Eat Clean Challenge

That quote was adapted from the supermodel Kate Moss’s famed motto “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Her particular saying can rub many woman the wrong way in that most American women are not super model skinny and people feel that this mental thinking contributes to eating disorders.  I read a pretty interesting blog that stated the average size for women in America today is around 140-150 pounds wearing sizes 12 to 14. Fifty years ago the average woman weighed 120 pounds and wore a size 8. But don’t let that size 8 fool you, over those fifty years tradional sizing went out the window because the US Department of Commerce noted that the average woman no longer reflected the size and shape they used for their uniform sizing system (yes there was an actual government sizing system). Read more of this piece from WebMD here. It’s interesting but not rocket science. Fifty years ago there weren’t five fast food drive throughs at each intersection.

I have always been a size 2-4 and when I married Mike my jeans slowly started rising size after another size. Then after Lily was born I had a body I NEVER imagined I would ever have. Since her birth I have lost little over 40 pounds, however I still have less than 20 lbs to be at pre-baby weight and then another 20 lbs to be back at wedding weight. I miss those days when I could eat anything and get away with it.

If you want to loose weight it truly has to be a life change. You can’t eat well for 7, 30 or even 60 days and then a week later bring Pringles and chocolate ice cream back into your diet. I am NO expert, so please don’t take my words as the end all be all of weight loss. All I know is from my own personal experience and what works for me at this point in my life. After having a baby and having gained so much weight my body almost fights me at dropping pounds. I will loose a couple of pounds in a span of a week with hard workouts and a smart menu. Then I will struggle with one rotten pound for an entire month!

SO I started a 30-day eat clean challenge with two of my close girlfriends, Emily Ley and McKay Pittman. Diets don’t personally work for me. I have killed myself eating bland meals and foul soups in an effort to loose only five pounds. Once I go off the diet I bounce right back. So we all agreed to eat clean and healthy for 30 days. No special soup you have to consume on certain days. No eating only fruits one day, then only milk and bananas on another. Just eating healthy food and exercising to hopefully shed this baby weight.

Of course we couldn’t make the challenge completely black and white, we have a grey area full of personal “tweaks” so we can get through the full 30 days. We got together at Starbucks to discuss the challenge and come up with some rules. We quickly realized that we live different lifestyles and each of us would have different rules to go by. Having an Italian husband prevents me from completely removing pasta from our menu and I don’t want to remove diary. As a group we agreed that:

We would exercise at least 3 days a week.
We needed to drink plenty of water.
No white bread. For those that would keep bread and pasta in their plan = go whole wheat and have it in moderation.
Eat lean protein.
Eat complex carbs.
Avoid artificial ingredients, preservatives, saturated fats, sugars and chemically charged foods.
If you use sugar, use Stevia or Truvia.
Concentrate on portion control.
We would allow alcohol at least twice a week.
PLAN your meals.

So what exactly will I be eating… whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and nonfat dairy. Mike and I already cut out most processed foods so that part would be easy. The hard part for me will be the sugar. I have a BAD sweet tooth. Seriously people. I put so much flavored creamer in my coffee that Mike’s running joke is, “would you like some coffee with your creamer?”

Mutually the three of us run into a problem when giving snacks to our kids. When I hand over a snack cup of goldfish to Lily, somehow I end up snacking on them. Even those dang organic yogurt melts find their way into my belly!

One essential part of our challenge is that we plan our meals ahead. Meal planning just makes it easier to stay in line and eat right. McKay introduced us to Plan To Eat, a meal planning website that is simple to use. You can save personal recipes to your private recipe book. There is a button that you keep on your Internet browser (similar to the one for Pinterest) that allows you to capture and save recipes from websites and blogs to your private recipe book. It even allows you to attach a picture from the website or blog so when you are planning later down the road you can remember specific dishes you wanted to try. You can drag meals to your breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack for the day in your calendar. When you are done planning for the day, week or month Plant To Eat will calculate the groceries you will need and print a list for you to take to the grocery store. AH-mazing! I highly suggest you at least check it out and try their 30-day free trial. I promise you won’t be disappointed. One cool part of Plan To Eat is that you can share your recipe book with other members. This was a great way for Emily, McKay and me to share meals we found and insert them into our own planner. If you join Plan To Eat, let me know so we can swap some cooking ideas! (*I was not paid or asked to promote this site, I just love it!)

