January 25, 2013

Clean eating, highs and lows


The experiment in clean eating continues. When I signed up for the two-week jump-start program, I wasn't sure I would make it two days, and I definitely wasn't looking past two weeks. But once I realized how great it felt to cut out gluten, dairy, and added sugar (excluding honey), I decided to at least keep up this experiment until after my next big race

What I've found most interesting is how my relationship with food has changed. I'm cooking a ton more planned meals, which my family loves. That also makes lunches easier each day because I can either reheat leftovers or add something to them to make a great lunch the next day. 

For example, this crock pot vegetarian chili with sweet potatoes was delicious the night of, but for lunch the next day, I added black rice and an avocado to the mix. Now that combo was amazing. 


Here's another typical lunch for the week. Leftover rice (which is a half-and-half mix of black and brown rice), mushrooms, red onions, red peppers, spinach -- all heated up in a pan together with coconut oil. Pretty much, I take whatever grain is left over and throw in whatever veggies need to be used up before imminent saggy-ness. This combo never disappoints. 


One of the biggest challenges has been eating out, which we don't do a ton of anyway, especially with this plan. Last Saturday at the BTC party, I decided to get wild and order from the taco truck. This was my very first time eating out on the plan. After painstakingly combing the menu for items to not include on my tacos (cilantro mayo, I'm talking to you), I accidentally ordered tacos on wheat tortillas. I took a giant bite just as my friend pointed out that I was eating wheat. Oops. Well, I wasn't about to waste money, so I ate the suckers. And for those wondering (everyone), I was definitely feeling it that night and the next day.

Think cramps and no business. You're welcome.

After that, I was prepared to consider more angles of the ordering process next time I ate out, which happened to be at Moe's on a hot date with my husband (thanks to my visiting niece and her babysitting skills). Moe's is a convenient place to be a picky orderer because everything is prepped right in front of you. I ordered the burrito bowl, which was tastiness supreme, but I'm pretty positive something in there had sugar in it. Probably the meat marinade. Afterwards, I was craving sweets so badly which isn't usually the case when I eat at home (even salty foods).


One of the easiest things to do is just take junk (meaning food) with me everywhere. Luckily my kids don't mind if I borrow their lunch boxes. I always have boiled eggs on hand, plus carrots, portable hummus, and clementines. 

My church snack. Three hours is a long time to not eat!

I have another long run (18 miles) on the schedule for tomorrow, so I'm interested to see how I feel this week. Last Saturday, I felt like a fresh pair of sneakers (that means awesome and smelling good, or at least just awesome) during my run, but I didn't really want to cook afterwards. So I ended up not eating enough post-run. For running 22 miles, that's not a great idea, so I hope to be a little more prepared tomorrow with easier things that I can just reheat and go with. 

What I never thought would happen to this blog is that it would get hijacked by a health food fanatic. It's not really my style (my style is way more chips and pound cake), but by gosh, this eating clean stuff is making me feel so great. I have more energy than I've had in a long time, and I just don't want to let go of that. Plus my family has to be benefiting from it too. I'm not making the kids eat everything that I eat, but we eat a clean dinner together. Plus they just have fewer poor food choices hanging around. They are still drinking milk and using butter, which I'm not, and I'm having a hard time letting go of their sandwiches for lunch (for them and their lunch boxes). It's just so easy. 

In case you didn't come here for a food lecture, here's some other biz that's been happening around here. 

Plank parties. My gym hommies and I like to squeeze in a few planks every day to keep the chiropractor away. In my case that philosophy hasn't fully worked yet. Still seeing the chiropractor, but my back feels pretty great.

Me (with my thrift store $3 Target running capris), Lara (who now is my bright Mizunos twin), and Diane (who just rocked Disney Marathon for Autism Speaks!)

My daughter just became an official good citizen. I suspected she was for a while, but now that she's got the certificate, it's solid. Also, I pretty much love the fact the school goes out of their way to catch kids doing the right thing. In addition to these citizenship awards, they have a Gotcha Award that kids get for getting caught doing something awesome. I think I might need to implement that at home. 

