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A Clean Eating Update

2014 May 19


I am technically on day 15 of The 30 Clean.

Technically half way there.

I say “technically” because there were a few slip ups this weekend so I am also “technically” back at day one, but let’s just gloss over that and call it day 15.

Half way there.

I have quickly learned one thing about my relationship with food (and cocktails): I use it as a reward.

“We’ve earned this glass of wine.”

“After this day, I think I deserve an ice cream.”

“I didn’t have carbs or dairy all day, so clearly I am entitled to a little candy pie with my kids for dessert.”

Despite the stress of the last week and being displaced from our home and my kitchen, I think I did pretty well. There were definitely a few more cocktails than allowed and a bite here and there that was not “compliant,” but overall, I did my best sticking to the program and it felt really good. I realized that this part of the process is a little extreme for me but that if I can find a way to incorporate this approach even 80% of the time, I will be doing myself – and my body – a world of good. My goal is to stay as compliant as possible for the next 15 days and then to use all this knowledge and hard work to change my habits moving forward.

What does that mean? Less gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Nothing processed.

Most of the time.

How do I feel heading into week three? Much better. I have lost about five pounds, despite my little hiccups. My energy levels have basically sorted themselves out and this week I am focused on getting back into my Dailey Method routine. I am surprisingly fine without the dairy, gluten and grains, but the sugar is still calling out my name. I am definitely more conscious of the choices I make and the food I am eating. I have also realized how much I love baking and cooking and food. I don’t want to be the person who will never bake a homemade brownie or enjoy a slice of pizza ever again. I don’t want that for myself or for my family. But I do want to be mindful of my choices, balance them out thoughtfully, and make a continued effort – long past this 30 days – to put my health first and the reward second.

Unless, of course, it involves candy pie 😉

Here are some things that are working for me on this journey:

Water. Lots of it. When I think I am hungry and I know I shouldn’t be, I drink a big glass of water loaded with fresh lemon. And club soda and lime has become my go-to for dinner instead of my usual sauvignon blanc. Unbelievable, but true.

Routine. I eat a lot of the same things over and over. You may call it boring, but I call it easy. And easy is good when you’re going through a transition like this. These three-ingredient pancakes have been on the menu more mornings than not.

Sweet potatoes. I have perfected my homemade sweet potato fries (cut and cooked by hand, no frozen versions allowed) and pair them with almost anything for a seemingly sinful – and filling – meal.

Here are some things that are not working for me on this journey:

Veggies at breakfast. They want me to fill up on veggies at breakfast, particularly green ones, and that has been a major struggle. I manage to choke down some spinach in a smoothie every few days but for the most part, my palate wants sweet and not green in the morning.

Black coffee. I have basically had to give up coffee altogether because nothing seems to be a suitable stand-in for my beloved creamer. The good news? Giving it up (almost) hasn’t been as hard as I thought. The bad? I still want that damn creamer.

Outlawing snacks. On my particular program, snacking is taboo. The whole idea is that you fill up so much on veggies at each meal, you can get to the next without needing to graze. I still need a snack every day and I am ok with that, as long as it’s clean, i.e. hard-boiled egg and a slice of turkey, a Larabar, whatever.

*image above of my morning “Cup of Go” – frozen chopped spinach, blueberries, 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup of light coconut milk, splash of almond milk, 1 tbsp almond butter and crushed ice.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. May 19, 2014

    So glad you’re enjoying the pancakes! They’re a total lifesaver when you’re trying to cut gluten or grains 🙂

    And I know how you feel about the creamer. I’ve tried to eliminate processed food from my diet but the one thing I can’t kick is my sugar-free vanilla, coffeemate creamer. Nothing tastes as good. I seriously prefer it over fancy coffee shop drinks too. I tried coconut milk, almond milk, stevia, organic cream, everything. Finally I just gave up. It’s one of my little vices, and I don’t care haha!

  2. May 19, 2014

    Those pancakes may not be doing me any favors. I think I’ve had them WAY MORE than they’re intended. 😉

  3. May 19, 2014

    Also the no stevia is killing me, but it has made me see how much I depend on this being sweet (i.e. my coffee and smoothies.) I have stayed off though!

  4. May 19, 2014

    First of all I am so sorry about the fire. What a scary day! I lived in San Diego for over 10 years and I remember how awful fires are. I am so glad you and your family are ok!!

    I got a vitamix and it revolutionizes smoothies. Also good vanilla extract. And bananas. But I am not sure if those are allowed.

  5. May 20, 2014

    Hi there – firstly I read your post about the fire and rather shame-facedly didn’t comment as I was viewing when I was out and about. I felt bad that something big and scary had happened and I had read about it but not said anything. That sometimes seems so incongruous with blogging doesn’t it?! We share intimate feelings and people just pass on by. Anyway I am sure it was very frightening and my thoughts are with those affected. Scary stuff.
    Then on to the clean diet. I was interested to read this and I have an ongoing desire to start a similar thing. I just got flu and have been feeling so grotty that I start looking to my diet. It’s pretty good but I could do better. Interesting what you say about black coffee – it’s amazing how we can adjust our tastes but some things just don’t work. I would feel the same about black tea. Ugh.
    The trick seems to be finding some middle ground and making choices that work for family life. I find these diets work as a fad but I can rarely instil them in our lives for long.
    Lou x

  6. Christina B permalink
    May 21, 2014

    I’m very seriously considering a Whole 30, inspired by you 🙂 and also Janel’s recipes over at Life As Mom. My biggest challenge at this point is planning a month of meals for my boys (husband and teen son) to eat that I won’t resent making and won’t make me growl at them for eating.

    Have you had to deal with this much?

    Obviously, some men are not as zealously devoted to the belief that every meal should be served sans veggies on a flour tortilla with chips & queso as mine. Or at least, I’ve heard that these fellas exist. Somewhere. Allegedly.

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