Carling and I began this challenge "just because" and I'm so thankful for the experience so far. It's been such an eye opener reading nutrition labels (focusing on the ingredients), learning more about where food comes from, how to prepare it, and how it can properly fuel your body.
Meals Day 1 - 9
Day 1 - rest day (I slept in late so breakfast and lunch were combined)
brunch: buffalo chicken lettuce boats topped with avocado; cherry tomatoes
dinner: steak; broccoli; sweet potato
Day 2 - rest day (slept in again, it was the weekend!)
brunch: 2 hard boiled eggs
dinner: steak; asparagus
breakfast: 2 hard boiled eggs
post workout: protein shake; handful of strawberries
lunch: sweet potato nachos (sweet potato chips topped with ground beef, guac & salsa); olives
dinner: chicken & veggie crockpot soup
During my workout this day I was really light headed and decided I needed to add more carbs to my breakfast.
post workout: protein shake - click to see what protein I'm using during the challenge
lunch: turkey burger topped with guac; salad topped with tomatoes, mushrooms & olive oil
dinner: sweet potato topped with chicken & veggie crockpot soup
breakfast: 1 hard boiled egg, banana
post workout: protein shake, 1/2 avocado
lunch: ground beef flavored with taco seasonings, guac & tomatoes; strawberries on the side
dinner: same as lunch but hot sauce was added; cauliflower, carrots, & cucumbers on the side
I found that day 4 or 5's breakfasts are key for feeling good and having enough energy throughout my entire workout.
Day 6 - Day of the CrossFit Open 14.2 Workout
late lunch: turkey burger topped with guac & tomato; sweet potato fries; sautéed mushrooms & peppers; berries
post workout: protein shake
dinner: chicken fajitas topped with guac & salsa
Day 7 - rest day
lunch: ground beef mixed with avocado, tomato and baby spinach
dinner: turkey burger topped with guac & tomato; spicy sweet potato fries; caulirice with mushrooms
This is when I started craving pretty much anything sugary, fatty, or greasy
post workout: protein shake
lunch: ground beef stir fry (asparagus, onion, tomato, mushrooms, carrots); berries; avocado
dinner: kofta (a middle eastern meatball); tabouleh; chicken; olives & pickles; strawberries
This day was when the real challenge set in. I went to my cousin's birthday party and had to turn away some of my favorite foods. Shopping and cooking for myself at home allows me to control what kinds of food are available so it was a challenge having to pass up some of the delicious dips and desserts at the party.
lunch: salad loaded with veggies topped with olive oil & vinegar; cafe americano coffee
snack: 1 square Ghirardelli 100% dark cocoa (disgusting!); spoonful of cashew butter
dinner: crockpot chicken & veggies; green beans
This was my first day ordering something from a coffee shop. I told the cashier about the Paleo diet and that I couldn't have anything with dairy or sugar in it. She was really cooperative, wasn't annoyed by my requests, and gave me a few different suggestions.
Today we also hit up some of the local health food stores. I was so shocked by the size of the organic sweet potatoes! They were huge! I bought 3 and they each weighed almost 2 pounds.
The Best & the Worst
The Worst Parts:
Cravings - At my cousin's party I really wanted to give in and have one bite of cake but I knew I would feel guilty afterwards and the satisfaction of finishing this challenge without cheating is going to feel so much more rewarding. But doesn't this cake look so good?
Explaining myself - (This can also be considered one of the best parts when people are actually interested and want to learn more about the challenge) While I love talking about healthy living, eating, and this challenge, I absolutely hate having to explain why I"m doing it. Some people think that the only reason you should change your eating habits are to either lose weight or because of allergies and don't understand why anyone would want to eat this way. It's hard convincing people this is a good change when they don't believe in giving up things like pasta and sweets.
Reading labels in the grocery store - Shopping takes so much longer when you actually stop and look at the ingredients in different products. However, it's easier when sugar is the first ingredient listed and you can just set the product back down on the shelf! Soon I will be able to just know what is paleo and what isn't and won't have to study the ingredients so much. (I was so shocked when I saw that the precooked frozen chicken I have been buying for awhile has sugar in it!)
The Best Parts:
All of the support I have - between Carling, Jon, family, and friends I have a ton of support. I am so grateful that the people I nanny for eat a paleo diet and always make sure that there are several meal options available for me.
How I feel - I ate healthy most of the time before the challenge but I definitely would have my days where I would scarf anything down without thinking. I can tell a difference in my sleep, my energy levels, and my performance during CrossFit.
Cooking - I have found a new love for cooking and creating new recipes. I purchased two paleo cookbooks today and am loving all of the recipes in them. The ones I have are Paleo Happy Hour and Make It Paleo.
On A Different Note
I have to share this picture of Ethel with you all. I was laying on the ground playing with her and as soon as I whipped out my phone to snap a picture of her, she turned her head. She absolutely hates the camera! She's such a precious girl though :)
Question of the DayWhat's your favorite paleo meal?
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