Day 31 – Time to push the re-set button!

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!

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Hi! I have to say that you inspire me…I’ve been following your blog for about a month now and looking forward to your inspiration. I seem to find myself in the same place…back to my center, back to spirit back to clean eating and loving myself every single day. I look forward to hearing how everything goes….by the way, what book were you reading when the lovely blossom landed? Have you ever read Concious Living by Gay Hendricks? It comes highly recommended….xoxo Have a great week, Best always, Jana

    • Thanks Jana!!! I’m glad you’re feeling inspired!!! The book I was reading was ‘Eastern Body Western Mind’ by Anodea Judith. I haven’t heard of that one, but I”ll put it on my list – thank you!!!

  2. “you are what you eat” SO true!

    You might be interested in Forks Over Knives. It is showing at the Cineplex by Tinseltown!

    “FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the so-called “diseases of affluence” that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods. ”
    Read more and see a trailer :

    I LOVE your blog! It really is helping thru a rough patch. I have been feeling a complete lack of balance in my life. Thank you for sharing with us and inspiring us everyday!

    • Thanks Vanessa!! I will check it out!! I still have yet to see ‘Food Inc.’.. I’ve heard a lot about it though.. Thanks for posting this, I’m always wanting to learn more :)

  3. I eat very similar, however I do have a little bit of full fat organic dairy, mostly in my trad long macc or yoghurt to cool off a spicy curry, or as a base for a salad dressing.

    Also I try and have only organic meat. Organic grass fed beef is the only way to go – so you don’t get hormones and nasties, plus it is yummy! Meat and nuts breakfast is an amazing way to start the day and will help you in early morning workouts!

    This has been a massive leap from the vego, only eats egg animal products kid I was about 2 months ago, and you know what? I feel amazing! It took a little while to transition into eating this way, but I really notice the difference, especially when I ‘slip’ – I immediately get puffy and pop like I’m about 6 months preggo – hilarious to see but not so comfortable!

    Good luck!

    Oh and can I recommend a book, it’s called Sweet Poison, amazing, will put you off sugar (fructose) for life!

    • I totally understand about the puffiness!! I’m already feeling a MAJOR difference after only a week off of the stuff! THanks for the book recommendation!!!

  4. I have determined that men and sugar are the source of most of my issues too. Funny!

    I have been considering a similar diet as you are undertaking so I will be curious to hear how it goes.

    As for the men, I look at it this way. I would rather feel lonely when I am single and supposed to me lonely instead of being in a relationship and feeling lonely. That is worse. Enjoy being single. Compared to so many who are in unhappy relationships, we are the lucky ones!

    • Thanks for this boost of inspiration Caryn! So true :) And I”ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling – already feeling like a million bucks!! Not even needing coffee!!! :)

  5. wow. that’s amazing. u seem totally ready and eager to do this :)
    2 carts full of groceries!
    Well, im sure u’ll nail it, im definitely excited to hear the changes you will experience from paleo.
    i’ve tried it before but only made it to 1 month and i stopped. honestly, it was too difficult for me especially when i eat out (prepping your own food to work and cooking @ home plays a HUGE role), also, it was painful for me to give up dairy, rice and pasta. haha. but then after the initial shock to my body, i noticed that i started being more awake (alive), i never felt sleepy anymore during the day, i felt lighter… hmm… now you’ve got me reconsidering this again. :p
    ok maybe i’ll just try to reduce first, or opt for your 4-day challenge as a start… :)

    Goodluck Jenn, and i hope you have an amazing Paleo journey!

    • hahahah… only one of those carts was mine!! I’m not that much of a pig!!! hahahaha… I did feel silly though that all that food was for ONE person! At least my fridge and freezer are happy campers right now though!!! YES to the 4 day challenge!!! That’s awesome you tried the Paleo – I’m really curious to see how I’m gonna feel :)

  6. i adore you. i come to your blog happy…leave inspired…and tmrw will be brighter because of you.
    the only sad thing: i miss opportunities to hang.
    i’m 100% in for the challenge. and 150% committed to making a straight up coffee (no cream obviously) date with you.
    the world is better because you are in it girlfriend.
    shine on! xx

    • Mrs.Irwin – you amaze me!!! :) You rock!!! YES to more hanging out!! AND YES to the challenge with us!!! YOU ROCK!! I’m already feeling like a million bucks!!! AND I had a coffee today – black. No problem!!! I hear we’re gonna paddle board from north van to the SSC?? Yes? Is this true??! lol. you are awesome. Hope you’re soaking up the sun!! Stoked to see you TOMORROW!! xoxoxox

  7. thanks for writing so much Jenn!!! i am learning a lot by it and its so inspiring!!!!!!!

    i am feeling the same way about the way i eat now.. i used to be extremely healthy in eating, too healthy that it wasnt healthy anymore. i feel super inspired taking this challenge on. as for me, i dont believe in diets either but believe in “lifestyle” and what really feels good, so i am going to take up some of your ideas and my own and ofcourse challenge myself to persist on eating clean, believing it will bring more peace into my body everyday as it has been very off balance lately. but the sugar goes too!!!!!
    will you post pictures of your meals ???? your breakfast this morning looks yummie !!!! cant wait to go grocery shopping tomorrow!!!!!!

