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21 Days, No Sugar – Days 5 – 7

January 11, 2013

Well, hello Day 7!!  One week sugar-free – yahoo!  I’m feeling really good, like really good.  Work has proven to ignite some of my hidden sugar cravings (such as the delicious looking caramels that were sitting in the kitchen this morning), but I have combated them and honestly, I didn’t actually want the caramels that badly.  Shocker, I know.  While I did weigh myself prior to starting the detox, I’ve decided to not weigh myself today.  Girl things going on and I just don’t want it to screw with my head and mess with how I’m feeling, you know?  At this point, I feel like the water weight is gone and my muscle tone is starting to come back.  My arms look slightly more defined.  I don’t necessarily know why, since I really haven’t been working them, but they do.  I have noticed that I’ve felt sluggish on my runs this past week, so this coming week I’m going to add in more carbs like sweet potatoes and other items in the athlete’s modification in the 21 Day Sugar Detox manual.  It hasn’t been all roses and butterflies though, so here’s a recap of the last 3 days.

Day 5whoa I was really running late for work today and I only got about 6 hrs 45 minutes of sleep last night – not a good combination for me.  It was a slightly stressful day, and then an even more stressful evening because I had to drive to Madison, WI with a co-worker for work the next day.  I hate traveling at night.  For me, stress leads to over-eating, so that’s exactly what I did.  I felt awful the whole drive to Madison.  No, I didn’t break down and eat a sweet, but I did eat a whole lot of the “good stuff” which is better than the “bad stuff” (sugar), right???

  • Breakfast – The usual, apples with cinnamon & almond butter; Kombucha
  • Snack – Banana & coffee
  • Lunch – Salad with a can of crab meat (surprisingly good), last of the sweet potato soup
  • Snack – Peppermint tea and 2 muffins, handful of mixed nuts (see?  the over-eating is starting)
  • Dinner – Seasoned chicken breast, steamed cauliflower, moo-less chocolate mousse (YUM!)

*Note – the moo-less chocolate mousse is the 21 day sugar detox adapted version, and consequently, not as good.  haha

Day 6 Pretty tired today.  Another night of not enough sleep.  I’m in Madison, WI today, and let me tell you, it’s hard for me to eat out on the sugar detox diet.  I hate not having control of my food!  The day  moved pretty quickly and I had a lot of energy today, until about 5pm.  Good thing we had a change of scenery not too long after and headed back to Chicago around 6:30 :)  I’m not sure if anybody else has this bad habit, but whenever I travel for work and stop at the gas station for gas, I usually ‘fuel’ up with a peanut butter cup and a Tootsie roll.  It was so hard for me to not buy these when we stopped for gas.  So hard.

  • Breakfast – Scrambled eggs with salsa and two sausage links
  • Snack – almonds from Starbucks
  • Lunch – The most amazing Ahi tuna salad with cucumbers and other veggies.  Delicious.
  • Snack – Green apple with almond butter
  • Dinner – Near impossible.  We ate on the road so I had to pick my way through a McDonald’s salad with grilled chicken, avoiding all of the cheese, black beans and corn.  Yikes.  Had to have a small serving of moo-less chocolate mousse when I got home :)

Day 7 Woot woot!  Week one!  In the books!  Today, as I mentioned above, I stayed incredibly strong and turned down the salted caramels.  Clearly I’m proud of this :)

  • Breakfast – 2 tbsp of almond butter on my way out the door; The Market raw juice from Protein Bar
  • Snack – Banana and coffee
  • Lunch – Clean out the fridge meal – little bit of remaining egg loaf and my green apple with cinnamon and almond butter
  • Snack – handful of mixed nuts, herbal tea, veggies with remaining almond butter (this was bored snacking.  boo hoo)
  • Dinner – Creativity!  Flounder pan-fried in Ghee, topped with kalamata olives, along with steamed cauliflower and greens cooked down in chicken stock.

Okay week 2.  You’re going to be tough.  My busy season hell is starting.  Please stay strong.  This weekend should also be challenging – how do you turn down drinks?!

21 Days, No Sugar – Days 3 & 4

January 8, 2013

Hello gang!  Days 3 & 4 on the sugar detox have just flown by – I can’t believe I’m already going into day 5!  With Day 3 as the first day back in the office, I was afraid that it was going to be a challenging day, but thankfully I didn’t have to fend off any sugar zombies, phew.

