreal. I felt a little foolish for even forgetting and not really savouring that first bite. It was also my first sandwich/panini (white flour) in a long time. I had to hold off on the cheese and the mayo though but I didn’t really notice the difference because of the creamy avocado.
That night, we had our hot pot dinner: beef, lamb, chicken, sweet potato, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, glass noodles… Delicious! So worth the wait. I have to admit, I let myself overeat a little. I’ll make up for it this week.
I thought about this phase for a while. I bought a bag of chocolate chip vegan cookies by New Moon Kitchen. I savoured every bite – it was chewy and full of sugary and chocolate goodness. It felt really strange to be having a sugary food item. The sweetest foods I’ve been having lately is sweet potato or almond butter. How did I last without sweets for so long? Sheer mental willpower. Before this diet started, I had hot water and honey almost every day. No expresso’s, coffee, lattes, sodas for me. Just plain hot water and honey or tea will do just fine. I must confess. Ever since I’ve reintroduced sweeteners I have had a hard time resisting the urge to devour cookies (when all this time I’ve been missing cake). Mostly because it’s easier to find cookies that meet my criteria at the moment (dairy free, egg free).