As I think about the last few months, the theme has been one of investing in myself. Specifically, investing in my health. In July, I started a 21-day clean eating challenge that is reaping benefits with each passing day. I learned of the clean eating challenge through my running group Black Girl Run (BGR) Boston. The challenge was led by a registered dietitian and focused on replacing processed foods, refined grains, sugars and dairy with healthy, clean options.
My experience: clean eating has clear advantages but it is time consuming and a lifestyle change. To be successful, you must prepare, prepare, prepare. For me, that means deciding upon meals for the week in advance of my grocery shopping trip. Normally, I choose meals while walking through the aisles of the grocery store. Being prepared means washing and cutting up all fruits and vegetables in advance of cooking as a time saver. Failing to do the prep work in advance translates into hours spent in the kitchen on Sunday. Being prepared means carrying healthy snacks with me at all times so I am not tempted by non-healthy options.
The verdict: After 21-days of clean eating, I have lost 5lbs, replaced my daily cup of decaffeinated coffee with a natural version made with dandelion, significantly reduced my sugar intake, increased my water intake and and cut down on processed foods. More importantly, I feel better. The dreaded sugar crashes that left me struggling to stay awake at my desk each day have dissipated.
I'm continuing on the clean-eating path. Now, there are some things I chose to re-integrate into my diet after the challenge. Ice cream is a staple in my life and I won't give that up! However, I eat it in moderation and savor it when I do. :-)
Here are a few of the meals I have made recently. Enjoy!
Blackberries, mango and avocado salad with cashews and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Homemade almond flour pancakes with fresh berries.
Another version of the berry salad with a side beverage: Kevita probiotic drink.