Sunday, May 9, 2010

Clean Eating Challenge – Day 14

Whoooooooo! I MADE IT! Two weeks – DONE!

Let’s quickly recap today’s food and then I’ll share a few thoughts about my overall experience doing this challenge.

Breakfast was a banana, 1.5 tbsps of almond butter, and two pieces of Ezekiel bread. It was supposed to be a whole wheat wrap, but I was hungry after yesterday’s light day and felt like having more carbs. :)


I didn’t have a morning snack because I ate this quite late. So lunch was … another sandwich!


Ham, avocado, spring mix and mustard on rye. You know, I have never been one for the ham/rye/mustard combo, but I’ve had it twice on this plan and both times I’ve LOVED it, so I guess I have to consider myself converted. :)

It appears I forgot to snap a picture of today’s dinner, but I basically swapped in yesterday’s dinner, which I didn’t eat: a lean pork chop, baked sweet potato, and steamed green beans. Tasty and simple.

Challenge Wrap-Up

(Or whole wheat wrap-up, as Julie said. Heh.)

Now, to be honest with you, I’m thrilled that I made it through these two weeks but I’m also equally thrilled that they’re over.

Here are a few thoughts and impressions, in no paticular order.

+ It certainly met my need of wanting to be a real-food-robot for a couple weeks. I liked not having to make any decisions about what to eat.

- I thought it would help me think about food less, but I ended up thinking about it MORE, simply because I had to be super organized with making sure I had all the right ingredients, that I packed all the necessary stuff for work each morning, that I had time to cook in between boot camp and yoga classes, etc. My brain is exhausted!

- The rest of me is exhausted too! There were definitely nights I would have liked to have opt for something easier, and days I really would have liked to rely on a purchased lunch, instead of packing one.

+ But I feel good about persevering through that.

- I spent a LOT more money than I thought I would – a bit over $250 over the two weeks, which is easily more than twice my usual budget.

+ Though to be fair, I have a lot of stuff left and luckily it’s mostly stuff that will keep: bread products and meat that I’ve thrown in the freezer, a nice bottle of olive oil, a couple boxes of cereal, etc. The produce and dairy products all got pretty much used up.

+ I have a few new ideas for meals and snacks, and I have a new appreciation for snacking. It used to be something I’d try to avoid, and only do if really necessary (either out of hunger or severe sugar craving), but I actually really appreciate the substantial carb + protein snack strategy, and I’m definitely going to be incorporating these into my routine more.

+/- Following this plan actually decreased my vegetable consumption, and increased my bread and cheese consumption – which was not great for these two weeks, but makes me a lot more confident about my usual meal-planning and balancing skills.

- Along those lines – a few people have asked if I notice that I feel better eating this way, and I’m sorry to say this, but the answer is no. I don’t notice any real difference, and in fact, I’ve been more tired these past two weeks, possibly because of the amount of effort it’s taken to manage the plan. The reality is, I guess I eat pretty ‘clean’ to begin with, so I didn’t notice any monumental changes by following this plan. The one thing is that my afternoons seemed a little easier to manage, I think because I stopped having a sugary snack in the afternoon – the carb+protein snack seemed to keep me more stable, so I’ll be sticking with that combo as much as possible.


And I guess that’s it! Am I glad I did this? Yes. It did what I want – let me take a mental break from stressing about food choices. I feel a lot more confident now, and after being stuck with a routine for two weeks, I’m excited to eat foods of my own choosing again!

So I guess that’s it! Thanks for following along with me on this bizarre little challenge. :) Feel free to ask any follow-up questions in the comments, if you happen to have any!

Last step will be weigh-in tomorrow morning, so of course I’ll be back with another update then. :)