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10 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Hello and happy Friday (by the time most of you read this)! I hope everyone had a good week…mine seemed to fly by. Tomorrow kicks off another weekend of yoga teacher training (only three left – can’t believe it) and we have it again next weekend. I’m really looking forward to having two weekends in a row and want to take full advantage of it.

I debated on whether to share this on my blog but I want to be honest with you guys. In an effort to totally honor my body and focus on my yoga practice, I am going to abstain from alcohol, sugar (like dessert and added sugar in things), meat (including seafood) and coffee for the next 10 days (Friday through the following Sunday). I am also going to practice yoga every day during this period.

I want to be clear that this is NOT a diet. I am NOT trying to lose weight and I’m NOT “cleansing.” I just want to get back to eating the things that make me feel good and treating my body well. I really want to soak up all I can during these last few weeks of yoga teacher training and get the maximum benefit possible. I’m interested to see how this is will impact my practice.

So that’s that. I’ll keep you guys updated and let you know how it’s going. I anticipate giving up coffee is going to be the hardest thing! I’m going to keep the details light on the blog but let me know if you have specific questions about anything. And yes, apparently I have have morphed into a crazy yogi! 😉

Moving along…I practiced ashtanga before work but my practice was not so great today. It’s okay though. Tomorrow is a new day! I ate breakfast when I got into work.

Overnight oats in a Trader Joe’s peanut butter jar. In the jar overnight…Bob’s Red Mill Muesli, plain Greek yogurt, almond milk, chia seeds, banana and cinnamon. I topped it with Crofter’s and strawberries this morning.

I came home for lunch despite my mile long to do list at work. I needed a break!

I had a TJ’s Veggie Burger with avocado, spinach and colby jack on freshly baked Dakota bread from Great Harvest. Brandon picked it up on his way home and it was still warm! I had a kiwi on the side and it was so sweet and delicious.

My routine at work is to make a mug of hot tea every afternoon when I finish lunch.

Years ago I used to always have a Diet Coke when I finished lunch but made the switch to hot tea when I gave up soda. I now crave it as soon as I walk in from lunch. It’s so comforting.

I needed a snack today because I was teaching BodyPump after work.

I had a Tropical Fruit Tart Larabar. I love Larabars! I think they will have to be my “candy bars” during my clean eating challenge.

I taught BodyPump tonight and it was awesome! I just really love teaching it and my Thursday night class is my favorite – I feel so much joy when I’m there! 😛

I had my “last supper” tonight.

Pad thai with shrimp and tofu with mixed veggies.

We also shared a bottle of one of my favorite cabs and had ice cream for dessert. I’m really not stressing about cutting these things out of my diet for the next couple weeks…it just feels like the right thing to do for my body.

So I hope you don’t think that I’ve completely lost it. Please know that I still promote a happy, balanced lifestyle over everything else and I don’t think it’s necessary to eliminate things from your diet in order to do that. This is really the first time that I’ve ever embarked on any kind of challenge like this. (And a shout out to Nicole who just went through a gallbladder cleanse and made me realize that if she can make it through that then I can certainly manage this for 10 days!)

Have any other coffee drinkers ever given it up for a period of time? Please tell me I’ll survive!

Happy weekend!

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) March 11, 2011, 5:21 am

    I don’t think you’re crazy at all!! I think it’s a GREAT idea and I love the reason you’re doing it- so inspiring! 🙂 And as long as you can have Larabars and peanut butter it’s all good! 😉

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 9:45 am

      Thanks for the positive feedback, Emma! And yes, it will alllll be okay as long as I have larabars and nut butter! What more could a girl need? 😛

  • Lou March 11, 2011, 6:23 am

    I like it! 10 days isnt long enough for anyone to call you crazy (easy for me to say as i sip on my mug of joe!) You are so inspiring. I’m working toward my first half marathon and thinking of no alcohol until its over–this might be the motivation i need to make the decision final 🙂

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 9:46 am

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback! When/where is the half?

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad March 11, 2011, 9:38 am

    Good for you and thank you for sharing. I would love to hear about how it goes!

    I kicked the Diet Coke habit last December. Best decision ever! I feel so much better. I thought it would be difficult but I don’t miss it one bit!

  • Sara March 11, 2011, 9:47 am

    Glad to hear you are starting this clean eating challenge!

    I’m trying to really reduce how much fish I eat too. I’ve finally got meat under control and RARELY eat it…Fish, on the other hand, has been a lot harder for me to give up. (hence why the menu planning last week featured all veggie meals!)

    Try Yerba Mate if you are giving up coffee. It’s a tea and I’ve heard it works great as a coffee replacement. It has a very earthy taste to it. As for giving up the alcohol, that would be a definite challenge for me as well! I read a blog (Ginger is the New Pink) and Lauren actually drinks Kombucha occasionally as her alcohol fix. I already know you like Kombucha so that might be a great replacement for you too!

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 10:02 am

      Sara – I hear you with the fish. I struggle with that too. For some reason it’s easier to push to the back of your mind.

      Thanks for the yerba mate suggestion. I’ve bought it a few times before but totally forgot about it this was a good reminder.

