Something switched for me the other day. It started with my cookie budget. 10 cookies in 40 days. I’m on my 9th cookie, but know for sure there will be no more this month. This seemed impossible – giving up so many cookies. But I’ve done it. I figured if I can do something like this that seemed so impossible, why not try cutting out sugar all together? I’ve been feeling extra blah and tired lately, and started noticing myself looking a little puffy. Perhaps that’s just a feeling, but I heard it as a way of my body saying, something is off. Instead of thinking of the external stressors in my life (which there don’t seem to be too many right now), I started to look inward. We are what we eat – literally, so hence I decided to cut out sugar. AND peanut butter. Wow, no cookies, peanut butter OR sugar. How was I going to do this??!
Sheena and Clorinda gave me the idea of setting 4 day goals for tough challenges. It’s short enough to see the end, and it’s super realistic. I decided to give up the crack for 4 days. When I got to day 5, my reward was going to be – guess what – a peanut butter cookie. Funny thing was, is that when I got there I was so proud of myself and feeling so much better that I wanted to keep going. Cold turkey. No sugar. You’ll never guess what happened….
I got sick. Hence, I’m sitting here blogging instead of backpacking in Garibaldi amongst the Whiskey Jacks, forests and breathtaking views. That’s how bad the stuff is for you I guess – we get sick when we rid something that bad out of our system. My body is in shock! I guess I hadn’t realized how much sugar I was consuming. I thought it was just a cookie here or there, a tim-bit every once and a while, a few scoops of ice-cream – you know, nothing too harmful. But I’ve learned that any amount is not good for you.
I wanted to take this further. I can tell my body is feeling better, even though I’m sniffling away as I type. I remember JC talking about the Paleo Diet which she and Andrew had done about a year ago. She raved about it. How good it made them feel. Their skin glowed, energy was high, their eyes sparkled clean and they just felt GOOD. Before our bikeride Saturday morning, I hit the bookstore. Did I ever get inspired. I got a few books that I had wanted to purchase for the longest time. The ‘Crazy Sexy Diet’ by Kris Carr, which someone recommended I read (I can’t remember who so please comment again – thank you!), as well as ‘Eastern Body Western Mind’, which was recommended to me by Elizabeth who I met when she purchased a Tiny Devotions necklace (glad you love i!). THANK YOU!!! Both books AMAZING.
Lately, I guess I’ve been feeling a little lost. Unbalanced. I realized Friday night what part of this might be – Men. My mind has been consumed with “oh man, I’m still single and I’m on this dating challenge, and I’ve been rejected a few times which sucks, but I’m still single and why am I still single? and…. blah blah“. I have been wasting my time ‘looking’. Feeling anxious about being on my own. Me? Anxious? What?! That was the wake up call. I’ve been on my own plenty long before and have been completely happy. I decided I want to be back at that grounded happy place. I decided to turn my focus inward. With what I’m eating, but as well as dive more into my spirituality. For some reason I always seem to shy away from this, but then get subtle reminders that it is completely necessary in order to fully love myself and hence love other people. (This picture is of a cherry blossom landing on my page while I was reading my book on the way to yoga this morning – meant to be, you think?! So now it’s my pretty bookmark, and constant reminder that I’m following my heart. Also, my yoga teacher had the same book in her hand – co-incidence? I think not).
Instead of being harsh on myself for feeling ‘lame’, I’m deciding to embrace this time. I’m changing my thoughts around. I’m grateful to want to spend this much time by myself lately and with close friends. To get to know me once again. I was caught up in the buzz there for a long time, so it’s good to be back. I’m embracing this shift.
So as for Crush 101, I’ve decided to end it early. I DID reach 50% of my goal which means that I did an okay job. :) Thank you to everyone who donated to the amazing cause. I have learned so much from it, I can’t express enough gratitude. The BIGGEST thing I learned personally from it: not to look. Looking = red flag. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been rejected a few times. They can sense the anxious red flag I must be waving above my head! So no more. No more asking men out or looking for men, or worrying about being single. I’m done with that. Instead… clean eating and devotion to myself. My spirituality. So much better. I feel like I can breathe again!
