Tuesday, August 30, 2011

We did it! One Year of Clean Eating!!

We did it! My family survived one full year of eating clean, whole foods! I'm so excited to celebrate this milestone with my new followers. This past year wasn't without its challenges. There were days when I didn't know what to cook, or days when I did cook and it didn't turn out so well. We tried new foods, some we liked, some we didn't and some that made us sick after eating them for a while (i.e. Chia and flax seeds). My children have gone one year without eating bagged, frozen chicken nuggets, fish sticks and the like. Heck, after a while, they started asking for my homemade versions over the frozen kind! I learned how to can jelly, salsa and tomato sauce.  I also learned how to makeover traditional recipes using healthier ingredients. I even started teaching family members and friends how to do the same!
Overall, I wasn't met with much resistance. My husband eats breakfast and lunch in the city, so he's only faced with one clean meal a day. He didn't have too much to complain about. He says he misses things like hot dogs, fried foods and Dr. Pepper. My kids were a tougher sell. It took a while to wean them from juice and we're still working on breakfast cereals, but they pretty much only eat Cheerios now. My oldest (6) only drinks water now and she will eat pretty much any strange concoction I whip up. It makes me proud when we sit down to eat quinoa, salmon and a raw kale salad and she eats it like it's her job! Both my girls are eating very healthy now and even starting to make healthier choices at home, like choosing grapes over chips (which are only Organic).

I have a good routine now. I wake up, have my probiotic, lemon water and then workout on an empty stomach. I never in my life thought I would a) work out in the morning and b) workout on an empty stomach. But now, I'm not hungry first thing in the morning. I'm eating more protein and veggies and staying fuller, longer. My metabolism is higher and I can take a day or two off the regimen and still stay at the same weight. My main overall goals were to feel better and lose 30 pounds. Well, the first certainly rings true. Here's a round-up of where I was one year ago:
1. Daily headaches, migraines twice a month
2. Sluggish, tired all the time
3. Overweight - I was 178 lbs
4. Hip pain, called Piriformis Syndrome
5. Tingling and weird pain in my legs - doctors thought I was getting fibromyalgia
6. High Cholesterol, high triglycerides
Measurements Before:
Waist: 33'
Hips: 47"
Bust: 36"
Now, I won't call this my after results because I still have yet to reach my ideal weight, so we'll call this the "half-way there" results!
Waist: 31", lost 2"
Hips: 44", lost 3"
Bust: 36", the same
Weight:  157 lbs., lost 21

After losing 21 lbs, I realized that it wasn't really that much and I still needed to lose about 20 more. I'm almost to the weight I was on my wedding day and I thought I looked pretty good then. Turns out, I was about 10 lbs. overweight then. I think my goal is 40 pounds overall. So, I'll get there and see how I feel then.
Otherwise, I am headache free, hip pain is gone, leg pain is gone, sluggishness is gone, cholesterol is normal, as well as triglycerides. I also don't take an allergy pill every day or the migraine medicine.
I will say the one thing that motivates me every single day is getting on the scale every morning and watching the weight go down bit by bit. I deluded myself in the beginning of this journey thinking that clean eating alone would help me lose all the weight. Boy, was I wrong! I started making food from scratch and ate platters of food around the holidays. I actually ballooned up to 181 at Christmas! I wasn't going to share that secret, but I said I was going to be honest...
It wasn't until mid-April that I started to lose weight when I joined a program called "Lose Fat with Amy." My neighbor is my sort-of "health coach" and she started the program. Its components are simple, but you have to be willing to make the necessary adjustments to your life or it simply won't happen. I watched her lose 20 pounds over the holidays and I wanted to do the same! And, I have! If you're interested in finding out more about her program, visit and tell her I sent you.
You do have to move your body, but not in the way I was accustomed to. I thought I needed to sweat it out for hours in the gym, but it turns out that simply adjusting the time and intensity of your workout can make a big difference.
My journey is not over and I intend to keep sharing recipes, tips and my own simple program of how to rid your life of processed foods. Stay tuned for more information about the latter.
My half-way there pictures are coming soon.
Until then, eat real food!

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