Progress Report #2

It’s been three months since I decided to transform my life, and about six weeks since my last progress report. Here’s how things are shaping up.

No Alcohol at Home

Early in 2018, my husband and I chose to reduce our alcohol intake by not drinking at home. It wasn’t because of an alcohol “problem”, but to change our habits to become healthier. Few benefits come from drinking alcohol.

Whatever benefits are in beverages like wine, which we often hear about, there are more benefits in getting those same nutrients/phytochemicals etc. from the whole food (aka: grapes). Alcohol = empty calories, so since part of my health goals include losing weight, minimizing alcohol is a good thing.

Our mid-January commitment to not drink any alcohol at home was a success! Between Jan. 13 and April 1, we did not drink any wine, martinis etc. at home. We went out on the weekends to indulge, and a few times we went out during the week.

On April 2, we had our first drinks at home, a couple glasses of wine. I actually took a picture and sent it to my friend in a text, to let her know I had caved in. You know what her response was?

text

Isn’t that amazing? She saw only the positive, while I viewed the whole thing through a negative lens. I learned something that day, or rather, it confirmed something for me. Even though I consider myself a positive person, I continue to be quite hard on myself.

A goal for me is to look at myself more positively.

What’s really cool about the original alcohol challenge is that I find that I’m just not as interested in drinking alcohol as I was before. I consume less whether I am at home or out.

Healthy Food               

I continue to focus on eating healthy food. After our trip to Mexico in March, I jumped back into my regular routine. We focus on eating whole foods that are plant-based, and we cook our own food at home. I will admit, we do tend to go to restaurants on the weekend.

Do you hear that? That’s me being hard on myself again! Instead of thinking, “Way to go for cooking at home during the week!”, I somehow focused on the treats on the weekend. It takes time to change your thinking patterns, so I’ll keep working on it.

I continue to keep staples, like cooked oatmeal and brown rice, in the fridge. Canned beans and fresh vegetables and greens are always handy. We’re in the habit of keeping healthy, whole foods on hand, so this habit really helps us stay on track.

Exercise

I really haven’t kept up with my exercise goal of moving my body everyday. I walk on the treadmill in my basement occasionally, but I haven’t done that for a little while now.

I’m totally ok with that because I know it’s the food that’s my main problem. Moving my body each day is still important to me, but it’s on the back burner for a bit.

Weight Loss

My weight is the same as it was at my first progress report. I’m still down 5-6 lbs since mid-January. I know I’m doing something right because my weight is not up.

I don’t see the lack of weight loss as a negative at all. I will just continue on my journey, learning from my successes and mistakes.

Attitude

I’m feeling awesome! The arrival of spring has helped I’m sure, but it’s more than that.

I’m continuing with my goals and not giving up. When I veer off course a bit, like when I snacked on potato chips yesterday, I enjoy it and move on. Yay for me!

Just. Keep. Going.

What’s Next?

For the past week I’ve been directing my attention towards consuming food as close to 100% plant-based as possible.

I recently watched a documentary, H.O.P.E.: What You Eat Matters, which was excellent.

During the first part, it addresses the health benefits of eating plant-based. Then it moves on to look at the effects of factory farming on the environment and animals. Very eye-opening.

I’d highly recommend this documentary.  It makes the point that what we put in our mouths DOES matter to our health, to the environment and to animal welfare.

H.O.P.E.: What We Eat Matters reminded me how much I really don’t want to eat animal products. At this point in my life, I am about 90% plant-based. I’m proud of that, but have room for improvement.

Aside from focusing on eating more whole, plant-based foods, I don’t have any other changes planned. I’ll continue my journey, and I look forward to taking a break from teaching when my summer vacation arrives in late June. Until then…

Wishing you health and success on your journey,

SignatureAli

Wrap up! 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse

I wanted to take a minute to recap how my 28 Day Raw Food Cleanse went (thanks for the reminder, Susan!).

Weight Loss

I felt it was a success, as I lost almost 15 pounds….BUT, I got sick at the tail end of it, so that last five pounds was not really related to the cleanse, I don’t think.

I am now up a few more pounds, but since the cleanse started on Jan. 1, I am still down about 8 pounds.

So, is it a good way to kick start your weight loss? Absolutely!

I think that a 2 or 3 week cleanse would do the same thing, however. It really just gives you a boost.

If I were to modify the 28 day cleanse, I might do something like this:

Week 1: Eliminate all animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and processed food

Week 2: Continue with above, and also eliminate all added oils and sugar

Week 3: Keep going with above, and eat only raw fruits and vegetables

Week 4: Continue with above and eat only smoothies for the first 4-5 days, followed by fresh pressed juice for 2-3 days

Health and How I Felt on the Cleanse

Here is how my Year-long Goals Sheet looked at the end of January.

SONY DSC

How did I do?

My top row, exercise/move everyday, was on track until I became sick.

My green row, the plant-based goal was solid, for every day of my cleanse!!

My cleanse goal, the third and yellow row, of eating only raw fruits and vegetables was awesome too. Four days I drank a homemade broth, when I was my sickest, and on the last day, I had chickpeas in my salad. Still…pretty good!

The last row is related to my mental health, which is to work on my blog. Now, I don’t expect to see that filled in every day, but I want to see some effort there. I can proudly say, that yes, I put forth an effort to either do research on blogging or health or to actually write a blog post.

I really felt terrific during my cleanse! In fact, as soon as I started to eat cooked food, and to eat some dairy, my mood altered…it dipped. I did not feel as good. Did that stop me from eating more unhealthy food? No.

It is amazing how easily I left the raw food that made me feel great, to eating food that I categorize as unhealthy (pizza, cheese etc.) What is up with that??

I think that as long as we eat unhealthy food, we just want more. It may be a cold turkey thing. Eat none of the crap, and you won’t crave it. I just haven’t been able to pull off the cold turkey thing yet!

cold-turkey-21

Thanks to FoodCourtComics.com, for this great picture!

I continue to struggle to eat the way my mind and heart wants me to. I will not give up.

Wishing you, and me, a healthy journey!