Day 4-Virgin Diet: Salads and more salads (followed by ribs!)

I was a little bit better prepared today than I was yesterday.  Maybe that was because I was tired of being tired and hungry, or it was because I actually had several dreams last night about “accidentally” eating the wrong food at restaurants.  Despite my best planning I was still ending the day hungry, so a second dinner and some light snacking made up some of the difference.

The morning started off with the usual JJ Virgin shake.  Unfortunately in my haste I actually forgot the almond butter, but I made up for that later.  It turns out the 100 calories of almond butter didn’t affect the flavor one iota.  Being as I was in meetings all day I actually didn’t have much time to think too much about food.  Lunch was going to get brought in and it was coming in from Panera.  I love Panera bread, especially their whole grain baguette.  In fact one of my favorite things to get is their vegetarian black bean soup in a bread bowl with a side of whole grain baguette.  Over the course of the day I’d be sure to polish off every morsel of the bread bowl, bread and soup.  I start with eating the soup out of the bowl, and some of the “meat” of the inside of the bowl.  Then I go on to save most of it for later, providing some good nibbling throughout the day.

While my day dreaming about bread kept running through my head I had to snap back to the reality that I had to order something for lunch.  Sure, I had packed a bunch of carrots, celery and an apple.  That was me trying to be more prepared for snacking during the day though.  I decided to scour the menu for some entry that didn’t include each of the seven verboten foods.  Sandwiches are out, because of almost everything.  The soups are out because they invariably have either gluten or corn or dairy in them.  I was therefore left with the salads, all of which had some of the forbidden ingredients.  I actually managed to find something that was compliant: the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad without the wontons and the dressing.  So, picture a big pile of lettuce, a little chicken and some sliced almonds.  The side of bread, which I didn’t realize I ordered, just mocked me until I managed to trade it for some potato chips, which thankfully only had three ingredients: potato, sunflower oil and sea salt.  Make that two bags, actually!  It sort of has a grade school lunch room sound to it, doesn’t it?

By mid afternoon I was a bit hungry, but not totally famished so a huge apple did the trick to hold me over until we hit up Cheesecake Factory for an early dinner.  I didn’t even bother looking at the menu, I get what I always get there: the Ahi Tuna Tataki salad.  Ever since they put that item on the menu a few years ago that is my go-to meal, but it’s especially true because I know how to make sure none of the forbidden ingredients showed up.  By skipping the dressing I basically had a pile of seared ahi tuna, mixed greens, tomato and avocado.  I got a side of olive oil and vinegar and dressed the salad myself.  While it was tasty it was leaving me wanting more.

When I got home and found out my partner still hadn’t eaten the topic of a second dinner seemed great to me.  I went out and got a full rack of Memphis style ribs to split.  I wolfed down that half rack but still wanted some more.  Sure, the corn muffin looked delicious but that wouldn’t do.  I instead had half a head of celery, with that tablespoon of almond butter that I didn’t put in my shake, plus another tablespoon just to be sure.  That still didn’t do it, so a few fresh carrots were the next thing to down.  What I really am craving is either ice cream or pita chips, but since I couldn’t have those I just finished the night with a bowl of berries.  I can’t say I’m now satiated, but I think that’s enough eating for one day.

My lethargy from the past few days was gone, but I was feeling an impending headache that came and went throughout the day.  This wasn’t a full blown headache, just the beginnings of a dull sensation.  It reminded me a lot of the weeks after I stopped drinking caffeine several years ago, where it seems one is always on the tipping point of getting a headache.  If it didn’t happen today though, there’s a good sign that even if it is the same sort of withdraw it isn’t anywhere near as severe as the caffeine withdraw ever was.