Julie breakfast: Oatmeal with banana, applesauce, and almond milk; herbal tea with sugar and almond milk
Ziggy brunch: Cereal with almond milk; whole-wheat toast and jam; 1/2 grapefruit
Julie lunch: Cilantro-potato soup; whole-wheat bread
Julie snacks: 1/2 grapefruit; hot cocoa; ginger-ale
Ziggy snacks: Hot cocoa; ginger-ale
Dinner for both: Vegetable pie
Julie exercise: Approx 45 min walking
Ziggy exercise: Approx 35 min walking
Feelings: I felt good on the last day of the formal diet. My energy level didn't dip too much throughout the day. I wanted to make something special for dinner, so I cheated a bit and used cashews in the pie crust, but the meal was still oil-free and full of healthy vegetables - and extremely tasty to boot. We went out to a concert in the evening and managed to avoid ordering any alcoholic drinks or fattening snacks, having only a ginger-ale for each of us.
I lost an additional 1/2 pound yesterday, bringing the total weight loss for the 12 days to five pounds for me and four for Ziggy - a perfectly respectable amount. Nearly all of my weight loss was in the first week, however, which indicates I've reached a plateau. In order to lose any more weight, I'll have to engage in more vigorous exercise, as I'm not willing to cut my calorie intake any further. Jogging and weightlifting have been successful for me in the past; I definitely have the time to do both now, so it's just matter of discipline whether I'll actually do it or not. My BMI of 24 is within the acceptable range for my height (5' 4"), so losing additional weight is more of a preference to be slimmer than a health issue at this point.
As far as which restrictions from the 12 day diet to keep, I'll take these individually:
Animal products: I've aspired to be vegan for as long as I've been a vegetarian (nearly 17 years), and we have been successful at keeping a vegan kitchen at home for the last five years, so avoiding dairy and eggs is almost entirely an issue of discipline and convenience when eating out. (I have absolutely no desire to eat animal flesh, including fish.) As I'm trying to dine out less for financial reasons anyway, hopefully there will be less temptation.
Oil: I have many oil-free recipes and don't have a problem cooking this way at home. Avoiding meals of bread slathered with Earth Balance will be easier now that I don't come home exhausted from work every day. When eating out, however, some oil will be unavoidable, as it will be difficult enough just to get vegan meals at many restaurants.
High-fat plant products (tofu, nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.): I do plan to go back to eating these in some quantity; even McDougall recipes have them, though it's emphasized they should be limited to treats. Hopefully I won't go overboard; additional exercise should help compensate in that regard.
Refined flour products: Easy enough to avoid when cooking at home, but not completely avoidable when eating out. A little white flour and white rice won't hurt, as long as they don't become staples of my diet.
Caffeine: I'm actually finding I prefer the rooibos and herbal teas to my usual Irish Breakfast blend, so I think I'll stick to primarily caffeine-free beverages. I may have an occasional chai latte when eating out though.
Alcohol: I've never liked alcoholic beverages enough to drink much of them, and I don't see a need to avoid them completely. I'll have my usual fuzzy navel when I sing karaoke, and I might put a shot of schnapps or amaretto in my hot cocoa, but I'll not make alcohol a daily part of my diet.
Overall I'm very pleased with this diet. I liked having a goal and sticking to it quite closely, and rediscovered the joy of cooking. I hope that Ziggy and I will continue to reap the benefits of healthy diet and exercise for years to come.