Wearing my thrift store 7 jeans, in case you were wondering. They are mega comfy. 

At the good citizenship banquet, I learned the way to get a toddler to ignore a cookie. Hand him your phone.



The saddest part of this weekend is that our niece Aria is going back to old Kentucky. We'll miss her positive attitude and the fun adventures we went on this week. And we'll absolutely miss her Vulcan impressions. Uncanny. And classier than that pants-less Vulcan.


What are some good lunch box alternatives to sandwiches? 

Where do you take visitors when they come to town? This week we did the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Science Center, and the waterfalls at Boulder Canyon trails.

If you could implement an award at your house, what would it be? I would definitely start giving awards to people who clean up their dishes without being reminded. It'll be called the Our Kitchen Isn't Funky Anymore Award.

28 comments:

  1. Way to stick with the clean eating! I have recently been transitioning to being vegan (saw a documentary that scarred me for life about food industry)and it is amazing how different you feel when eating a different way. I like to make a big crock pot of beans and then a crock pot brown rice (2lb bag each) and then freeze half and use the other half for tacos or mix in with salad stuff for lunch throughout the week. Always seems to work out better when there is something prepped and on hand to stuff in my face when I have no patience to put out any food prep effort.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, making giant portions works. It's the only way I was able to eat after the run today. I just can't think for more than 10 seconds about food in those situations.

      Delete
  2. I do whole grain bagels with low fat cream cheese and cucumbers. Yes, it's dairy so sometimes it works and sometimes it gives me a rolling tummy. You could substitute it for PB and banana though! I often end up bringing carrots and celery to work to snack on because I get a really late lunch. Larabars are also my friend because they have like 3 ingredients in them. I also juice and that's my breakfast. Half a head of Kale, celery stalk, large carrot, 1 apple, 4 strawberries, handful of blueberries, half a lemon and then some ginger. Yum!

    I notice that if I eat dairy or anything with sugar in it before a run, it makes it harder for me to breath. I am much more phlegmmy. That has been my run the past two nights. I do notice more energy though on a clean diet! I have been trying it for a while now but I still am not perfect by any means.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that breakfast juice sounds amazing. I should probably try Larabars again. Last time I had them, I was kind of eh about them, but that was during much more sugary times so that might taste different to me now.

      Delete
  3. Is it bad that I don't want my relationship with food to change? It is the only dysfunctional/unhealthy relationship I have. I need the drama because my husband is very kind and calm :) But seriously what you're doing all sounds awesome. Also, I love your daughter's purple stripe pants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is a way cooler dresser than me. When she gets bigger, I will be trying to steal her clothes.

      Delete
  4. For packed lunch, what about onigiri (Japanese rice balls)? I thought of it recently for a friend who is gluten free/dairy free and also can't eat much fiber–– so yeah, white rice. But it is the Asian version of a sandwich. Here's a how-to video:http://asianlifestyledesign.com/2012/11/how-to-make-a-japanese-rice-ball-onigiri/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wondered if it was possible to make brown rice onigiri and I just found out over on One Hundred Eggs that yes, it is, as long as you use short grain brown rice. I'll have to give that a try.

      Delete
    2. What a great idea! My sister makes these, but I had really forgotten about them. So glad you reminded me of these.

      Delete
  5. That stew looks yummy. I've been trying to clean up my diet so I appreciate your food posts. It gives me some new ideas and encourages me. I really need to kick my sugar habit which I didn't even really think was a problem but now I realize I do crave it. We've been sending yogurt in our 9 year olds lunches when she gets tired of sandwiches. (We don't give up dairy here ) She also loves hard boiled eggs and apples with peanut butter. Cleaning up their lunches is harder because kids are surrounded with crappy food at school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our kids love boiled eggs too. Good idea for a substitute for sandwiches because they're so filling. Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Your awesome!!! It's amazing ow good you feel when you eat properly. I cannot wait to get back into shape. I think that's why my emotional state has been so bad is becasue all these carbs and simple sugars take me on a roller coaster of emotions. That veggie chili looks awesome! good job on getting some designer jeans at the thirft store. I need to do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm way more emotional when I'm eating more sugar. And just more cranky in general. Well, I still certainly get cranky, but now I can usually pinpoint a lack of sleep as the culprit.

