Eat Clean Challenge Retrostpective

Final day of the challenge. I made a gf pumpkin pie to celebrate.

This is what I’ve learned:

  • After cutting so many vegetables and preparing foods more than usual, I realized I need a better knife set.
  • My “go-to” quick salad (lettuce, rice cheese, dried cranberries, candied pecans) and quick snack (homemade trail mix) that I thought was healthy actually was loaded with sugar.
  • I eat a lot more fruit than vegetables.
  • It’s possible to eat clean and eat much less than the recommended amount of vegetables in a day – there were some days I only had 1-2 servings of vegetables.
  • Avoiding sugar and sweet treats isn’t as hard as I originally thought (this coming from someone who ate a dessert every day!)
  • Planning out the week’s meals (or even getting a jumpstart with a big bowl of quinoa or rice) for the week is important so there isn’t a temptation to grab something quick and easy (usually packaged) in the evening after a long day.
  • Set aside time to plan out (and prepare) quick snacks like cleaned up carrots instead of always grabbing fruit as a snack.
  • It is possible to go a month without artificial sweeteners, and non-dairy cheese (or any cheese).
  • Mainstream peanut butter has sugar in it, and it doesn’t have to. Big names like Smucker produces a no-sugar PB and sells it in grocery stores.
  • 1 cup of 0% fat Greek yogurt (protein) for breakfast is the key to not indulging in bad foods all day (and coconut milk yogurt has virtually no protein in it).
  • Excess/added sugar may make me phlegmy (still need to test this theory).
  • Eating clean (including no processed foods, and little added sugar) does not mean quick weight loss or any weight loss at all.
  • It is possible to get bored with the same vegetables or salads every day and that could lead to wanting processed foods for variety. Try to plan ahead and make new recipes. A CSA box will help with that to keep fresh (and odd) vegetables coming into your house that you wouldn’t otherwise buy.
  • When eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, I noticed more gas, especially with hummus, broccoli and cauliflower. Avoiding FODMAP foods (and gas-X) can help with that.

I would definitely do this challenge again in a future month. I was committed to the challenge up until the Marathon weekend when I allowed carbs to fuel for the marathon. Then I lost my resolve. So this was more like a 21 day challenge. You can review the foods I ate on this challenge.

Now onto some deliciousness…

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