Clean House: My Journey to Clean(er) Eating & Caring For My Most Important Space

So besides getting over a cold earlier this month and now dealing with my bloating from my time of the month, I’ve been feeling physically groggy, slow, and heavy for the past few weeks. I am also very aware that I am gaining weight. Pants that I just used to slip on are becoming more of an act of squeezing into. I have a small frame, so the fact that I am growing a gut is immediately noticeable. And for people who really deal with weight issues, they would probably look at me and shake their heads at my concern…but as a person who’s 5’3″, conscious of their health, and can feel the changes in their body it’s an issue that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand. Because it’s very, very easy to gain weight but hard to lose it. I’ve gained about 10 lbs. this year and it shows. I weighed myself a couple days ago and I’m a tiny bit over 140 lbs.

I know I haven’t been eating like a should and now I eat more since I started commuting to work. I usually don’t eat much for breakfast and when I do, it’s a sugary drink from Starbucks or Jamba Juice (which I have already cut out). Then, I eat a snack mid-day at work, usually a Nature’s Valley granola bar and/or a pack of Mott’s fruit snacks (both of which are actually not that good for you due to being laden with unnecessary sugars). Then, I take lunch at about 3:30 or 4. Then, I also eat when I get home. And the thing is, I don’t really drink soda anymore expect for ginger ale occasionally, I’m not a sweet eater, I don’t drink alcohol like that (when I go out I have a 2 drink limit), and I don’t really eat red meat or lots of dairy. But what I do eat that’s heavy on carbs and fatty oils (pasta, noodles, sub sandwiches, pizza, Chinese, quesadillas, burritos, nachos, pretzel chips, White Cheddar Cheez-its) I’ve been eating a lot of lately. And now that I have a job that’s 8.5 hours a day of me being almost completely sedentary for 5 days a week, I’m not getting much exercise or physical activity. Some days I feel better than others, but it’s really been hitting me that I just need to detox…

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I’m focusing on eating clean (or more like cleanER since I don’t believe in completely depriving yourself of the foods you enjoy because you’ll end up relapsing – everything in moderation is key). I’m eating primarily fruits and vegetables. I would also say legumes but I’m not big on many beans, peas, lentils, etc. So that’s means more salads, veggie dishes, raw and sautéed vegetables, and just eating more plant-based foods. And no adding my usual oil and vinegar or Italian salad dressing to my salads either. I need to incorporate some type of vegetables into at least two meals a day.

I will also be staying away from a lot of processed foods, foods heavy on dairy, and foods with added sugar and/or salt. I’ve decided no tortilla chips, pretzel chips, or baked crackers (cheez-its) for a while. That also means that as much as I love pasta, pizza, subs, and quesadillas/burritos, I’m reducing the amount I eat of those three things to one a week. So that means I can choose to splurge on either pasta, pizza, or a sub/sandwich once a week. Not each one lol.

Also, I’m not a big meat eater anyway, but I’ll be sticking to grilled or baked chicken and turkey instead of any overprocessed deli meat. Usually the meat my mom and I get at Shop Rite is pretty quality so I don’t have too many worries about that. As for what I drink, I will be getting back to my #drinkmorewatergoals of drinking half my body weight in fluid ounces (let’s just round it to 140 lbs, then divide by 2, which would equal me drinking about 70 fl oz a day or a little over 8.5 cups per day). So it’s back to only drinking water and tea during the weekdays and a maybe a ginger ale (or a drink if I go out) on the weekend.

I know cleaning up my eating habits will not only benefit me through losing that little extra weight I’ve put on, help regulate digestion and other body processes, keep my immunity up, and energize me physically, but I know it will give me a much need mental energy boost as well.

So I’m excited to get back on track and clean house. You only get one body and you have to work to maintain your most important and valuable property – yourself!

THE PLAN

  1. Eat fruit and/or vegetables in some non-processed form every meal (or at least for two meals a day) with no extra, sugar, salt, or oils added.
  2. Stick to grilled or baked chicken and turkey
  3. Cut back on the processed foods you eat – no crackers, tortilla chips, pretzel chips, etc. and you can only have pasta, pizza, or sub/sandwich ONCE a week
  4. Drink only water (drink 70 fl oz. per day) and green tea during the week. You can have a ginger ale or drink during the weekend.
  5. No more snacking during work. Drink water/tea when you feel the urge to snack.
  6. No eating out of boredom, only eat when you feel hungry!

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