Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 10: Travel Day. So Far So Good.

Day 10 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Today was a work/travel day. We're spending the holiday weekend at my folks' home and Christmas tree farm in Tennessee.

Before we hit the road I packed an insulated bag with some safe snacks. I counted on being able to find a meal on the menu of most any restaurant we stopped at for lunch that fits.

This morning I got up early and went to the gym to get my workout in. When I got home I had leftover pumpkin pancakes with almond butter and coffee with half & half for breakfast. Mid-morning I had a handful of almonds.

We were on the road by lunchtime and stopped at a Wendy's to eat. I ordered an apple pecan chicken salad and ate all of the chicken, the salad greens and apple pieces. I skipped the pecans and dressing. So far so good...

Mid-afternoon I had a half banana with almond butter, and a couple hours later a handful of pumpkin seeds.

When we arrived at my mom's, she had dinner ready for us, which was country fried steak, veggies covered in cheese and garlic biscuits. I was very tempted to have one of the biscuits - they're usually one of my favorite parts of a meal. But I stayed the course. I ate a piece of the steak and a few veggies. I was a little apprehensive about the veggies because I think they came from a bag in the freezer section of the grocery store, and I wasn't able to read the ingredient list of the cheese sauce.

All in all it was a successful day. I'm going to a have to stay out of the kitchen tomorrow as much as possible. There are already three different pies on the counter, one of them being my all time favorite chocolate!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fresh Resolve for Clean Eating

Day 9 of 21 Day Sugar Detox

This morning during my workout, I found a new, strong resolve for this diet. I'm not sure what it was - could have been the great mood I was in or the extra energy I felt... or the fact that I've dropped five pounds in the last eight days!

I made the pumpkin pancakes from the book this morning for breakfast. Yum!!!
I ate them with almond butter. This is one of those recipes that's a keeper. I usually don't like things made with pumpkin, so this again makes me think my palette is changing and my body is craving new things. I love that.

For lunch I had a red potato, baked (microwaved) with butter and salt, and full-fat yogurt with a cut-up banana. That meal was probably too carb-y, but since I didn't have leftovers from last night, this was easy and on-hand. It kept me on the "yes" food list.

I kept the earlier carb load in mind when I had dinner. I made salmon with salt, pepper and fresh lemon, and I had that with a salad.

Another thing I'm finding with this eating plan that I love, is that I eat as much as I want. I eat when I get hungry, and eat until I can't eat anymore. This morning, I started with three pancakes and couldn't finish it all. I also didn't finish the salmon I put on my plate tonight. I was just full. And.... it's a little after 8 pm right now, and I'm not craving munchies!

I'm a little bit anxious for the upcoming Thanksgiving trip we're taking to my parents' home in Tennessee. Usually when I go down there I eat and eat and eat. There's always so much good food, and my mom's chocolate pie is THE BEST chocolate pie you'll ever taste. And she makes a chocolate sauce to pour over biscuits for breakfast.... Oh my gosh, I need to stop. We'll be there by late tomorrow night. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 8: All Is Good!

Day 8 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

Today was a good day. I was up at 4:30 to go to the gym (Monday is my early day). After my workout I came home to get ready for work and have breakfast. I had bacon, a scrambled egg and coffee with half & half. While I was driving to Lansing I ate a small green apple.

Before lunch a staff meeting and client appointment kept me busy. I made the drive back to Jackson and ate my lunch in our Jackson office while catching up on some work on the computer. Lunch was leftovers from last night - the "leftover makeover". (So I had leftover leftovers for lunch.)

Snack was full-fat plain yogurt (no sweeteners added) with a cut up banana mixed in. I enjoyed that more than I thought I would. I've tried plain yogurt before and didn't care for it. Adding the banana was the perfect complimentary flavor. Could this be because I'm getting used to not-so-sweet stuff? ;-)

For dinner tonight I made the ginger-garlic beef & broccoli from the book.
Didn't care for this one. It had good flavor and probably would have bee much better if I'd bought a better cut of beef for it.

