My husband, who no one would ever call fat, likes to go on something called the “Abs Diet” from time to time, to strengthen his lean form, reduce organ fat (I’ll spare you the unsettling visual on this problem that I’ve had described to me too many times), and just generally get into better shape. It’s a combination of an exercise regimen and diet that is high in protein and calcium, and it seems to work for him. The diet itself was created for men, particularly meat-eating men, so I’ve never felt like it would work for me. I can’t eat the mass quantities of salmon and other lean meats, and the calorie counts are all wrong for me. But I have noticed the results he gets from his time on the abs diet, so I decided to try my own version.
It’s hard to have a high-protein diet as a vegetarian, without making yourself sick on soy or clogging your arteries with dairy, but a couple of things I do like are raw almonds and skim milk. So my version should be called the almond and milk diet. The notion of the diet is similar to my mother’s diabetic diet, with several small meals throughout the day, with high-protein snacks in between to keep your blood sugar level. Anybody who is home all day with small children knows that sitting and eating a large meal just doesn’t happen, so the concept of small meals seemed easy enough for me to follow. I have a handful of almonds and a tall glass of skim milk between meals to tide myself over, and then I’m never starving or shaky or cranky from hunger, and when I do eat a meal, I eat a small one because I’m just not that hungry.
I’m a little person, and I haven’t had any great weight battles in my life, but after two kids, I did notice my petite frame wasn’t snapping back as fast as I’d expected. I had a little unfirmness around the belly that was new and unwelcome and that crunches didn’t seem to be banishing. I’ve been on my very low-maintenance almond and milk diet for a little while now, and I’ve been happy with the results. I’ve lost about five pounds, which isn’t what matters to me, and I’ve lost the little pudge in my abdomen, which is what matters to me, and my pre-pregnancy clothes are fitting the way they should. I try not to think about the organ fat thing, but I’m also feeling like I’m doing my part to make that go away.