Happy (late) Monday, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful July Fourth celebration. I spent the weekend in the Berkshires with my family, watching fireworks from my family friends’ pontoon in the middle of a big lake. Although the temperature and wind made it feel like it was October, it was a blast regardless.
I bet you are all dying to know how I did on my no-sugar challenge this weekend. (I’m sure it keeps you up at night, right?). If this were a test, I would give myself a B. Definitely above average. Unfortunately, I’m a school nerd and a B absolutely kills me!
The most amazing feat was that I was able to PASS on DESSERT all three nites…and chocolate, no less. I had to stay downstairs while the fam was eating, enjoying. I felt like I was missing out, but my stomach thanked me. It was a blessing to wake up the next morning without the bloat, stomachache, and “blechhhhhh mehhh” feeling I get after eating too much dessert. Which is every time I eat dessert, usually. And I must admit I felt a little smug when Matt, lying next to me before going to bed, moaned and groaned about eating too much dessert, while I felt perfectly fine. I definitely sympathized with the poor man.
One habit I noticed was that I relied too heavily on fruit, and although it is filled with natural good-for-you sugars, fiber, and nutrients, it is still sugar and will raise your blood sugar levels (lower sugar level fruits include berries and melons) I tried to cap my fruit intake at noon, but it was no use. I was downing fresh strawberries, nectarines, leechee nuts, peaches and blueberries like it was nobody’s business. I just needed that sweet! Of course, too much fruit consumption creates its own issues, all gastro intestinal related (and for those of you who have ever eaten too much fruit, you know what I’m talking about!).
I ate a lot of peanut and almond butter, too much even for my taste. I was reaching for anything sweet, and these nut butters had a little bit of sweetness to it. I went through a lot of carrot and celery sticks, that’s for sure. I also found myself eating crackers and rice chips which are “quickie carbs” that act like refined carbs, causing your blood sugar to spike, then crash. I rarely eat them, but I was craving and eating them like crazy. Sure enough, I felt myself crashing a lot, but luckily I had the ability to take lots of naps.
Although the weekend was amazing, I’m relieved in a way to get back to my normal routine. I definitely felt like I was my own personal science experiment this past weekend. Moving forward, I had normal amounts of fruits and whole grains today. And yes, I did have some peanut butter with my apple, but nothing was in excess.
This brings me to today’s topic. What happens when you have a weekend, like a typical July 4th , where you indulge just a little too much over a weekend (or vacation)?
First rule of fight club: get right back at your normal routine. It’s easy to forget that you ever ate a vegetable and that beer isn’t a food group. Think back to what you ate the week before you left, prepare your shopping list, and get right back to it. Make sure your fridge is stocked with healthy foods that you enjoy. (And make sure you leave the guilt and self- deprication on vacation. There’s no need for that now. Life is meant to be indulged!)
What I’m doing this week is eating pretty “cleanly.” Which means to me: fruits, EXTRA vegetables, whole grains (I cook a big batch and then use it for the rest of the week…I’m into quinoa and toasted buckwheat these days), lean protein. I cut out the dairy, sugar, refined carbs, alcohol (sorry guys), and anything else that’s gonna make me feel yucky. After a week of this, I feel really good and right on track.
Water intake is very important during this time. One thing that I make SURE to drink a lot of is water with lemon. It’s a natural detoxifier, and it just FEELS cleansing going down. Traditional Chinese Medicine theory suggests drinking a cup of warm/lukewarm lemon water first thing in the morning (I do and it’s great!) Lemons are sour and you would think they would be acidic, right? But in actuality, they are one of the most alkalizing fruits you can eat, which help to alkalize the pH of your blood in the body. Your body likes that…which is why it rebels when you eat anything too acidic. I took a lemon to work with me today and am going to drink it all day, hot and cold. So, lemon water. Trust me.
So, in sum: Overindulged? Load up on veggies and simple, clean, non-processed foods, and try lemon water.
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