It’s a lot easier to eat clean when you are on a plan. I somehow felt more accountable to the plan; I could use “the plan” as my reason or, dare I say it, as my excuse. And, even though I did not completely derail over the holidays, it most definitely was a slippery slope. It was too easy to add in the little things, and the little things added up. With all the trays of treats sitting out, meat and cheese platters, bowls of chips, Bailey’s in my coffee (and yes I mean my morning coffee), boxes of chocolates everywhere and even the bowl of nuts – a little bite here and there and before you know it you’ve consumed 3000 calories and you are still thinking about eating more. And, let’s not forget to mention how many family members want to tell you “live a little and enjoy life”! We did try to enjoy our freedoms and we made sure to have the things we craved; pizza, my mom’s Christmas baking, cinnamon buns and Christmas cheer.
Here’s what I learned….clean food tastes better!
I used to think people were nuts when they said this. But since I’ve “deprived” myself of preservatives and processed foods, I can taste the difference. I can taste the extra salt, sugar and thickeners added to sauces, and, OMG, Christmas baking is way too sweet now. I’m working on how to tame those sweet and salty cravings. I’m teaching myself that if I am truly hungry, clean food will do the trick. I’m learning how to bake without sugar, so I can still feel like I’m indulging once in a while without breaking the rules. I do enjoy clean eating. It makes me feel good in every way!! My food decisions are easier too; if it’s not “clean” I can’t eat it. I have more energy, I’m not bloated, my skin really does glow, and as long as I don’t get too hungry, aka “hangry”, I’m much happier. I’m a little extreme when it comes to my eating (let’s face it, I’m a little “extreme” with most things in my life) and in this next chapter of my life, the goal is to work on balance.
Now comes the question - how do I eat clean and “have fun”?
For me, it’s always been one or the other. The two could not reside together. So in my next 100 days, my challenge is to find balance. Instead of only counting calories, I will look at my macros to help me during social events, instead of avoiding them. And hopefully, in finding my food balance, I will find other balances as well. We do need to “live a little and enjoy life”! To some, my life appears to look like a lot of work and no time for fun, but I will tell you this, when you are working towards something you love this much, you enjoy every second of it. I wouldn’t change any of it, not even the 4:00am alarm clock! I’ve always been taught to work hard and my dreams will come true. I also enjoy these challenges to help connect with my clients; to fully know and understand the struggles they may face. If I can’t do it, how can I expect to tell someone else to?