Interesting Fact #1 – When I stop eating clean, I get fat.
Oh, not funny. But true. So true.
(Keep reading for the real facts. I didn’t taunt in you the title.)
My computer charger died yesterday, so I had to start NaNoWriMo on my ancient desktop computer. Yesterday the kids and I stumbled onto some old pictures. Lots were from when they were babies, some were before they were born, and the last few folders where from almost exactly to years ago.
What I found terrified me.
I was healthy. Really healthy. Like, what-in-the-world-happened-to-me healthy.
I showed Jake the pictures. He was a little too shocked. Mmmhmmm.
Needless to say this is my second day eating clean. I have a horrendous, mind-numbing headache, and I want to crawl back into bed. This tells me I’ve been really, really eating badly. I didn’t even have this kind of caffeine and junk food withdrawal when we first started our eating clean journey.
Feel the pain. It’s a good pain.
So here’s my list (the real one):
10 Interesting Facts About Eating Clean
1. The first few days you may feel like you were hit by a bus. Fun, right? This is your body getting rid of all the junk in your system. You’ll feel better in a few-ish days.
2. If you drink, drink, drink your water like a good girl (or boy), your skin and eyes will start to look brighter in only a few days.
3. Complex carbs and lean protein are partners. Don’t make the mistake I often make by grabbing one without the other. Don’t eat your morning oatmeal without some kind of protein. Don’t.
4. You have to eat fruit and veggies. I love vegetables, but when I want a snack, I almost always grab a piece of fruit. You must eat the veggies, too–and lots them should be green leafy things. Yes, they are a pain to prepare. Yes, an apple is infinitely easier, but you need to eat them both.
5. You mustn’t wait until you are starving to eat. If you do, you will likely consume something you really don’t want to eat. Like an entire sheet cake. Or something like that. Eat every 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
6. White flour will destroy you. I struggle with this. When I bake, I want my cookies/cakes/pies to be decadent. There are certain recipes that aren’t awesome with whole wheat flour–even the pastry kind. Don’t be me; don’t give in and use the all purpose. Grind oatmeal in a blender or food processor to make wonderful oat flour. It tastes great in many cookie and cake recipes–I like it much better than whole wheat flour in sweets. Also, make fruit crisps. They are much healthier than pies, and you can use coconut oil in the topping. (By the way, these are occasional treats–don’t make sweets very often).
7. Prepping ingredients makes your life so much easier. Clean your kitchen before you shop for groceries so it’s sparkling when you return. Cut up all the fruit and veggies before you put them away. If you are going to make hummus, make it now and put it in the fridge. By the way–do you have a good recipe for hummus? If you do, please, please let me know. I can’t find one that tastes as good as the stuff in our deli department.
8. White sugar, sadly, is not your friend. It’s like the snarky girl in high school that you really wanted to be friends with. She was nice to your face and then she gossiped behind your back. White sugar is sweet at first, and then it does horrible things in your body. It’s best to avoid it. There are unprocessed alternatives. Honey, molasses, raw sugar, and agave* are good substitutes as long as they are used in moderation. I can’t use any form of sugar in my coffee. I go a little crazy with it.
9. Diet soda isn’t clean. I should be in DSA – Diet Soda Anonymous. Hello, my name is Sharrie, and I am addicted to diet soda. I wish this were a joke. This is my stumbling block. I can give up everything, but diet soda is the siren on the rock calling to me. If you need something bubbly–oh, and I do–try sparkling water with a tiny bit of fruit juice. Cranberry is lovely. While a whole glass of fruit juice is frowned upon, a little isn’t too bad as long as it’s 100% juice. By the way, my kids love this. Weston would rather have grape juice with sparkling water than any soda.
10. The cravings will stop. I promise. It takes some longer than others–I was still struggling after three months, but by six I was fine. But–BUT–if you give in, and you start to take a forbidden nibble here and there, the cravings will come back. And that, friends, is how Jake and I toppled off the wagon. Don’t be us. Starting over after several years of kinda-clean really, really stinks.
*There are some debates about whether agave syrup is actually clean. If you’re interested, I’m sure you can find info on Google. I don’t use it, so–you know–I don’t really care.