Well, today marks Day 11 of my 15-day Real Food Challenge and I can say one thing is for sure: it's amazing to me how quickly you can transform your outlook on food, or anything really, in such a short, yet focused amount of time. Cravings.When I first started the challenge I knew the hardest part for me would be giving up chocolate. I adore chocolate (Lake Champlain Milk Chocolate Caramel bars are probably my favorite treat in the world) and I can without fail break a day full of wonderfully healthy foods when my sweet tooth kicks in. It's also super hard because I love to cook, so sometimes if I see a recipe on Food Network that looks delicious, I'll go bake it. Then the next day I'll feel guilty and go on a run, but this cycle probably isn't the greatest for my health. This challenge, though, has done wonders for me. I am a pretty competitive person, so a challenge turned out to be what I really needed to transform my outlook. I CAN have chocolate but I sweeten it with maple syrup or agave instead of sugar. I'll bake healthy cupcakes with unsweetened cocoa, whole grain flour, agave, etc etc.. and I get the delicious chocolate without the sugar high and that awful low after. Which brings me to another point, I don't really crave sugary food anymore anyways, because I know I can't eat it unless I make it, and with work I have been too tired to bring out the baking supplies!
Skin. I've been blessed with pretty good skin (which I attribute to Jafra mainly-- my family swears by it) but most people know that one way you can improve your skin is through your health. After the first few days of my challenge that was the first thing my mom noticed. She told me my skin was glowing! Then two days ago my sister stopped me mid-conversation and said "wow, your skin looks really good!" It could be because of the chocolate, which apparently chocolate can make you break out because of the caffeine in it, or because of the sugar, which dehydrates and can cause wrinkles, or because I've cut out processed foods and am focused on healthy food, or maybe it's all of the above! Either way, I hope I can keep this up, because I could definitely get used to the skin compliments (even if it is just from my family members!)
This brings me to my newest challenge. When to eat! I love Cindy Whitmarsh's blog where she reads people's food logs and gives great tips for flat abs, what to eat, etc. I thought I would be losing weight super quickly by cutting out processed foods etc with this real food challenge, but what happens is I'll eat small meals throughout the day (which is good!) but then at night I'll eat too much without realizing it. This video is awesome because it provides a visual and I think this could be key for me (and for you!). I'm calling this my Triangle Challenge because the video talks about how if you think of a triangle shape, eat big in the morning, medium at lunch, and very small at dinner, you can see great results.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8yTESNBbIM Ezia from Ezia Human Performance talks about how if you eat this way you will have a triangle shape, bigger upper body, smaller waistline. Upside down triangle. You are only metabolizing what you eat into fat at night because you aren't active! Plus, at night you are hungry from not eating enough during the day because you burnt it off, it's just one big cycle.
If you're thinking of joining me in my Real Food Challenge-- and even taking on this Triangle Challenge too, leave a comment! I'd love to hear how your journey is going!