I’ll be honest, Ive been procrastinating on this blog post because I have a hard time even knowing where to begin on explaining whats been accomplished here- in a good way! My blog post 2 weeks ago describing why I did this and what I had discovered thus far truly depicted my reasoning behind this, and now….2 weeks after that, after completing the 28 day challenge, I can confirm the same WINS of 4 weeks free from ALCOHOL, WHEAT, PROCESSED FOOD, JUNK FOOD, and TRIGGER FOODS.
What did this mean for me? Want the dirty details? Get ready… Im going to spill my guts… ALCOHOL wasnt tough as Im truly allergic to it and break into hives when partaking- if it takes a handful of antacids to tolerate something, it probably isnt good for you FYI. DAIRY wasn’t bad either, as I had really eliminated that over the years due to sensitivity similar to alcohol. Greek yogurt hurts my tummy and despite being born in Wisconsin, cheese was reserved for special occasions. I never liked milk and things like ice cream fall in the trigger food category for sure- I only like ice cream in pint size servings… crazy? Maybe, but Im being honest yo! I loved the JUNK AND TRIGGER FOOD elimination because I truly feel they go together. There are items that Ive had in my past I just couldnt control the STOP SIGN ON. Normally chips, cookies, pastries, candy, etc…anything you just keep grabbing handful after handful of. I’ll introduce a thing or two into my nutritional acceptance policy, normally on the weekends, and I’ll quickly find out if its a trigger food. Icing and certain nut butters by the tablespoon fall into that category for sure, on top of any type of “light or fat free” chips, granola is killer too! Fortunately I realize my strengths and weaknesses, and realize what I JUST DONT TOUCH ‘cuz it just plain spells trouble.
When it came to WHEAT, quick 1 minute Quaker oats was the most prevalent source of wheat for me when starting this and before doing the clean slate I started to veer away from salads and dig into samwhiches- flatbreads from subway for example qas quickly becoming a default lunch, Id have empty calorie bread before bed and even if I stuck with Ezekial bread, my portions could be grandiose. When it came PROCESSED food, I eliminated pastries, chips, junk, splenda in my coffee, fat free french vanilla creamer, betty crocker icing that Id put on my oatmeal from time to time, fake nut butters (better n peanutbutter for example or biscoff cookie butters), low calorie 35 calorie bread, any fat free salad dressing, any diet soda, sugar free powerade, vitamin water zero, etc and the variety of microwave meals with low calorie counts but high concentration of “I cant pronounce” ingredient lists. While I didnt have all these things everyday- they sure as heck happened too often.
Im not sure if I included everything, but these are just a variety of items Id tolerate in my nutritional acceptance plan, but wouldn’t have dare recommended to my readers/challengers or ever mentioned in a blog post. Now I am, and thats because I finally eliminated the items for a months time. What I never wanted to get across was fearing foods, or veering people from making “better than” choices. The truth is I had a lot of success with weight watchers, calorie counting, all surrounding portion control. However after drinking Shakeology and continuing to transform my life over the years, not to mention really wanting to practice what I preach, I knew there were things I wanted to investigate if I really “needed”. Should I just accept that I have varying things day to day as a normal human being? Absolutely and I did, but I felt myself eating less and less veggies, not liking fruit at all, wanting more and more splenda, craving sweeter and sweeter, and relying on Shakeology as a band aid instead of a part of my nutrient dense day to day diet.
I would have never told myself to eliminate all these things all at once, but am truly grateful my coaching program prompted this for the first 30 days. By doing so, I gave up the random items in my acceptance policy I had been meaning to kick for years, but just didnt have a reason to. Before, I never had anyone holding my hand suggesting me to this path since Im a pretty healthy person overall, but especially and more importantly I never gave myself permission to sincerely this explore this way of life. I had my doubts, fears, and anxieties in actually doing what seemed so hard. However 1 month ago, I was ready, pounds were creeping up, I felt swollen, I wasnt sleeping right and I felt in a rut. If you are considering some type of cleanse, clean slate, or overall lifestyle change- YOU HAVE GOT TO DECIDE YOU WANT “IT” (health, happiness, free from addictions) MORE THAN YOU WANT WHAT YOU’VE WANTED IN THE PAST (immediate pleasure, emotional habits, food escape, unhealthy behavior)…AND KNOW WHY. Its whats going to keep you driving the wheel when the excitement wains off.
Two weeks in I was pretty excited, three weeks in it got tougher, and by the fourth week I really had to dig deep to remember my why’s. Talking about it to everyone and sharing my story surely kept me accountable, but knowing that I was doing this for a reinvented lifestyle, benefitting from the eliminations already, continued to motivate me as well. Now I normally implement healthy things and it works, but at the time I decided to do this, I knew I just had to cut.the.shiz.out. But by cutting this shiz out I made room for the coolest types of kudos and accomplishments…
Here are my CLEAN little secrets:
1) I used almond, coconut, and soy milk in my coffee (did the trick)- post clean slate Ive introduced organic creamer and a few teaspoons of sugar in the raw. I refuse to go back to splenda/artificial sugar EVER because it was truly bad for me and addictive and desensitized my palate. I introduced the organic creamer because Ive found many of the almond milks that are readily available to have a long ingredients list, which Im trying to stay away from.
2) I am eating way more veggies than I have before, and I THOUGHT used to eat a lot, and am increasingly craving them as my main source of carbohydrate. Spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, spaghetti squash, carrots, cauliflower, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, zucchini (made in the form of noodles) are now new staples.
