Clean Eating Update: Week 1
So last week I ranted on about “cleansing” and how these companies are selling the fact that our bodies are loaded with hidden toxins that only their products can rid you of. I have never been a fan of any program that tries to tell you what they sell is better than plain old common sense food and lifestyle choices (I’m talking even about Slim Fast, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem as well as these newer “nutritional rebalancing” programs like Isagenix or Beachbody). Sure anyone can eat/drink the prescribed packaged food or potions, but can you live like that your whole life? Does it really teach you about food and nutrition and what is best for your body? And don’t even get me started about how our bodies are time bombs that need to be cleansed of all of their toxins.
Anyway, I decided it was time to put my money where my mouth was, since I hate people who are all talk and no action. Rather than go the misery route, I decided to bite off cleaner eating one step at a time. First stop: sugar. I decided to cut back on all added sugars, both real and artificial, in my diet. I said I would cut out desserts, sweets, everything possible that has added sugar.
How’d I do? Well I think I did pretty well. The biggest thing was eliminating the Equal/Splenda in my coffee each day. I have two cups a day and put in a packet every single time. So right away I was making a big change. It wasn’t easy, but within just a few days I got used to the flavor of the unsweetened almond milk as my flavoring of choice. The other big change was not adding a dollop of maple syrup in my oatmeal. I swapped that out for sliced or mashed bananas and that has been OK.
I didn’t eat any sweets or desserts. It honestly wasn’t that hard since I’m not a huge dessert eater any way.
The one area in question for me is other items that have sugar in them, like my power bars and granola bars. My Kashi bars had “cane syrup” so I let that one slide, but my Kind bars have sugar and so do the Clif ones. My plan is to have them only sparingly.
I started feeling a little better right away, but now this feels normal. So we’ll see. No headaches or anything like that.
For Week 2 I have decided to eliminate dairy. This one is tricky because I do eat Greek yogurt often, probably five days a week. I have found some non dairy alternatives, but all of them in my local grocery had added sugar, even the Stonyfield soy. I bought two but then found some plain ones at another store, so I’ll just work through these (using them only sparingly as a topping for oatmeal) until they’re gone and then work with the plain.
I’ve already switched to almond milk in my coffee so that won’t be hard. The biggest problem there is having coffee out. Yesterday I had coffee out with girlfriends and had to take it black because all they had was cream. But it was doable.
Beyond those two items, I think the hardest will be cheese on pizza. We eat a fair amount of pizza, especially during Lent when it is a good meatless option. At this point I plan on taking the cheese off. We’ll see how it goes.
So far I’m down about two pounds, which is less than I was hoping for, since I’m really carefully tracking as well. But the whole point of this journey is not the quick fix, it is to slowly clean up my habits in a way that can stick, so I need to let that go and focus on feeling good and healthy.