Go Sugar Free Course: First 2 Weeks

Whew, we’re on Day 14 of the Go Sugar Free Course!

Although at the beginning of this course, having completed Whole30 was a huge advantage for me, now I’m finding it’s created a unique challenge for me. As I mentioned, GSF encourages its students to determine what form of sugars they want to give up. For me, I chose to eliminate everything but honey because that was how I defined my Food Freedom Forever. But, my Food Freedom Forever also included other forms of added sugar that I was defining by the foods they were in rather than the types of sugars. For example. I determined that I could and would eat a chicken sausage that included added sugar in the ingredients (some have very little sugar). It is these types of foods that I’ve struggled to eliminate since I only just welcomed them back into my diet. Honestly, I decided to re-introduce a limited amount of select foods simply because I determined that they were what made the Whole30 feel like an inconvenience and unsustainable long-term. If my husband or I wanted to use a recipe that included sausage or some bacon and I simply couldn’t find it sugar free, then I wanted to be able to make it anyway!  And as a result, I’m finding I’m less motivated to fully eliminate them now (since I know they’re not a ‘problem’ for me). Basically, the GSF course is stricter on sugar than how I have defined my Food Freedom Forever and it has proved harder than I expected to reverse course.

With that said, I’m really enjoying the course. We receive a daily email chock-full of information with a lesson such as a cliff notes for a book we should but don’t have time to read or a video to watch, etc. The Facebook group is also pretty active and I’ve used it a  few times to post about my frustrations, to share a success story, or to ask a question. Once you take the course, you are a lifetime member and can retake it whenever you want so the FB community is a big mix of newcomers like me and people on their 3rd or 4th round.

So far my takeaways are this:

  • I feel better off sugar and refined carbs.  Actually, grains in general. But, when my friend brings over a beautiful white baguette, I still struggle to say no to it.
  • Grains are my gateway drug. Much more so that a piece of milk chocolate. Give me a piece of white bread and I’ll immediately eat 5 more…
  • I asked my husband to hide our scale until my next weigh in and I can’t believe how good it feels (look out for a separate blog post on this).
  • My diet has never been clean enough to be able to determine how particular foods were making it feel and I’m finding it fascinating to learn about it for the first time in my life (this is an extension to what I was already learning with Whole30).
  • I am sleeping better.  Well, I’ve actually always been a great sleeper in that I fall asleep and stay asleep pretty easily.  But I struggle SO much to get up in the mornings.  When Im eating a sugar and grain free diet and don’t eat anything after dinner, I have a much easier time getting up and feel lighter and less bloated when I do. In fact, Toby and I have been getting up at 6am and going on a 2-mile walk with my friend and her 4 yr old each morning. Im also getting in a 21 Day Fix workout 5-6 times a week.
  • Im super frustrated that I’m not skinny and in a size 2 yet 😦

Examples of clean, fresh meals I’ve been devouring this week:

Breakfast: Scrambled egg, sauteed kale, sweet potato, guacamole

Lunch: (1) Tuna, guac and veggies and (2) taco salad (leftovers)

Dinner: (1) Peruvian Beef Stir Fry from Skinnytaste and (2) grilled chicken, asparagus and squash.

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21 Day Fix: Setting Goals

I’m starting week 2 of the 21 Day Fix tomorrow.  I want to kick ass.  As always, I started the past week super strong and then ended it luke warm.  Well, perhaps better than luke warm – I’ve completed all my workouts and eaten pretty well.  But, I stopped using my containers to measure my food over the weekend, I ate too much dark chocolate, and we went over to a friend’s house for brunch this morning and I ate (and thoroughly enjoyed!) everything they fed us including pancakes covered in maple syrup…

I’m going to kick ass this week. I’m determined. I’m going to follow the program to a T and I am not going to let myself fail.  I want to show myself that I have the strength, determination, motivation and faith in my abilities to be successful.  I want to believe that my hard work will actually  result in a me I can truly be proud of.

So, here are my goals for the week:

1. I will not eyeball my food measurements. I will put everything IN my containers even if that means cutting up my chicken or breaking my piece of salmon into little piece.
2. I will only eat what is on the fix approved list.
3. I will eat all my green and reds every day.
4. I will take a 30 min walk during my lunch break at least twice.
5. I will take the stairs from the 2nd floor where I park to the 8th where my office is every morning/afternoon.
6. I will be active on social media in order to keep myself accountable and to look for motivation.
7. I will work out every. single. day.
8. I am going to let myself believe that it is possible for me to have the body that I never thought possible!

