My new diet drops April 20.  I haven’t dieted in a long time.  I weighed myself for only probably the fourth time in five or six years over the weekend – but only because we were weighing a box that S carried from IKEA to the car and from the car to the apartment.  It was much heavier than the size or the ease with which he seemed to carry it could have foretold.  I tried to lift it and estimated it was between 80 and 100 pounds.  It was 40.  Add weight to the list of things I am poor at estimating, right below “crowds.”

I know it’s probably sacrilege but I looked at giving up bread and yeast-based products for Passover as a “food challenge.” I haven’t observed the dietary restrictions of Passover since 2005, when I was booked on a Caribbean cruise during Holy Week. This year, I decided I was holding myself to a higher standard.  And I was going to observe the way I used to.

On most days, not including religious holidays, I eat the same things.  But I eat them because I like them.  The Food Emporium brand of Fruit-on-the-Bottom low fat yogurt, a banana, and the Trader Joe’s brand of Nutri-Grain bars – for breakfast.  For lunch, there’s usually an amalgamation of leftovers, salad and tuna, or maybe even some turkey meatballs and red sauce.  For dinner, a veggie burger or a chicken burger, a big salad, sushi on Fridays, Chinese some Sundays.   

The new food plan proposed by Patricia Moreno that I am going to follow for a month isn’t terribly far off from what I eat on a regular basis. Here it is:

1. Eat 3 meals and one snack every day.
2. Don’t skip breakfast
3. Eat every 4 hours
4. Eat until satisfied not stuffed
5. Combine protein, fat and complex carbs at breakfast/lunch
6. NO carbs for dinner
7. NO eating after 9pm
8. NO junk food, chips, sweets, fast food, soda (not even diet soda) simple carbs like, white rice, white bread, potatoes
9. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
10. Tell at least 5 people what you are up to so they can support you or better yet, join you!
11. Keep a journal of what you are eating so you don’t forget!

The things about it that will be the biggest challenges for me will be: no eating after 9pm, keeping a journal, and the no junk food, chips, sweets, fast food, soda, or simple carbs – more specifically, sweets, like a cookie here and there.  I am proud to say, though, that seem to have kicked my addiction to Momofuku Milk Bar compost, cornflake chocolate chip marshmallow, and blueberry cookies, not having eaten a one since I gave them up for Passover!

So what does this food challenge mean for me?  I used to be a Weight Watcher.  I was a slave to the number.  This time around, I am taking on this challenge as just that.  It’s a challenge; it’s something I will have to think about a little bit; my meals will require a tad bit more planning, perhaps.  But, it’s also something I am taking on without worrying too much about what will happen at the end.  I have been on auto-pilot with what I eat for a while.  I know I don’t eat poorly.  I like healthy things: whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, fish and chicken. And I tell myself I really do exercise enough to be able to enjoy a cookie or two from Momofuku Milk Bar from time to time.  But I could be doing better.  And that’s what this is all about.  (And, perhaps, this post constitutes telling 5 people I am doing this, so I may have support.)