Clean Food Challenge — Conclusion

November 21, 2011 3 Comments

Congratulations to everyone who successfully completed the Clean Food Challenge!

And, congratulations to all of you who did the Clean Food Challenge for part of the week, or maybe eliminated one or two foods from your diet.

Looking back on my week of eating clean I have come to some interesting conclusions. I’ve learned more about the way I eat and what foods work best for me. I’ve learned that it is hard to eat in a way that requires careful preparation and planning. I’ve learned that I feel a whole lot better when I drink more water, and will do my best to keep that habit going.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with some aspects of the Clean Food Challenge this time around. I didn’t feel any really great benefits until the last day of the Challenge. Sunday my energy was super high, I felt focused and, for lack of a better word, really Clean. Up until that point I struggled with feeling hungry shortly after meals along with some minor head aches. It could be that it just took me a lot longer to kick the sugar habit this time (cursed Halloween candy!!!). It could also be because I wasn’t taking my vitamins and my B vitamin levels dipped low.

Eating a clean, unprocessed, vegan diet was great…for a week.

Ultimately I feel my best with moderate consumption of animal proteins, with minimal sugar, caffeine and simple carbohydrates. Dairy and I have a love-hate relationship and it is best for me to consume dairy in extreme moderation. I also feel much better when I eat more nutrient rich foods like kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, legumes, and whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. There is clearly a lot of truth behind the idea that it’s good to eat your veggies! And my good friend coffee? Oh how I love coffee. But, I also love it a whole lot more after I have eaten something as opposed to drinking coffee as soon as I wake up. I also function perfectly fine without it. Go figure!

The biggest lesson for me in doing the Clean Food Challenge? It is good to experiment. Mix things up a bit. Challenge myself.

By experimenting I learn. And what is life without learning?

Focusing on eating clean reminds me what I can do every day so that I can feel my best. After all, when I feel my best I can also do my best. With my work and with my family. And isn’t that what we’re all after? To feel our best? To do our best? To love our best?

Thank you for joining me on the Clean Food Challenge, even if you didn’t actively participate. I’d love to hear from anyone who did participate and how the Challenge was for you. Now, please head over to Shannon’s blog and read about her experience with the clean food challenge, along with some delicious new recipes to try.

Comments (3)

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  1. Jacki says:

    I made it from Saturday to Friday. It really shouldn’t have been that hard to make it through till Sunday. If I had planned better, I would’ve been fine. My major stumbling block happened on Friday. I really needed to pack myself a lunch and prepare a breakfast Thursday night, but I didn’t do either. I’m not used to waking up early and the conference started at 8am. I barely got out of bed and got there just after 8. There were donuts and bagels for breakfast. I was hungry, but just had some orange juice and water for breakfast. By noon, my stomach was growling really loudly. I finally got to lunch around 12:20, and if there were any vegetarian choices there, they were gone by the time I got to lunch. I didn’t think about going to the cafeteria outside the conference for more appropriate food. Instead, I ate a turkey sandwich. Failed as a vegetarian as well as failing this challenge. I still was really hungry, so ate the cole slaw that came with it, and even the 2 oreos for dessert. Kept it going a couple hours later with a slice of cheese pizza and a chocolate chip cookie. Yikes… I didn’t just fall off the wagon, I ran over myself with it as well. I felt terrible for much of the evening after all that.

    The next day, I went to my brother’s house to meet my newborn nephew. My mom had brought lasagna, and I ate it. Felt gross and really sleepy after that. I kept up with the water the whole time, though.

    I had a lot of distractions this week that made it hard for me to do a good job with this. Birthday, conference, new baby in the family, work, etc. Life is full of these, though, so there’s really no excuse. Especially considering how much I’ve done this type of thing before. I know all the prep work to consider. I wish I had done a better job, but I do own my stumbling blocks. I intend to keep eating mostly like I did during the challenge with some exceptions. It’s still better than eating badly and only eating good food on occasion. I feel better, think better and my allergies go away when I eat such good food. I will keep up with it. Thanks for doing this, Kelly!

    • kelly says:

      Jacki, I don’t see your week as a failure at all. Go easy on yourself! It takes so much preparation and planning and frankly in our fast paced world it is hard to do that all the time. I think what is really important about your experience is that you noticed how different you feel when you eat in a way that really supports your body and how much better you feel when you eat a diet that works well for you. That is what the Clean Food Challenge really is about to me. We’re not going to be perfect all the time. Frankly, that might not be healthy. But, we can make choices about what we eat fully knowing the meaning of the choices. If we eat something that we love, but also know might not leave us feeling our best, then we do so knowingly, consciously, mindfully. If we know that we need to feel our very best then we work a bit harder to make sure that we take the time to prepare and plan.

      Happy belated birthday as well. I hope you had a wonderful day. And congratulations on your new nephew. All sorts of exciting things for you!

      • Jacki says:

        Didn’t see your comment until just now. I was so busy back then I forgot to check back! Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. I looked this back up because I’m making a concerted effort to at least incorporate one glass of freshly made fruit/vegetable juice a day and also to eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Going pretty well the past few days. You make a good point about the awareness of what we eat. That is so important. There is a huge difference between making an informed decision about what you’re putting in your body vs. just eating whatever tastes good and not having any idea what it’s doing to you. Cheers! 🙂

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