So I am only a few days away from completion of the third challenge in my 90-day nutrition challenge. This latest—no refined/processed sugars—has been the toughest yet. Yet, I think it has made me think the most about what I put into my body. That is after all, the point of this challenge. It’s not about losing weight, but more about being aware of the food choices we make.
What I’ve learned?
Buyer Beware: Processed sugars are in most packaged food products you find in the grocery store. And because of this challenge, grocery shopping took a lot longer (and I thought that I was already a pretty diligent shopper). And sugar comes in so many different names—high fructose corn syrup being enemy number 1. Wow, it was truly enlightening to see how prevalent that stuff is and how we as a society, consume so many terrible foods. So the trick? The fewer packaged products in your home, the better. Go through your pantry and fridge and be amazed at what’s lurking! Be creative—check out the recipes I’ve posted—and willing to get outside your comfort zone if you don’t like being in the kitchen.
The Body Adjusts: The first week of the sugar purge was tough. My energy was low and I was super tired throughout the day. It probably took me about a week to feel normal again. And now I feel pretty good overall, which makes me wonder…Just how much sugar was I consuming? My cravings for a dessert have lessened which proves to me that the more you eat sugary foods, the more you crave them. I’m wondering how my body will react when I do indulge! Will things taste too sweet?!
Eating Out is Tough! I learned that the best way to ensure I didn’t break the challenge, was to prepare as many of my meals as possible. And when I did eat out, I stuck to salads with the basic olive oil and vinegar dressing.
What have I missed?
The occasional dessert to satisfy my sweetbuds (yes I made that up). I’m sure if it wasn’t for the challenge I would have reached for some chocolate by now. As the summer months are upon us, I know I cannot give up desserts like ice cream or frozen yogurt. But I am more aware of not needing it and that giving in to cravings is just a matter of having the willpower to say no.
This challenge was a really good one. It built well on the first two challenges (only drink water and eat fruits and veggies) and I still find myself keeping those habits largely intact.
And now, drumroll for the next phase of the challenge…
Challenge #4: Prepare your food at home for two weeks. No eating out and no fast food.
So like I said earlier, this challenge really does build upon the previous ones as I have already been doing a good job at bringing my lunch to work. Where I see this as a bit problematic is the social aspect of going out for a meal. So I’ll be eating a meal before meeting up with friends. And we are allowed a “salad in a pinch” for business meetings or when we are on the road with no other choices. Who wants to have a dinner party? Here we go!