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…

Day 29 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free! No artificial sweeteners! Dairy free!

Today was a feast! I couldn’t stop eating. I kept it clean though! I made a pumpkin pie tonight, so today is my last eat clean day.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Coconut Grove Yogurt
  • Homemade granola: oats, chia seeds, flax seeds
  • Nectarine*
  • Cantaloupe
  • Homemade granola*
  • Go Raw Carrot Cake chips: coconut, carrots, dates, salt
  • Raisins*
  • Mixed greens, peppers, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, carrots, sunflower seeds, evoo roasted pumpkin seeds
  • Tofu, peppers, onions, green beans, salt & pepper, tomato
  • 3 small tomatoes, two small onions, garlic, evoo, basalmic vinegar, basil, salt & pepper
  • Fritos
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water and decaf tea)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Mixed roasted nuts (oil)
  • Avocado Mousse: Avocado, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit: 3
  • Veggies: 3
  • Legumes: 2

* Foods that fall under FODMAP.
   
 

Day 28 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! No artificial sweeteners! Dairy free!

I was happy when I realized I left my house for Np workout without a credit card for breakfast club at Tartine bakery. I was good and didn’t order anything but as I was leaving they handed out free samples of chocolate cake. My hands were faster than my mind. 😦

Clean food consisted of:

  • Plums*
  • Quinoa, peanut butter (no sugar), strawberry purée
  • Cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew
  • Blackberries*, raspberries, blueberries
  • Chipotle: lettuce, brown rice, black beans, carnitas
  • Avocado Mousse: Avocado, cocoa powder, honey, coconut milk
  • Homemade granola (dried fruit*)
  • Forager Nuts & chocolate drink: cashews, almonds, coconut water, coconut, oatmeal, dates, cacao, vanilla bean, sea salt
  • Go Raw Carrot Cake chips: coconut, carrots, dates*, salt
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water)

Not-so-clean foods today:

Not at all clean foods:

  • 4 bites of chocolate cake.

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit: 4
  • Veggies: 1
  • Legumes: 1

* Foods that fall under FODMAP.

Day 27 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Gluten Free! No artificial sweeteners! Dairy free!

The end of the challenge is coming and it’s getting harder to stay motivated. I think partly is lack of good recipes which are filling (I miss my greek yogurt) and partly because I have lost the resolve (thinking about sweets again and fast food).

Free lunch at work today… I tried to be good. Wasn’t very successful.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Coconut Grove Yogurt (with only natural ingredients)
  • Homemade Granola: Oats, Chia seeds, flax seeds
  • Mixed Greens, tomato, carrot, zucchini, cucumber peppers, sunflower seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds (evoo)
  • White rice
  • Chicken and Cashew Thai
  • Veggie rice wrap/roll
  • Tofu, broccoli*, cauliflower*, carrot
  • Nectarine*
  • Cliff kits organic cherry and pumpkin seed bar
  • Larabar
  • 40 oz of fluids (water)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Bacon
  • Mango* coconut milk rice
  • A bite of some rice noodle with light red sauce on it (Thai)
  • Oil roasted Mixed nuts

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit: 2
  • Veggies: 3
  • Legumes: 1

* Foods that fall under FODMAP.

Day 26 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free! No artificial sweeteners! Dairy free!

Wow, only 5 days left. Today was the toughest day. I wanted sweets and it crossed my mind many times. Hence the chocolate chips and popcorn. I was seeking something.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Quinoa, peanut butter (no added sugar), banana, strawberry puree
  • Mixed greens, tomato, 1/4 avocado*, pasture raised eggs
  • Cantaloupe
  • Bananas, 1/2 avocado*, peanut butter (no added sugar)
  • Cucumber
  • Nectarine*
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water & tea)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Bacon
  • Semi-sweet morsels (sugar)
  • Roasted mixed nuts (oil), dried cranberries* (sugar)
  • Popcorn* (long ingredients list)

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit: 6
  • Veggies: 4
  • Legumes: 1

* Foods that fall under FODMAP.

Day 25 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free! No artificial sweeteners! Dairy free!

