What Happened When I Started Eating Salad for Breakfast
Salad for Breakfast
A healthy diet change
I need to preface a few things before I let you in on the GREAT results I found after I started eating salad for breakfast. For almost eight months now, I have attempted to eat very little refined sugar and very few refined carbs?
See, over a year ago, my father had some terribly painful digestive problems that doctors could not diagnose. He was in excruciating pain, and there seemed to be nothing he could do about it. Finally, his oncologist sent him to a holistic doctor. This was the best thing that ever happened to my dad.
His new holistic doctor immediately recommended that he switch to a paleo diet. This was a HUGE change for both my parents. My mom was spending hours in the kitchen making EVERYTHING from scratch. What happened next was crazy. My parents started losing weight at a rapid pace AND after two weeks, my father's pain was gone. After months of recommendations and a very painful biopsy, two weeks of a wholesome and healthy diet healed my father.
Salad for breakfast
Pregnancy and a Gestational Diabetes test
I was pregnant with my second son when all this happened with my dad. I went in for my routine one hour gestational diabetes test. What happened? I failed it! (by only three points, but alas, I failed it.)
I IMMEDIATELY changed my diet. I didn't go hard core paleo, but I cut out all refined sugar and refined carbs. I was 22 weeks pregnant and losing weight. Kind of crazy. Please know I was still eating PLENTY of food. I went in my doctor's to retake my gestational diabetes test and I passed with exceptionally flying colors after three weeks of new eating habits.
A Nursing Mom stuck in a Rut
So where am I now? I'm stuck. I'm nursing, and I can't get the baby weight off as fast as I would like. With the help of my husband, I have cut out all refined carbs and refined sugars again. We've been at it for almost fifteen days now, and I just wasn't seeing the change on the scale that I was hoping for.
I needed to change something. With the warmer weather, I was walking more. I was trying to be ultra disciplined at home between meals, but I'm a horrible grazer. I stay at home with the kids, and during the long afternoons, I easily head to the kitchen for unnecessary snacks.
I NEEDED TO CHANGE SOMETHING. I ALWAYS eat oatmeal for breakfast. Oatmeal out of the canister with milk, a little butter, a little honey, and a little salt. I love it with a cold glass of milk.
This is a pretty high calorie breakfast, but it's oatmeal, right? Oatmeal is supposed to be healthy. That's when I started thinking...
Vegetables are really probably what I need to add to my diet. I see so many varying opinions on whether dairy is good for you, and I see lots of articles on whether grains are good for you or toxic to your body. Forever will we see the debate on whether or not meat is healthy to eat.
What does everyone seem to agree on? Everyone seems to agree on the fact that vegetables are healthy for our bodies and most of us don't eat enough of them!
I decided to see what would happen if I ate salad for breakfast for five days straight.
Romaine lettuce for breakfast
I love eating salads. I was laying in bed the night before thinking how great of a salad I would make for breakfast. I would use a heart of Romaine lettuce, a tomato, half an avocado, five pieces of bacon, and a little cottage cheese to act as the dressing.
I woke up that morning and poured my coffee. First things first, coffee does not go with salad. All the sudden eating salad for breakfast does NOT sound near as tastey as it did the day before. But, I decided I was going to do this. I set to work chopping my Romaine. I ate a nice hearty salad for breakfast.
What happened on day one? I forgot to eat lunch. I stunned myself. I am usually back in the kitchen by 10:30 in the morning fixing lunch because I am so hungry. I guess my hefty salad held me over a little longer than my usual oatmeal.
I also noticed I had a little lull of energy in the afternoon. Since going off refined carbs and refined sugars, I have had way more energy again. I was surprised when I turned up a bit sleepy in the afternoon. I am not sure if it had anything to do with eating a salad for breakfast or not, but I wondered if it was because I had not had any starches that day.
Salad for Breakfast
My husband told me I should just eat the oatmeal again. He was a bit concerned about me getting enough calories since I am nursing our three month old. I told him to take a look at my waistline...I am getting plenty of calories. Plus, I was down TWO POUNDS from the previous morning. (Yes, right now I am weighing myself every morning and writing it down. It's not an obsession, but I want to track how I am doing for the time being. I want to see a downward trend.) I had broken through a threshold I hadn't seen since before being pregnant. I rushed to the kitchen to make my salad for the second day in a row...hoping my salad made me lose more weight the following morning.