      And yes, I already have the fridge stocked with quite a few kombuchas! 🙂

      • christin March 11, 2011, 3:42 pm

        Way to go! I think its a great idea to get the most out of your last couple weeks of teacher training. 🙂

        I don’t understand why you “struggle” with not eating fish. If you’re not a vegetarian, I would think that fish are a healthy choice! Omegas and protein and all that. Just curious. 😉

        Your yoga journey has really inspired me to practice more consistently. Its amazing what a difference it makes!

        • Jen March 11, 2011, 10:31 pm

          Christin – thank you so much for your comment! I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been practicing more. I don’t think you understand until you do it how much it changes things!

          Regarding the fish…I try to limit the amount of meat that I eat (including seafood) due to ethical reasons. Lately, I’ve been a little slack on that. And it’s easier to make excuses with fish and look at it as a better choice than meat. In truth, it has it’s own whole slew of issues with sustainable fishing. Sometimes I put my blinders on with that and don’t do what I should to make sure that I’m buying sustainable, wild caught seafood.

          But yes, in general I think fish is a great healthy option!

  • Alaina March 11, 2011, 10:24 am

    I can’t say I’ve ever been able to give up coffee but I’m giving up Diet Coke and all soda drinks for lent. It’ll be tough because one of my new favorite drinks is Kahlua with soda water and a lime (thank you grandma! 🙂 ) but that just means more wine. Haha.

    Good luck with your challenge! I can’t wait to read up on how it makes you feel.

  • Mary Beth March 11, 2011, 11:04 am

    I just recently tried the Trader Joe’s veggie burger and was disappointed. How do you prepare it- in a skillet or in the microwave? Wonder if there’s some trick to get the best result. I just felt like it had an ‘off’ flavor. Doesn’t TJ’s make another kind of veggie burger? Which one do you prefer?

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 10:32 pm

      Mary Beth – I just get the regular Trader Joe’s Veggie Burger (in the green box). It’s a little mushy but I usually just cook it in a cast iron skillet until it crisps a bit. I will say that it’s not my favorite veggie burger – I love Amy’s but they are expensive! Trader Joe’s also makes Masala Burgers with Indian spices. A lot of people enjoy those. I think they’re okay.

  • natalie (the sweets life) March 11, 2011, 2:54 pm

    you can do it girl! (and i never could…wouldn’t even try! :)) enjoy the end of your training!

  • A girl March 11, 2011, 4:12 pm

    Love this! I’ve been wanting to do something similar but am having a hard time- mostly because of eating out! Although I try to make healthy decisions when I eat out, I know that the best way to ensure a healthy meal is to eat at home. Am I alone here?! Are you still planning to go out at all?

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 10:27 pm

      I agree that it’s way more difficult to make healthy choices when you eat out and it’s much easier to control what goes into your food when you cook at home. I actually am eating out during this challenge. I went out for lunch today and we have an engagement party tomorrow. I’m just going to make the best choices that I can! I find that there’s usually something I can eat!

  • Skeptical March 11, 2011, 8:30 pm

    Don’t you already eat well without excess sugar (I notice you have a bowl of icecream maybe once a week)? Don’t you already feel really good practicing yoga everyday? I don’t think cutting foods out of your diet for 10 days will make much of a difference, especially if you believe that healthy living is a lifestyle and occurs overtime (and that is what you convey to your readers everyday). And lately, it appears you aren’t even eating enough with the amount of excersize you put forth (a piece of toast with peanut butter for dinner?)…

    I hate to be a critic, but I thought I’d mention this since you have a lot of readers who obviously look up to you and mimic your lifestlye.

    • Jen March 11, 2011, 10:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment and for being a critic. Your points are definitely valid and I’m not surprised at all to hear them.

      Regarding the dietary changes…I actually do have a lot of sugar. Most nights of the week I do have dessert. I don’t always blog about it because a) I never blog everything that goes into my mouth during the course of the day and b) I am usually editing photos and writing a blog post while I eat dessert.

      With the meat…eliminating meat from my diet is something I have yo-yoed with for years (way before I even launched the blog). It’s mainly ethical reasons and not health. Recently, I’ve been eating way more meat than I feel comfortable so I thought this was a good time to address that.

      With the alcohol…I’ve definitely gotten into the habit lately of having a glass of wine more nights than not. I just want to cut that out!

      And finally, exercise and food intake. I eat a lot of calories throughout the day and remember, I don’t blog everything that I eat. If you read my blog regularly you know that I cook dinner almost every single night and we eat big dinners. The peanut butter toast last week was an anomaly due to a very “off” stomach.

      Again, I appreciate the comment and the opportunity to address concerns that I knew would arise!

  • Danielle March 11, 2011, 10:43 pm

    I think this is great! There is nothing wrong with wanting to “clean” up a bit 🙂

  • Amy November 1, 2011, 11:02 am

    I just recently starting reading your blogs (which I absolutely love) so I sometimes click on the tags and read an old blog that I haven’t seen before (which is why my comment is so late). Do you think “cleanses” are unhealthy? I have done a couple this year and felt great during it, but do wonder if it messed up my metabolism. And it is definitely not something I could sustain long term, though I do think some of the things would be good habits to hold onto like what you had done above.

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