It’s the eve of my 41st, and I have been remiss in writing to all of you. Our last month was filled with heartache – we finally had to let Jazzy go – and far too many illnesses at home. I am hoping that we are headed in the right direction as March is nearly here; believe me, we are ready for the real start to 2017.
When it comes to nutrition and fitness, I did achieve a personal goal in February. I finally did get and stay below my pre-baby weight of 128lbs! And to boot, I am nearly down to my weight from 5 years ago, before I had our first son, Sajen. Do you want to know a secret? I used our formula of tracking calories in and tracking calories out. It worked!!! We have been preaching the benefits of Focused on Fit for years, and when you stay disciplined to the program, you will find success.
The Whole 30
So this past month, I did something I never thought possible. I eliminated added sugar (refined sugar), dairy, processed foods, and alcohol from my diet. Although it wasn’t technically the Whole 30 diet, I followed many of the same principles. The Whole 30 Program touts real results by eliminating many foods from the diet for 30 days. The rules of the program are as follows:
- No added sugar, real or artificial.
- No alcohol of any kind.
- No grains – rice, wheat, barley, oats, corn, cereal, millet, quinoa, rye, amaranth, etc.
- No legumes – no beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils or peanuts (or peanut butter); and no soy.
- No dairy – milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream (of course).
- No carrageenan, MSG or other sulfites.
Well, I did my own version – no added sugar, no alcohol, no dairy, no processed foods. I continued to consume whole grains (only brown rice, oats and quinoa) and all legumes, including soy. And I have seen a marked difference in my waistline, face and my energy level. It’s honestly remarkable.
How did I do it?
Let’s start with alcohol. For many of you, and many that I have talked to over the past few weeks, this is daunting. But for me, it was honestly no big deal. I have been either pregnant, trying to get pregnant or nursing these past 5 years, so I have drastically reduced by alcohol intake anyway. Eliminating it all together was not a challenge; even with 3 birthdays in the house and Valentine’s Day! And when you think about the wasted calories in alcohol (at least 125 calories in a glass of wine), I am happy to push that glass away.
As far as eliminating dairy, this was a bit more challenging. I realized how much I relied on dairy as a source of protein. As a vegetarian, I used whey protein in my morning smoothies daily, and always ended my day with a bowl of plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, both excellent sources of protein. And my biggest challenge – I LOVE CHEESE. This was a tough one, but after nearly 30 days, I don’t miss it. Even in my eggs. The added fat and empty calories just don’t seem worth it.
Eliminating added sugars and processed foods – this was THE toughest part of the month. My day job has me traveling from office to office all over town, and I have definitely had plenty of days when I forgot to pack my lunch and snacks. When I am on the go and ‘eating healthy,’ I usually stop at Starbucks or even Walgreens to pick up a snack, usually a Kind bar. They are made with natural ingredients, and among processed foods, not that bad. Well, this month, I didn’t have that crutch. My snacks included our Clean Egg Muffins, roasted almonds, apples, carrots, red bell pepper strips, and even hard-boiled eggs.
Planning and Sunday meal prep was key to my success to eliminate the added sugars and processed foods. Oh, and don’t forget morning coffee. All of a sudden, I have kicked the habit of creamer and artificial sweetener in my diet! This has been huge for me, after learning that studies are inconclusive as to the effect of artificial sweetener on insulin levels. In a recent study, where patients consumed the same amount of sugar, yet half were pre-treated with artificial sweetener, “study participants’ bodies released roughly 20% more insulin following the artificial sweetener pre-treatment.”
What did I learn?
It’s not that hard. I can do anything if I want to do it.
And you can too. Challenge yourself – don’t you think you are worth it? Register with us, and start your journey today.