Oh, and for desert for both lunch and dinner I had a not sweet cinnamon cookie. I really love that recipe!

Since dinner was a bust tonight, I'm going to have to find something else to do for lunch tomorrow. I won't be taking leftovers of this. I'll figure something out. It's probably going to be a slow day at work because of the upcoming holiday, so maybe I'll have time to come home and cook something.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Workout Week: Nov. 18 - Nov. 23, 2013

My workouts this week consisted of only weight training. I will add in cardio two weeks from now. This is part of Jamie Eason's Live Fit workout on I should have done five days, but I only got four of them in. I didn't make it on Thursday or Saturday - no biggie.... still trucking.

Sunday: off
Monday: legs
Tuesday: back & biceps
Wednesday: chest & triceps
Thursday: off
Friday: legs

One Week Down! (21 Day Sugar Detox)

I successfully made it through my first week of the 21 Day Sugar Detox. WooHoo! I'm charged up and ready to tackle the next one.

For most of the week, I stuck very closely to the daily meal plan in the book. I think I'll enjoy the meals more, though, if I pick and choose from the recipes and just use the ones I think I'll like, and substitute any items I don't care for with others on the 'yes' list. I feel like I'm prepared to do this next week a la cart.

On that note, tonight I cleaned out the refrigerator and did a leftover makeover. I had some leftover sausage, meatballs and shepherd's pie.

I started by heating up some bacon fat in a large skillet, adding some chopped onion, cut-up squash, salt and pepper.
I let that cook for a few minutes and then started adding the meat. I added a can of diced tomatoes and beans, some paprika, basil and sage and cooked it all through.
I served it over rice, and that was dinner tonight.
I did some heavy house cleaning and laundry today. And, of course, I slept in late this morning, so I didn't really have a defined breakfast and lunch. When I got up I ate one of the not sweet cinnamon cookies I made last night (with almond butter spread on top) with my coffee/coconut milk.
A couple of hours later I had leftover shepherd's pie. Then I started cleaning. A couple of hours later I ate another one of those cookies. They're delicious! And that held me over till dinner.

I noticed something about my body this weekend that I love - a by product of this plan: I'm seeing a reduction of fat in my belly and upper arms, which allows more of my hard work at the gym show through. Yay!!! THAT's what's going to keep me going through the next two weeks.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 6: Strong Facing Temptation

Today is day 6 on the 21 Day Sugar Detox plan I’m doing. 

Yesterday was a good day overall. Work went well; I was busy all day and had plenty of energy. After work, my hubby and I met some friends at a restaurant downtown. That was my first step off the menu, and I was a little bit anxious that it would be difficult to stay with my plan. 

The appetizer menu had loaded potato skins, and they were topped with cheese, bacon and green onions. Other than not knowing how the potatoes were prepared (they could have been prepared using trans-fats when they were cooked, but I’m pretty sure no sugar was used), the ingredients in the dish sounded like they fit otherwise, so that’s what I ordered. Others around the table had pizza, big pretzels and wings. I was ok sticking with my own food, and I didn’t feel cheated. I was having a lot of fun with good friends.

When we got home, I didn’t feel like getting on the computer, so I’m covering both yesterday and today in this post.

Yesterday breakfast was four slices of bacon, an egg scrambled with shredded cheese, half of a green apple and coffee with coconut milk.
Lunch was leftover mustard glazed chicken thighs and brown rice. I LOVE that chicken recipe (did I say that before?). Around 3:00 I ate a banana with almond butter for a snack. Then we went out for dinner. It was a good day.

It's about 6:00 pm Saturday as I write this post. I slept in till about 9:00 this morning and had a banana with almond butter with my coffee/coconut milk for breakfast. At 10:00 I had a hair appointment - shout out to Jessica Roberts. When I got home I had bacon and an egg again. I just made the shepherd's pie from the book for dinner.
My challenge tonight is that my daughter made a big batch of puppy chow - you know, that yummy, chex, chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar snack. She, her boyfriend, my husband and son will be snacking on it. It's ok though. I was strong in the face of temptation last night. I can do it tonight too. :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 4: My Body Spoke Loud and Clear

Day 4 of 21 Day Sugar Detox.

