Oh, someecards, you have a very special way of getting it jussssst right every time.
SO I PROMISED I’d do a recap/update of the ‘cleanse that wasn’t really a cleanse’ that I had put on my goals for January. I am happy to report that I was successful in completing this 14-day challenge, which, is incredibly impressive for me because I don’t think I’ve ever followed through on anything for that long. I swear to you I was born without willpower. I was hoping by this point I would have uncovered a digitized version of the plan somewhere on the world wide web but I suppose Tosca’s secret to success remains concealed in her Recharged book so your better-you body is gonna cost $20.
Okay – there’s a chance I’ll get this wrong because I lent my book out to a friend but here’s the basics of “Cooler Plan 1”. You eat healthy. Really healthy. Whole foods. No preservatives. Small meals that incorporate a complex carb (for this challenge it’s supposed to be a high water content veggie) and a portion of protein, 5-6 times a day. Also included is one starchy carb (like oatmeal or sweet potato).
WHAT I ATE
A typical day looked for me looked like this:
Meal 1: 1/4 c oatmeal, 1 tbsp raw almond butter, 1/2 apple
Meal 2: 2 egg whites and a cup of steamed spinach
Meal 3: grilled chicken breast, a cup of steamed brussles sprouts, 1/2 sweet potato
Meal 4: 2 slices of lean turkey breast and the other 1/2 of my apple
Meal 5: baked salmon with lemon/dill/Dijon mustard and a cup of steamed broccoli
Meal 6: I never felt like I needed the 6th meal!
OK, MAYBE I CHEATED A LITTLE
So I said I didn’t cheat and by my standards I’d stand by that. But, in some ways I kind of did. I allowed myself some small substitutions with foods that I felt confident in and knew wouldn’t sabotage my progress. They were still considered ‘clean foods’ just not part of this more strict version of the Eat Clean principles.
1. Nut butter was not actually part of Cooler Plan 1. I used it as a protein source in the AM and as a way to spice up my oatmeal. It saved me and helped me find the strength to say no to all the delicious things I had to say no to (more on that in a minute).
2. Dijon mustard. Again, not part of this particular plan but let’s be serious when you’re eating steamed veggies and grilled chicken breast twice a day something’s go to be invited to the party to spice it up a bit.
3. On a few occasions I incorporated veggies that weren’t necessarily “high-water content veggies” but they are still vegetables so no guilt there.
4. Coffee. Also not on the list. But I cut out refined wheat, preservatives, sugar, no added salt and booze all in one go – something had to give and for me that was coffee. I was sure to drink it black and I also increased my tea intake which is part of the plan.
10 MORE TIDBITS
1. I really liked this challenge because it was totally do-able as long as I stayed organized and planned my meals.
2. I never once felt hungry. Anytime I got a hunger pang it was time for my next meal. In fact I felt like I was eating more than I normally would.
3. It felt expensive (many-a-trips to the grocery store) but when I factored in all the times I’d typically eat out in a week (not to mention just switching my latte order to an Americano) I’m pretty sure I either broke even or saved money.
4. I felt amazing! I never thought I was a bloated person before but I could have sworn someone pricked me and let all the air out.
5. As far as my scale is concerned the holidays never happened and neither did these delicious cookies.
6. It was really hard to say “no” to treats at the office (I had to survive 3 birthday cakes, 2 sets of “rookie cookies” and a British invasion of biscuits and scones. But the more I said it, the easier it became and I didn’t even have to think about it after awhile. It was just a no. Sidenote: It really helps that my team at work was totally behind me and my goal and their support was incredible. I’ve even inspired a few coworkers to give it a go (hence my parting with my book).
7. You sort of have to compromise your social-life. Lucky for me I barely have one. Just kidding – kind of. For the most part I laid low for the 2 weeks but I did go out one night and was faced with a tray of meats, cheeses and Vino which I graciously declined. I also went to the movies (hold the popcorn), out for brunch (had salad hold the cheese) and was able to participate in “Pasta Bar” with Tiff’s family by making a few small adjustments to the menu. As long as you’re dedicated and flexing your “no” muscle you can survive!
8. I am officially afraid of sugar. Which may be a good and bad thing. Since my 14 days are up I’m trying to stick as close to these principles as possible – within reason that is.
9. I should probably mention the first three days I got headaches (which was the 911 call to reintroduce coffee) but after that I was totally fine. I had full energy and was even able to work out as I normally do.
10. I have completely re-thunk what I’m putting in my body. Nothing goes in mindlessly anymore (except for maybe almond butter… I’m working on that). It’s a really incredible feeling to feel in control of what you eat. I’m pretty sure my whole life I was letting food control me. Not cool.
As you probably have noticed by the ridiculous amount of food posts as of late this has been a huge part of my life the last two weeks. If you’re interested in pursing this lifestyle I highly recommend you check out Tosca Reno and her Eat Clean diet. I won’t lie I’m kind of in love with her mostly cause she’s a fellow Canuck. I also discovered this incredible website, the Gracious Pantry, which is over-flowing with delicious clean eating recipes. Let me know if you embark on this journey!