Monday, December 30, 2013

No More Cupcakes....

Having done my blogger's due diligence by recapping this past year, now it's time to look forward to 2014.  I've already got my big races scheduled, so not a lot of new available there.  But as I look forward to my gym being flooded by "resolutioners" who will take up all the treadmills for the month of January, I did decide to start my own little challenge.

No more cupcakes.

I know - now I'm just a random triathlete.  A very mediocre one at that.  Boo.  Jokes aside, I decided to try this Clean Eating thing that everyone is raving about.  It seems like the last couple of years everyone is eschewing gluten, grains, sugar, alcohol, caffeine (in other words, everything fun) and reaping huge benefits in terms of energy, health, and overall bad-assedness.  So I jumped on the "What is Cool Now" bandwagon, in the hopes to redeem myself for never being cool a day in my life so far.  

Cookie Monster so has the right idea....

In all seriousness, I am giving up gluten, dairy, refined sugar, alcohol, and maaaaaaybe caffeine for the next 30 days, starting yesterday.  (The caffeine wasn't on the list until my five-year-old piped up and told me that caffeine was bad for me too so I should try to cut that out as well.  Who teaches her this stuff?  My goodness I am creating monsters.....)  My personal goals are to see if this eating plan will positively impact the number of migraines I get, and if it will help with the constant stomach woes that I have while training hard (aka running 3-4 times per week).

I ran this idea by my tri-friend Kate, who will now known as "Spark", due to her insistence that Spark energy drink is better than coffee.  Yeah right.  She did a 10 day eating clean challenge in December and loved it.  She must have, because even when her little guy was in the hospital she kept it up.  I would have been living out of the vending machine and coffee carts like all hospital parents.  Go Spark!
So Spark agreed to be my buddy, then suggested that we start a Facebook group to help support each other and a few other friends we knew who were prone to this sort of behavior.  Six hours later we had 59 people signed up.  48 hours later we have over 70 people.  As Jedi said to me, casually and with one raised eyebrow, "Well, now you really have to do this...".  Yikes.

Day 1 was yesterday - the day after the last of my family Christmas celebrations.  Our New Year's tradition is to actually NOT drink and instead rock New Year's Day with something outdoors and preferable athletic that will represent how we want the coming year to be.  In the past we've gone hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and when the kids were really small maybe to a museum or other fun activity.  This year I'll be racing the Sterling Freezer 5 Miler, a local road race with a reputation for being exceptionally hilly.  Bring it.

Anyway, I started up the challenge with some cooking, and some shopping.  I made hard boiled eggs, as well as crustless quiches (really just veggies and sausage baked with eggs in muffin tins) for breakfast.  Packed a bag of walnuts and raisins for the gym, and stuffed the kiddos into their coats and into the car.  We headed out for a mile plus swim workout for me, kid gym for them, then swimming for all.  Next stop was the local Wegmans for lunch and to stock up on supplies.

Lunch Day 1 - salad with veg and chicken plus coconut water.
Naturally the kids ate all my post-workout walnuts and raisins.  I really must pack better.  But I dutifully ate my salad while they had pizza and mac'n'cheese and I tried to not push them onto the floor and steal their lunches.  Then we hit the produce department for sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, kale and the bulk aisle for all the ingredients for home-made granola.

Eating clean grocery munchkins
Last night I made the granola and we had homemade ham and split pea soup for dinner.  Kids and Jedi got rolls and cheese to go with it.  I did not.

This morning after a pre-run snack of granola, a few miles with Gypsy, and some of the quiches for breakfast, I baked a whole spaghetti squash, some yams, and a giant batch of quinoa.  Then divided it all into packets in the freezer and fridge so I have things to grab.  

Lunch Day 2 - tricolor quinoa, tuna and tomatoes over greens,
with lemon juice, olive oil and pepper
Dinner tonight after an afternoon of skating with the kiddos (which takes a surprising amount of energy) was spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and sausage.  Side note: you may be wondering how I justify ham and sausage as clean eating.  I don't.  But we seem to have killed an entire pig judging by the Christmas leftovers in my fridge, I'm just too poor to waste them.  I'll be salmon-ing up soon.

The leftovers of this did me in - my dad's retirement cake
I have to admit that so far, I hate this.  I have a rampant, angry sweet tooth that is totally pissed off by this process.  Which is why I caved this evening and had a piece of cake.  In about 10 seconds, with my hands... while no one was watching.  Oh yeah.  

My daughter firmly scolded me for this when I confessed at story-time, which frankly I felt was a little hypocritical coming from a munchkin who ate half a gingerbread house for dessert while I had to watch not an hour previous.  Even now I'm having a tough time summoning up any guilt, because it was really good.  Though how much calmer I feel after wolfing down cake does point to a rather troubling sugar addiction.  Hmm....

It is also well touted that the first few days/week of any clean eating program are the worst.  That it is normal to have no energy, headaches, and be a rampant bitch that hates the world at first.  Check, check, aaaaand check.  I can only hope that it does get better soon and that the urges to devour baked goods and candy subside.  Or at the very least, that my family eat the last of the damn Christmas goodies and stop waving them in my face. Failing that, Spark, Hummingbird and most of the Clean in 2014 group are starting New Year's Day, so at least I'll have company soon.

You know what misery loves, so if you'd like to come along on this challenge join us!  I'll be checking in soon.  

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