So the Somae Health plan works in phases. Phase One begins with three servings of fruits and three of vegetables – 1.5 cups per serving -and three servings of lean meat per day – either 4 oz. of fish/chicken/beef, or 2 eggs. You eat about twenty raw nuts, and you take some multivitamins and digestive enzymes, along with some probiotics. You only get one serving of grain, which consists of a single piece of unbuttered whole grain bread. You can drink herbal tea sweetened with Stevia, and boom! That’s your meal plan.
This frightened me.
My custom was to eat all day long – when I was hungry, when I was bored, when I was watching TV, when I was reading a book, when I was inhaling or exhaling. I wasn’t necessarily big on meals, but a steady stream of chips and salsa makes the day go faster.
I also didn’t realize how many personal rituals I had built around food. Wednesday, you may or may not realize, is the day new comic books are released. I read far fewer than I used to back in the day, but there’s something extraordinarily satisfying about getting the latest issue of Action Comics and perusing Superman’s latest exploits while chowing down on a combo meal at the fast food franchise of your choice.
That’s not to mention the things normal people do, like, you know, go out to dinner with family and friends. “Waiter, I’d like precisely four ounces of unsalted, grilled meat and 1.5 cups of unseasoned steamed broccoli, please.” I mean, what’s the point?
So I started phase one with trepidation, but I dutifully complied. And the first thing I noticed was that I wasn’t hungry. The piece of toast, apple, and two hard-boiled eggs I ate for breakfast constituted a larger morning meal than I usually ate, and it was more than enough to get me to my 10:00 AM morning snack, which was a handful of nuts and another serving of fruit. That got me to noon’s lunch of fish and tomatoes, and I found I was satiated all day long.
Keep in mind, this happened on the first day.
I was somewhat tempted by the sights and smells of more decadent foods, especially the open bag of tortilla chips that my daughter regularly leaves on the kitchen table. But the temptation was about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, which is considerably lower than how tempted I am to yell at the television any time some cable news talking head says something stupid. I can handle a 4.
As the days wore on, even those temptations faded. I was able to cook for my kids and handle tasty foods without partaking, and I could synchronize my meals with the fam and sit down to dinner with them. When my lovely bride told me my grilled salmon and steamed brussel sprouts looked better than what the rest of the family was eating, I knew I was on to something.
This program includes the support of a live mentor, who steered me in the right direction when I went astray. (I ate pork once. Not kosher.) I journal what I eat on the Somae website, and she can review what I’m eating and provide encouragement, support, and suggestions for different food choices. She introduced me to the wonders of Stevia, an all-natural zero calorie sweetener that makes my daily herbal tea break the highlight of my evening. I have an official check-in with her every Monday at 1:30, which provides support and keeps me accountable.
I also get daily phone calls from an automated phone coach that gives me an extra nudge in the right direction.
Bottom line: it’s been less than two weeks, and I’ve already lost 15 pounds.
Phase 2 starts on Monday…