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Clean 20This week I decreased added sugar, reduced process food, reduced consuming unnecessary additives, and incorporated most of the foods recommended in The Clean 20 by Dr. Ian K. Smith. I lost 3 pounds. One of the main observations that I have made so far is that I do not feel as bloated as I have been after eating meals. Surprisingly, I do not miss the added sugar; however, I do miss the convenience of processed food. Thankfully, I like the foods on the clean eating list because I eat many of them already.

While I am following The Clean 20 rules and taking suggestions from the program’s menus about what to eat, I am not eating the meals in the exact order that Smith has outlined in the book. It is just not realistic for me. I do not like to cook, so preparing Baked Apple Oatmeal Cups for breakfast and Herb-encrusted grilled skinless chicken breast with salad greens for lunch is not going to work for me. However, I will eat my cup of oatmeal with blueberries mixed with a 1/4 cup of reduced fat milk for breakfast and a turkey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread with 5 ounces of turkey, a slice of pepper jack cheese, a tomato, and mustard with a 3/4 cup of black bean vegetable soup.

Let’s discuss coffee for a moment. I LOVE coffee! What I do not love is drinking black coffee. Therefore, when I prepare my 10 ounce cup of coffee in the morning, it includes the coffee (K cup), one packet of Truvia, a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (cuts the aftertaste of the Truvia), and 1 tablespoon of half & half. My coffee contains about two grams of sugar. According to Jackie Warner, who wrote This is Why You’re Fat, “Choose foods with five grams of sugar per serving or less. The body doesn’t register anything five grams and under, so that is optimal” (35). Many afternoons, I enjoy a second 10 ounce cup of coffee. Even with my miniscule amount of sugar that I add, I am within my sugar limits.

The clean eating challenges that I faced this week included not drinking enough water, not being able to eat perfectly on a schedule, and eating dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. When I am home, I come close to consuming the recommended amount of water (between 8 and 10 cups per day) suggested on the program. When I am at work, not so much. I have always struggled with consistently drinking enough water during the work day. I’m not sure how to solve this issue; however, I’m not giving up. As for my eating schedule, I had a couple of long meetings this week that interfered with me eating my morning snack or lunch on time, and I attended an afternoon swim meet with no afternoon snack and eating a late dinner. Being overly hungry can lead to overeating or reaching for the wrong food choices. I prevailed, but there was a time or two this week that I wanted to consume something extra and not so clean or take a trip through a fast food drive-thru. Also, eating out or having someone cook for you can be a challenge on any clean eating program. On Friday evenings, my mother-in-law is kind enough to cook dinner for my family. And, she cooks well. Unfortunately for me, dinner this week was fried catfish, mashed potatoes, carrots, and chocolate cake. I ate it all in moderation.

As for exercise, I failed miserably this week. I only walked on Monday (off). I do walk a bunch around the school’s campus and climb a fair amount of stairs while working, but I am not hitting the recommended amount of steps or completing the exercises in the program. All excuses, but here it goes: too hot, tired (probably from not drinking enough water), no working earbuds for phone, lack of motivation.

I am a work in progress, dear reader. Even though I did not follow the program this week to the letter, I did make more positive than negative choices to improve my health. And, I’m not giving up because my desire to be healthier outweighs my desire for eating bowls of Blue Bell’s “Happy Tracks” ice cream. Happiness!

“What’s important is that you make the leap. Jump high and hard with intention and heart.” ~ Cheryl Strayed

 

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Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to our first meeting of Sugar Addicts of America. My name is Katherine, and I am a sugar addict. Yep, I am addicted to sugar and want to try to break that addiction. Now, let us bow our heads and pray.

 Back in April, I picked up a health/diet book by Jackie Warner called This is Why You’re Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever).You don’t have to say it, so I will say it for you. Funky title. Agreed. However, after thumbing through this book several times on my visits to BAM, I decided to purchase it. Jackie Warner is a personal trainer based in Los Angeles. I own her fitness DVD Workout and have exercised with it several times. Although I have not completed the book, I’ve learned so much already.

 One of the main components of the book is understanding your body’s chemistry. She writes about how your hormones and organs are affected by the foods and beverages you consume, which determine weight loss/gain. One of the main culprits of weight gain and medical problems attributed by weight gain is SUGAR. Not just the refined sugar that you spoon into a cup of coffee. It includes sugar in all of its disguises: high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, and the list goes on. Sugar is hidden in so much of the packaged and processed stuff we consume. Even the skim milk I drink has 12 grams of sugar per cup.

 I will not pretend for one minute that the information I’m reading from this book is all brand new to me; however, I will admit that it has opened my eyes about how much sugar is being put into our food and how much sugar I’m consuming on a daily basis, as well as the negative effects it is having on my body. All my other heath/diet books, as well as my nutritionist, recommends skim milk. It’s suppose to be healthy. It is healthier than whole milk, but it still contains too much sugar.

 So, my plan is to finish the book. It is full of menus of the right things to eat, as well as circuit training routines. The book does state that you are allowed to eat two treat meals in a one week period. For example, you eat clean from Monday through Friday, and then can enjoy two treats during the weekend. This does not mean unhealthy eating all day on Saturday and Sunday. You may want to have a cheeseburger for lunch on Saturday, and a slice of cake at your friend’s party on Sunday. It takes planning, and planning takes time. You have to make the time to be healthy. And, being healthy doesn’t mean you have to be skinny. It means eating clean and being active. It means making good choices when fueling your body.

 I’m giving myself until June 30th to finish the book, throw out the bad foods in my house, buy the good foods, and get familiar with the fitness routines. Come July 1st, I’m going into rehab mode to kick this sugar addiction and to drop this unhealthy weight I’ve been carrying around for the last few years.

“The groundwork of all happiness is good health.” ~ Leigh Hunt

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