Conversations with My Inner Demons

I am gearing up to implement the final piece of the DDP Yoga nutrition plan. For a few months now, I have been at Phase III, with a few exceptions. I am vegan, and I am a firm believer in whole foods. For that reason, I didn’t replace foods that had gluten with gluten free versions. I prefer to just eat something completely different that would naturally be gluten-free. I apply the same logic to foods that have sugar, fat, dairy, etc. in them. Basically, I (correctly) apply the following logic to any food that has been modified from its original form:


Another reason I am opposed to filling the pantry with gluten-free pasta is that it’s still pasta. It’s still a carb that will spike your blood sugar and lead to inflammation. I have met my weight goals with DDP Yoga and its accompanying nutrition plan, but there’s a lot more to health that weight loss. I am concerned about inflammation because of my knee problems, and also a general feeling that I should avoid diseases like cancer if I can. Being a vegan combined with being a chronic overeater, I have a tendency to write my own little rules of logic. For instance, while I went gluten-free in accordance with the Phase III plan, I gave myself a pass on the whole try-not-to-eat-to-much-fruit-after-midday idea, rationalizing that as a vegan I am somehow immune to the inflammatory effects of the sugar in fruits. Don’t get me wrong, fruit is perfectly healthy but only in moderation, and its health benefits are both redundant with and dwarfed by those of vegetables.Despite having a very cogent reason for wanting to avoid inflammation, my sweet tooth and overeater demons allowed me to pretend to myself that I was 100% compliant with the DDP Nutrition. Case in point, I got stuck on bananas being my go-to snack, and was eating up to 6 a day. No one needs that much potassium!

I also created imaginary rules to prevent myself from eating other, more vegetable-heavy snacks. I do this all the time, in all areas of my life.  I don’t know how I got into this habit, but I would like to stop being my own hurdle. In this case, here’s how the inner monologue has gone:

Healthy me: I’m hungry. I’d like a snack.

Dumb me: Have a banana. You’ve only had 4 so far today.

Healthy me: I dunno. I should eat more vegetables. I could eat a cucumber with some hummus.

Dumb me: No, you wanted to have a cucumber each night with dinner. We only buy seven cucumbers a week, so there’s nothing you can do.

Healthy me: You’re right. There’s nothing we could do differently to have more cucumbers in the house for snacks. I guess I’ll have to have a banana.

Did I forget to mention, Healthy me is an idiot too!

A couple of nights ago, I was scrolling through my MyFitnessPal logs to update my DDP Yoga Level 1 Certification journal, and I realized that I had been consistently way over my goals for sugar intakes. I have been quite successful at curbing my PB intake, but the banana consumption grew to fill that gap. I realized that I wasn’t the amazing Phase III-er that I painted myself to be. I also realized that my goal of lowering my inflammation levels would not be met until I stopped kidding myself, and did what DDP Yoga tells me to do. I pulled out the nutrition guide, read through it again, and then payed special attention to the diagram on page 18. I am not overly concerned about whether I am mixing carbs with anything; cutting out gluten leaves only potatoes, and I don’t eat many of them*. That leaves two deficiencies standing between me and successful execution of the Phase III plan.

  • Eating more vegetables, specifically greens
  • Eating fruit on its own, and not after midday

Luckily for me, doing the latter will force me to do the former (starvation being the only alternative!) I am resolved to make this final adjustment to my diet. Today was Day 1, and it went, well, okay. Let me establish my excuses first. My day started at 5am when I ran 8 miles, and burned 1280 calories. That gave me a big appetite and a long march to midday, so I ate about three bananas. It was in keeping with the letter of the Phase III plan, but perhaps not the spirit of it. At noon, we went to my daughter’s Montessori picnic, which could more accurately be called the seventh circle of hell. I did well eating a lot of salad greens, raw broccoli, and raw snap peas. However, in addition to some gluten-free pasta with tomato sauce, I boredom ate an apple and a banana. The rest of the evening was on track: all vegetables and lentils! It probably wasn’t the best day to pick as Day 1, but I didn’t want to let any time pass between my epiphany and when I seized the Phase III plan by the horns. Tomorrow will be better. The day after that may not be. But I will keep trying, and like the other changes I have successfully made, this too will become habit sooner or later.

*Please don’t tell the Irish consulate I said that; they’ll revoke my passport! 


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