How to Lose 8 Pounds in One Week!

Photo by Erin Desautels

Go to Haiti and serve people.

No seriously. I lost 8 pounds in 6 days in Haiti!

What the what?

I can attribute the weight loss to a few factors.

  1. Activity: We walked everywhere. I was constantly playing soccer with the kids. Even though we all took a siesta from 12:30-2:30 every day to avoid the heat… we were all exhausted at the end of each day. Just imagine how much I would have lost if we’d done a construction project?
  2. Heat: There was no escaping the heat in Haiti. Air conditioning is not a luxury many Haitians enjoy and our team was no exception. Each day was 100+ F and the humidity hovered between 80%-99%. I lived on water and Gatorade. (Drank on average 320 oz. of liquid per day, went pee about one time per day…. you just sweat that fast.) When we did visitation or even just walked around the neighborhood, my clothing would be soaked to the core within minutes. Thank goodness for shirts that wick away the moisture. Those with cotton t-shirts looked miserable.
  3. Food: We didn’t starve. In fact, I think we ate very good. Mornings we had oatmeal. (Not what you want to eat when its so hot, but it was all about calorie loading.) Lunch was PB&J and Pringles. And dinner was provided by a Haitian cook. That always had a rice element, a non-lettuce salad element, and either chicken or goat. In fact, the food was delicious.

Wrestle with this

Kristen and I both felt physically great during our time in Haiti. We were tired by the end of the day and we were constantly thinking about hydration. But overall, we were 100% fine. No gastro distress. No travelers stomach. No cramps. No upturned noses at disgusting food.

But since we’ve been home. Neither of us have felt good.

The reality is that we ate better quality food in Haiti than we buy from stores and restaurants here. I’m thankful we are in the middle of our harvest season so that we can feed our family fresh, organically grown foods. (90% of our produce is now from organic sources like our CSA and our own garden) If anything, this last trip has proven to me that the GMO grains and sugars that have taken over the American food supply are making us all, collectively, sick.

Two points of thought:

  1. I don’t think I’m done leading trips to Haiti. While the work is shifting from relief to rebuilding, its a slow culture and re-culturing the nation will take time and outside encouragement. The reality is that I feel strangely awake and alive there– it’s beyond explanation.
  2. I am once again re-examining how/what my family eats. I think it may be time to try a food experiment. It might be time to eliminate high fructose corn syrup, GMO grains, and non-organic trickle down products like dairy.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

8 comments

  1. Same here. Physically fine in Haiti despite the heat and such, but felt nasty for the first few days home. I decided to make a concerted effort to eat less processed food and more fruits and veggies. It’s been a positive change (losing weight, yay!) and one I totally didn’t expect from the mission trip.

  2. I also did not feel well upon returning to the States! My stomach finally feels better. Ginger tea was my best friend! I did not properly hydrate myself in Haiti, so perhaps that explains the weight gain. How will I know I’m eating a GMO grain or sugar? Thanks for the post (and the photo credit), Adam!

  3. Erin- avoid products with high fructose corn syrup. It is everywhere! And almost all of the corn supply is now GMO. I don’t know the full list of GMO grains, but I’m positive a quick google search will give you a list.

    We are going to Costco to load up on Lundberg’s organic rice. Lemme know if
    You want to go!

  4. Sheesh, how long have I been preaching against high fructose corn syrup? Good news is that I’ve already cut a lot of that junk out of what I buy at the grocery store. Not that we don’t have a long way to go. With our summer is winding down it is a good time to re-focus.

  5. “The reality is that I feel strangely awake and alive there– it’s beyond explanation.”

    This sounds like someone with a call to the mission field. Just sayin’.

    1. Interesting observation. Thing is, I already consider to live my life “in mission.” Who knows. I haven’t seen any burning bushes lately.

  6. truth be told, i reckon it took me about 2 months to fully detox from the overprocessed food in the US once I got back home.

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