UNITED STATES—The impetuous gauntlet of the holidays, with its myriad temptations, makes folks vulnerable to conventional deprivation diets. It’s not even New Years, and people are already breaking this morning’s resolution at this afternoon’s office party. Your goal is simple, your stated aim to attain the body you desire, lose the counterproductive discomfort with yourself, and to feel phenomenally better. What you need is a basic tool to hang onto.
Here it is: Your tool to get through the holidays and maintain your dignity intact is a shamelessly simple list of Don’ts. I am going to give you just two Don’ts; and if you apply them consistently, or at least keep them in mind, that will be success. So open your ears and get ready:
Stay away from milk and bread.
How much more outrageously simple can it be? Stay away from those two “staples” and you won’t have to get your stomach stapled, and you may succeed in your plan to lighten up and come through the holidays proud of yourself.
The simple tactic of staying away from milk and bread is your infra-red goggles when entering the danger zone of feast and family. Despite distractions and enticements, you are pursuing the rigorous aim to lighten up 30 pounds in 30 days; so stick to these two simple dietary preferences:
And let’s expand these to cover no milk and its derivatives; no bread and wheat derivatives.
Ice cream and cheese are out. Of course no cookies and milk, traditionally left out by legions of children as payola for Santa Claus, but you can see for yourself that Santa Claus is on no fast-track to lose 30 pounds in 30 days: he is the rolly-poly portly picture of what happens when you accept cookies and milk from a global village of children, you get cookies-and-milk pot belly!
Good heavens: no pasta, either, no pizza or muffins. Don’t even think about pizza, you can fantasize about it, but don’t think about it. No bread and its derivatives cover pretty much everything—from croutons to cupcakes, mac and cheese beloved by the inner child and hailed as “comfort” food. Look, it already has two strikes against it, sharing ingredients with bread and milk, pasta and cheese, calling out to be spread, piping hot, by fresh dairy butter that liquefies and drenches the macaroni grottos, heaping proscribed item upon proscribed item.
Why eliminate bread and milk? First, for the strictest phase of my personal weight loss, I virtually eliminated milk and bread and their derivatives. Second, they digest sluggishly, approximately 90 minutes to leave the stomach, compared to 15 to 20 minutes for fruits and vegetable, and longer digestion times correspond to more work for your body. Further, in my opinion, bread and milk recall Hamlet’s words about his mother’s illicit love for his uncle: they seemed to grow hungrier by what they fed on.
Spiritual and comical confrere, Jim Carrey, has gone so far as eliminating dairy, wheat and sugar, as well from his diet. He reports feeling incredibly grounded and energetic. He started it as a three-week trial at the recommendation of an acupuncturist. After five years he hasn’t got back. For us, it’s enough to eliminate milk and bread and their derivatives. Even in the plan to lighten up 30 pounds and 30 days we don’t need to tackle the whole magillah. Not yet. There you have the Two Don’ts: No milk and no bread; fruit yes and vegetables yes. Piece of cake—right! Except we’ll be staying away from cake for the time being.
Today I go forth to practice holiday sociability armed by this simple code: veggies and fruits yes; milk and bread, no. To nourish myself with human spirits, that’s our chief daily allowance. Forsaking milk and bread, I may fare best with a cup of wine alone and remain in good spirits inside and out. Cheers!
Humorist Grady Miller is the author of “Lighten Up Now: The Grady Diet,” available on Kindle. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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