On our bike ride Saturday morning, I started asking JC about this paleo diet. I can’t remember the last time I felt that excited about something. It was magic. A magical ride filled with inspiration. We both specialized in Nutrition in our Kinesiology degrees, so it was fun getting the wheels spinning again. I love this stuff, but I had forgotten. Forgotten how much I love to learn, how much I love to eat clean and how much I love to be as healthy as possible – all it took was a cookie budget, followed by a 4 day goal of cutting out sugar and tadaaaaa!! Here’s what we’ve come up with:
The Not So Dirty Thirty Clean Eating Challenge!
What is it? We’ve taken the information that fits best for our lifestyles from 4 separate areas. 1. The Paleo Diet. 2. The Crazy Sexy Diet (Awesome book!! Completely vegetarian). 3. Whole 9life 4. Our common sense (the most important!).
I’ve never been one for diets, and hence we are calling this a CHALLENGE, rather than a diet. It’s a re-set. A chance to press the re-set button on your temple of a body for THIRTY DAYS. That’s it. We’re re-setting our body’s to be as clean and natural as possible. To reset our palettes. No scales, but rather ‘feel good monitors’. I won’t go into much detail about the Paleo diet, but basically it’s how our ancestors ate hundreds of years ago. Back to the basics. Before there was processed foods, cheese, refined cereals and so on. We have decided to eat this way for 40 days (to gain lifelong healthy habits) and encourage anyone who wants to join along to start their own challenge June 1st. If you start this day, you know what that means? Canada day is the celebration day of 30 days!!! If anything, maybe try cutting out something from your diet – such as sugar or dairy, depending on what you believe to be healthy/good for you. By no means am I suggesting following us exactly – it is a personal preference. We’ve just decided to jump in with 2 feet.
What happens after the 30 days? I’m not too sure how I will feel, but from what I read on the whole9life website, I’m going to be feeling pretty good. I know I’ll re-add some of my favourite grains back into my diet (oatmeal! How am I going to go 40 days without oatmeal!), but I will figure out what feels best for my body. If you’re not sure about giving something up, start with 4 days. That’s it, just FOUR. Really, that’s not bad at all. Look what it did for me! Here’s the challenge that we’ve created for ourselves and for anyone else who wants to join in, partially or fully – it’s up to you!
1. Eat real food: unlimited fruits, veggies, eggs, lean meats, fish & seafood.
2. Enjoy in moderation: raw nuts and oils (olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, walnut oil and avocado oil).
3. No grains (bread, rice, pasta, corn, oatmeal & quinoa).
4. No legumes (chickpeas – hummus-, peanuts, lentils, etc.)
5. No sugars (no maple sugar, honey, agave nectar, splenda, stevia, etc.)
6. No dairy (no butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, coffee cream – eeeeeK!!)
7. No processed foods (use discretion with vinegar, wine, deli meats, sausages, etc. and try to reach for organic foods as much as possible).
8. No alcohol (glass of red wine here or there is okay).
9. 5 minutes minimum of daily meditation, expressing one thing you are grateful for (optimally in the morning if you can!)
10. Do as much yoga as possible!
Strict? Yes. But that’s how dedicated I am to fuelling my body with the healthiest and cleanest food I can find. I already am loving how my days are going. I started this morning by setting my alarm 5 minutes earlier for a short meditation (loved it), then ate a super healthy egg/mushroom & avocado/ fruit breakfast before sitting on my mat at yoga. Then it was a buddy shop with JC at Superstore to fill up the fridge. I’ve already cut ahead for the week, boiled a whole bunch of eggs, cooked some yams, baked kale chips for salads, steamed and cut up beets, cut up fruit and put it in the freezer for easy grab smoothies. I’m excited. Instead of sitting at patios, I’ll be walking around Kits with my yoga mat and book in hand drinking tea from my favourite mason jar. Sounds pretty good to me. I’m going to embrace this time to myself, because it doesn’t happen all too often!
If you have questions about this, please thoroughly refer to the websites provided above as that is where we are getting the majority of our information – along with our common sense! Also, if any of this challenge upsets you and goes against what you believe to be right, that’s okay! I’m definitely not pushing my values onto anyone in doing this, so please don’t take it that way. I’m just trying something new. It’s an experiement, to see how good I can feel. Here goes!
Smile with your heart!