This morning I crashed. I didn't sleep well last night. I never got into that deep sleep phase. I dreamed all night long and kept waking up. This morning when I got up I felt light headed and weak. My body was sending me a message loud and clear that I need to up the carbs.

For breakfast I had leftover sausage patties and a green apple with my coffee and coconut milk. That green apple was exactly what I needed. I started feeling better really soon after I ate it.

For lunch I had more of the chicken from last night (I LOVE that recipe), a baked potato with butter and sea salt, and an herb biscuit that I made from a recipe in the book. (I'm not crazy about that one.)

Around 3:30 this afternoon I had a banana with almond butter. That's one of my favorite snacks, and I usually use peanut butter, but the almond butter was just as good.

For dinner I made the Asian meatballs and ate them with brown rice. I'm not crazy about this recipe either. I enjoy trying most of the recipes, and I'm definitely figuring out which ones I'll make again and which ones I won't.

Ok, lesson learned yesterday and today. I need to keep my carb intake up and steady throughout the day. I should have known to anyway, because I work out every morning and my work day is fairly active. I should've paid attention to the energy add-ons in the book.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 3 on the 21 Day Sugar Detox

Day 3 on the 21 Day Sugar Detox

Today was a little tougher than the past two. I had pretty strong cravings for chocolate and lattes. I was also irritable. Those things could be attributed to the type of day I was having, or they could have been because of the diet.

My morning was busy with appointments, but the afternoon was spent sitting in the office making phone calls and doing tasks on the computer. It was during those afternoon hours that the cravings were most challenging.

As for my mood, I was having one of those days: argument with my daughter, flat tire on the way to a client appointment, and one work-related thing I'll spare you here. Those things would have made me irritable anyway, but today, by the time I got home I felt like I was wound so tight I could burst. I was a pretty intense grumpy butt. (I just had a glass of wine, and now I just feel like going to bed and calling today a wash.)

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've started clean eating plans before and dropped off after a couple of days because of lack of planning. This is about the time I usually drop off... about 3 days into it. I start craving the sweets and give in to it, somehow justifying it. This time, however, I plowed through the day and was successful with sticking to it. Now I'm proud of myself. :)

For breakfast I had those sausage patties I made last night, a carrot and some almonds, plus my morning coffee with coconut milk.
Lunch was left over salmon from last night and broccoli. I snacked on a couple of boiled eggs around 3:00, and I had iced herbal green tea throughout the day.
Dinner was the mustard glazed chicken thighs in the book and a salad.
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed all the meals today. The chicken tonight was awesome! So far, that's my favorite recipe. That's definitely one I'll be repeating.

Ok, off to bed. I need this day to be over. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 2 of 21 Day Sugar Detox and Interview With Diane Sanfilippo

I heard an interview of Diane Sanfilippo, author of 21 Day Sugar Detox, on a podcast today. I encourage you to listen. It worked great for a burst of motivation! Listen here.

I really enjoyed my meals today! Breakfast was more of the buffalo chicken egg muffins (which I liked better the 2nd time for some reason) and coffee with coconut milk. I usually put honey in my coffee, so I'm having to get used to the taste of it without sweetener.

I was hungry at around 9:30 again, so I snacked on some of the cinna-vanilla nuts. Last night I made some green and herbal tea and chilled it overnight. I took a bottle of it with me to work today and drank on it throughout the day.

I had my lunch at noon: leftover meatloaf and rice from last night and a salad without any dressing. I forgot to make the dressing to take with me, and I actually enjoy raw veggies like that, so I ate it naked. ;-)

I had a client appointment at 2:00, then spent an hour in the car. While I was driving, around 3:00, I ate the rest of the cinna-vanilla nuts.