21 Day Fix: One Week Down…Almost

I made it through my first week back at work.  It’s hard to be away from Maya but luckily Simon was home with her for 3 of the days, I was home for one of them and she spent one day in daycare.

MayaSmiles

I remember the separation from Toby being really hard, but I dont remember feeling so angry – angry at the system for making me leave my innocent and wholly dependent little girl with strangers in order to keep my job and provide health insurance coverage for my family. It’s bullshit.

A silver lining is that we’ve been really stressed about Maya’s weight and this week of bottle feeding gave us a better understanding of how much she drinks in one feeding and the total ounces from a large part of the day.  I also rented a hospital grade scale last week so that I could weigh her before and after feeds.  I’ve been pleased to see that she was averaging about 3.3oz off of me and has been taking about 3.5oz every 2.5-3hrs from the bottle.  Im guessing she’s getting between 19-24oz per day.  It’s not a lot – most kids her age are likely taking closer to 4oz per feed and 28oz per day.  But, it’s adequate and I feel ok about that.  We have an appt with her doc on Tuesday for a weight check and to talk about interventions if required. Ugh, we’ll see…

Meanwhile, the 21 Day Fix is going pretty well.  I was going strong with the workouts for most of the week which surprised even me because I wasn’t able to do them until both kiddos were asleep and I desperately wanted to be lounging on the couch.  On Friday, however, I didn’t make it.  I was having a crazy anxious day which always makes me want to curl up in a ball, eat chocolate and cry. So, I came home, wolfed down 5 Dove dark chocolates and poured myself a glass of red wine…oops.  But, I got right back on track today and did 2 workout – Cardio Fix and Yoga – in order to make up for it.  So, I’ve forgiven myself :).

PainTemporary

Food this week has gone pretty well.  I really enjoyed my lunches made up from the massive meal prep I did on Sunday.

Breakfast has been a bit tough because I haven’t given myself enough time in the morning to cook something up.  I ate a Lara Bar on my way to work at least twice which, while healthy, is not a good way to get all my containers in for the day nor does it fill me up as much as a big bowl of oatmeal or two eggs and some ezekiel toast would be. Im going to make sure to cook up a batch of steel cut oats tomorrow so that they’re ready to go for the week. I guess I could also try getting up a few more minutes early 🙂 but it’s just hard to plan out the morning when I need to be nursing on demand until the minute I walk out the door.  Oh, and getting Toby up, dressed, fed and out the door with me!

Snacks have been pretty good – usually nuts and an apple, peppers and hummus, yogurt and berries, or ezekiel bread with banana and almond butter.  I ordered shakeology which finally arrived this weekend so Im going to begin drinking shakes as one of my snacks as opposed to using them as a meal replacement.  I’ve realized I need to eat a bit more containers than what I am allotted based on my weight category in order to make up for calories burned while nursing.

BreadBanana

Finally, dinners were fun to experiment with and we had some really yummy, healthy, and satisfying meals including:

Simon’s famous chili (1 yellow, 1 red, 1 blue)

Chili

Quinoa Fried Rice from one of my fave food bloggers, Damn Delicious (1 yellow, 1 green, 1.5 red, 1 tsp).

QuinoaFriedRice

Healthy Kung Pao Chicken (1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 2 tsp).

GreenBeanStirFry

And Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast (1.5 green, 1 yellow, 1 red).

StuffedChicken

I’ll just end with this… 🙂

SiblingKiss Siblings

 

21 Day Fix – Day Three

3 days down, 18 to go!

Our Sunday Funday of food prepping is paying off.  I am loving having warm, healthy, clean meals to eat for lunch.  It’s tasty and satisfying.  Simon hit is limit today, however, and is requesting a bit more variety next week.  I only made one carb – sweet potato – and two similar proteins – chicken and pork loin.  Ill have to brainstorm some new ideas for the next round.  Any great ideas!?

Unfortunately, our diet and exercise needs don’t compliment one another very well.  Simon struggles to gain weight while I struggle to lose it.  So, I’m having to be creative with my meal planning so that he is getting the healthy fats and additional calories he needs without consuming too much of it myself.  Making zoodles instead of pasta, for example, has not satisfied him because although the nutritional benefits are high, the calories are very low (which I love!). Thank god for Pinterest…!

