How Apple Cider Vinegar Changed My Life
Are you a self proclaimed food lover? Do you have to refrain from buying cookies, ice cream or tubs of Nutella because you know you’ll eat it all in one sitting? Do you consume large portions but never seem to be satisfied? Do you get 3/4 of the way through a restaurant dish and feel stuffed but always soldier on and finish every bite? And after finishing a meal, are you sometimes already thinking about the next one?
If that sounds like you, we have a lot in common. At least, we used to.
You’d never know it by looking at me, but I have always had an insatiable appetite. My own mom would question me:
“How are you not obese? You eat so much!”
Even though I’ve always had a high metabolism, and most of the food I would eat was pretty high on the healthy scale, year after year I would think to myself, “I really do over-eat. This kind of consistent consumption can’t be good for me in the long run.”
Nevertheless, my own willpower to change would never last longer than a week or so, if I was able to muster up any effort at all.
One day, along came a suggestion from my mom, someone who is always searching for new ways to improve her own health. The suggestion had nothing to do with food consumption. She told me about how she had recently discovered the many benefits of apple cider vinegar. She had been using it for all sorts of things.
I wasn’t about to start washing my hair with it, like one of the magical uses she suggested I try. But I did think the idea about drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar mixed with water in the morning could be a healthy way to start the day. I was already in the habit of drinking water as soon as I got out of bed, so this was an easy transition to try out. I didn’t know what the particular benefits of this experiment would be, but I went ahead anyway, just to see what might happen.
Wow. It was dramatic. Seriously.
By the second week I was already feeling a complete change in my satiability. I wasn’t craving snacks all the time. I wasn’t raiding the fridge just to see what was in there. The ultimate evidence appeared when I went out to dinner at a high end restaurant and half way through the dish (really, half way!) I was completely satisfied and had absolutely no interest in continuing to eat the food, even though it had been delicious. When this happened, I was astonished. I had no memory of that EVER happening in the past. Then it happened again at the next restaurant, and again at the next.
My normal daily behavior had completely changed. I truly lost the insatiability that I had experienced my whole life. This is something that I had accepted as a part of who I was and that I would never be able to change. But it had disappeared in a matter of days.
As you may have guessed, because I was consuming less calories I also naturally became more trim. I still have a high metabolism and I exercise regularly (I love to run!), but now that I’m combining that with an appropriate caloric intake, I look and feel better than I’ve ever felt. I even have more energy, because my body doesn’t have to process so much, like it used to.
This all started in the fall of 2015. It’s been several months, and I’ve continued the habit, with the same results. In December, I went on a vacation to Chilean Patagonia and didn’t consume any ACV for a month straight. With such a sudden change in scenery and the excitement of new daily activities (4x4ing and camping) I didn’t notice any rebounding effects, probably because I was too distracted to go back to my old ways. After my vacation I got right back into the daily habit, to make sure nothing changed when things settled down.
If you’d like to try this out, I encourage you to do some reading about the benefits of apple cider vinegar (it’s alkalizing effects, etc.), and try your own experiment for at least two weeks by following something like my routine:
Every morning, before anything else, I take a small glass of water (approximately 8 oz) and pour in around 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar. I drink the whole glass*. That’s it.
* One thing to note is that if you don’t dilute it with enough water, it will taste pretty awful. But there’s no reason to do that. Just put more water in, until the taste is manageable. And I promise, as you get used to it, you’ll actually even enjoy the taste, like I have come to do. Lastly, don’t try to drink it undiluted because this can actually harm you.
After consuming the morning’s glass of water and ACV, I wait for a bit before eating breakfast. I don’t think the specifics of how long to wait before breakfast matter much, at least they don’t for me. Sometimes I’ll eat breakfast 10 minutes later, sometimes I’ll eat 1 hour later, and sometimes I’ll skip it entirely (unheard of in my previous life!).
The breakfast thing is just another proof of the dramatic change in me. In my past, I would wake up and immediately start looking forward to eating breakfast. Some days, I even thought about breakfast as I was going to bed the night before!
That’s crazy, right?
Now, I have a completely different relationship with breakfast and with food in general. I still love a beautiful, healthy meal. I’m still incredibly appreciative of the wonderful, fresh produce and other provisions that I have access too. But now, thanks to this amazing little change of habit, I’m able to appreciate all of that without abusing it. I’m able to enjoy the abundance and feel satisfied by it.
That’s how apple cider vinegar changed my life. I challenge you to see if it will work for yours.
Erin Geyer is a trail runner, web and app developer, photographer and world explorer who is always evolving. She’s also the Creative Director/Director of Technology/Professional Wino at Bliss Wine Imports: http://blisswineimports.com