Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Clean Eating Challenge Update

Hey Readers!
Pineapple, celery, orange & chia seed juice

So a couple weeks ago I had promised a blog post on my successful journey completing the Buzzfeed, "Clean Eating Challenge". Going into the challenge I was so optimistic. This might be one of the reasons as to why it has taken me so long to get back here and write a review. As I had said before I don't often limit my eating. Although I try to eat right for my body I don't often go on long detox type diets. But this holiday season was brutal on my eating habits. I had thrown all caution to the wind and started ignoring that sensible voice in my head continually telling me that another binge might just push me over the edge. I was eating whenever and whatever I wanted without taking the necessary steps to keep myself feeling well.

So I decided I needed to press the restart button. I needed a motivator and I thought this "Clean Eating Challenge" would be the perfect tool to get me back on track. But only a few days in I started to realize it was not only de-motivating it was pushing me towards a nervous breakdown. Reading the challenge it seemed like a fair amount of work... but let me tell you it was more than a fair amount it took up hours. They tied everything up with a nice bow saying that all the meals are portable, fast and easy to assemble but as always this was not the case. The first two days I spent almost 4 hours in the kitchen preparing and packing lunches for the next four days. The worst part was that this was only lunches... I still had to recollect my thoughts and head back to the kitchen (hours later due to the fact that outside of my excessive meal planning I still had a job and a life to live) to complete the tasks needed to have food on the table for dinner.

I had also sadly came down with a horrible cold in the middle of all of it and it made enjoying the process almost unbearable. So on top of the horrible workload the food was just not good. I know going into a very strict elimination diet your expectations shouldn't be extremely high in the taste department, especially when cutting out salt but these recipes were confusing, dull and sometimes just inedible. By the forth day I finally broke down called David and said, " NO MORE! I know we purchased all this food and spent all this money but this is not continuing".

I don't often throw in the towel but this was just not going to be completed on my time. I was stressed, tired, sick and not satisfied. But because I am not a quitter and I hate wasting time and money-I decided I would complete the two week program on my own plan. I would still omit dairy, caffeine, simple carbohydrates, and fatty meat products but using my own recipes. I didn't want any of the vegetables to go bad and I still wanted to restart my system so I put my thinking cap on and got creative.

After about an hour of planning I reworked the whole plan to fit my lifestyle. I thought of fun and tasty recipes that could use all the produce I had purchased in a time where it wouldn't go bad. I did have a few things that ended up not working well in my new plan ( like the 6 chicken breasts they made me cook off the first day of planning). If I had been thinking straight I should have just frozen them and moved on.

But after these two weeks I have successfully eaten vegetable filled easy to prepare meals everyday. Although I would not recommend this challenge to anyone but indirectly it gave me what I had been searching for- a new outlook on what I was consuming. I have lost that horrible holiday binge weight, become a lot less bloated, and found interesting ways to incorporate those foods that make me feel good back into my diet. I also added some new and exciting foods into my everyday pantry that you wouldn't have typically seen there before these two weeks.

All and all I would say that I had a good time trying to eat outside of the box. I loved the idea of eliminating processed and prepackaged food items. I can tell that the sodium levels in my diet has decreased. I have always had a lot of tongue problems including tongue bloating. This is a typical sign that you are ingesting too much sodium. After these two weeks my tongue is normal sized and really healthy. I also just feel like I have more energy. I was able to get up and work out and start the day out with a smile.

In the next week I will share some of the recipes I used on my two week plan and some of the tricks I would suggest when trying to detox.

Thanks for visiting!


Ps. A couple of my "go-to's" during this challenge we have mentioned before on the blog, drinking water, juicing, candida cleanse recipes and even just simply relaxing in a nice epsom salt bath are some of the ways I calmed myself while doing this cleanse.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year-Our Sincerest Apologies for Our Abrupt Absence

Hello Readers!
Minneapolis Holiday Market 2014

It has been too long. Danielle and I have taken a very long and very abrupt leave of absence. I spent the last two months making a huge professional change that has taken up most of my free time. I have mentioned over and over again that I was going through some pretty severe bouts of stress.

I thought that maybe if I just pushed on I could overcome the stress and that I would eventually feel better. But unfortunately I just started to get more exhausted and even the smallest things started to feel like huge obstacles. Especially finding time to write interesting, informative and fact filled blog posts.

In the beginning I was so excited to use this as a platform to learn everything there was to learn about living a natural and holistic lifestyle. As the stress increased and my mind started to wander it became more of a race to finish my posts. I couldn't provide you, the reader, with anything I felt was worth reading.

I know this all sounds so dramatic and maybe none of you were wondering where we went since we had only just dipped our feet in the GIANT pool that is blogging.  But now that I have moved on from my stressful job, found soft ground to land on and time to clear my mind I am back and ready to research and complete this venture I had set out on almost a year ago.

Homemade Beef Pho (look for recipe later)
Since I have been gone I have had time to get a grip on my life. I have been able to cook more, read more and spend a little R & R with my family and my wonderful boyfriend. David has been my rock. He has spent a lot of time trying to help my through my stress. We try and spend as much time outside of our chaotic lives relaxing and making plans to keep our lives stress free.

I will have lots and lots more to say in the near future and hope that I can provide you with tips and the education needed to leading a holistic life.

Ps. David and I will be embarking on the Buzzfeed "Clean Eating Challenge". As Danielle and I had mentioned in the past we are not very hype on elimination diets but I felt like hitting the reset button. Over the past couple months I have been eating everything and anything put in front of me. I am ready to find a new way to enjoy the foods I love. I decided on the "Cleaning Eating Challenge", because it provides all the necessary tools to successfully detox. I will be following up in the next couple weeks to let you know how it is going. We are also trying to do the challenge on a budget. Most of the reviews on the challenge say that the worst part is that you have to spend so much money to complete it. We will go through the ways we have chosen to save money as well as an overall review of the diet.

Also, I would love to hear from all of you. We started this blog to investigate for all of you! Let me know what you are interested in and let me know if there is anything you would like me to research for you.

Thanks Again!

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