Day 3 – The crazy thing is, I’m already feeling the positive effects of quitting sugar.  I woke up today with a lot more energy than usual and that energy sustained throughout the day.  I felt incredibly less bloated all over my body and just in a positive spirit.  Crazy, I know.  Maybe I’m still feeling the newbie high?  I was absolutely starving today, despite waking up and feeling full (that was weird), so don’t judge me when you see everything I ate today (no I’m not eating for 2)!!

  • Breakfast – Green apple, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with almond butter
  • Snack – Carrots & celery with guacamole, coffee, 1 banana bread muffin (made on Sunday)
  • Lunch – Leftover smokey pulled pork with a salad and peppermint tea
  • Snack – Slice of egg loaf and more veggies with guac, and yet another banana bread muffin (I was hungry!)
  • Dinner – Leftover sweet potato soup from Sunday, handful of mixed nuts, sauerkraut

Day 4 – My heightened energy and ability to focus is staying strong.  So strong that I didn’t even have my coffee this morning (gasp)!  What is the world coming to?  Actually, I was just so busy this morning that by the time I thought about having coffee it was nearly lunch.  So I just skipped it.  And I survived.  Wow.  Like I said, I felt pretty clear minded today and I didn’t actually hit a “wall” until around 7pm tonight.  Then I really hit it.  I wasn’t hungry but I was stressed so I ate the most random dinner.  I almost don’t event want to log it lol.  Feeling a little anxious about this Thursday – I have to go out-of-town for work.  What am I going to eat?!

  • Breakfast #1 – I had to grab a quick little nibble of food after my run this morning, but before my chiro appointment – small slice of egg loaf and 8oz Kombucha
  • Breakfast #2 – Green apple with cinnamon and almond butter
  • Snack – Green tipped banana
  • Lunch – Leftover pulled pork with salad, cucumbers & guac
  • Snack – Herbal tea, banana bread muffin, and one small slice of egg loaf because I started to feel distracted by the vending machine.  eek.
  • Dinner – Sauerkraut, handful of mixed nuts, banana bread muffin (damn these are my downfall haha)

So, who’s tried Kombucha?  The morning of Day 4 was the first time I ever set my lips on it and quite frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about it.  It was kind of weird!  And I can’t discern if it made my stomach all weird this morning, or if that was the run + not eating much before I bolted out the door.  I plan to experiment with more Kombucha tomorrow morning :)

Here are some of the things I’ve been eating the past 2 days:

21 Days, No Sugar – Days 1 & 2

January 6, 2013

Geo and I are embarking on 21 days without sugar.  It’s going to be interesting and probably hard, given the amount of goodies and treats we’ve been inhaling since Thanksgiving (the start of the sugar addiction landslide).  We sure did enjoy our pumpkin pie, buckeyes, spritz cookies, and chocolates.  But now we’re ready to clean our slate and start anew with an addiction to good sugars.  To do so, we’re following the 21 Day Sugar Detox (found here) by Diane Sanfilippo.  Though I’ve never met Diane in person, she seems great!  I’ve visited her website (Balanced Bites), and bought and tried many of her recipes from her new cook book, Practical Paleo.

I have participated in 21 days of sugar once before; the 21 days leading up to my wedding this past summer.  Though I have no clue if the results I saw were a direct result of the 21 days of limited sugar (I caved a few times.  oops), or if they were a direct result of the immense stress that the last month of wedding plan puts on a person, I felt that the 21 day sugar detox was something I’d like to try again.  Alas, here we are.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I’m going to attempt to blog my way through these 21 days.  My blogging may be sporadic and may end up to be a few days behind, thanks to busy season starting (aka “tax season”), but I plan to keep up in order to help me stay accountable to these 21 days and to have a good place to track all of the new and exciting things we’re trying along the way.  I’ve started a 21 Day Sugar Detox board on Pinterest to better track the recipes we’re trying, and those that we’d like to try.  I figure this is probably not going to be the last time I forgo sugar, so may want a place of reference for the next time.

Okay nutshell summary of what we’re doing is over.  Time to get to the good stuff – how did Day 1 and 2 go?!

