Friday, January 4, 2013
Janathon Day 4
In addition to running and exercising, I'm participating in a 21-day no junk food challenge with some friends from my awesome running club. What I've learned from that club (RFRC!) is that support makes a huge difference. We all talk about our running milestones and obstacles and encourage each other. They've really motivated me to do a lot better overall. We have a group Facebook page and there's always something buzzing on the page. In true form, those of us that wanted to do the challenge formed a new group so we could post about our accomplishments with the challenge or any hang ups we're having. Since most of us are runners, not having peanut butter became a source of controversy. It is such a great fueling food. What we each decided to do was create our own versions of the list with things we struggle with. So, here's mine (this is from memory because my actual list is at home and I'm not right now):
1. No chocolate or candy
2. No biscuits, cookies or similar items
3. No cake, pastries, muffins, donuts, etc.
4. No white bread or anything with white flour
5. No chips (or most things in a bag)
6. No fast food
7. No eating out...THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME (I usually eat out at least 5 times a week)
8. No nutella or other naughty spreads
9. No ice cream
10. No soda
11. No creamy salad dressings
It seems like a pretty depriving list, but I figure, it's only 21 days and hopefully by that point I'll not have the urge to overdo any of those items. I want to develop and maintain healthier habits and there are plenty of delicious foods that are not on this list. I've been running more and now it's time to focus on the food as well. I've noticed that what I eat dramatically affects my performance so food and activity really go hand in hand. My biggest challenge is eating out, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to do this challenge. I want to eat at home and make better choices. I like healthy food, I'm just lazy and that's what I'm trying to work on. I'm hoping that one day this won't be a challenge to eat at home, but if it's always hard then I'm still up for the challenge. When I do eat at home, I'm pretty good about making healthy choices.
It's day 4 and so far I'm doing pretty well. I can't say that I've done it all perfectly, I did eat out once (Vietnamese soup which isn't the worst option), but I have been a lot more conscious of what I choose to eat and how much. I've even weighed/measured a lot of my food, counted calories and been keeping a food journal. I've also been trying to meal plan and grocery shop according to my meals. I think this is such a good habit and one that I hope to continue. I came across this amazing website, www.pepperplate.com, which is perfect for this sort of thing. Not only does it let you easily import recipes from different websites and saves them for you (which I have to say is so nice because I find cool recipes all over the place and it's nice to have one place for all of them), but it also allows you to create menus, plan weekly/monthly meals and easily add recipes to a grocery list so you don't have to go through each one and figure out what you need. It's so cool. The website is an organizers dream!
I think people that live healthy lifestyles are naturally planners (huge blanket statement and maybe I'm totally wrong). I did a diet once where I had to weigh out my food and plan out my meals. I ended up sorting food in easy grab bags in my fridge to keep it simple and I lost a lot of weight on it. Unfortunately, I didn't maintain those habits when I was done and the weight came back, but I know there are great benefits in taking the time upfront to plan and prepare. A short-term diet is never going to be maintain if we don't make lifestyle changes. For someone likes me who loves to eat out for convenience, planning and prepping has to be a must so it's easier for me. If it's too hard I won't do it. Eventually I'd like to spend one day a week cooking meals and then just spend the rest of the week re-heating it.
Last night I went to my boyfriend's and we cooked some turkey breast filets, asparagus and I made my favorite salad, which he also really liked so that made me happy. It was a delicious meal, healthy and pretty easy to make. Plus, it was fun to cook together. Afterward he made some koko rice (a chocolate coffee-like drink from Samoa) and it was the perfect dessert. I know I said I wasn't going to eat chocolate and koko rice is kind of chocolaty, but it's not really chocolate like you'd eat from a candy bar. It's a solid rock of cocoa that is then boiled down and has sugar added and rice. It's so yummy and was a well needed treat. We ended the evening watching a couple episodes of Dexter, my favorite show. He hasn't ever watched them so we started with season one. We have a long way to go, but he likes it so far :)