For dinner, I made salmon fillets. I ate just the salmon without any sides or toppings. It was delicious. This is one of the recipes in the book, and it called for seasoning the fillets with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice and zest. Yum! It also called for a caper lemon sauce, but I skipped that because I don't have any capers.

I spent some extra time in the kitchen after dinner prepping for tomorrow. I made up the green apple sausage patties.
I forgot to snap a picture of them finished. I'll try to remember to do that when I eat them for breakfast in the morning. I'm really looking forward to trying these. I also boiled some eggs for my snacks for tomorrow.

Some things to note about how I felt today: I was hungry again at 9:30 this morning. That's not really unexpected since I work out and eat breakfast so early. I noticed, though, that it wasn't a head-spinning, blood-sugar dip type of hungry. It was just an empty stomach kind of hungry. That's good.

I also had a headache that started mid-morning. I took some Ibuprofen and it eased up for the afternoon. That could be from my body not having the sugar it's used to, or it could be just because... I'm not going to dwell on it.

Yesterday I started to get a little worried that I wasn't going to enjoy the food on this plan, because I wasn't crazy about the breakfast or lunch meals. But today I loved everything I ate. 

It's now a little after 7pm, and I feel satisfied - not hungry and not craving munchies so far. I'll be heading to bed early tonight because it's going to be an extra early morning tomorrow.

Monday, November 18, 2013

21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 1

Day one of my 21DSD, and all is well. I start my weekdays early, at either 4:30 or 5:00 with a workout, and I eat breakfast around 6:30 or 7:00, so most days I'm hungry enough for another meal by 9:30 or 10:00. I was curious how that would go today.

Breakfast was buffalo chicken egg muffins with spinach and a cup of coffee with coconut milk. 
By 9:30 I was at work and hungry so I snacked on the cinna-vanilla nuts I made last night. I only had a few because I wanted to make sure I had some for my mid-afternoon snack. I had an appointment with a client at 10:00, so my mind was occupied and the snack held me over. Before I knew it, it was 12:30 and I wasn't starving. My hunger from the morning had passed, but I ate at that time anyway because I wasn't going to have time to eat for the next couple of hours.

For lunch I had salmon salad wrapped in lettuce. 
I was looking forward to it because I love salmon, but I didn't care for this very much. It was sort of dry tasting and didn't seem to have much flavor. The recipe called for capers and I forgot to pick them up when I went shopping. The capers would have made it better. This meal also made me realize that it will take some time for my palette to get used to not-so-sweet food.

For the rest of the day I forgot to take pictures of the meals. Hopefully I'll get better at that.

I had a 3:00 client appointment and then was on the road for about an hour. While I was driving I ate the rest of the nuts I had.

When I got home, I made dinner, which was meatloaf made completely from scratch with fresh herbs, onions, garlic, tomato paste, etc. and rice. I will have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I already have it packed and ready to go.

Overall it wasn't difficult to stick to my plan. I did crave my afternoon latte, though That's one thing I'll miss the most, I think. The craving passed by the time I got home, and I was fine. It helped that I was busy this afternoon.

It's 8:00 pm now. The only thing left to overcome is the evening munchies now. I'm so proud of my day though, I don't think I'll have a problem. I don't want to mess it up at this point. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tomorrow It Begins (21DSD)

Today was a busy day for a Sunday, but I got a lot done. I ate horribly all weekend, but I'm ok with that. I didn't really intend to do a "last supper" kind of thing and eat all the junk I won't have for the next three weeks, but I did allow myself to eat whatever I wanted. Today that included pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup, popcorn and soda, nachos, and chocolate. Tomorrow I begin the 21Day Sugar Detox I've been preparing for all week.

We started our day with an awesome church service at Westwinds. Going there never fails to leave me super energized. Great music; great message.

Then we went to the theater to see Thor. I ate plenty of popcorn, candy and cherry Coke. Then I came home and did laundry and prepared food for tomorrow.

