Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My 5 Day Eating Clean Challenge

This week I did a 5 Day Challenge with a group of 8 women to eat 100% clean and workout 30 minutes a day.  I know 5 days seems like such a short challenge.   For me I had to start out small to be successful.  I have heard about eating clean but really didn't know too much about it until this week.  Last week I did some research and found the basic principles of eating clean.  I found so many different views on clean eating.  For instance some people said no dairy while others said it's okay.  As with anything their are different extremes you can follow.  My main goal was to:

Eat whole, natural foods and eliminate processed foods

I started over the weekend with finding recipes and snacks I could eat.  I prepared this 5 day menu for the week along with the following shopping list.  This is based on foods I knew I would actually eat or try.  Sorry I am not more diverse in my eating!

Sunday night I went shopping to get my ingredients.  My shopping trip took me a lot longer than normal. When looking for clean food you want to shop the outside aisles and avoid packaged foods.  Anything that was packaged should have no more than 3 ingredients.  Those ingredients should be natural, for instance names you can pronounce.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  I was amazed at how many things I thought were healthy had so many artificial ingredients and flavors in it.  Why does peanut butter have to have salt, hydrogenated vegetable oil, dextrose, corn syrup and honey added to it?  It makes the peanut butter smoother and the shelf life longer, but at what cost? The added sugar is just extra fat as well.  I found natural peanut butter, that only contained peanuts.  It tasted great!  It was a few dollars more but I may stick with that from now on.   One recipe called for whole-grain wraps, which I couldn't find.  By the time I finished my grocery trip I was too tired to prepare the food for the week.   I found later that to be a BIG mistake!

The week started out good.  I was able to stay away from the bag of Doritos my husband was so nice to bring in the house on Sunday!  I was finding myself hungry at night the first couple nights.  I learned the importance of eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day.  When I actually found the time to do that I wasn't as starving when meal time came around.  I found myself eating less even though I was eating more often throughout the day.  Breakfast is always a hard one for me to get in.  I love having my chocolate shake for breakfast.  I also learned to stay hydrated.  Drinking water is so important to your diet.  I only drank water and one cup of coffee a day the whole week.  

My bad planning had me scrambling for dinner at night.  Trying to chop vegetables with a cranky 8 month old and whiny 3 year old was stressful.  My plan was to prepare all that the week before.  I never did find the whole grain tortillas.  Two of my recipes called for wraps so I just ended up eating them out of a bowl instead.  On Wednesday my little girl surprised me at work.  I couldn't turn that face away without spending my lunch break with her.  Luckily I had researched clean eating restaurants and found my favorite, Chipolte, to be a decent all natural meal.  As a rule though anytime you eat out you are going to get some processed foods.  So that was a cheat!  Other than that meal and a few pretzels my husband thought was funny to shove in my mouth, I was able to complete the 5 days.  

RESULTS:  I feel great!  Honestly, I do. I lost 3 lbs. overall!  Another person in my group lost 5 pounds and another 8!  My workouts were easier.  I felt stronger.  I will probably do a longer challenge later on in the month.  It was great to completely focus on my diet for 5 days.  While clean eating is important, I will not become obsessed with it.  I learned a lot about how to eat clean this week.  I will try to eat whole and natural foods the majority of my meals.  I plan to incorporate it my families diet as well.  I learned that quinoa actually tastes good.  I can drink coffee without my creamer.  I can survive without energy drinks.  I am going to try and stay away from fast food as much as I can.  I will plan my meals and eat clean as often as I can!  

Stay tuned for an post on how you can incorporate clean eating into your life.  If you would like to learn more and possibly try a clean eating challenge please contact me!  I would love to help you reach your goals!

Email me sarahdellavecchio@gmail.com
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