By Karen Frye

The holiday season has begun. There will be family gatherings, parties, dinners and more, and the main event is always the food. Come December, we give ourselves permission to eat and drink as much as we want — as we should, because we know that come January we are going to go on that diet, exercise more, and take better care of ourselves. But wouldn’t it be amazing to make it through the holidays without gaining a single pound? Perhaps even losing a few extra? It doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact it’s just the opposite. You can learn how to feel confident and at ease as you maneuver your way around the table, laden with all the delicious food, and never once feel like you are missing out on anything.

Of course it may take a certain amount of willpower and determination. I like to think of this type of challenge as an adventure, one I went on seven years ago myself. I had heard Dr. Joseph Mercola speak at a natural food expo, and got his book The No Grain Diet. I read it but didn’t practice his message until the timing seemed right. I joined a gym, went religiously and did various fad diets, constantly trying to remove the 20 pounds I didn’t need — with minimal success. The words of Dr. Mercola came to me, “if you want to lose weight you must stop eating grain.”

It wasn’t that hard to do. For the record I started this in October, seven years ago. I made it through the holidays eating grain-free, never once feeling sorry that I wasn’t consuming all the sugary, heavy foods that normally I would eat. After the first 30 days I’d only lost a few pounds. The outstanding thing was the clarity of mind that I experienced. That inspired my dedication to continue, and by the fourth month eating this way I had lost the 20 pounds.

A no-grain diet is simple and easy to follow. It’s a lifestyle change more than a diet — that’s a four-letter word. I can live with it and keep the weight off. It’s not like the Atkins Diet, or low-carb diet. Paleo is similar, but a bit more restricted. Simply avoid anything made from a grain — no pasta, rice, bread, crackers, cookies, oatmeal, or cake (unless it’s made with almond flour). One question I am often asked is, “What do you eat?” My reply, “Everything else.”

You can have sweet potatoes, beans, chicken, fish, meat, eggs, healthy fats (avocados, for example) salads and quinoa (which is used like a grain, but is actually a seed). You never have to count calories, or be hungry. You just have to be prepared to have food with you when you are in situations that might leave you without the right choices.

Following this plan can help you feel better in many ways. Your self-esteem improves when you’re in control of your life (and your clothes aren’t so tight). Often, health issues clear up like allergies or digestive problems. Come January, you will have already made the changes in your life in a positive way. Once you’ve reached your desired weight you will never have to diet again. If you make this your way of eating, occasional cheats will be OK. Just don’t do it too often, and always get back on the no-grain path. PS

Karen Frye is the owner and founder of Natures Own and teaches yoga at the Bikram Yoga Studio.

Recommended Posts