The first thing I made was the buffalo chicken egg muffins for breakfast.
Then I made a jar of homemade mayonnaise to use in salmon salad for tomorrow's lunch.

I also made a batch of cinna-vanilla nuts for snacks for tomorrow, but I forgot to snap a picture before I put them away.

I enjoyed all the cooking I did today. What I liked about it was using fresh ingredients and doing everything from scratch.

I just sat down to relax for the first time since we got home from the theater. All the kiddos (big and little) are in bed, and hubby and I are watching The Walking Dead.  Then I'm off to bed - it'll be an early morning tomorrow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One More Day to 21DSD

I went shopping yesterday for my 21 Day Sugar Detox plan I'm starting on Monday. I mentioned in my last post that I'm sure I will learn a lot following this plan, and the learning has already begun.

I never realized just how many products, even at natural/health food grocery stores, have added sugar in them. I challenge you to read labels of groceries you buy and make note of how many contain some form of sugar: sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, dextrose, maltodextrin, honey... words that end in "ose" are likely a form of sugar.

In Jackson, we don't have a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I worked in Lansing yesterday, so before I headed back to Jackson I stopped at Foods For Living. I had fun going through the isles and seeing all of the different types of items you don't see at regular grocery stores. And I loved that you can buy spices by the ounce instead of an entire jar-full, which was a cost saver. I'll definitely be going back there for certain items. However...

One thing is for sure, some items that are more expensive at a store like that can be purchased at traditional grocery stores for more reasonable prices. I probably spent more money than I will in the future. I will save visits to those types of stores for the items that are important to me and can't be found at traditional stores, and buy other items like most fruit, vegetables and meat at regular grocery stores.

It's easy to point fingers at traditional food companies who use marginal ingredients to sell higher quantities of bad food. But it's important to also remember that just the fact a food is sold at Whole Foods or other "natural" grocery stores doesn't make it good for you. A food manufacturer can claim to produce only natural, whole food, and to stand for good health, but the bottom line is they're in business to earn a profit. Money will always have the potential to sway even the best intentions. That being said, even the food products that are natural and whole, produced by good companies, are diverse enough that it makes sense to know what your goals are and investigate what you're eating.

One more day! Tomorrow I will do some food prep to get ready for the week. I'm getting excited!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Where's the Common Sense in Our Diets?

Do you remember when the "low-fat" way of eating became so popular? It's really only been within the last couple of generations. Actually, I remember as a young(er) adult beginning to hear all about how easy it is to stay in control of your weight by just eating low fat food. It started to seem like we were being told that as long as the label said low-fat or fat-free it was free game. Nothing else mattered. The food companies took off with it and now we see a low-fat version of almost everything.

Now we're learning that fat in itself isn't as bad for us as the food companies have wanted us to believe in order to sell their "low-fat" stuff. The word FAT now feels like a dirty word. In fact, however, fat is an important part of our diet. In our current standard diet in this country, the fat that was naturally found in food is being replaced with bad stuff like hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans-fat which IS bad), extra sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients.

In case you haven't noticed it yet, we're hearing a lot now that carbohydrates are the culprit. Wheat, gluten, and sugar are bad. Here's the thing: food companies will take this to the extreme too! Caution: carbohydrates are NOT evil either. Some forms of carbs aren't good for us, but if we begin to turn that word into a dirty word, like we did fat, we'll end up not eating enough vegetables and fruit. I think we need to trust our own common sense. 

I heard something today that made sense to me. I was listening to a podcast by a nutritionist. He was talking about how fat isn't an enemy, and that our bodies need it. In addition to the problems with the low-fat crap mentioned above, the additional carbohydrate sources we've replaced the fat with are causing our bodies to become overworked digesting and storing them.

The damage that fat does to our bodies happens when the fat binds to sugar in our blood. A high blood sugar level allows the fat to do the damage it's been vilified for... which is why fat seems to be the bad guy. We have such a high level of carbohydrates in our diets that the damage that seems to be caused by fat is exacerbated. It's a vicious cycle. 