The marvelous thing about this challenge is that I am doing it with my girlfriends. Not only are they good friends but they are also strong workingwomen. They inspire me to be a better person, friend, mother and wife. I can’t go wrong with women like them cheering me on, boosting my confidence, and laughing with me when I pour myself a cold one only two days into the challenge.

We are already a week and I’m down 2 pounds! This week so crazy and I only got two days of weight training and no cardio. Next week I will step that up and hopefully I can report more of a difference! If you would like to follow along with what I eat each day check back on Monday as I post a rundown of each day. And if you need some motivation or support, I’m here. I understand how hard losing weight can be and having someone to vent to and lift you up helps!

So I will say Kate Moss does have a point, remember instead of the word ‘skinny’ use ‘healthy’.  When I’m feeling healthy I’m refreshed, energetic and happy. And there is nothing that I could eat that would ever reach the same level of happiness I get when I’m healthy. Sure there are plenty of amazing foods that I would eat if the world was ending tomorrow that have a caloric intake that reaches the moon, but it’s the aftermath that is the issue. You know those sluggish with muffin top days after eating like crap for a few days (or even one day = Thanksgiving!). I’m just starting the eat clean challenge to purge all my unhealthy habits and change the way I eat in general. I hope that the 30 days becomes more of a lifestyle so I can remain healthy.

Remember everyone has their own opinion on what healthy is and looks like. By the way I find it funny that people use that word to be nice when talking about a chubby person. “Oh that is a healthy looking baby,” really means, “wow look at the fat rolls on that kid, what is his/her mother feeding him/her?” To me healthy really won’t be a number, it’s going to be a pair of jeans I have neatly folded on my closet shelf. Each day I get closer to being able to button them is a day closer to my personal goal!

So enjoy your weekend and check back on Monday for my first week breakdown on our 30 day eat clean challenge.

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    September 7, 2012 Reply

    I started this week eating clean and eating small meals. I feel so much better when I do this. I think I wrote on Instagram to you, but if not there is a blog “100 days of real food” that is really good. For workouts, you should check out Bodyrock. If you google it you can find it ;). The workouts and models look intimidating, but it’s such an awesome workout!!!!! It takes about 12 minutes a day, which I know sounds insane, but it’s very intense. Ella even does the workouts with me. I admit I’ve only worked out once this week, but when I do those workouts I have so much more energy. I can’t always do every exercise they do, but i make modifications. They always post before and afters on their Facebook so check that out too! Best of luck with your new lifestyle!

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    September 7, 2012 Reply

    For some reason, my comments aren’t posting sometimes. Anyway, Im writing my comment again but I’ll try to be more brief :) I think I told you about this on Instagram, but if not check out 100 Days of Real food. It’s a blog and she has a Facebook as well with lots of recipes, awesome Q&A. Also, for workouts you should definitely try BodyRock. The workout (and fitness models) look intimidating, but if there are exercises I can’t do, i modify them. Ella does the workout with me and it only takes about 12 minutes a day. That sounds so crazy, but the workouts are so intense and will leave you exhausted. If you look on their site and Facebook, it’s encouraging to see before and after pics of readers. Best of luck with your new lifestyle!

4 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | Eat Clean Challenge: week one on September 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    […] it really has been. Meal planning has been my personal key to staying on track. Go back and read my last post about how I am doing it with Plan To Eat. In all honesty there have been days where I am craving […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake! on November 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

    […] I was going through the 30-day eat clean challenge (read here) I was tempted by so many delicious recipes on Pinterest and now that I’m done with that […]

  3. By Lily & Bliss | In 2013… on December 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    […] my pre-baby waistline. But in 2013 I want to concentrate on just being a healthier person. I did a 30-day eat clean challenge not to long ago and I lost weight, but more importantly I felt great. Will I give up […]

  4. By Lily & Bliss | DIY Toddler Fruit Snacks on February 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    […] choice is available why not give that to my child? Even for me? After I tried (and loved) a 30-day eat clean challenge I have continued to bring cleaner and healthier alternatives to our pantry and […]

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