Yesterday, my doctor told me about FODMAP. I’ve been having some typical issues that come with a high fruit and vegetable diet, so she suggested I do a little food elimination to determine what triggers it. I’ll put an * next to any food I eat that is on the “do not eat” list from Stanford. It’s interesting that most FODMAPs put green peppers in the do not eat list, but Stanford allows them (it’s not even in the moderate use list).

Today, I woke up hungry and ended the day hungry. I went out to lunch with folks to a Mexican place and only ordered guac and chips, then only ate half.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Coconut yogurt
  • Nectarines*
  • Homemade granola: oats, flaxseed, chia seed
  • Raw Almonds
  • Guacamole (avocado*, tomato, lime, cilantro, ???)
  • Tomato, onion*, cilantro salsa
  • Celery
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apple*
  • Cucumber
  • Peanut butter (no sugar)
  • Black grapes
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water With lime)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Tortilla chips (unknown ingredients)
  • Homemade trail mix: roasted nuts (oil), dried cranberries* (sugar) and semi-sweet chocolate morsels (sugar).

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit: 4
  • Veggies: 2
  • Legumes: 0

Santa Rosa Marathon (#1)

There was very little social media lead up to this event because I had my doubts about finishing. That a DNF was entirely possible given the training the past month and my injury status. So it’s understandable that my friends didn’t know it was my first full marathon!

It’s a pretty phenomenal feat. I am still pinching myself because it feels like it was a dream. It is definitely not something to take lightly and think you can finish without training. Deep respect for the 26.2.

The race started a little below 60 degrees. I started in the back of the pack (at the finish line) and chatted to a couple people as we left the streets of Santa Rosa and entered a park.

I’m delirious when I have to get up at 3am to make it to a 6am start. I started in the back near the finish line.

Along the course, I started talking to a woman who kept leap frogging with me. She was doing intervals too. So I made a new friend, switched to her intervals around mile 6 (90 seconds run/45 seconds walk) and we ran to mile 25 together. It was great to have a distraction from the miles. I bet my mood would have gone south had she not been there to talk to.

The weather was overcast until about mile 24 when the sun started to peak out and it started to feel a little more like 70 degrees.

During the run, my right foot swelled and I had to loosen my shoe. I loosened it 3 or 4 more times and even at its loosest the top big toe joint was still pushing on shoe. My left Achilles starting hurting around mile 14. My back was tight during the run and I stretched it a couple times at aid stations. I did my usual high knee kicks every once in a while to keep things loose.

The course was pretty with all the vineyards around that were pumped full of grapes. It made me very excited to run the Healdsburg Half with my sisters next year when the fall leaves will be turning.
 I had a 1/2 banana on the route, along with my two packs of chews and I drank Gatorade plus a cup of water after mile 20. There was an aid station every 2 miles, which was awesome! I drank water at every aid station except the last one. I started drinking two glasses because I could feel the thirst. In previous races, I never drink at every station and rarely stop at stations to drink for halves. I ate two chews every 2 miles after mile 4. I didn’t use the porta potty along the course.

We slowed at mile 17 then by mile 24 I was pushing the pace again – I was ready for the race to be over! With a blessing from Carla, I took off. Luckily, we had just caught up to her husband so she had company for the last couple miles.

At mile 25, after I had given up hope that I’d see the NP tribe along the course… thinking that they had gone off to brunch with the other finishers. I was on a walk break and fairly tired then I heard someone calling out my name. It took a decent amount of coaxing and two tribe leaders flanking me on both sides to get me to run again. We ran to the finish together and I found my last and final wind.

The photographer at the finish wanted me to raise my hands. It wasn’t going to happen. I was spent.


There was no food at the end. No bagel. No banana. No milk. No foil wrap (not that it was needed). It was all gone except for watermelon and bottled water.

Never try anything new on race day. Except I did.

  • I had oatmeal breakfast cookies, which were similar ingredients to my typical morning meal before a race (additional egg whites and banana).
  • I also wore two pair of socks, the outside layer being compression socks. I’ve never run in compression socks and never doubled up my socks.
  • Also, I pinned snack baggies to the front of my skirt, put my chews inside them and flipped the baggie inside between my underwear and the skirt. This worked out well for grabbing my chews on the go.

