A couple weeks back I decided to go cold turkey with lattes. And I announced it on Instagram. I was on a mission to reduce the amount of sugar, dairy and soy in my life. And address the fact that I was drinking 3 large lattes a day. Friends reached out to me, actually appalled at my decision. Saying things like, “you are your latte.”
But I wanted to do this for my health. Much of my nutrition schooling at the moment is really analyzing day to day food logs. I was shocked at how many calories I was consuming with these each day, Upwards of 900 calories some days.
Let’s be real though, by day 2, I was miserable. I was lost. I’m not even trying to be dramatic. This was really hard. To help address my suffering, my friend suggested I try oat milk. Luckily, I loved it! Literally loved. No sugar needed. No dairy, no soy. Win, Win.
So cold turkey on Day 1, to 1 oat milk latte on Day 2, 3 & 4…still a major cleanse from what I was doing even though I failed at cold turkey.
Day 4 was a Saturday. (Obv I didn’t start this on a Monday.) My husband and I were going to take my daughter to the park for a sunset swing session down the shore. She loves the swings. I thought, oh I’d love a latte to take to the park. But, I refused, I had already had my 1 oat milk latte that morning. Not happily though. I refused in true Nicole martyr style, really believing I “needed” to do this and analyzing it at nausea with my poor husband.
Day 5, Sunday, I caved and have a second latte, it’s Sunday I justified, a day of rest. I choose whole milk, again justifying that it’s really the soy milk that’s the biggest issue for me. I’m still very much cleansing. And I was…
For the next couple work days, (Days 6-9) I went strong with 1 small oat milk latte a day. I tried to make the trip to get it strategic. I tried to drink it at a time when I would enjoy every sip at my desk, instead of having it while running around the studio prepping for a show barely noticing I was drinking it.
By 10 Day, I broke down and had a soy latte in the afternoon. It way Day 10 and I felt like I had learned enough in the past 10 days to end this cleanse. I was actually proud of myself and felt like the cleanse was helpful and necessary. This was extremely eye opening for me.
- Lesson 1: Removing one thing from my life completely is extreme dieting. For me, extreme dieting ALWAYS stems from the need for extreme control. If I need control in 1 area of my life that means I feel out of control in another. That other area is where I should focus my attention.
- Lesson 2: I can work on building ways to incorporate my favorite things in a way that doesn’t go against my health goals. My morning meal is now an oat milk latte with a banana. For me, the oat milk latte is enough calories and nutrients for the morning meal. By choosing a healthier latte that I enjoy, I make it part of my meal. Most afternoons, I have been having 1 soy or whole milk latte. Instead of also eating a snack at that time, a co-worker introduced me to high fiber crackers which are low calories and I get the added health benefit of fiber. For me, they work perfectly at that time. In doing this, the calories in the latte fit into my day better than the excess they were before.
- Lesson 3: Let myself love food. Food is love. I realized that so much of my joy in life is centered around this latte, sounds pathetic, but it’s actually not. I’m someone who’d rather meet a friend for coffee then a drink. I love the vibe of a cozy coffee shop. I love how my nephew often takes a ride me to get coffee summer mornings. I love how my husband and I will take a walk with our daughter to get coffee in the city we live in. I love how I do some of my best writing with a fresh latte at my desk. I love how some of my breaks at work with co-workers are to get coffee and just talk about life outside of work. I like how I make people happy when I show up to their house with coffee. It’s ok to let plans be around food. It’s ok to see how much certain traditions and happiness is centered around food.
- Lesson 4: Remove the shame and guilt. We eat and drink so many things throughout the day and every bite is swallowed with shame. Every calorie is consumed with guilt. When you change the way you eat these foods and you will change the way you feel when you eat them. Once I made lattes a part of my day in a healthy way, I grind that guilt right out of my life. (pun intended)
- Lesson 5: Everyone eats and drinks for different reasons. I learned the lattes were never about the energy for me. I never had a headache from cutting back on the caffeine. I never “needed” them, I wanted them. That’s a big thing to think about in your own life.
- Lesson 6: A cleanse looks different on everyone. There is no one size fits all when you’re trying to cut back, lose weight, or feel better. You have to design your own plan.
So maybe it’s cheese for you, or candy or soda or wine or chocolate or ice cream….whatever it is, there is something that you love, that you are giving too much power to. And you’re blaming it for all your failed weight loss attempts. You’ve probably said to yourself, “If I could just stop eating (insert food) then I’ll lose the weight. But maybe try analyzing this food with a microscope and then finding a way to keep it in your life. In my opinion, that will probably get you closer to your health goals than removing it completely.
So did I lose any weight?! Don’t know, I threw my scale out in a fit of rage a couple days prior to this….BUT… that’s a story for another day 😉