The best thing is that Simon has decided to join me in the workouts.  We’ve never really exercised together – we’re not that adorable couple that takes early morning runs together – so this is new.  New and great!  We did our first video tonight and having him by my side was motivational and I enjoyed sharing the time with him after we each spent the evening away from one another tending to our kiddos.

He even wrote a quote from 21 Day Fix founder, Autumn, on our kitchen blackboard wall!  Probably just because he thinks she’s super hot, but whatever, I’ll take it! 🙂

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Although my official weigh in will not be until next Monday, I was pleased to see that my weight is down 3lbs already and I am just 2 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight!  Again, I was already overweight so my {first} goal is still 7 pounds away.

Today’s menu was:

Breakfast: 2 eggs cups with kale, mushroom, ham and cheese (1 red, 1/2 green, 1/2 blue)

Snack: Yogurt and berries (1 red, 1 purple)

Lunch: Pork, sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower (1 red, I yellow, 2 green)

Snack: Red & yellow peppers with hummus (1 green, 1/2 blue)

Snack: Handful of nuts (1/2 blue) – this was an extra snack I shouldn’t have had but I was really hungry when I got home.  I need to re-evaluate my meals earlier in the day to avoid this from happening!

Dinner: Pad Thai (1 red, 1 yellow, 1/2 green…and then some) – not a 21 day fix approved meal, unfortunately.  Simon really wanted to make it and it’s tough for me to eat something different because Toby is in the ‘if-i-see-you-eating-it-then-i-want-it-or-ill-tantrum’ phase.  This is where our unaligned goals can have a negative effect…

Snack (after workout): Cottage cheese & strawberries/pineapple (1 red, 1 purple)

Introducing the 21 Day Fix – Time for a Change!

It’s time to make a change.  I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life.  I’ve yo-yo dieted, I’ve gone on exercise and couch potato binges, I’ve cancelled plans with dear friends because I felt too fat, I’ve missed opportunities to take my boy swimming because I refused to get in a bathing suit.

I’m done.

I want to quit this nasty cycle and re-invent myself.  I want to stop looking at other people’s impressive transformation pictures and start sharing my own.

I want to show both of my children what strength and confidence looks like.

So, HERE WE GO!!!  Today was Day 1 of the 21 Day Fix.  It’s a Beachbody program that incorporates a daily 30min at-home workout  with a nutrition plan that teaches healthy portion control. Six colored containers are provided, each of which is used to measure out portions of different food groups – yellow for carbs, red for protein, green for veggies, etc.

21dayfix

A key requirement of this program is meal planning which helps to ensure that you are eating the right amount of food.  Depending on what calorie bracket you fall into, you are allotted a specified number of each colored container.

I’ve decided to meal prep for breakfast, snacks, and lunch (and a little bit for dinner) to ensure I have the right foods on hand.  So, yesterday I made the following:

  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Sauteed kale and mushrooms
  • Baked pork loin
  • Baked chicken
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Baked egg cups w/ ham, kale, mushroom & cheddar
  • Lean ground beef meatballs w/spinach
  • Sliced red/yellow peppers (not pictured)
  • Apples (not pictured)
  • Almond butter (not pictured)
  • Hummus (not pictured)
  • Yogurt (not pictured)
  • Mixed berries (not pictured)

MealPrep28Feb.jpg

I prepared it buffet-style so that I could pick and choose what I wanted for lunch each day.

My meals today:

  • Breakfast: 2 egg cups
  • Snack: Yogurt & berries
  • Lunch: Pork, sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli
Lunch29Feb

Lunch

I’m embarassed to admit that I was sooo close to skipping my workout tonight…on day 1!  I came home from my first day back at work which totally sucked and I missed my baby girl desperately, then jumped right into nursing, getting Maya down for her last nap, eating dinner with my boys, then nursing again, joining my boys for a bedtime story and then getting Maya down for bed.  It was close to 8pm, I had a headache, was tired and hungry.  Well, I wasn’t actually hungry, but my mind convinced me I wanted food.

But, I trudged downstairs, unenthusiastically pushed play on the video and just 30 minutes later I was done and feeling great!

So, that’s day 1 in the bag!  Now I need to go pack my food for tomorrow.  It’s all about being prepared!