Day 1 – this wasn’t a difficult day for me.  I was pretty gung-ho about the whole thing and woke up excited to start making dishes and planning our menu for the week.  I kind of had a hodge-podge of stuff to eat today, which isn’t how I’d like for my days to go, but it was kind of one of those weird days.  I felt sluggish today and felt as though nothing satisfied me.  I remember feeling this way after the first few days last time too.  It will get better!

  • Pre-run snack – spoonful or two of almond butter (not the greatest choice, but we hadn’t gone shopping yet!)
  • Breakfast/Lunch – two eggs over medium atop a bed of lettuce and fresh peppers, drizzled with EVOO
  • Snack – carrots and almond butter; some nuts
  • Dinner – the roasted red pepper sweet potato soup, at 1:00 am lol

Day 2 – woke up exhausted, but that’s mainly because we didn’t get in bed until 2 am (saw Django last night.. not sure how I feel about it yet..), and had to be up by 7:45 to get the pork shoulder in the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner.  Yikes.  Went back to bed for a little bit, but didn’t sleep very soundly.  Looks like I’m going to need some extra sleep tonight!  Today we’re cooking up the pork shoulder, I’m giving “bulletproof coffee” a try, baking our egg loaf for easy breakfasts during the week, AND I made Paleo banana bread (recipe doesn’t call for sugar/honey, of course).  Phew.  I have officially spent the majority of my day in the kitchen, BUT I am a happy, happy girl!

  • Breakfast – Green apple, cinnamon & almond butter
  • Lunch – No formal lunch, I was too full from my Bulletproof Coffee!  I did nosh on a lot of stuff as I was cooking today, though.
  • Dinner – Smokey slow cooker pork shoulder with a side salad

Here are some pictures of what we’ve been eating the past two days:

Some of the recipes we’re trying this week are (most can be found on my Pinterest board):

  1. Smokey Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
  2. Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup
  3. Supreme Egg Loaf
  4. Chicken & Veggies (hey, we needed an easy go-to dinner for those busy nights)
  5. Green Smoothie
  6. Eggs & Smoked Salmon
  7. Flounder (found a nice fresh frozen package of flounder at Whole Foods yesterday, woo hoo!  May save this for a different week).

Hopefully things will stay this good/comfortable this week, but I highly doubt it!  Being at work for 10 hours a day is not always conducive to eating as naturally as I can when I’m at home.  I am, however, bringing a mini-fridge worth of food with me tomorrow.  Haha, can’t wait for the looks as I load it all into the fridge!

2012 was fantastic, but I am ready for 2013!

January 6, 2013

2012 WAS GREAT.  2013 IS GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER!

2012 was quite an incredible year.  I married my best friend; the love of my life.  We had the wedding we’d always dreamed of, and an incredible honeymoon in Hawaii to finish it off.  We spent time with our closest family and friends, and we learned a lot about ourselves in the process.  For the first time since I started running, I didn’t run a marathon in 2012.  My marathon was the wedding, and, as I noted above, it was worth all of the “training” (because, seriously.  it was like training for a marathon).

I’m really feeling positive going into 2013.  No, I don’t know exactly what to expect, and that usually scares the bajeezus out of me.  But hey, I’m trying to “roll with the punches” a little better.  Ha.  We’ll see how that turns out.  I can already sense that this is going to be a good year.  We have a lot of fun things on the horizon (weddings to attend, races to run, golf to be played) and I’m excited to get them started!

This is the year that I plan to really hone into my training and qualify for Boston.  Coach and I have a strategy this year (not, that we haven’t every year, only this one is more for real than the rest).  Ever since September we have been building me a very large running and strength base for which to build upon and train for not 1, but 2 marathons this year (squee!)!  I’ve got a 1/2 marathon coming up in May, a training marathon in June, and hopefully figuring out what my “A” marathon is going to be in early September (suggestions are welcomed!).  I’m excited!

FUN START TO THE NEW YEAR – 21 DAYS, NO SUGAR

To start off our new year, and to bust the insane sugar addictions that Geo and I built up since Thanksgiving, we are cleaning our bodies from sugar.  We are taking part in the 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfillipino at Balanced Bites.  I tried the sugar detox leading up to the wedding and had good results.  But I have no clue if the results were truly from the “detox” (which I cheated on, numerous times.  oops), or from the stress of the last month leading up to the wedding.  BUT we are trying it now, and like I said, Geo is on board (gasp)!

