I have to say I'm overwhelmed by the response I'm getting in support of Clean Eating March. This says a lot.
More than anything, it tells me that there are a lot of like minded individuals out there and more importantly, that we need to support each other.
When push comes to shove, we all want the same thing; to be in better health, have more energy and look and feel the way we want to.
I'm so grateful to my friends, family and the blogging and instagram community for all their support and inspiration. Just awesome!
One question that keeps popping up is what I will be doing for the challenge. Don't you already eat clean?
Yes, this is true, my diet is relatively clean, I gave up animal products coming up to eight months ago and I have been 95% raw vegan for the past two months. However, I do have some vices, mainly coffee! And because I have a flat white, my only alternative is soy milk. Whilst I'm picky about what soy they use (must be bonsoy), it's still soy and that's not allowed. Whilst I love coffee, caffeine does put pressure on your adrenal glands so having a little break won't be a bad thing.
Also, I've been doing some more reading into the 80/10/10 philosophy of eating (halfway through the book),and I feel like it makes a lot of sense.
Ever since I greatly minimised grains, I do feel better.
What do I mean by that? Ok, I don't get bloated anymore, I eat as much as I want at meal times and throughout the day IF I feel hungry, I don't count calories, yet I have managed to keep a steady weight.
I still exercise 6 days a week for up to an hour each time and still have the same if not more energy. I barely feel tired, except when I over load myself with things to do. I'm notorious for trying to squeeze as many things into one day as is humanly possible. It's not one of my best traits but I'm working on it.
So, the challenge for me will be to try and do less and to keep as close as possible to the 80/10/10 way of eating.
That means cutting out vinegar, majority of oils, corn thins (yikes), coffee, alcohol*, minimising nuts and seeds, no superfoods, no salt, no nutritional yeast, bahhhhh :(
Basically, if it's not something you can consume in it's natural state, than I can't have it.
Whilst this may sound extreme, and given, it is quite extreme, I feel that one month is enough to test it out without doing harm. After all, some elite athletes are devoted to this lifestyle, along with a lot of other super healthy individuals. Like with any thing, if done correctly and with as much information as possible, it can be successful.
Not sure if it'll be a long term thing for me, I'm aware that what works for one, doesn't work for another. I'll just take each day as it comes. The most important thing for me is what good information and lessons I will take away from it when it's all done and dusted.
I will continue taking supplements, mainly vitamin B12 and vitamin D. But I think everyone should take those.
I have also been asked what time of the days I eat and exercise.
I normally have breakfast anytime between 8:30-10:00.
Lunch is usually 12:00-1:30
Dinner is always between 5:00-6:00
When I can, I prefer to exercise first thing in the morning, before breakfast and after my 1L of water.
Otherwise, I exercise whenever time allows, most of the time it's after we have had our family dinner and showered the girls, usually 7pm.
* a word on alcohol. I didn't add it to the list of things not to have because I just don't think about it anymore. I don't normally drink during the weekends, and definitely not during the week. If you do drink, you may want to think about giving it up for March, or maybe cutting down to just a couple of glasses on the weekend or if you drink during the week, just one glass every other night. I'm for cutting it out all together if you want to get the most benefit but I'll leave that up to you.
What I know about alcohol is this, whenever I consume too much of it, I feel like crap the next day. It demotivates me, it makes me want to eat ALL DAY, and it makes my body feel gross, which leads to a wasted day and no exercise. I don't like that.
Another thing, when starting out on a plant based diet (for those cutting out animal products), there is a tendency to eat lots of the sweet treats, lots of nuts and chia, coconut oil, e.t.c. Whilst I love nuts and chia seeds, I would make them occasional foods rather than every day.
If you are going to be doing a lot of cooking, coconut oil is definitely the healthiest oil to use due to it's high burning point.
My advice is to put your focus into eating as many fresh vegetables and fruits as possible.
And whilst I'm not trying to say that you should go raw (which you can if you want to), if you can keep at least two of your meals raw, you will see so much benefit.
By having the green smoothie first up, you already have one raw meal done. Add your salad at lunch and there you have two meals. Easy Peasy!
Now let's talk about sugar. I have revised the last post and added refined sugar to it. I'm sure most of you already knew this was a given as did I but I thought I'd better added anyways.
I find that because I eat a lot of fruit, I don't actually get to crave other sugars, my body is satisfied with the sugars it gets naturally.
If you're having problems giving up refined sugars, have a date! I mean a medjool date of course, and they are the most deliciously caramelly treat you'll ever have!
If I need to sweeten something up, I always use medjool dates.
Whilst they are high in calories, I don't have a problem eating them. Like I said, I gave up counting calories as soon as I went raw.
But don't fear, I'll be posting some cooked food ideas, as well as lots of raw ones.
I also recommend looking at previous posts, where I have lots of cooked recipe ideas.
I'm really interested in what dishes everyone comes up with so please tag @onehungrymami #onehungrymami if you're on instagram and feel free to share your recipes, progress, questions, in the comments section below.
One last thing, whilst you are doing Clean Eating March, I urge you to think about other toxins that you may be absorbing without realising. Whilst it's difficult to be toxin free in this world (being stuck in peak traffic springs to mind), we can try and minimise what we add to it. Choosing better foods is one way, but have you thought about the personal products you use? Have a look at your moisturiser, your deodorant, your perfume and make up. A plethora of chemicals that we slather on our largest organ on a daily basis, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. Here's a post I did that talks about this, you will be surprised at the amount of chemicals that are in our everyday beauty products, I know i was.
I don't want to overwhelm you, just get you thinking about things.
Peas, love and mungbeans