      Delete
  7. Lisa,
    What a great article!!! I'm going to give this clean eating thing a shot. I love reading your blog! You have such a great sense of humor. I hope you and your family are doing well! And yes, I'm still sad we weren't running friends :).
    Take care,
    Haley

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're definitely inspiring me to get back in to our clean eating. I was doing so good before the layoff. I'm not sure I could cut out sugar and all that entirely but I had definitely lessened it quite a bit. Your food looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With stress, it's so hard to give that extra thought to food prep. I bet with your past experience, you'd do great at going back to it.

      Delete
  9. Lisa, some Larabars aren't that great. I love them, but only certain ones. Banana bread, lemon, blueberry muffin and key lime pie are my favs. The cherry and apple ones are ok but can be tart. The peanut butter cookie and other nut flavors aren't that great. (All the bars have nuts, but when it's in the name, it just isn't that good.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, should have referred to this list when I went shopping the other day!:) I think I bought all of the gross ones. Need to go back and re-try the others now.

      Delete
  10. I'm loving your commitment to clean eating and all your stories about it! That sweet potato chili and black bean with avocado combo miiiight need to happen n my kitchen this week. Thanks for the tip!

    Oh, and good luck with the run!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm really impressed with the clean eating experiment but mostly delighted you're actually enjoying it rather than slogging through. I'm turning meat-free when I get back from the UK (I'll continue eating fish) and I'm looking forward to the challenge of a new way of eating.

    When we have visitors, we take them into San Francisco a LOT, to Sonoma as it's so beautiful, to my favourite state park to hike/run and best of all to Alice's biker cafe in the redwoods. That's my favorite place. You coming???? SF Marathon is June 16th :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!!! I so want to come to California. When do you get back?

      Delete
    2. You serious?? That would be so cool. We have a racing car shaped spare bed!! I get back Feb 10th!

      Delete
  12. Hi, we live on the central coast of California so lots of beaches and lots of hiking. We also have an old school feel downtown with awesome shops and tasty treats. Lots of healthy places to eat so if you're vegan, veg, gluten free, dairy free, etc you've got Novo, Luna Red, Natural Cafe and the like. This is a college town and a active town so lots to do. I have to eat gluten free due to Celiac and also have always eaten healthy due to desire and taste (even as a kid hated fast food).

    In our house we do a gratitude talk, used to be journal, and also try to always be just as polite if not more so to family than strangers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so jealous of your healthy restaurants! It's pretty rare to find things like that here.

      Love the gratitude talks!

      Delete
  13. I'm so impressed!! I'm the potato chips and cake (random other junk food) lover! I work out so I can eat that stuff - I'm not ready to give it up - awful, I know but I can't help it. It just makes me that much more impressed when I read about people who give up the junk!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is definitely a difficult transition period any time I try to step away from junky food for a while. I'm really curious to see how this affects my racing, so I'm going to try and keep it up through the end of this month.

      Delete
  14. yay for planking it up, i love-love-love those. :) so funny to watch the drastic switch foodage-wise, kudos for embracing the clean eating and sticking to it so far and it looks like some tasty grubbing going on. and i LUV the lunch box. :) that said, remember to retain sanity too and don't be too strict on urself...runners earn some of those sweets! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have lots of great recipes if you ever need help. For lunches I eat a lot of lettuce wraps. I love stuffing iceberg lettuce with avocado, tomato, chicken, and cucumber. Very yummy!! I also take a lot of celery, cucumber, apples, and bananas to snack on during the day. Quinoa is another great option.

    ReplyDelete

Yo Momma loves comments.