Happy October-it's officially my favorite time of year!
I've been trying to eat cleaner. I was doing really well. Then the wagon hit a bump. I fell off. Hard. I think I may have hit my head. Because I know better. I feel slower, sluggish, cranky and just plain guilty. My workouts suffered. And so did my mood.
So when I saw this challenge I knew it was a great way to jump back on and a great way to keep myself motivated and accountable to talk about my experiences here. Check out the Eating Rules page for the full deets, its full of great info in general, but basically you vow to go 'unprocessed' for the month of October.
Of course that sounds like a simple concept until you go through your normal diet for a day. And my list generally sounds 'healthy': whole wheat waffles with natural p.b. and banana for breakfast, snacks of yogurt, wheat thins and protein bars, huge lunch salads and meat and veggies for dinner. But you start reading ingredients and realize the waffles are out, as are the yogurt, wheat thins, salad dressing and probably even the cheese. If the veggies are the frozen bagged kind that I'm often guilty of using they're out too since they generally have some sort of sauce on them.
To go all out for this Challenge would be tough, but it is encouraged to make your own rules, things you can stick to. The point is to make an effort and to realize just how much of our every day (even 'healthy') food isn't really food at all. It's a lesson in awareness. I know, sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case, it's actually killing you/me/us. Literally.
The main guideline in the challenge is to ask yourself-"Can this be made in the kitchen?" Not that you would, or that you have to, just can it be done. If the answer is yes, eat it, or something made with it. If not, you'll need to make some decisions. The eating rules site has lots of straight forward answers to some of the most common things you might be questioning so save yourself some research time and visit there first.
So here are some of MY rules:
1-Protein powder is ok: I use this to make my own snack/protein bars to stay away from those oh so convenient, long ingredient list, packaged ones. This is a good trade IMO.
2-Artificial sweetener is 'sort of' ok: This one is tough for me, but I'm working on it. I'm going to use the Challenge to try to kick it for good, but not going to beat myself up over a packet or two.
3-If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it: There are a million ingredients out there and I have no idea what most really are, but if it sounds like it was made in a lab (it has numbers in front of it!) it probably was.
4-5-ish ingredient rule: This goes along with that, when checking food labels if it has more than 5 ingredients it may be tough to reproduce at home. I may let a few things slide by if it is one of only a few ingredients.
5-Game day doesn't count: Ok, I'm hoping for the few hours surrounding the game and not the entire day, but tailgating makes the crowds and some of the other hassles worth it. I'm not toting around my own food too. When at home I'll make the effort to create something fun (and clean!) for the family.
|Ok-Maybe this is what makes Game Day worth it :)|
|The "practice" cake shoved me off the clean eating wagon!!|
I hope to write more about each of these as the month goes on and chronicle (aren't I self-important!) my thoughts and how I'm feeling over the course of the challenge. Maybe I'll even find some new great recipes and share what I've been surviving on. Half marathon training is amping up so this girl's gotta eat, and eat well. Let's ring-in 'eating season' with a healthy bang, are ya with me?!