I’ve finally gotten used to the 4 1/2 gap between meals, even though my scheduling of meals still needs some work. Now it’s time to attempt Phase 2: Eliminate desserts and sodas. 

Since I don’t drink soda, that part is taken care of. However, desserts — that’s another story! My sweet tooth is definitely my biggest downfall. This is going to be a huge challenge indeed.

You can actually eat sweet foods while on the Gracie Diet, as long as they comply with the food combination parameters. It is dessert as an add-on meal after dinner that isn’t allowed. For example, these coconut truffles are compliant on the Gracie Diet, but you can’t have them after your dinner. You would need to wait at least 4 1/2 hours before having them, and if you want to have them with anything else, then you need to make sure the foods belong to the appropriate groups. It sounds complicated, but as you familiarize yourself with the food categories, it gets easier.

In general, though, Rorion Gracie does not advocate eating dessert at all. Perhaps once a year on your birthday, but even then, he suggests a better gift to yourself would be to not have it at all. Can’t really argue with that! For me, the best way to avoid eating sweets is to not bring them in the house in the first place. It’s a good plan. It works most of the time — but it is still my biggest weakness. The battle against sugar is one that I am still fighting.

In any case, instead of just lingering in Phase 2, I thought I would go ahead and start Phase 3, in which you are not allowed to mix different starches within one meal. For the most part, I was already following this. I rarely ate starches, so it was easy for me to incorporate this into my regular eating style.

In addition to following Phase 3, I have started to familiarize myself with the different food categories and permitted combinations. I find the food combination chart really handy, though not all foods are listed. Still, you can make a general guess as to what food groups ingredients would belong to.

Gracie Diet food chart

So far, it’s going well. The most challenging thing is being consistent with my efforts. Sticking to the Gracie Diet on weekdays is easy because I’m busy and my day is a lot more organized. Weekends are tougher to deal with, but not totally unmanageable. I’ve just got to keep trying.