Zachary G. – The Best Thing I’ve Done In My Adult Lifeby Rorion Gracie filed under Success Stories
I wanted to write to you to tell you about my experience so far with the Gracie Diet. I think it is the best thing I’ve started doing in my adult life. Since leaving home, and my mother’s wonderful cooking, as an eighteen year old, my diet has been anything but healthy. Like most college kids, at first it was all ramen noodles, Kraft macaroni, and pizza. This was definitely not good for me and I knew it. As I’ve gotten older I have gotten a little better at trying to eat right, but there were still some glaring problems. I had a horrible tendency of snacking all the time and I rarely took the time to fix myself a decent meal both because I was never that hungry and because of how long it took. Consequently, I felt I was never functioning at the level I should have been.
When I first heard about the Gracie Diet I was definitely intrigued. For once it wasn’t about counting calories, carbohydrates, or any of that nonsense. All I had to do was mix things correctly. That shouldn’t be too hard. But, then I heard the final rule. I had to wait four and a half hours between meals! As I said, I was a snacker. I claimed to never get full, just bored with what I was eating. So, even if I didn’t want any more of what I was eating, I could always grab some new food and continue packing away even more. Thankfully, I was blessed with a slender build so I never really got to be terribly overweight, but I knew I was not in shape like I used to be. I was also constantly suffering from digestion issues. I felt like I would get gas after every meal. Sometimes it was so bad I contemplated talking with a doctor about it, but I was always too bashful to bring the issue up. This was probably lucky for me in hindsight, as he likely would have put me on some prescription drug and I would have spent the rest of my life paying outrageous sums to a pharmaceutical company to simply mask the problem. I was also running to the bathroom several times a day, usually after every large meal. So, even though I was used to munching on something all the time, I decided to follow the advice of a family of fit, healthy individuals and see if it could make a difference for me. I had everything to gain if it worked, and if it didn’t, I could always go back to Ritz Bitz for dinner.
At first I started by simply spacing my meals without changing what I ate. I figured I would start worrying about the combinations later, I just wanted to see if I could go four and a half hours without fainting. It turns out I could, and I felt great. Now instead of simply eating whatever I wanted any time, knowing that if I didn’t wind up full or simply wanted something else soon after I could just go for it, I found myself planning what I was going to eat. Meals became precious to me as I knew I’d only have three, or at most four, a day. And knowing that I didn’t get to eat again for four and a half hours was all the motivation I needed to make sure each meal really counted. The idea of eating a Cheetos when I could make a plate of pasta, meat, and veggies instead seemed preposterous. But, I also took heed to the idea that these meals were not just more widely spaced opportunities to stuff myself. There was something that seemed really smart about not eating to the point of discomfort every time I sat down just because I wouldn’t get to eat again for a little while. Within days the gas was gone. I found myself only using the bathroom once a day, and usually around the same time. That’s not to say I didn’t get hungry. I certainly did, but it only took me a few days to realize that drinking a glass of water when a hunger pang hit would usually hold me over until for the last hour until it was time to eat again. All of a sudden I was losing the excess weight I had put on, and I was certainly more energetic. It seems so obvious at this point that it’s hard for me to believe that two months ago I didn’t realize how exhausting digestion is. And when I was eating all the time and always trying to digest some new food, all my energy was being wasted tying to process the food I kept eating. What a bizarre Catch 22.
So, after making it through the holiday season with my meal spacing intact, I decided it was time to step it up and follow the combinations. This may have been the most fun part for me. I never would have believed that a person my size could get full on fruit, but at this point probably five to ten meals a week for me are just juiced fruits. As an aside, I don’t think it would be nearly as easy to stick to the diet without the juicer. But, I got lucky and found one on craigslist for $100 so that initial investment wasn’t quite as scary.
I still eat out fairly regularly, and after the initial adjustment period of altering all my regular orders at places all over town, I’ve found I can still eat out with other people without being a burden at the table, and I really don’t even find myself missing some of the things I thought I’d never be able to give up. To the nonbelievers, a six banana and six apple smoothie really are all the sweets you need in a day, I haven’t had desert in two months and it’s been one of the easiest things to do without.
I’ve stuck to the full diet for over a month now and am as happy and energetic as I can ever remember being as an adult. I already have two of my friends on board and they gush about how great they feel almost as often as I do. That’s not to say I am perfect. I did have a few beers with my friend on his birthday, but that’s one time since the beginning of December and I’m very proud of that. Obviously it still takes self control, this diet doesn’t make me never want to eat junk food, as I sure would like to get my hands on some jalapeno poppers from time to time. But, the way I’ve felt this last month has more than made up for whatever temporary satisfaction unhealthy foods give me. To sum up, I’d like to say thank you for sharing this wisdom with me, and just as importantly, thanks for taking such an interest in the health of your fellow man and making yourself available to all the people who have questions. I am extremely grateful.