My clean eating journey, I mean challenge, I mean journey… I mean that time I went crazy and cut out all the delicious food.
What I’m doing…. Or what I think I’m doing
As of Jan 1st, I set out to “eat clean”, or as close as I could get to it. I was determined to stick to a pretty strict way of eating. Notice I didn’t call it a diet? It’s supposed to be a way of life, not a diet. Right from the beginning I knew I was not going to go completely clean. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with such a huge change all at once, and I knew I would end up eating things I wasn’t supposed to, and cutting out things I didn’t need to. This is going to be a learning experience as I go. I am allowing myself one cheat meal a week, for sanity sake, It’s either that or tackling my co-workers as they leave the lunch room.
Why the heck would I torture myself this way? And how long will it last?
Like I said above, this is not a diet, it’s a way of life, but I’m going to commit to 3 whole months. After that, we’ll see. Let’s be honest, I run a food blog, one that frequents cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and all sorts of baked goods. THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF CLEAN EATING. So why, why, why! For one, I’m constantly looking for ways to challenge myself. In the summer, I went gluten free for a month, and I restricted eating after 7pm in Sept.. my snacking time!! Then I saw that Lindsay and Bjork gave up sugar for 2 months. I thought, I can do that, and it will be a great challenge. I didn’t want to kick off the challenge around national baking season (Christmas), so I decided to start Jan 1st…. I know, what a cliché! And the second reason, we are heading to Hawaii in a couple of months and I want to look my best.
A little bit about me before the challenge; I’m 37 years old, about 5’7” and I’m guessing I weigh about 130lbs. I say guess because I do not weigh myself. I haven’t in years, like 15 years! I figure I’m not over- weight, so I see no reason to obsess over a number. Wow, that was a lot of personal information! But, we’re like best friends, right?
My Nutrition knowledge going into this… I ain’t no dummy
It’s true, I know stuff, like white bread is not good and whole wheat bread better, but whole grain bread is best. What I didn’t know is what whole grain meant (CLEAN EATING). Essentially, it’s a grain that has not been altered. It’s in its whole state. Where did I pick up some of my knowledge? The internet, for one, and I used to go to a nutritionist in an attempt to correct a digestive issue I have (IBS).
What clean eating meant for me when I started
There is about a million different takes on clean eating. You have to decide what works best for you! For me, I started off trying to eat food as close to its natural state. Here are a couple of rules I followed. Be warned! I made a few mistakes here, and I figured it out in my first week:
- Fresh veggies and fruits
- Lean cuts of meats: Mostly chicken and turkey, no red meats, or very little
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, pistachios…)
- Cottage Cheese (no other cheeses)
- Greek Yogurt, not regular
- If buying packaged foods, they must be whole foods, and the ingredients list must be 5-10 at most, I must also be able to pronounce and identify all ingredients in the list
- No Sugar, like none, not even Honey.
- No potatoes, white rice, white bread, or any bread for that matter.
I know what you’re thinking; there are a few things wrong on my list… I know, I get there in week one.
Week one (how I felt, and some discoveries)
NOTE: I promise I’ll post a recipe tomorrow for making you read a million and one words and it won’t suck!
Going into week one, I was excited! You always are when you start a challenge. I was riding high on a wave of confidence, determination and motivation. The only thing I missed this week was sugar in my coffee! I really had to plan ahead, but meal planning is my thing, clean eating is not. Still, I managed to muddle through ok. I also pre-packaged some snacks. So if I knew I was going to be out and about for more than 3 hours, I had a few clean snacks to munch on… not a cheese burger!
Here we go…. The mistakes, discoveries, wins and fails:
- Potatoes are in. There is more potassium in a skin on potato than a banana, they’re in!
- I took a sip of sugar filled coffee – not my fault, I asked for 2 milk, I got 2 milk and 2 sugars, I also threw it out after that sip, so I’m calling this a win, not a fail!
- I ate 4 slices of sliced turkey breast for lunch one day. Seriously didn’t even think of the fact that it was processed. Mr. PBandO pointed it out… I googled it, he was right…
as usual**MrPBandO edits my blog, I wonder who put that in?!?!?
- I omitted all sugars, even the unrefined, like honey, agave nectar and coconut sugar. Turns out, unrefined sugars are in, THANK GOD! My list of sweet snacks has tripled!
- Left over processed foods: for 2 days I was still eating my Kashi bars. I made some homemade granola bars to replace them, also I was still drinking chocolate milk after a workout, read the label, lots of sugar, OUT!
- I ate some cheese, and then looked it up and its fine. But it has to be full fat cheese…. I’m not crying of this one.
- I switched from regular yogurt to greek, except, it had sugar, no wonder it tasted good. I added some fruit, I’m choking it back with my sugar free coffee.
How am I feeling?
- Tired, pretty sure that’s me coming off 2 weeks of holidays, but someone suggested I might be low on sodium. That makes me think that maybe I should track my food, and make sure I’m not cutting out something I need.
- Over all I’m still motivated, especially because my desserts are about to triple! Joke… maybe.