So how’s your Saturday going? We are out of town visiting Pete’s family in Milwaukee this weekend. Kester has been out of sorts this week as far as eating and sleeping goes, so I could be going through some sort of Mommy hell right now as he always seems to be worse when we are away from home.
But that cute face…anyways, hoping I’ll only have good reports. (fingers crossed)
Week 2…the Sugar Swap challenge, how did it go? Who lasted the entire week without eating sugary junk?
I was doing great, not even craving the stuff really and then Pete and I went out for Mexican on Wednesday night. We decided we really needed a night out just us, and that we missed Mexico since it truly is a part of who we are now. So after a long chat (in Spanish) with the owner who just sat down in the booth with us (totally Mexican) he brought us free dessert. Did I want it? Not really. Was it completely culturally appropriate that I eat it, yes. So I did.
But you know what? After I ate it, I moved on and jumped right back into the challenge. Why? Because these challenges aren’t about how long you can last without eating sugar, or how many workouts you can do consecutively. Nope, that’s not the idea. The goal behind these challenges is building healthly habits that re-set our bodies, and minds regarding living a healthy lifestyle.
As we ate the dessert I told Pete, it’s not about this one piece of flan ruining my week of “no sugar” it’s about what I do once I finish this piece of flan. Do I go home and say screw it and eat cookies and chocolate every day for the rest of the week because I blew it? No, I go home and focus my mind on the goal ahead. I want to finish what I started because I know a week with just one dessert will begin to re-set my body (hello post-Christmas detox) and my mind to have the will power to make healthy food choices as the year progresses.
So I want to encourage you, these challenges are not so you can check something off a list, or feel good about a week of healthy eating and exercise. They are about building a foundation, brick by brick, of a healthy lifestyle. Small changes, gradually, add up to a healthy, energetic, motivated, happier, more successful you. And hopefully your jeans will be fitting a little better too.
All that to say I hope Week 2 went well for you. I know I felt like my body went into re-set mode, and I love it! I always feel this way when I cut out sugar, and it’s awesome. I think I might do it again this coming week along with the new challenge…anyone else want to join me?
Well enough of my motivational talk, let’s get on to Week 3’s challenge!!
Snacking…I find this is an area where it is so easy for me to falter. Anyone else?
First of all, I’m a huge advocate of eating snacks. I think they are a fantastic way to manage your daily food intake and keep your metabolism running high. The key is smart snackage! Hence this week’s challenge.
The idea behind smart snackage: This week’s challenge is two-fold.
1. Concentrate on eating only “real food” snacks.
So what are “Real food” snacks?
This week the goal is to snack on foods in their most natural form. The idea is to avoid packaged, processed snacks, and to think about how to best fuel our bodies.
Real food snacks – veggies (very natural), hardboiled eggs, smoothies with fresh fruit and veggies, yogurt (plain nothing added), homemade hummus with natural ingredients, cheese, apples, oranges, grapefruit, nuts (plain, nothing added), homemade trail mix with nothing added but real nuts, and dried fruits, natural nut butters (nothing but nuts and salt).
Other snacks (not “real” food) – packaged trail mix, sugary yogurts, pretzels, chips, granola bars, protein bars, honey roasted nuts, packaged muffins and cookies, cereal, crackers, bottled sugary smoothies, nut butters with sugar or other added ingredients.
* Example: I Love both of these items, and they are healthier choices when it comes to packaged snacks, but not “real” food in it’s most natural form. (which is what we are going for this week)
Make sense? To do this we are going to have to be prepared. Don’t go into the week with an empty fridge. Get to the store and pick up some veggies and fruit, frozen fruit for making smoothies, and prep some healthy snacks for yourself and your family. Fail to plan, plan to fail. That’s all.
And part 2:
2. Tracking our daily snackage.
This week we are going to write down every.single.snack that crosses our lips. And for extra credit what time of day you ate the snack.
Why? The goal is to go over our “snackage journal” in the evenings and evaluate our choices for that particular day. Ask yourself the following questions as you look at your snackage journal:
What time of day did you snack the most? What was your body craving? What types of snacks did you eat? Was your snacking excessive, not enough, or just right?
So get out a notebook, or keep track on your computer or phone, whatever is easiest for you. Then take 5 minutes to go over your snackage journal before you go to bed and decide how you can snack smarter the next day.
The point of incorporating snacks into our diet is to keep our metabolism firing throughout the day, and to keep our hunger levels balanced. If we head into a meal ravenous we are more likely to eat an unhealthy amount of food, not make great food choices, and feel terribly full. However, if we snack smart throughout the day we keep our blood sugar levels balanced and our body will crave healthy lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, versus empty carbohydrates and sugar. So…this is the goal!
Personally I’m super excited about this week’s challenge. I’ve never kept track of just my snacks before and I know it will be incredibly eye-opening for me to see where I lack some self-discipline regarding my eating. Plus, I love the idea of concentrating on whole foods for snacking! It’s something I want to get better at because I know it’s what is best for my family.
That’s the challenge for Week 3. Real food snacks, and track your snacks…Smart Snackage 101.
And as always if you have any questions or comments on this week’s challenge post them to the comments section of this post and I’ll be happy to answer you!
Have a great week, and cheers to smart snackage!