Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The ELEM-6 Diet, Part-13a: Eat Anything at All!

I'd like to chime in on what Lauren wrote below. She mentioned movie popcorn and how she adjusted/compensated for that intentional indulgence. This brings up a couple of very important points I'd like to expand upon. The ELEM-6 Diet has no restrictions whatsoever on what you eat! It only coaches you to be intentional and purposeful about your choices and to eat only a reasonable amount (not rocket science!) of whatever it is, making thought-out adjustments to subsequent meals and/or exercise as compensation. I find this approach very liberating while also encouraging me to be totally responsible for--and mindful of--how much I eat and the amount of exercise needed to match my eating decisions. This is why the ELEM-6 Diet will train you into a way of eating and exercise that you can adopt as a permanent lifestyle--one you've made your very own and are content with. Here I feel compelled to say once more that you can do these mental "calculations"we've alluded to without any calorie counting or complicated formulas. When you become aware of what you are eating, and in what amounts, then you will just know, "I'lll need to eat a little less than usual next meal to adjust for that cookie" or, "I'll need some extra walking tomorrow to offset that muffin." Needless to say, we are not talking about out-of-control binging here, just the normal little indulgences we all will intelligently and intentionally choose from time to time.

Two more points: First, yes, I really do eat whatever I feel like--cheesecake, rocky road ice cream (my favorite!) bread (don't get me started telling you of my love affair with bread!) or just any food I'd like. I just EL! When the birthday cake (mmm...the kind with layers of raszzberry filling) is passed around, I don't make any big deal by saying, in martyr fashion "no thank you, none for me, it's not on my diet." I just go cut my own little slice (Yes, it looks a lonely and rather pathetic little thing, that dinky little sliver being so small (especially if the plates are big).  Nonetheless, I really so enjoy the wonderful sensation afforded me by those two or three bites. I've learned to live with this restriction and not even feel sorry for myself. The silver lining (or perhaps I should say sliver lining) here is that this makes things taste even better and helps me enjoy them even more than when I'd eat two (or three!) big pieces! Since I've allowed myself such a precious little serving, I am very mindful to savor it to the fullest. This is the new way of thinking you will find yourself adopting as you practice the EL part of the plan. Oh--and don't forget the silver-est lining of all--day 7!

The second point: Although I eat whatever I want, I have adjusted the percentage of those foods in my overal eating habits. This is necessary if, like me, are a starchy-food fanatic. I mentioned above my love affair with bread. I think this may have been sparked in me at an early age when my great grandmother would come to our house and make homemade bread. I'd arrive home from grade school and open the door to be enveloped by the warmpth of the kitchen and the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread. Her timing was impeckable. When I walked in the door she was just slicing off the heal (my favorite) and she'd slather it with real butter and place it in my anxious little third-grade hand. To die for! Oh,, I see I've gotten carried away. Ahem... yes, "adjusted the percentage..." As I was saying, I've cut back on the bread, pasta and rice and greatly increased the greens, fruits and fiber. Let me explain. Under the rubric of the ELEM-6 Diet, I could very well have kept eating all those starchy foods but I would have had to EM--enough more--to compensate. Possible theoretically, but I don't have 3 or 4 hours to exercise in the morning, I only have about an hour-and-a-half. So, I made a reasonable compromise and changed the composition of my daily diet. Simple as that. I'll tell you more about this--and give you some helpful details--in the days ahead. For now, just remember to begin to be intentional and mindful about the food choices you make. You are in control here and you can do this!

I just love wind chimes and find them enchanting.


  1. Have kept the healthy breakfast foods, healthy snacks and healthy lunch. Have ridden bikes two days in a row now and know pitfall is dinner. Healthier choices, but not correcting portions. Knowledge is power, and will work on this. Also- not having dessert every night. I need to go buy a scale though.

  2. Way to go Beth! Part of my portion control is a mind game - smaller plate.

  3. Just the fact that youu are aware of things is great and going to help assure your success. I like that you are "reporting in" in a way by what you write. This sort of accountability--first to one's self and then to another--is really helpful too. Keep up the good work!
    PS--I know about dinners--they used to be my downfall too. Like Lauren said: smaller plate. Put one moderate serving on it and just accept that seconds are not going to happen. Have a yogurt or apple for dessert.