I am following Level 3, and Geo is sticking with Level 1.  As most of you  know, I pretty much follow a 85-90% Paleo lifestyle, so Level 3 works for me.  Geo sticks to Paleo foods at home (because that’s all I keep in the house), and eats non-Paleo foods outside of the house (meaning sandwiches for lunch, scones, etc.), so he is starting out with Level 1.  I am going to try to blog my way through it – partly to help me stay accountable, and partly to remind myself what good, new things we’re trying.  We went to two different grocery stores yesterday to stock up on approved foods, and boy, I haven’t seen our refrigerator so full in a very long time!  That excites me!  We bought a number of things that we’ve never had before, including ghee (I figure I have to try it once), kombucha, and kraut (which we love, just have never bought.  I’d like to make my own, but I’m a little crunched for time ha). I’ve visited the 21 Day Sugar Detox Pinterest page and scooped up a bunch of recipes to try this week – yesterday and today have been days full of cooking, it’s been fun!

I’m a little nervous about being able to stay committed to the detox (I hate that word, by the way) during busy season.  There are always sweets around and stress runs high, and I’m an emotional/stress eater, so this is giving me a bit of anxiety.   In order for me to “battle” this, I’m going to have to be prepared.  Which also scares me.  When busy season is in full swing, I hardly have time to kiss my husband good night and good morning – that’s how much I’m working!  This is going to force me to commit a good chunk of my Sunday’s to preparing meals ahead of time (oh, and relying on Geo to prepare many more dinners on his own.  He’s a great cook, but I usually am always helping in the kitchen too!).

I’VE GOT A FEELING… THIS IS GOING TO BE A GREAT YEAR!

We are going to have fun this year.  I am going to try out a more positive mindset (those of you who know me well, know that I tend to see the negatives more than the positives).  We are going to be healthy.  We are going to do many of the things in Chicago that we’ve taken for granted the last 4 years.  We are going to live :)

I’m Marrieeeed!!!

September 1, 2012

1 year and 8 months ago I got engaged.  1 year and several months ago I slowly stopped writing.  Not because I wanted to, but because I became consumed with: a) busy season and b) wedding planning.  Let me tell you, wedding planning is an all consuming task.  I’d almost like to call it a sport of sorts.  You wake up and immediately wedding planning things fly through your brain.  You squeeze in some wedding tasks before work, some during lunch at work, and of course, many after work.  You go to bed late and wake up early, all the while thinking of your wedding.  You see?  I think this could be comparable to training for a marathon.

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Except this marathon is 1 year and 8 months in the distance instead of 5-6 months in the distance.  Either way, it all sneaks up on you, because before you know it, it’s 4 months until your wedding and you still have so much to do.  Sooner than you can say “I’m getting marrieeed!” the wedding is only 2 months away.  And then it’s the month of the wedding and you’re freaking out.  Wedding training has all of a sudden intensified and there are just so many items on your to-do list that you can’t even keep track of them.  The week of the wedding comes along and your immune system breaks down (of course, because you’ve been regularly sleeping 5 hours a night, working out, working, AND still planning your wedding) and you get sick.  So sick that you can’t even keep your eyes open at work; can’t even make it to your workout class.  So sick that you con the doctor at the Urgent Care to dispense meds to you.  Because you need them.  Now.

Before you know it, it’s the day before you’re wedding.  You’re surrounded by your close family and friends.  You practice walking down the aisle, giggling and full of butterflies.  You practice your vows and get choked up.  You wonder how you’re going to make it through the ceremony the next day.  You head back to your rehearsal dinner location, have cocktails on the patio, and a lovely dinner with your closest 40 people.  You are loving life.  Loving it!  There are toasts and gifts and tears (happy of course!).  You are loved.  It warms your heart and you’ve never felt happier.  You kiss your soon to be husband goodnight, because of course you are sleeping in separate houses the night before the wedding, and you are whisked off into the night by your Mom, Dad and Sister.  You try to sleep.  Toss & turn, toss & turn.  Checking your alarm multiple times.  Giddy.  Too giddy for sleep.  All of a sudden your alarm is ringing and it’s WEDDING DAY!