The simple thing to do is to allow the consumption of fat in foods that naturally contain fat, and keep the carb consumption to a moderate level and from natural sources.

I recognize how easy it will be to fall for the hype (and it is guaranteed to become hype!) that we can and should be eating a diet full of fat. Common sense will be thrown out the window. I vote we don't let that happen.

In three days I will begin the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I've been preparing for it this week and will shop for it over the weekend. You can believe I've thought about all of the things I wrote here as I researched this diet. One of the things I like about this is it is a healthy way of eating. Fat is not the bad guy, and neither are carbs. This diet teaches how to eat them both in the right proportions and the right kinds. In the process, my body will be cleaned of all the junk it's been subjected to with the processed foods and extra sugar. I don't know if I'll continue to eat this clean after the 21 days, but I'm certain I will learn a lot.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

21 DSD: 4 Days To Start

Today was almost a carbon copy of yesterday for my busy-ness. I was in Jackson all day today though - no access to Juice Nation for my favorite smoothie.

For breakfast I had a banana with peanut butter, and coffee with honey and coconut milk. I had another coffee with honey and half/half at Panera Bread during one of my morning meetings. Then for lunch I had an order of nachos from Chilango’s, a Mexican restaurant across the street from our Jackson office. A couple of hours later I had a small gingerbread latte from Starbucks. I’m not going to do a real dinner tonight. I’ll be having wine and chocolate at my book group meeting in about an hour.

I haven’t had much time today to reflect on the upcoming week’s diet. Today and yesterday at work have been fast moving, and I’ve been thoroughly absorbed in my tasks. I believe tomorrow will be more of the same. I really enjoy that kind of a work day, because it ends with me feeling tired but fulfilled. Now that I slow down a bit and think about this, I’m looking forward to finding out whether or not clean eating, not to mention not having to hunt each meal at meal time, will have an effect on my energy level and clearness of thinking.

Ok… I’m off to book group to enjoy red wine, yummy treats and great friends.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

5 Days Till 21DSD!

Today was one of those days where I suffer because of lack of planning. I said in an earlier post that I've begun certain eating plans in the past and didn't follow it through because of not planning well.

Today is a perfect example of how a lack of planning can sabotage a diet. I was moving quickly from one task and one meeting to another, grabbing food in between.

I started the day with breakfast I made at home: an egg and cheese sandwich on an English muffin and coffee with honey and coconut milk. After my 2nd meeting of the day I picked up a cookie and a latte for a snack. Later I had pizza that was left over in the office from a training session that was going on in the conference area. A couple of hours later I had a green smoothie (made with mango, spinach, pineapple and honey) from Juice Nation across the street from our office (awesome perk of working in downtown Lansing!). For dinner we had a quick pasta meal with bread, followed by peanut M&Ms. Oh, and I had a glass of red wine after work.

Ugh!!! I feel like I polluted myself today. It wasn't terrible, but I feel like it was too much food. Tomorrow has the potential to be more of the same because I have back to back meetings again. Because I'm looking forward to starting my plan next week, I'm not going to worry about it too much this week.

Friday I will be doing the shopping, and cooking over the weekend, so that each day I'll be prepared to eat intentionally clean - taking the guesswork out of it. "It can be done; the question is, will I do it." YES! Smiley

Monday, November 11, 2013

6 Days and Counting

Six days until I start the 21DSD. I’m prepping. Yesterday I went through my cupboards and refrigerator to see what I have already and what I need to shop for. Meanwhile, I'm eating this week without worrying very much about calories or content.

Today I ate a banana with peanut butter for breakfast, a cherry pecan muffin and coffee for lunch, a honey latte for a snack and chili with a corn muffin for dinner. Oh, and a bowl of ice cream for desert. ;-) Not too bad, but a lot different than it will be next week.
Here is a link to a video from the author of this program. I'm getting pumped. ;)