I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. I mean, why set yourself up to fail, right? What I lean toward, is self-preservation via rejuvenation, renovation, and simply upgrading one’s way of thinking and way of being.
Starting tomorrow, I am taking part in a weight-loss challenge via DietBet. This online weight-loss community is so innovative! The challenge follows a simple premise. Each participant contributes the same amount of money ($30 for this particular challenge) and has four weeks to lose 4% of their body weight. At the end of the four-week period, whoever has met the challenge splits the pot! I’m not one to gamble, but I’m really excited this challenge. I could definitely use the added incentive.
First, let’s define “clean eating”. When I typed “clean eating definition” in my internet search engine, there were over 6.5 million results. There seem to be as many definitions of this phrase as there are dieting techniques. My understanding of eating clean is to avoid all processed foods, limit dairy, and avoid all sweets (in food and beverage form), including alcohol. There are plenty of recipes out there for a clean version of anything you can think of. I must say that I have been impressed with the ones that I’ve tried.
The summer of 2011, I was enthralled in the art of eating clean and incorporated making smoothies and soups. It worked very well for me. I started doing cardio on my lunch break at my office gym, and then I would add some strength training in the evening. I lost 13 pounds in three weeks, mostly water weight, I’m sure, but it was a great way to kick-start my weight loss plan. It actually worked too well for me – I got pregnant with my third child, and my way of eating fell by the wayside. Now here I am, 20 months postpartum, and back to square one. I am in need of a major overhaul – not just for aesthetic reasons, but for my health and quality of life.
This time around, I am personalizing my efforts. I need to do what is best for me, not only what works for the masses. Don’t get me wrong. The main principles of clean eating are what make it so successful. Processed foods don’t have any health benefits, and foods from the ground, including fruits and vegetables, do. It’s pretty simple. It isn’t so easy to stay on track. That’s where my personal modifications will come in. In order for me to remain consistent and keep my metabolism high, I have realized that protein is my best friend. I don’t eat pork or beef, so I get the majority of my protein intake from poultry, seafood, and beans. I believe that I have failed in the past because I thought that severely cutting all forms of carbohydrates and replacing most meals with a liquid equivalent would do the trick. Well, I lost weight that way, but there was truly no way to maintain the weight loss.
I look forward to keeping it off this time. In the coming weeks and months, there will be many posts related to eating clean, including weekly meal prep.
Let’s talk about this home for my spirit, this body of mine.
I’ve abused this body with junk food, lack of motion, stress, unappreciative men, and self-loathing, over the years.
So what now?
There is no time like the present to get it tight and get it right. In the past, I’ve started by adopting healthier eating habits. As we exit 2013, I look forward to resetting my internal metabolic clock. This time around, I will start with a commitment to the following dietary rules, at least for the first three months of 2014, since I have some birthday goals (35 in March…sheesh):
Drink no less than a gallon of water a day
Avoid all fast and processed food, sodas (and other carbonated beverages), and sweets
No carbs for the first 10 days, starting Sunday, December 29th; then, only consume complex carbs (unprocessed carbs, such as quinoa, steel-cut oats, and lentils)
As far as my activity level goes, any activity that I incorporate, from this point on, is more than I get in right now. This is what I will commit to:
At least 30 minutes of activity, daily
That’s it? Yes, I keep it simple. Of course, this will be no small feat. I’m an all-or-nothing chick. I can’t commit halfway; I’m not a part-time mother/sister/daughter/friend/lover, so I just like to dive in, head-first. Call me crazy…updates, including pictures, will follow.
Today marks day 1 of my detox. Depending on how my body responds, I may detox for the next week (12/17 – 12/23). I will drink my detox tea 3 times a day, along with a cup of broth in the morning, mid-day, and in the evening. I will also drink water throughout the day. Since I am not able to stay home throughout this detox (as some die-hard advocates of quarterly and annual detoxification are subject to do), I will eat baked fish with my evening cup of broth. I still need to have enough energy to function!
Last night, I purchased some herbal tea (EveryDay Detox; Traditional Medicinals) from the grocery store. In the past, I have tried detox pills and teas. Both seem to do the trick aka Project Clean. One specific tea that I have tried works too well for my liking. I will only return to that one to get rid of bloating or clean me out when I have a gathering to attend within several days. It works that well.
I haven’t tried this specific detox tea before, but I have read very good reviews online. The manufacturer recommends drinking 2-3 cups of this tea daily for up to 6 weeks, with a one-week break before consuming it again.
Here are the ingredients:
Roasted organic chicory root
Roasted organic dandelion root
Schisandra fruit dry extract
Organic schisandra fruit
Organic lycium fruit dry extract
A proprietary blend of the following: organic licorice root, organic ginger rhizome, organic star anise fruit, and organic kukicha twig
I will have to do my research on the effects that these ingredients have on our digestive system. As this is a reputable manufacturer and my faith lies in God, I’m taking the leap!! Mama’s gotta get this body back in tip-top shape!!
To aid me in my quest for overall better health, I have just joined a challenge for the month of December that is spearheaded by Valerie of the Atlanta Mom of Three blog. She is a pretty cool chica, full of great tips on balancing what could be a very hectic family life.
For the month of December, I am challenging myself to commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic/cardio activity, 5 days a week. I choose to follow my Zumba/dance videos each day. My playlist totals a little over 40 minutes, including the cooldown video. I will also go walking with my children on the weekend.