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The whisking away begins again as you and your Mom and Sister drive to the salon, a bundle of nerves and excitement.  Your best friend has set up a wedding day play list and you melt.  There are mimosas and fruit trays and busyness within the salon.  You are swathed in a black robe and the beautification process begins.  You look at yourself in the mirror – this is it.  This is your day!  You think of your fiancee and hope he is taken aback by your dress, your hair, your makeup.  Your smile.  Your girlfriends are doting on you and you’ve never been so happy; until later in the day.

It’s time to step into your dress.  Your girls are surrounding you, helping you stand up, zipping you in, putting on your shoes and your jewelry.  Your dad comes into the room and “wow’s”.  You get choked up all over again.  More toasting, lots of photos and then you’re off to see your soon to be husband.  You’re so anxious to see him that you almost forget to breathe.  You are at the meeting place, his back to you, you holding your breath awaiting his reaction when he turns around.  He turns toward you, his eyes wide, the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on his face.  He’s rendered speechless.  He comes toward you, plants a kiss on your lips, and tells you how beautiful you are.  We embrace and laugh and giggle and I show him my dress.  This is the best day of my life.

Photos are taken, vows are made, more tears of joy are shed.  You can’t stop smiling, glowing.  You’re so in love.  There are more photos to be had and toast to be made and soon enough you’re on the dance floor, spinning under the lanterns.  The night is a joyous blur of dancing, laughing, singing and hugging.  Before you know it, the night has come to an end.  You sleep blissfully as husband and wife.  You’re married.

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#Flawless12 – If You Could Not Fail….

February 10, 2012

Today’s #Flawless12 prompt is a toughie.  Not a toughie to discern.  But a toughie to admit to yourself.  If you could not fail, what would you do?  Set all concerns aside…..

If I utterly could NOT fail, what would I be?  Ever since my study abroad program back in college and my trips to developing countries, I have always been inspired, impressed, and motivated by Scott Neeson.  Scott quit his career out in L.A., traveled (first), then moved (second) to Cambodia and started a Children’s Foundation.  George and I visited this Children’s Fund on one of our many weekend trips outside of Bangkok.  We visited the garbage dump where Scott primarily finds the children who eventually come to the Fund for schooling, vaccinations, teaching of a trade.  The experience was truly unbelievable.  I could create an entire series of posts in and of itself to describe the experience, but for the sake of time, I’ll just have to stick with this version of it :)

This experience has stamped me forever.  At one point, about 4 years ago, I explored the idea of taking an internship-type job over in Cambodia to work for the Fund.  What stopped me you ask?  George (he wanted me to go, I couldn’t imagine leaving him).  Money.  My career that I worked so hard to get.  My family.  My friends.  The thought of leaving all of those behind in the U.S. and move to Cambodia scared, and still scares, me.

I do not regret not taking this leap of faith, however I do wonder what the shape of my life would be had I leaped.  I donate each year to the Fund.  I keep up with their developments – Scott and all of the donors have done SO MUCH for this Fund; it has come so far since I visited in 2005.  George and I are having donations in lieu of favors at our wedding and all monies are being donated to the Cambodian Children’s Fund.  I admire Scott and his ability to drop his L.A. lifestyle and take this huge leap to start the Fund. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the Fund, or making a donation, please take a look at their website:  Cambodian Children’s Fund

Day 8 – The Worst is the Best #Flawless12

February 8, 2012

So I am taking part in a little thing called Flawless12 which is organized/orchestrated by Chatterbox Christie (her blog here).  I’m really loving this because it’s forcing me to think of myself in a better light – something I always have struggled with.

Today’s #Flawless12 was far too long to post in 150 characters (which is where the rest of mine have been posted), so I decided to post it to my blog instead.  The hot topic for today was picking what we see to be our ‘biggest flaw’.  I’ve always struggled with my legs.  I think I was pretty much tainted from a young age by my Grandmother, who, while I was either in late middle school or very early high school, pointed out that I had cellulite on my thighs.  Ouch.  So.  Here’s to talking about my “biggest flaw” as my biggest asset!

 These legs of mine, they are pretty miraculous.  They keep me standing up.  They carry my weight day in and day out.  They move underneath me when I run countless miles a year.  They spin the wheels of my bike.  They lift my body from a seated position to standing, and allow me to squat and pet my cats.   They may not be very defined and I may have struggled (continue to struggle with..) in the past with them not being defined, but really, they are my life-line.  My road to sanity.  My serenity.  It’s hard for me to look past their appearance and admit this, but, I think love my legs!!

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