Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 192 Guest blog from my sister Shannon

Ireland – The home of potatoes, and more potatoes.
I have been on my own version of Jill’s plan since about the middle of April.  Though not as dedicated or strict with my menu as Jill, I have gotten into my own version of what I call the “fruits, veggies, and nuts” diet.  Juiced vegetables and fruits, salads, stir fries – no wheat, soy, chocolate.  It is working for me, have lost 45 pounds and have to admit I feel a whole lot healthier, though I do miss bread and sandwiches and I have yet to find anything good about rice cakes.
In August, I went on a dream trip to Ireland for 3-1/2 weeks, visiting new friends in Dublin.   I figured that it would not be an easy feat to stick to my program (no way was I lugging my juicer over there), but I had NO IDEA just what I was going to find.  I was staying in the home of people I had met on Facebook so was unsure what their diet was like.  Imagine my eyes when for the first breakfast I was confronted with a huge platter of eggs, bacon (rashers), 3 different types of sausage, a potato waffle, toast, and pastries.  Oh yeah – tea, lots and lots of tea (which I happen to love).  Not a fruit or a veggie to be found – well, unless you want to call processed sweetened orange juice a fruit.  Dinners included three (3) kinds of potatoes – mashed, roasted and “chips”, veggies well done, meat, and gravy to go over everything.  A baked dessert, more tea and biscuits.  Never was a salad or fresh fruit on the menu.
I did find grapes and apples in the store, in a very small section of “fresh” fruits and veggies, mostly wrapped in cellophane and not looking very fresh.  I am sure there were farmer’s markets and places in the country but I was in the city and without a car. 
Though not what I planned, I decided to make the best of the situation.  I ate as sparingly as I could, turning down desserts and continually asking for less food at each meal.  I cherished my time in Ireland.  I walked wherever I could, bought what fresh fruits that I could find. 
I met the most amazing people, enjoyed the clean air, the lovely walks, 5 amazing dog shows in different parts of the country, the wonderful sense of history, and once again fell in love with Ireland and its inhabitants. Ireland is the country of my heart, though I can’t say that my stomach was very happy.

And, on my way home from the airport, I stopped and bought lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and made my juice as soon as I got home.  I was never so glad to have my smoothie!!  On checking, I had only gained 4 pounds, but I could certainly tell how much better I felt getting back to eating my “fruits, veggies, and nuts” diet.  I have to say I learned how important my new eating plan is to me, and how glad I am that Jill introduced me to a new way of eating.  I was also proud of the fact that I didn’t freak out when I couldn’t stay on my plan but made the best of the situation, did what I could to minimize the fallout, and still had the time of my life.

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