ok, so i have 1 1/2 days left until i am finished with .:get balanced:. intended to blog a little bit more about my journey as i went, but i was spending a lot more time in the kitchen trying out new recipes than on the computer. sorry, not sorry.
after 12 1/2 days, i thought i would reflect on the pros, cons, successes and challenges throughout this workshop. my concluding post regarding .:get balanced:. will include LOTS of pictures and a couple of my favorite recipes that i will incorporate into my recipe routine going forward.
let's start with the cons, so i can finish this post on a positive note.
cravings: my cravings have exponentially decreased at this point, but there are still some cravings. like alcohol, i am not big drinker, but i do enjoy a beer while we are out for dinner or a glass of wine at the end of a long day. chocolate - this was a killer at the beginning, but i had the mindset that cheating wasn't an option, so i got over it pretty quickly. coffee was another tough thing for me to give up, not because i NEEDED the caffeine (which i definitely did, as well) but because i simply love the taste. drew and i really enjoy spending time together while drinking coffee whether it's out on a walk, catching up after a long day, reading or sitting around our living room just talking. drinking water or green tea has been just fine (and cheaper).
ease:. eating healthy can be easy and difficult at the same time. it is easy if you prepare and have an appropriate mindset, but difficult if you make excuses. talking specifically about eating while following get balanced, all my go-to snacks were pretty much off limits. for instance, pre-workout and post-workout routines had to be changed. it became easy as i got used to it, but eating an apple with almond butter, does not feel the same after a workout as a protein shake. also, drew and i went on a LONG bike ride (44 miles long) yesterday to soak up the long-forgotten MN sun and i stressed about what i was going to pack in the small bento bag attached to my bike. i ended up bringing a Larabar and a packet of almond butter and things were OK. like i said, eating healthy is only difficult if you make excuses.
hives:. yes, i have had a case of the hives. not horrible, so don't get the picture of me walking around like a leper. at the beginning of the week, i noticed my skin especially on my forearms and legs were itchy and when i scratched, large mosquito-looking bites would appear and itch EVEN more - lotion wouldn't even touch the itchiness. after 3 days, i immediately started to rule out possible topical issues (such as new detergent, lotion, etc), well i buy everything in bulk, so that was easy to rule out. i emailed my get balanced gurus and they asked me to look at what i was eating a lot more of such as nuts or coconut. i was eating exponentially more coconut than before, from flour to butter to milk and flakes. this was something that has been really frustrating the past couple days because i had made several batch recipes with coconut in it and couldn't let it go to waste. while this was extremely irritating, i didn't call it quits - i decided to become amazed at how what you eat can truly influence your body.
feeling:. i feel really, really good at this point! i can tell that my body knows exactly what to do with the food that i am giving it. i have endless amounts of 'natural energy' from the time that i wake up until bed time without coffee. yes, without coffee - if anyone knows drew or i, we rely on coffee whether it is straight espresso or French press and the need for coffee and caffeine was gone, literally overnight. there were even some nights when i couldn't get myself to wind down and needed to resort to Melatonin. while i didn't do this to lose weight, a few people have asked me whether i have lost any weight. no, i literally have not lost a pound which is OK - i feel better, i feel more fit. i went shopping with my friend last weekend and it was one of those days where everything fit. i even bought 3 pairs of shorts - i HATE my legs (specifically the 3 scars on each knee) so the last time i bought shorts was a couple years ago when i was training for the Twin Cities marathon (do i dare say that these were all a size down?)
portion control:. this could be considered both a pro and a con, but i haven't been mindful of portion control since i started .:get balanced:. everything i eat is basically made from scratch, so there isn't a nutrition label to use as a guide for calories, protein, sugar, etc. i have learned to trust my body with the food that i am giving it - stop eating when i am full and wait to eat until i'm hungry. i feel like my portions are a lot bigger than before, but i am also eating more veggies and fruit, so i suppose that may take a little more to fill me up.
favorites:. i have relied on a few favorite foods - some new, some old.
>> cooked oatmeal or quinoa with raw honey or maple syrup, flaxseed and cinnamon. you can do so many different things with this, it's scary - add dried cranberries, bananas, bake it will apple chunks. you can eat it for breakfast or as a pre or post workout snack.
>> gluten free banana bread - stay tuned for this recipe from the .:get balanced:. gals. this was even hit with drew.
>> quinoa granola - again something that you can really mix up to fit whatever you would like. this should bake similar to regular granola, so if you have a favorite granola recipe, switch up the oats with quinoa for added protein.
>> SPICES! this isn't a recipe, but i have really loved playing around with spices such as basil, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes and curry. i literally had to buy all of the spices because we didn't have ANY aside from salt and pepper. you can get some really awesome, low-cal flavoring through spices!
will i continue this lifestyle after the 15 days are over??? no.
i have learned an INCREDIBLE amount through this workshop, not only about food and the science behind it, but my relationship with food and even about me, in general! it has exposed how often i truly 'treat' myself to dessert and how often we go out to eat to make things easier. with that being said, i feel like i had well-rounded diet before. i love dairy, but enjoyed it in moderation, same with bread. i eat plenty of fruits and veggies and 'clean' meats. however, i will be more mindful of my gluten intake and i will know where to start when (not if) i have that crash and burn effect again.
i miss Chobani yogurt. i miss chips and salsa. i miss our waffle sundays. i miss my protein powder after workouts. i miss having an Izzy's ice cream cone after a 45 mile bike ride.
one. more. day.
always striving for more,