I almost failed today. More accurately, I totally failed to plan dinner tonight. This was a challenge due to many considerations:
- I can’t eat meat today. (It’s still Lent for one more week, y’all.)
- Sandwiches or and the like are out too. (Because I chose to give up bread for Lent, by far my toughest Lenten pledge EVER. Yes, tougher than the year I gave up booze.)
- I’m on Day 12 of the 24 Day Challenge. (This means I should be avoiding fried foods, added sugars and sodium, and creamy sauces.)
It’s not terribly difficult to follow the challenge’s suggestion for a healthy protein, complex carb and fruit/veggie at each meal when one cooks at home or plans meals ahead. It would have been pretty easy to give in and just pick up an “easy” option that didn’t follow my three stipulations. But, I already had a little hurdle yesterday with a work lunch featuring really limited menu options … which resulted in me eating a little non-whole wheat spaghetti for the sake of having SOME carbs and being polite 🙂
After searching Yelp and Foursquare for ideas and coming up pretty empty, I remembered I live near a Whole Foods. Surely, I could cobble something together here.
And I did! The Sweet Chili Grilled Tofu was tasty (flavor makes all the difference with tofu), as were the Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts and Kale Slaw. Plus, I have enough left for lunch on Sunday pre-personal training.
Estimated 354 calories for the meal and cost about $7.50 ($15 total). Not bad for a “night out!”
So I have made it to Day 10 of the 24 Day Challenge. I’ve had a lot of friends asking if I can eat. YES! In fact, I think I am eating quite a bit more, at least for breakfast than usual.
The challenge focuses on clean eating…here’s a link to the diet guidelines. I’m in the cleanse phase, so that means I am taking some probiotic and fish oil vitamins (in addition to my daily multi). Some days I have a fiber drink. With 10 grams of fiber, it really fills me up!
As you can see, there’s a big emphasis on hydration. Most days, I’ve consumed 80 oz. of water, but I’m not perfect. The days I do, I feel and look better.
On page 10 of the guidelines are suggested foods. Basically, each meal is a healthy protein, complex carb and a fruit or veggie. Most restaurants can accommodate this, but of course it is easier to prep my own food (though that is some work!). I also threw in a few My Fit Foods meals this week to help with a busy schedule and menu variety.
Tomorrow I move to the Max Phase. I plan to get back to the gym tonight and keep that part up for the remaining days so I can continue to see progress and feel healthier 🙂
Quinoa for breakfast! In my quest for non-bread complex carbs in the morning (less than 2 weeks left of my Lenten pledge!), I tried this recipe for apple cinnamon quinoa. Think of it as a crunchier oatmeal 🙂
PS…today is Challenge Day 7 and I am down 4.7 pounds!
Tonight’s dinner: wheat penne pasta with ground turkey, red bell pepper, mushrooms and a creamy cheesy sauce. The sauce was actually low in sodium sugar (rare for a jar sauce) so I splurged.
Had a side salad with balsamic vinegarette so the whole meal was just under 700 calories. Not bad for pasta and the day’s biggest meal.
It’s day 5, and I’m down 3.1 lbs! I’m sure a lot of this is water weight lost since I’m hydrating, eating healthy, and back to sleeping 6-7 hours a night…but I feel it’s a good start!
I haven’t worked out much this week as I’m still catching up from my trip and finishing a large volunteer project. I hope to remedy that with a run tomorrow.
My packed schedule means sometimes, I have to eat on the run. While the first day of the challenge was easy because I prepared all my meals at home (or brought from home to work), the days since then have been more of a challenge. Tuesday lunch was at a restaurant, and so was Wednesday dinner (in both cases, it was pretty easy to get the necessary protein/complex carb/veggies mix off the menu).
Today, I needed to find a to-go option as I was traveling from one meeting to the next (the second was a BYO lunch). I opted for Mediterranean, always a favorite for me. Lamb kebab brought me the variety from chicken I was craving, while the kale salad and spicy hummus were great sides to round out the meal.
You’ll notice no pita bread…that’s because I gave up bread for Lent! Just 2 more weeks without it, and then I will reincorporate wheat bread since I’ll be finishing my last few challenge days after Easter. I miss it less than I did at the beginning, but it’s pretty tough to eat out and pick bread-free options. I do not envy my friends who have to be gluten-free!
After 2 days of the challenge, I am down 2.8 pounds! Focusing on 80 oz. of water a day is making a big difference. My skin is already looking pretty clear. I’m finding it’s not too hard to make the right food choices either: each meal is a protein, complex carb and fruit or veggie.
Wow did my grocery shopping cart look healthy this week! This is what has made all the meals I’ve posted pics of possible. Even the customer behind me in line commented on how healthy it looked!
For the most part, I shopped the perimeter of the store. Makes for a quicker trip too.
I ended the day with calories remaining! That hasn’t happened in a long time. But not too many (165), and I felt like I had plenty to eat all day. Nearly an hour of Zumba helped that too.
I also didn’t really miss coffee (gasp!). Since Spark has caffeine, I got what I needed from that…plus some vitamins and minerals too.
Day 2 will be a challenge with a meal out at a restaurant, but I feel confident I can handle it!
I will say: eating healthy takes time and effort. Extra time this morning to prep my lunch for work, plus the time to cook tonight. I think it will be worth it though to feel healthier.