Less Waist = Less Waste (The No Wheat, No Dairy Method)
Last July, I got the scale and it said “195″. Ouch. I’m only 5’5″. Double ouch.
I realized that the last two and year of taking care on one dying and one ill parent had done a real number on my health.
And that number was staring back in my face with its evil red LED years: 195…195…195…
I felt like a sledgehammer had hit the top of my head. ‘Cause I’d done it again- I’d let the needs of other people take precedence over my own health, and I’d stress- eaten my way up to a size 18. So, it was time to muster the forces that I knew would work: no more dairy and no more wheat.
I knew this would work, because I’d gone on wheat and dairy fast before: the first time, out of curiosity to see if I felt better, and the second, when I’d hit 183 pounds at a different time in my life. And while I do not have an allergy per se to either, what I did discover is that if I keep wheat and dairy out of my life-and I mean totally out, not just cutting down- that I lose weight immediately.
So- I have now on my twenty-first week of no wheat, no dairy and exercising five days a week. I have lost 30 pounds (I am at 165) , two dress sizes (Was 18, now am 14 and that’s getting loose) and gained no weight back during the Thanksgiving Holidays and so far, not yet this Xmas season.
And my garbage box and recycling bins have lost weight, too.
Yep! Who knew? Who knew that about a third of my overall refuse was coming from food products made with wheat and dairy? Can you guess what types of things are now NOT in my trash anymore?
-No more pizza boxes
-No more plastic cheese wrappers
-No more plastic cookie wrappers
-No more ice cream cartons
-No more butter wrappers
-No more pre-packaged frozen food boxes
-No more flour bags
-No more flour tortilla plastic bags
-No more cake or cookie or [pastry bags, boxes, whatever
-A heck of a lot less coffee cups (soy lattes are OK, but not as enticing as milk ones, so I drink a lot less)
-A heck of a lot less cracker wrappers (see plastic diet page)
-No more jam jars, either plastic or glass (what good is jam without bread to put it on?)
-A whole heck of a lot less packaging, period.
I now have entire sections of the store I don’t look twice at anymore. Like they say: I shop the perimeters of the store, where the fresh food in and don’t deal with all that packaged junk anymore.
Now, here’s where it gets more personal, but even more interesting:
-A whole heck of a lot less medical waste, waste meaning ointment tubes, Miralax, eczema ointment, etc.
You see the chronic constipation I suffered since forever? IT’S GONE.
Since eschewing wheat and dairy, I haven’t had to take a single dose of mineral oil, Miralax, or any other “de-jammer” in nearly five months! So that means, that those bottles and jars need not be purchased and therefore, not put into the waste stream.
The life-long eczema I’ve suffered? 90% GONE.
I haven’t had to use any of my prescription ointment, either. And the summer of 2010- weighing in the upper 180′s and HOT all the time, I was going through TUBS of anti-cream. Both prescription and over the counter. (Now I am *cold* all the time!)
Today I went through my medicine chest, and between the unused laxative stuff and unused skin stuff, I was able to pitch (ok- recycle@ yes!) about a 1/4 to a third of the stuff in there. (plus the usual end-of year expired meds) And my goal is to never have to buy that stuff again.
I’ve also averted Type 2 Diabetes. Yep- that was the “triple-ouch” part: my blood test came back pre-diabetic in July as well. Think of the medical waste that would increase in my life if I were to have to take insulin or other diabetic meds.
I am sure you are all wondering, well, what on earth IS Deb eating if she can’t eat wheat or dairy?
The answer is: lots and lots and LOTS of fresh, unpackaged fruits and vegetable grown LOCAL if possible, soy milk, local goat milk,(in glass bottles, 1005 recyclable) nut butters, humus, olives, and yes. Fish, poultry and occasional red meat.
Here’s where the purists will argue with me about “waste”- and they are right in that it takes a whole lot of grain, water, acreage, time, etc to feed cows that only provide a small amount back. Less so with pigs, chickens, fish, etc.
But given the amount of processed SUGAR and CORN SYRUP I was ingesting in my former wheat life (when’s the last time *you* ate flour straight out of the bag?)- well, these things also have a climate impact- sugar cane fields, for one, are notorious for worker abuse, high maintenance, and then all the fuel to import the stuff to the USA.
And the processing and packaging plastics, papers, wrappers and other stuff- you can carry a bunch of carrots directly in you hands, but not so much with sour cream or the likes. The cream has got to be contained in *something*.
I’ll take a local, cage-free, happy chicken over that.
But the other thing to consider is that though I eat fish and meat, I don’t need to eat much to feel sated. Sausages of any kind are my favorite- one my staple meals is half a chicken & something sausage, with two to three different kinds of cooked vegetables. And I don’t need meat at every meal: it’s usually just one, with the rest of the day being fruits and salads.
Anyway- I have noticed a huge difference in my size, my clothes, my energy, my hunger levels, my spirit…and to have less packaging to deal with just… well, it just takes the cake! (away from me, that is!)
It could be that I can start eating less and less meat at some future point-it is, after all the one area in which I haven’t discovered a good source of plastic-free packaging, thus there is waste being created there.
But like we say one step at a time. Right now my meat, fish and poultry consumption is keeping me NOT feeling hungry all the time, whereas when I ate less meat, more wheat, I was “starving” all the time. I eat a meal and I feel stated for hours, rather than minutes.
And hey! I still get to eat French fries. Not that I do it a lot, but I do it sometimes!
And chocolate. I get to eat small amounts of extra dark chocolate. Yum! Though I am aware that anything other than shade grown, Fair Trade chocolate has its own negative impact on the planet…but that is a subject for a different post.
So, here’s where I am. Realizing that what’s currently working for my waistline is also lightening the load of my “waste line” (yes- in more ways than one!)
Again, who knew?
P.S. Don’t forget to check out the “Little ZENN Car” music video in the previous post! It’s all about my little electric car!