Superhero Challange Update
We went to bed early last night and I even slept 45 minutes past my alarm, and I still feel like a rock trying to come alive. I am not one of those people that can’t talk to the world when they wake up, but this morning that is totally me! It’s officially been a week of the food challenge. Today actually marks day 10. I have been tracking my meals, coming up with some awesome recipes and am getting the hang of eating enough calories with these limited food options.
I have a hand written food journal and I thought about tracking how I feel throughout the day in there as I have many of my clients do. But then I thought about the hundreds of people I am doing this challenge with and the struggles that they have been posting about on facebook and Instagram. I thought to myself that I may as well put an update here on the blog, I am not the only one feeling this stuff and I know seeing what they have been experiencing has been valuable to me.
First and foremost, I am tracking as part of the challenge:
- - No sugar
- - No Gluten
- - No Bad oils
- - Drinking half my weight in water
- - Checking in with a buddy
- - Taking fish oil
- - No Alcohol
We added the following:
- - No dairy (except cream in our coffee J )
- - Going to bed early. 9:30-10:00
- - No grains (except white rice)
I will just expand on each of these below. I also have a downloadable meal plan at the bottom – so don’t miss out and scroll on down. The meal plan complies with the challenge, so if this challenge inspires you, or if you’re one of the superheros doing it with me! Then this meal plan will be awesome for you.
Now to the good stuff. I will just break each of these down bit by bit.
We actually feel kind of terrible. But I am being patient and trusting that this will pass once our bodies are ocostumed to lower carbohydrate. We wake up exhausted, we are hungry all day, I have been getting headaches, we are achy, and our sleep sucks. Totally T.M.I. but my IBS is back too. On top of that, my husband describes the feeling like this: My insides feel well lubricated and my stomach feels heavy, but I am light headed and feel like my blood sugar is low. I’m not hungry and hungry at the same time. I believe that all of this is just a transition from carbs. However, we are both extremely active, I do high intensity training almost every day and we work outside doing physical labor. We’re being mindful to keep good sources carbohydrates in our diet, but I’m being patient to explore a new macronutrient ratio. I’m not sure yet what we will stick to long-term yet.
This is really effing hard for me in general, so I thought that it would be extremely tough. And it is but not as hard as I thought. It’s just mental for me. Sugar is my weakness, I love baking and if I am going to have a treat, it is definitely going to be a cookie or a muffin over a cheeseburger or French fries. I have a sweet tooth, for sure. I kind of expected to have sugar-withdrawls or hangovers from cutting out all sugar. But nope, nothing. Occassionally, I have wanted a chocolate chip cookie, but overall, I’m not missing sugar.
Easy peazy. I haven’t struggled with cutting out gluten. I think that if my husband was not doing this challenge with me and was eating sandwiches or toast, I would totally struggle. But he’s not and we’re making awesome meals without grains actually and I don’t miss it. We will be leaving for a week long climbing trip and we will see how this goes there. We won’t have access to the same kitchen, and usually we rely on bread as more of a foundation on the road. I’m excited to explore new options, but wondering how easy it will be to stay off of grains and beans out there.
No Bad Oil
This is something I really believe in. Honestly, cutting out bad oils was one of the reasons I didn’t want to be vegan anymore. This is complex but in short, I found that to hit my protein goals, I was including more foods that had oils that I don’t believe in. Or even at parties, I would only have the option of tortilla chips. I didn’t feel good about this. Since adding some meat back in, I have been able to cut out the crappy industrial oils and I’m really happy about that. This is an aspect of my diet that I include always and has been easy through the challenge because I was already striving for that. Bring on the guacamole.
I love the feeling of drinking a gallon of water a day. This is another part of the challenge that I always strive for and has been easy for me the past week. I work outside landscaping for work and I am in the gym for an hour a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. I teach hot yoga and I sweat a lot throughout every day. Drinking a half gallon of water each day is easy and I usually drink ¾-1 gallon if I carry water with me all day.
Checking in with a buddy
I have a couple of buddies. I am checking in with my husband all day long and this support is critical for me. I talked to him before I signed up and said straight up that it was something I would like to do, told him my reasons, and said that I honestly can’t do it without you – I need your support. He has had some beer (doesn’t bother me) and he is not signed up for the challenge but he is partaking with me. He is eating more carbohydrates than I am – he is a physical laborer – so we have been adding white rice and potatoes to his meals. I also have another friend doing the challenge and we have been checking in with each other. I love how Emily has incorporated this into her challenge. It’s crucial!
Taking fish oil
Easy as pie. I just take a spoonful each morning. I haven’t noticed any differences yet, so stay tuned.
This is the hardest, I’ll just say that. Not because I stuggle with binge drinking on the weekends, and not even because I miss feeling tipsy or whatever but because I like to have a glass of wine in the evenings when I am cooking dinner, or out on the patio with friends. I usually have one or two glasses (more like one and a half) and call it a night. But I miss wine with my meals!
This is easy also. I don’t love dairy and I don’t love that humans eat it. I may not bring dairy back in. Yogurt was hard for me when I was vegan, but I haven’t struggled with it this challenge. We had a container of half and half, so we have been putting that in our coffee this week – but when that is up, I have some coconut cream to replace it.
Going to Bed Early
This was something that my husband wanted to do and so when he agreed to support me with the food, I agreed to support him in going to bed earlier. We are shooting for 9:30 and have been asleep by 10:30 almost every night. This is awesome, but of course, it’s hard to stop working and go to bed. Totally worth it though. I have also been waking up at 5:30/6 to go to the gym and the early wake up time helps me want to go bed.
No grains (except white rice)
I already said that we are keeping rice in to support my husband through his high work load. I have been eating some if it’s post-workout for me. Cutting out grains and beans has been surprisingly easy. It has, however, made our grocery bill almost double and I do not love the amount of meat this challenge has been making me eat. I am taking the next two weeks to dig deep into how I want to approach this. I don’t think that grains are necessarily bad for human health, but I do think that many of DNA strands and cultivars are one of the many causes of inflammation. I have a feeling I will be bringing these back and greatly reducing my meat consumption once the challenge is up- but I need to think about this some more to decide how I think the combination of health, environmental sustainability and economic sustainability coalesce.