Day two was a bit tricky since it was a rough day at home with the kids. I ended up eating four, yes FOUR, of my homemade almond joys. (Chocolate always helps a stressed out mother.) Even when eating salad for breakfast, it's going to be hard to lose weight when I eat four almond joys in one day. Maybe it will all even out since we had salad with grilled chicken on it for dinner.
I couldn't believe when I had lost another .2 of a pound when I weighed myself on day three. I really was very very pleasantly surprised. Another .2 of a pound was motivation to make another salad!
I, once again, had my Romaine lettuce with a tomato, half an avocado, five pieces of bacon, some cottage cheese, and a little salt and pepper.
I had to drink my coffee after eating my salad because the two just don't mix well.
I kind of felt like my salad failed me when I found myself pretty hungry around 10:00 that morning. I snacked a little before eating lunch around 11:30. I find myself with PLENTY of energy in the mornings. Is this a result of eating salad for breakfast? I'm not sure. Maybe I had good sleep the night before. I am not sure for all the reasons as I continue on my food journey, but I am finding myself very productive each morning after starting my day with a salad.
Eating vegetables for breakfast
This was the first day I almost broke my 'salad for breakfast' fiasco. I don't mind the taste right now, but I am getting tired of the preparation each morning. If I had planned better, I should have cut all the lettuce and cooked all the bacon on the first day. Instead I've been cooking and chopping every morning.
I held steady on the scale today. I've lost 2.2 pounds since I started my salad eating three days ago. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'm pretty happy with that change!
Today I was ready for a change in the salad. Instead of using cottage cheese on top, I used a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese and made a homemade olive oil based dressing.
Once again, on day four's morning, I had more energy than expected. The night before had been a bit long with both kids up multiple times, and I had expected to hit a lull, but I felt good. Maybe the salad? This week I have also been able to wake up much easier than usual.
During the afternoon, though, I noticed another pitfall as a result of eating salad for breakfast. I noticed that I had almost no energy. I thought back on my day realizing I had eaten salad for breakfast and two fried eggs for lunch. This was a reminder I need to eat fruit, carrots, or some other form of natural carbs or sugars to keep some energy up.
This was my last day of eating salad for breakfast. It was a tough one for me because it was Saturday morning. Saturday mornings are meant for eating pancakes and sausage for breakfast.
I weighed myself again on the morning of day five, and I was quite motivated to go eat that last salad after seeing I lost a whole pound again! I really couldn't believe it. I had lost 3.2 pounds in five days making one small change in life.
I was thankful this was the last day of chopping lettuce at 7:00 in the morning.
Since this was some pretty rapid weight loss, I expect to see some fluctuation on the scale, but I was so thankful to see some results. I will be continuing on my journey of healthy eating and exercising...and trying to get some of the baby weight off!
Greens for breakfast
Conclusions: What did I achieve by eating salad for breakfast for five days?
1. Eating salad for breakfast for five days helped me shed a few pounds quickly and keep me motivated on a path to healthy eating. This was what I was hoping for, and I achieved my goal.
2. When I started my day with salad, I had a stronger drive to eat healthy all day. I didn't want to 'ruin' my healthy start.
3. When I ate salad for breakfast, I needed to consciously eat some fruit or healthy snack around 10:30 to keep my energy up. Eating only vegetables and meat can leave me feeling a bit lethargic.
4. I found myself with extra energy most days. This could be a result of eating the salads for breakfast, but I think it has more to do with a low carb and low sugar diet overall.
5. My mind has been opened to the many possibilities of breakfast options. I don't have to eat oatmeal or cereal. Or bagels. Or muffins. Or any of the other high sugar options most commonly eaten for breakfast.
I think eating salad for breakfast was a healthy change. Am I going to stick with it? I found a number of advantages to eating salad for breakfast, but I don't think I'll continue eating it every morning. Maybe everyone once in a while when I get stuck in a weight loss rut, this will be a good challenge again.
Let me know what your favorite healthy options are for breakfast!