Post Race Assessment:

  • I have some sore spots. Some new spots creeped up during the run, but nothing that kept me from completing it.
  • After the race, the right foot, left Achilles and knees received brief ice.
  • My back and groin received ice on the 20 min drive to breakfast.
  • My right knee hurt the most on the drive home – the one stretched out for the gas and brake.

Retrospective:

  • I would change my morning caffeine to decaf. My pee was bright yellow after race and was thirsty half way through the race.
  • Otherwise, I think fueling was decent.
  • Definitely liked the baggies pinned on the front of my skirt. There was one point where it started to chafe my leg but adjusting the baggy fixed it.
  • Having someone to talk to while running the race definitely made it feel like a breeze.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: ½ c oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tbsp slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 egg whites. 1 cup cold caffeinated tea
  • During: 2 packages Pro Bar Bolt one with and one without caffeine; water; Gatorade after mile 20 aid stations; 1/2 banana.
  • Right After: Muscle Milk; black grapes.
  • Later after race: gf waffles with peanut butter, almonds, bananas, blueberries and syrup; water.
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: I looked at the picky bar in my bag and decided to forgo it.

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: The weekend prior my right calf seized which kept me from running the full mileage the last week.
  • Taped: Both knees, groin, hamstrings, calves, shins with KT tape. The PT put arch supporting tape on both my feet.
  • During: Left achilles, right top of foot, twinges of pain here and there in my right calf and right shin. My back was tight. Toward the end of the race my glutes were burnt out.
  • Post Race: Did not stretch after race.
  • Day after full: Calves were fine and so were shins. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Achilles hurt when wearing shoes. Groin is a little sore. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Two days after race: Bottom of right foot stiff. Left lower IT Band sore. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Groin is a little sore. Achilles and knees were slightly sore. I was feeling phenomenal otherwise, and wanted to go run a couple miles. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Three days after race: My right foot felt like it was being pinched of circulation and that it would go numb at any moment. The PT said my right leg was entirely swollen and did electrodes + ice. I also ice massaged that even and the next day.

Course Elevation

The race directors said it was a flat course; Nike plus said the elevation was 524ft.

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Day 24 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free! No artificial sweeteners!

Today is day after my first marathon so I’m ate the left over unclean foods to “get them out of the house”.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Homemade Salsa verde
  • Pear
  • Banana
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Mixed greens, tomato, avocado, pasture raised egg
  • Lentil pasta
  • Homemade pasta sauce with extra veggies
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Flax tortilla chips (long ingredients list)
  • Bacon
  • Gf beer
  • Gf pasta

Not clean foods today:

  • GF Waffle (2 bites)
  • Syrup
  • GF Zucchini bread

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit:
  • Veggies:
  • Legumes:

Day 23 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free!

Today is my first marathon so I’m not eating clean today.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Watermelon
  • Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: ½ c oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tbsp slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 egg whites
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Black grapes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Corn on cob
  • Small nectarine
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water & caffeine tea)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Peanut butter
  • Potato Chips

Not clean foods today:

  • GF waffles
  • Syrup
  • Pro Bar Bolt chews
  • Muscle Milk
  • SOS
  • Gatorade

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit:
  • Veggies:
  • Legumes:

Day 22 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Met my water intake! Gluten Free!

Today is day before my first marathon so I’m not eating clean today.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Pasture raised Eggs
  • Black grapes
  • Mixed greens (half spinach)
  • Tomato
  • Pear
  • 100 cal pack of raw Walnuts and almonds
  • Corn on cob
  • 64+ oz of fluids (water & lemonade)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Grilled Chicken from fast food
  • French fries
  • Diet Lemonade (splenda)
  • Bacon

Not clean foods today:

  • GF banana pancakes
  • Syrup
  • GF Zucchini bread

Total Servings (estimated):

  • Fruit:
  • Veggies:
  • Legumes: