Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Clean Eating

Tamara had a post today where she has gotten to the point of equating food with fuel.  I remember clearly getting to that point and it was a lightbulb moment.  It was that moment that I wanted more out of my body than to just be thinner, or even to just be fitter.  I wanted to be the best I could be.

Now, of course I still struggle with that because 37 years of old habits takes a little time to unravel .  Many times, and I've mentioned it on here too, I have tried different things to lead me to fuel my body better.  Often it was just the generalization of "eat more protein", "eat less sugar", "eat less junk".  While those are great guidelines ... they weren't specific enough for me to stick to and I haven't completely changed my habits as much as I want to.

On Jan 2nd I picked up this month's issue of Oxygen Magazine.  I've read it before in the past, but never with really in depth interest.  For whatever reason, this time some of the stuff in there really hit me.  Time and time again I look to the bodies of fitness competitors and I want "some" of that.  I don't want to be that extreme, I just want to look how they do in their off season.  I know a few women who do this and I like that look.  I LOVE muscle!! 

And as more time goes by, I am turning away from processed foods, additives, reducing sugar, reducing salt, reducing unnecessary fats.  It dawned on me that for a while now I've been mentally leaning towards "Clean Eating".

So last week I went out and bought a copy of Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet (thanks Mom - using up my Xmas money!)... and I've been reading and re-reading it since.  I don't agree with everything she says in there, but this is something I really want to give a true go at.

I've been following her "Cooler 1" plan for 5 days now ... and it's been tough at times.  I've been far from successful, but every day is getting better and organization is making things much better.  The first day I did fine until the evening when I wasn't prepared for dinner, ate a few pieces of chocolate, then my MIL put out a bag of shit Party Mix while we played cards and I think I ate half the bag.  Then the other day I came home from work, without dinner planned, and found my way into a bag of peanuts and had two whopping handfuls.  Even last night, I came home and prepared the family's dinner (nachos) and grabbed a couple chips and a spoonful of taco meat before I at my own dinner. 

Some would call that a fail.  Personally I learned something from these experiences.  Today ... I have celery sticks and boiled egg whites waiting for me at home.  If I'm tempted to grab something, I'll grab that.  My dinner is already prepped and ready to cook.

Last night I spent some time and boiled eggs, chopped veggies, defrosted shrimp, grilled chicken, ground flaxseed.  I'm all set for the next couple of days.

Basically the plan is to eat every 2-3 hours, having balanced, portion controlled meals 5-6 times a day.  Limit salt, no added sugar.  HERE and HERE are some reviews online that gives a better breakdown of the plan.

This is a sample day that I've set out for Cooler 1:

6:00am - Wake-up - 2 c. water
7:30 am - Breakfast - 1/2 c. oatmeal, 2 tblspn ground flax seed, 1/4 c. blueberries, 3 egg whites, 2 c. green tea, 2 c. water
10:30 - Mid-Morning Meal - 2 oz. grilled chicken, 1/2 plain sweet potato, 2 c. water
1:30 - Lunch - 3 oz. Shrimp, steamed broccoli & carrots, 1 apple, 2 c. water
4:00 - Afternoon Meal - 3 egg whites, celery, 2c. green tea
6:30 - Dinner - 4 oz. grilled chicken, 1/2 plain sweet potato, tomato/cucumber salad, 2 c. water, 2c. peppermint tea

I can increase the quantities as needed, but so far this has been OK.  The timing thing is what I'm struggling with, but it gets better every day.  At first I wasn't even remotely hungry around the suggested meal times, but now I can feel my body getting ready for that next meal.  It's the whole idea of smaller meals more often to keep the metabolism pumping.  It's a theory that I've believed in for some time, but not always put into practice.  My boss has already commented about how much (aka how often) I'm eating, but I don't care.

The first few days, I have to admit, I really questioned this plan.  I put on about 5 lbs almost immediately and was horribly bloated.  The other day my workout top was cutting into my arms and I almost passed out when I looked in my gym mirror and saw this puffy pillsbury dough boy.  Even my husband noted that stomach looked huge the other evening (like 5 months pregnant huge).  But today it seems to be coming down and I'm feeling "bouncy" today.  I've done some looking around online and it seems this is quite common while your body adjusts and I need to be patient.

I've tried plans along this line before, but when I've had the weight gain/bloat problem I got scared and quit.  This time though I'm going to push through.  I figure it's worth the risk.  And I really do want to eat more of these cleaner foods anyway.

Keep tuned to see the results .......


Missy said...

Your plan looks SO much like my 6-week plan. It's hard to follow but I really see results!! Good luck with it!

Susan (All Things In Moderation) said...

Let me just tell you, I've done the clean eating thing before, and at first it is a total shock to you system! detoxing from the processed foods is tough and it's the reason behind the float and what seems like weight gain. After you body becomes more accustom to the absence of crap, you will begin to reape the benefits. Stick with it. As time goes by it will get easier too.
The diet wasn't for me , but I will admit , I felt better, my skin looked better, and hell, look at Tosca! She looks incredible! I have one of her cookbooks too, and while some recipes are a little complicated, others are simple. I can't wait to see the results once you master it, (and I know you will!)It is a really sounds plan, I just can't totally give up all of my goodies!

Tamara said...

Interesting. Thanks for the link! I'll be very interested to see where things go with this for you.

Syl said...

makes sence, can't wait to hear your review of it in a few weeks.

Great job Heidi!

Becca said...

This is what I've been hearing about for a while! Not necessarily this exact plan but the concept. Good luck with this!

Marcelle said...

I wanted to attempt the Clean Eating diet, but see after doing some research that is means changing many areas that I am not ready for at the moment.
I am eating clean ( my way ) no more tin or processed foods, not take aways - fruit, veg and fresh chicken and fish.
I might look into it again at a later stage, but right now I have made huge changes to my diet, drinking water being one of them, I never drank water..and now am doing 2liters or more a day..
Am going to read your blog with great interest as you see if this is for you.
Tosco is amazing and a beautiful example that it works.

Michelle said...

Just found your blog - loved reading your story! Best of luck on your journey!

Carrie @ Journey to Bliss said...

I've definitely been moving more toward clean eating. I still have some processed, packaged stuff but comparatively speaking it's great. I guess it's kinda like anything, you just gotta keep working on it til you're there.