A – Almonds
B – Broccoli
C – Chicken
D – Vitamin D
E – Eggs
Those are the only five foods that I will be consuming in the next two weeks. No sugar, no refined carbs, no dairy, no processed foods and no alcohol… for an entire 14 days. The only reason why I think I can do it is because I already try to limit those things on a regular basis. I have been trying to drop them completely for the past year, though took a couple steps backwards over the holidays. If you are going to try this with me, you might want to wait a week and slowly start cutting down on all of those items before going cold turkey. While you do that, try reading three of my favorite books that detail why carbs, sugars, processed foods and dairy are less than ideal for your body: Why We Get Fat, In Defense of Food, and the ever-popular 4-Hour Body.
Why am I doing it? There are several reasons. I don’t necessarily need to lose a lot of weight (I am 5’6″ and currently weigh 127lbs, and that includes a decent amount of muscle), but I’ve seen extreme athletes and body builders diet like this and have been amazed by the loss of total body fat and inches they seem to achieve. Plus, I’m curious to see if I have the mental stamina to do something so tough – I’ve never tried a diet so restrictive, though I’m excited by how short my grocery list will be. Finally, I’m interested to see how cutting out addictive foods like sugars and carbs affect my mood. I’m assuming the first few days will be really brutal, but once my body gets over its addiction to these high glycemic items, it will feel much better and full of energy.
1. Herbs, spices, olive oil, and very small amounts of butter (for cooking) are allowed.
2. Water is allowed (obviously).
3. Coffee is allowed. (I can never give up my coffee.)
4. Eating out is allowed so long as you stick to the rules.
5. No calorie counting or quantity restrictions – you can eat as much as you like.
Why ABCDE? Great question. It turns out, these are some of the most basic, but most nutritious foods out there. You could live off of them alone. Plus, I needed a mnemonic device to remember them all, hence the alphabetical title ;)
Almonds have been known to be one of the healthiest fats you can eat. They are full of vitamins and proteins and even help you maintain a low blood sugar count. When eaten in moderation, they can keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Broccoli is considered the healthiest vegetable. It has more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, and more fiber than a slice of wheat bread.
Chicken is a very lean form of protein. A single breast can pack up to 20g of protein and can be cooked in a variety of ways – sliced over veggies, roasted, grilled, etc.
Vitamin D is a nutrient that three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in. I plan to get my fill from a daily supplement in addition to spending at least 15 minutes in the sun each day.
Eggs are the ultimate protein powerhouse. One egg has over 6g of protein and only costs 70 calories. Plus, I would die if I had to eat chicken for breakfast every day. Eggs, on the other hand, can be cooked so many ways that I could enjoy them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
As with everything here on Brit, there’s a creative spin. I’ll be coming up with multiple ways to prepare each type of food – whether it’s different ways to cook the eggs, or encrusting chicken with almonds. I’ll be kicking off the ABCDE diet on January 3rd, my official day back to work, and will continue it until January 17th. You can follow my day-to-day progress on our blog, and I’ll post occasional updates here on Brit + Co. as well.
Care to join me? Let me know you’re in by commenting below or on Twitter. We can encourage each other when the times get tough!
** Disclaimer: I am not a certified dietitian or doctor, though I have studied nutrition. My thoughts and ideas are my own and you should only proceed with this diet at your own risk, or after your own doctor or nutritionist approves.
** Update: After week one, we’ve decided to modify this diet to be called the ABCDEFG Diet. Now featuring Fish and Greens!