So the marathon’s over, now what!? After the marathon, I went H.A.M. on all the foods I had stayed away from while training–pizza, cakes, pies, ice cream, alfredo pasta, garlic bread, rich, spicy Indian food, plates of naan–I had a CHEAT WEEEEEK!!!! And didn’t work out ONE BIT (mainly cuz I’m trying to hold onto this wash and press on my hair).
But after a week off, I’m over this hair, this constant bloated feeling and READY to SWEAT!!!
finally got a chance to wash, blow dry, and flat iron my hair after 4 months…took FOREVER to do, but it feels good to not have to fight it with a brush in the morning, lol…oh yeah, forgive the dirty mirror, lol
The next 6 weeks are filled with holidays and graduation and we all know what that means….PARTIES/CELEBRATION –>FOOD!!!!! I don’t know about you, but I LOOOOOVE Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I always gain about 5 lbs between Thanksgiving and the New Year. I then spend more than 6 months of the following year trying to those lose 5 measly pounds and by the time I finally get them gone, the holiday season has begun anew….very cyclical… and frustrating…uggggh!!
So after training for this marathon for 4 months, I learned a number of things about myself and one of those things is that I do better with achieving my goals when I have a set deadline or target date. I also like setting and achieving goals, soooo for the month of November my challenge is to eat clean for a month and still enjoy Thanksgiving to the FULLEST!!!! ya heard me!? *lip smack*
Here’s the skinny on the challenge (pun intended… 😛 )
1) Eat only whole foods. That means eating oats and blueberries rather than a blueberry muffin. When you eat packaged foods, only buy brands that contain “real food” ingredients–ingredients you easily recognize, can pronounce, and would use to make a “from scratch” version in your own kitchen. If a food contains even one ingredient that makes you think “huh?” skip it.
2) Keep meals simple. Delicious, healthy food don’t have to contain a lot of ingredients. Keep your meal ingredients to a minimum—just be sure to include a source of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fat at each meal. Take the time to prep and package your meals on the weekend in preparation for the work week. You’ll save sooo much time, calories, and energy if you have your healthy meals already cooked, packed, and ready to eat.
*If your pantry is FILLED with “unclean” eats, then a gradual transition may be in order so as not to feel overwhelmed by change. Employ the rule of “Take One Replace One”. As a strategy to help clean up your kitchen and transition to clean eating, every week take away one unhealthy item from your diet and replace it with a natural clean option. Before you know it, you’ll be eating healthier and feeling better.
*Another strategy that my friend Linda came up with is to eat the not so healthy stuff on your cheat days. That way you don’t waste money by throwing/giving away all that food at one time.
Foods to Love
–complex carbs (more nutritious and better for glycemic control): whole grains, wheat, gluten free (especially if you have an intolerance to gluten products), brown rice, quinoa,couscous (although grains, the latter two are excellent sources of protein)
–fruits and veggies (which for people like me means expanding my veggie repertoire)…also veggies are a good source of complex carbs and much needed nutrition without all the unnecessary calories
–natural sweetners: honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, molasses; natural, no cal sweetners like Truvia and Stevia
*use natural sweetners in moderation though. too much can still pack on the pounds
–homemade meals (made with LOVE!!!), whole foods
–unsaturated healthy fats in foods like avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil
–lean cuts of steak and leaner meats like chicken, turkey, fish, shrimp
–low/no fat dairy or non-dairy products like non-fat Greek yogurt, goat cheese, almond cheese (I’ve heard of this but have yet to find it at stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s), soy milk, Almond milk, Skim milk, etc
Foods to Avoid
-processed, simple carbs: white breads, pasta
-refined, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup
-pre-packaged foods, packaged lunch meats
-high sodium…sodium hides in foods you would never suspect, so read your food labels folks. that’s what they’re there for!!
-anything packaged or prepared with ingredients you can’t pronounce
3) Drink water. Hydrate! HYDRATE!! HYDRATE!!! It’s necessary for proper metabolism and digestion, but also great for glowing healthy skin!! Often times we confuse hunger for thirst because we don’t drink near as much water as we should. According to the Mayo clinic, studies indicate the average man needs to drink about 3liters/day and women 2.2liters/day :-O. I know for a FACT I don’t drink near as much as I should. The traditional rule is to drink at least (8) 8oz glasses of water a day, which is the equivalent of 1.9L. According to the Mayo clinic, studies indicate the average man needs to drink about 3liters/day and women 2.2liters/day. Drink at least a glass of water between and with each meal. So if you are eating 5-6 small, balanced meals a day, you’ll definitely reach the minimum hydration goals. Drink more, if you’re exercising!!
4) Eat on a regular schedule. Try not to let more than about 4 hours go by between meals or snacks. You might even find that you have to eat every 2.5-3hrs. Steady meal timing helps regulate your digestive system, blood sugar and insulin levels, and appetite.
*Depending on how early you wake up, you’ll find that you’re eating about 5-6meals/day with your last meal eaten about 2.5-3hrs before bedtime. Try to keep your meals balanced with protein, complex carb, and healthy fats.
5) Listen to your body. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full, meaning satisfied, not stuffed.
6) Limit cheat days to no more than once a week, which may coincide with that good ole’ Turkey Day….*salivating at the thought of sweet cornbread, cornbread stuffing, and sweet potato dishes* 🙂
7) Exercise. I’m challenging myself to at least 3 days of cardio/week alternating with 2 days of weight training.
What will YOUR exercise/fitness goals be?
This morning the girls and I decided to climb Stone Mountain. Good friends + good hike (cardio) = Good times
Linda, me, Ling, Mecha my PA school buddies!!!!!!!!
PA school is cut throat! LoL!!
chillin’ on the side of a rock…
Ling is stronger than she looks, lol
All that hiking and balancing on the side of a mountain had me STARVING!! Let’s go eat!
Larb chicken aka Thai Spicy Chicken salad sooooo G-OO-D!! All natural ingredients. I could literally taste the lime juice, cilantro, and fresh mint!! Gonna recreate this myself 😉
Anyone wanna join me in this November challenge? Or share some of their own health and fitness goals?