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A Clean Eating Update

2014 May 29


Yesterday, I ate clean all day long.

The day before?

I didn’t.

Here is the latest on my 30 days of clean eating (it is technically day 25):

I have learned a lot of things in the past 25 days about food, nutrition, my relationship with what I eat, willpower…and boundaries. Personal boundaries.

Here are my biggest findings:

I eat way too much sugar. From the creamer in my coffee to the chocolate soy milk in my “healthy” smoothies to the baked goods I lovingly make every weekend for my kids. The good news? I was able to give most of it up without too much fuss. But do I want to give it up entirely? Do I want to obsess over every gram in every ingredient and never split a donut with my daughter ever again? No.

Carbs are really optional. I used to think that a meal wasn’t going to satisfy me without some sort of carb or grain. Granted, it was typically a “healthy” carb (i.e. brown rice over white), but it had to be there to make my plate – and stomach – full. That’s just not the case. A smart mix of proteins, veggies and fats is what will really fill you up and give you the energy to make it to your next meal without crashing. Does that mean I will forever be eating the taco fillings without the shell on Taco Tuesdays? Does that mean I will continue to subsist on sweet potatoes as my only carb forever and ever? No.

Water is your friend. I definitely do not drink enough water and on the days when I increased my intake substantially, I felt and looked better. Must make this a true priority moving forward.

I have more willpower than I ever expected.I went into this challenge secretly assuming I would be done with it by day 10. I made it past that with no cheats and to today with a few cheats. I conquered my 3pm chocolate cravings, my after-dinner chocolate cravings and my “it’s Friday!” chocolate cravings. I have only had one tiny slice of pizza (see this post) in almost four weeks. I have cut back to 1-2 glasses of wine PER WEEK. I have accomplished what I set out to accomplish: a healthier, more conscious mindset regarding food, a stronger sense of willpower, and a heightened awareness about what I am putting in my body – and when.

So did I stay 100% clean to day 30? No. But I hope to stay 85% clean long beyond day 30 and I think that’s a more realistic approach for my lifestyle. I love to cook and bake and spend hours flipping through cookbooks (my latest purchase is Bountiful) and watching cooking shows. I enjoy willpower but I also enjoy a cold glass of sauvignon blanc at the end of a long day. I don’t want to worry about the soy in my olive oil cooking spray when I am using it to make my third serving of vegetables in one day – that’s a feat in and of itself!

I think a program such as this one is certainly worth a try for anyone who is interested in evaluating their diet and lifestyle. It will give you pause and will certainly impact the choices you make, the numbers on the scale, and your state of mind when it comes to food.

But ultimately, for me, what I learned is that it’s more important to make healthy, fulfilling choices every day rather than restrictive ones for 30 days.

And that, my friends, is my final update.

*if you are interested, I started and will maintain a “clean eating” recipe board on Pinterest that you can follow here. And there will be chocolate on there 😉

5 Responses
  1. Leslie permalink
    May 29, 2014

    Good update! Very satisfying. Thank u 🙂 I was wondering.

    I have a feeling I would walk away with your same takeaways. If you got (food, mind, body) awareness from it, then it’s worth it, but definitely not a way to live (for me!).

  2. May 29, 2014

    Thanks for the update. Go you! I think it’s wonderful you stuck with it (a few slips up are fine…you’re human). I would really like to be able to balance my diet. I love sugar, but I can go without tons of it as long as it isn’t in my sight. I got on the water train a few years ago and my skin has been grateful ever since. I’ll check out your Pinterest board now. Excited to get some ideas!

  3. May 30, 2014

    Congratulations for getting this far and learning so much! I’m learning the more I experiment with my life the more I grow, change and learn!

  4. May 31, 2014

    Thanks for sharing. I recently gave the Whole30 a shot – I had a similar learning related to sugar. My main takeaway was that I don’t want to become a pro at following food rules, but rather continue working towards making healthy choices consistently.

  5. June 2, 2014

    Congrats Raluca! I think it’s great you were able to do so well, and to come away with such great realizations is what its all about anyway.
    I like that you mention the “it’s Friday” cravings- that’s what I’m working on now. I no longer cave to the Friday office bagels/donuts (so big for me!) but I’m still working on ‘every weekend is a holiday’. For some reason it’s hard me to keep the healthy mindset I have during the week.

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