    “everyday is a new day that brings new opportunities, chances, choices, people, possibilities, dreams, ideas … enjoy the swing of everyday”

    • Hey Lizzy!! I will try and post some pics here and there – I wish I had time to post all of my meals. Definitely if I find a great recipe, I will share!!!

  8. I’ve had so much fun with you this weekend JT! I wouldn’t be on this clean eating kick right now if it weren’t for you! It really helps to have someone to do these things with, and for those who are brave enough to rock it on their own at least they will have all the resources you suggest and the endless ideas and support of your blog! Day one really wasn’t all that bad. I’m not gonna lie…. I craved chocolate a few times when passing by the good stuff in the market. Its amazing how when the timing is right and you really want something it is so much less hard than you might work it up to be.
    I had a lovely veggie egg scramble for breakfast, a salad with boiled eggs, crispy proscutto and avocado plus a bunch of veggies for lunch… the one of my faves spaghetti sauce served on speghetti squash with grated egg and fresh oregano and italian parsley. Delish!!
    I snacked on a few olives, fruit, veggies and nuts in between here and there. Lots of water, a bit of coffee and a tea to finish the day off!! Feeling strong and looking forward to paddle boarding in the morning!!!


    • Man, JC, I LOVE YOU and our time together!! Always leaving me feeling uplifted and inspired!! Stoked we’re doing this together!! I’m going to try the spaghetti squash DONE!! I’m loving this challenge – feeling amazing already!!!xoxox

  9. Just to let you know if you wanna read about another blogger attempting the paleo diet, is doing it! She lets herself have wine and some of her favorite foods still. She seems to love it and has a very humerous take on it all. I’m vegetarian so I would never attempt it but I would love to see how you do it!

    • Thanks for the blog – just checked it out, and was laughing out loud. She’s awesome!! Thanks for the support! You might like the crazy sexy diet if your a vegetarian – super great book!!!

  10. Another good challenge. Its so you. Hope you enjoy doing it.

    and another good book suggestion: Monk who sold his ferrari.

  11. A detox and a he-tox… Sign me up!! I’ve been feeling tres bummed about my single status lately too. (… You’re not alone!!) There’s so much pressure out there to date, date, date… No wonder we’re left feeling so much anxiety! The reality is, the stars will align when they are meant to align, right? Might as well enjoy this ME time while we can, ’cause who knows… This might just be the last time in our lives that we’ll be single ladies!

    And, I have to say… As someone who honestly couldn’t handle the pressure of “Crush 101,” AWESOME job for doing it as much as you did!!

    I’ve heard FABULOUS things about Paleo! I’d love to try it, but it just doesn’t jive with my vegetarianism. I might have to pick up “Crazy Sexy Diet” though… LOVE Kris Carr!!

    • Thanks for the support about Crush 101! You are awesome… :) And so true – we have to enjoy this ME time!!! You’ll love her book – she’s a veggie too, and super real and funny. Love that book!!

  12. To all the single ladies: I would like to recommend TheSingleWoman column from Mandy Hale. She has been an inspiration for many women in similar situations for over a year. Her columns are worth a read!

  13. Wanted to share: My mother fed us the healthiest of food in the world when i was living with her. I used to not like her at all, coz i would see my friends eat greasy and sweet yummy food all the time while i was loaded with spinach and veggies and brownrice. i wrote in my journal, that i will never do this to my kids. Her reason: i love you, how can i feed you crap even though it makes u temporarily happy. Took me years to understand why she did it. My body thanks her everyday today coz i have no craving for junk at all. I am not used to it and now i am old enough to understand why i should start feeding off it. I actually get more depressed than happy when i eat food high on fat or sugar coz its something my body isnt used to. Thanks mom.

    Bottom line: our bodies adapt so well eventually. Its an evolutionary trait i think.

  14. J-Teeeee….I am in. Today. All. The. Way. And you are already
    dialed up with the kale chips! Wow! My tip for today: once a day, make a firm demand to our Busy- Brain, “Quiet! Lay down!! Sshhhh.” Place mindfullness instead into the body energy. In parts or the clean and clear energy of the whole. This is the only way to listen to the silent intelligence of our body, our being. And a good clean eating commitment will surely heighten this awareness. There-in awaits the shift. Namaste. Marr

  15. Please be sure to share lots of recipes along the way!
    I already have big plans for a thirty day Yoga challenge in June and I think a little healthy eating would be a perfect addition!

  16. I learned about 6 years back that when you stop seeking out love, it will come to you. I was determined not to get into a relationship because I was heading to Australia for a year, and wouldn’t you know it, 3 months before I left I met my partner. I told him I was going to Australia no matter what. We stayed together while I was gone (I only ended up staying 6 months) and we are still together today. So, don’t stress about finding a man…it will happen when you least expect it!

    love your blog!

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