1. Diet Coke
I know what you’re thinking — “But Steph, it’s DIET Coke. Perfect for diets!” Sadly though, you and I both know the truth. Zero calories does not equal zero weird chemicals that I can’t pronounce. For the purposes of this particular diet (or “lifestyle change,” should I be so committed), I’m trying to avoid ingredients that look like my last name ate itself and then vomited. While I miss the mid-afternoon caffeine high, I haven’t slept this well since I was in the womb so, that’s a plus.
2. Drunk Eating
I think if Drunk Eating were an Olympic sport, I wouldn’t even take home the gold — I’d just have my own medal, named after me. I drunk ate a vegan burrito once in the past three weeks, and I woke up feeling like I had a baby whale growing inside of my uterus. That’s been enough to deter me, so far, but there’s something special about guzzling Mexican food right after guzzling beer.
Coffee is widely known as a appetite suppressant, but I figured I’d be better off drinking water instead. As delicious as it is, coffee dehydrates me, throws off my eating schedule, and does weird things to my piss. If I’m legitimately dying for caffeine, I have a green tea instead. As a result, sometimes I make it through entire days without figuring out if I ever woke up that morning or not.
4. Lactaid Pills
I’m lactose intolerant, which means I can’t process most dairy without getting sick. One of the things I nixed when starting this diet was taking pills with god-knows-what in them that unnaturally force my body to process the enzyme it was made to reject. Without the pills, I can’t have any of my favorite drunk foods — namely, lasagna, pizza, non-vegan burritos. I’m stuck with dairy that I can process — yogurt and goat cheese — which are both way healthier than, well, all of the good stuff.
5. Chinese Food
Yeah. Can’t really justify ordering Chinese food anymore, not even items from the “health food” section. But damn, if I don’t miss shoving crab rangoon and scallion pancakes down my pie hole like the apocalypse is coming.
6. Drinking Without Feeling Some Strange, Alcoholic Version Of Catholic Guilt
One flaw to my plan that I can’t seem to correct is the drinking aspect. I can eat all the fresh, organic food I want, but at the end of the day, I have no idea what’s in half the beer I drink. I know that wine has a ton of sugar in it. I know that vodka soda is as low-cal, low-sugar as it gets (from what I’ve heard), but I freaking HATE IT. The only thing I hate more is how aware I am of what I’m doing (or undoing) every time I have a drink.
7. Snacks That Aren’t Fruit Or Nuts
I eat the same “snacks” as a parakeet. Seriously, I might as well go to a pet store to buy munchies from here on out.
8. Not Having To Explain My Meals To People
Nothing gets people talking like bringing a salad in for lunch. How come when I was ordering a burrito every day, no one raised an eyebrow? LOOK AT ME STRANGE FOR THE BURRITO THING.
9. Not Taking Forever To Order Food When Eating Out
I hope I’m not beginning to sound whiny, because ultimately I feel good about eating better and it’s not all that hard. But eating out has become a real mindfuck. It’s like some foodie version of The Price Is Right where I have to guess which of the foods has been processed least. In the time it takes me to figure this out, I may as well have commuted home and made something myself.
10. Eating Right Before Bed
One of my biggest indulgences used to be eating right before passing out so that the calories would sort of sit there in a fugue state with no chance of burning off. I try to eat dinner much earlier now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t long for nachos in bed.