Tag Archives: diet

Resetting Expectations – Clean Eating Challenge

24 Feb

So I started this year out with a big goal of losing the baby weight, but not just that: getting my strong, lean, muscular body and energy back. Unfortunately I did not do measurements when I started so it’s difficult to track my progress that way, so I rely on two factors to tell me how I am doing. 1. the scale (my natural foe) and 2. the way my clothes fit – or don’t fit… So although I have kept up with my resolution to be a better stronger version of myself this year and hit the gym with consistency each week, there were definitely some times when I fell off the wagon with eating right. Like Valentine’s Day weekend when I fell off the wagon into a ditch on the side of the road then rolled into a lake full of dark chocolate covered peanut butter sea salt caramel truffles and cream puffs… and champagne… and steak… and ok, we’ll stop there. So with that being said (and done) I began my 10-day Clean Eating Reset Cleanse on the Monday after Valentine’s Day. I am on day 9 today.

I was first introduced to Clean Eating Reset Cleanse (the name I have dubbed it) by a good friend of mine, Amy who had been given it by a friend. Now compared to The Whole 30 my little reset is kids stuff. This is not a cleanse where you eat nothing for days on end and pretend like you wouldn’t murder your closest friend for a candy bar. This is not a juicing cleanse where you get nothing solid and am supposed to be ‘totally fine’ with that. This is a 10 day return to what is good and healthy and what your body is meant to consume. It is an elimination diet of sorts and that means it’s going to be hard, you are going to miss the foods that you eat all the time, the junk, the bread, the candy, the coffee, the alcohol, etc. You are going to crave them, your nose is going to linger as pass by the bakery at the market, the neighborhood Starbucks, heck, the burger joint your family is going to eat at that you simply does not coincide with your diet plan. I have done this cleanse twice, both with great success, I felt great, I lost weight, and I learned about what eliminating some food categories from my diet could do to help me feel like this all the time.

To help me with my goals, I set myself (silent) alarms on my phone as little reminders at different times of the day, like “make good choices” (keeping myself accountable), “your willpower is stronger than your craving” (for encouragement), etc. Sometimes you just need a little affirmation to help you get past that moment or hour of wanting something that you shouldn’t have. And because I believe in the saying “A goal without a plan is just wish” so I also made sure to make myself a meal plan on excel a couple days before I began the cleanse so that I would know exactly what foods I needed to buy and what I was going to be eating, this allowed me to think outside the box on what different foods I could eat and get some variety. One of the most important things to me is not getting caught in a situation where I don’t have any ‘cleanse friendly’ foods and either lose my mind because I am starving and cannot eat anything, or worse, eat things that are not in the plan. I was able to use the plan to effectively grocery shop in advance to be sure I had all the items I need on hand, since getting to the market after working all day and commuting with two kids under 5 at their dinner time, in the dark – is pretty much my nightmare.

Rules: Never: alcohol, dairy, caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed food, wheat
Day Rule
1,2,9,10 Eat only: white meat, fish, beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, & whole grains
3,4,5,6,7,8, Eat only: fish, fruits, vegetables, & whole grains

Here is a sample of my plan: Day 3:

Breakfast Hard boiled egg(s)
Lunch carrots/celery and plain hummus, banana
Snack natural popcorn- no butter
Dinner Oven baked salmon with roasted brussels sprouts

The original cleanse called for 20 minutes of low impact exercise- such as a walk each day, but I am working out in the gym with cardio and weight lifting as well as doing some videos of no-equipment workouts I’ve found online (thanks Pinterest!)  like this Bikini Belly Bootcamp video from Pop Sugar (fitsugar.com).

For me, the processed foods (i.e. bread and crackers), candy, cookies, and cheese were by far the hardest. I have offered the cleanse plan to friends who are interested in doing something more regimented than just ‘cutting calories’ but often they cannot part with their coffee or soda habits, my very lactose intolerant friend ironically cannot part with cheese for 10 days. I’ve found though that it’s not that your body cannot take the withdrawal, it’s your mind setting up limitations for you. Do I want a grilled cheese sandwich right now? O my, yes! But I know that this is a challenge I can complete and I will.

I know that I can live without these things that are not good for my body, I know that I can be a stronger, healthier me without them. I feel proud that I have not swayed, even though I was so tempted to (with my hubby eating all the remaining  truffles and my niece selling us 5 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies). I hope that you can take a challenge, this challenge perhaps and feel as good as I do.

Here are some of the meals I have made:

Baked eggs with sauteed spinach, garlic, & red bell peppers.

eggs

Oven baked salmon with roasted Brussels sprouts and a quinoa vegetable pilaf.

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Chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne powder sauteed with green beans.

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The Veg Project: mid week update

26 Mar

                                                                  “animals are friends not food!”

It’s starting to stick with me again, I am now about a week and a half into the three week vegetarian challenge I entered into with my bestie, Stephanie. Stephanie, our friend Danielle, and I all watched (at different times) the documentary Vegucation that follows three meat eating individuals around Manhattan (and out to some farms) while they take a 6-week challenge to eat Vegan only foods. Danielle is taking the same challenge, Stephanie and I are challenging ourselves to eating only vegetarian. I call it “The Veg Project”.

Thus far it’s been a good ride, I have missed a couple meat meals, looking through my cookbooks I have had to stop myself when I thought “oh that chicken tortilla soup is great, I want to make that” and think to myself, can I make this vegetarian? That’s the great thing about eating vegetarian is that so many meals are easy to just take the meat out. Sub in some extra veggies, maybe some tofu, portabello mushrooms if you want a ‘meaty’ flavor, or even a meatless burger for your run of the mill beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, etc.

I think that it must be much easier than trying Vegan. For anyone know doesn’t know the difference, according to wikipedia a vegetarian is: “Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat – red meatpoultryseafood and the flesh of any other animal; it may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter, such as animal-derived rennet and gelatin” (although I eat seafood because I am a Pesco-Lacto-Ovo vegetarian, meaning I eat seafood, dairy and eggs). The definition of Vegan in Wikipedia is: “Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals.” Part of the reason I think that it would be very hard to be Vegan is that I live in a suburb in the LA area and there are not a whole lot of health food stores that offer these kinds of options and we are definitely lacking Vegetarian or Vegan restaurants as well. When I was in college in Santa Cruz, CA it probably would have been really easy. I often frequented the Saturn Cafe in the downtown area that was a Vegan restaurant and there were many other options. However here there are barely any options.

It’s actually really funny to tell people that you are a vegetarian or a vegan, a lot of people don’t understand why you would not want to eat meat. I think it’s funny because I am not a person who goes out into the world telling people that they need to stop eating meat or yelling “meat is murder”, for me it’s a personal choice that I make for myself. I may tell people this is what I am doing but in no way am I telling people that this is the right lifestyle and that they should do it as well. But I have found some people in my life who have done the opposite when I tell them that I am not eating meat or at times stopped eating red meat, they have interrogated me as to why I would do that, told me that they thought that was stupid or ridiculous. I don’t feel that I need to justify my reasons behind my [healthy] lifestyle. For this reason I let my husband know that I am not advertising this change to our family at this time. piggies are friends, not food!