3) Instead of loading my Shakeology with fruit or putting it on top of toast or oatmeal (while pretty healthy it was very heavy) Ive been using PB2, Chia Seeds, and Water. Its AMAZING, really filling, and incorporates less sugar than other concoctions Id make before
4) I still have my treats (and believe firmly to stay on track with drastic changes in one diet you have to replace old hankerings with a positive replacement). So my treats are now REAL nut butters (nothing but the nut and maybe salt). No added sugar etc- which I never paid attention to before. Dark Chocolate- as high in caocao content as possible. Coconut flakes if I need a little sweetener or honey. Instead of putting this on top of bread or ice cream or who knows what, its pretty incredible on top of a baked sweet potato. Yes, heavy, decadent, but a great way to naturally satisfy the sweet tooth and restore glycogen post intense exercise. One can also do this with coconut butter, cinnamon, and if youre not giving up dairy, REAL cream made from organic sources etc (havent mastered that yet). Or of course fruit would work too! Banana apple, etc. Ive been trying to keep veggies higher in consumption than fruit.
5) Protein is yummy! And so are fats! So not being shy from olive oil (I still measure mine out), avocados, real chicken, turkey, steaks, beef, real butter. I still love my egg whites but have been less shy to incorporate one whole real egg. Delicious and filled with right fat. Ive always loved seafood, but after realizing how much tastier the organic REAL farm fresh meat is, I have surely expanded my palate I assure you.
6) Im cooking! Im cooking! I cook dinner and prepare lunch everyday and its so dang easy and worth it. I dont mind having many similar types of meals/salads/random bowl concoctions of egg whites, lean proteins, tons of veggies and avocado. Its always a little different with the protein and veggie included, but many of the things I have every day I cant get enough of.
7) Fruits taste delicious now…they are a treat in and of themselves- and I can recognize something that is highly sweet and can actually taste a teaspoon of sugar, versus not tasting anything before due to splenda induced insensitivity.
8) By eliminating wheat, processed, junk, and trigger foods Ive completely eliminated the ablity to talk myself into this or that. Anything that I might grab throughout the day or weekend to satisfy boredom or stress or procrastination doesnt cut it- because quite frankly Im probably too full or its not filled with drug like properties to instantly perk me up. The items I have now are AMAZING when hungry and AMAZING when fueling me for the right reasons, but when Im just looking for a pick me up or distraction, they dont cut it and Im not wanting to just grab an apple just to put something in my mouth, or grab some avocado or eggs to put in my mouth…that would normally be chips, candy, a sweet treat, a super creamy coffee. Make sense? Its forcing me to work through those irrational feelings and take a walk, talk to my neighbor, read a positive message on pinterest, or just get right to work.
9) Its forcing me to realize whats “worth it”. When I finally broke my clean slate I enjoyed everything from wine, cheese, crackers, cheese on top of my chicken, mashed potatoes, deli meat, and wedding cake (could you tell I was at a wedding)? The only thing worth it that I absolutely LOVED and realize is the type of treat I wont ever feel bad indulging in (as long as its from time to time) because its so dang good was the cake. I just friggin love a rich cake with amazing icing- that is my splurge and Im completely recognizing a rich dessert at the one thing I have no apologies enjoying. I could have passed on everything else, but cupcakes and rich cakes with amazing icing and ice cream with fudge on top of brownies will be the treat I will absolutely allow myself from time to time with no guilt. Since then I havent really wanted wheat…or the processed stuff…or the trigger foods.
So Im probably too late to apologize for a long post, a rambling of sorts, but you’re probably wanting to know: What are my results!?
1) A solid 3 lbs and over 3 inches lost- water weight is way down when I eat this way
2) No cravings for the normal wheat laden, dairy infused, processed junk Id excuse myself into day to day- a much more sensitive palate
3) Better digestion, energy, focus, sleep, and workouts- with an increased desire to mindfully eat (take my time, use smaller plates, get away from distractions)
4) Cooking skillz
5) The ability to not just look at calories on a label, but more importantly, the ingredients list
6) Shopping for veggies, fruits, and REAL foods- convenience foods have completely taken a back seat
7) Water and green tea consumption versus any other liquid I used to deem acceptable. Coffee with cream and sugar in the raw I have sparingly.
8) Being more open to a variety of meats and fats
9) Finally listening to my hunger more
10) The satisfaction of fueling myself for performance and pleasure in a way I am at peace with
My plan moving forward is to eat the way Ive been eating. I didnt have to… no one told me to, but I actually really like it! Maybe Ill sprinkle in some steel cut oats, ezekial bread and/or quinoa, but Im liking my style lately. I feel completely at peace with indulging in whats “worth it to me” every once and awhile, but for the most part am looking forward to my future results with continuing this way of eating 90% of the time. I enjoyed listening to the audio of “Wheat Belly”, despite how extreme the delivery of their message is it kept me focused at the time, am continuing in my personal health challenge with my coach who is helping me for a change, participating in my own group where I can totally be myself and vent, ask questions, talk about issues, be vulnerable, and have moved on to reading FOODIST- all about eating REAL FOOD and never dieting again. This is just the beginning of a new slieu of blog posts Im sure…so stay tuned and remember Im learning just as much as you are, but in the process, I’ll sure as heck share my tricks with you!