May 12, 2014

Posted by in Challenges, Featured, Good Living, Nutrition | 10 Comments

The “Spring Clean EATing” Challenge: Check-in and…What Now?

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We just finished up the spring clean eating challenge. I’m sure it was an interesting experience for many of you, especially if it was the first time for you to do something like this!

I hope that you all learned a few things about yourself as you went through this week. One of my favorite sayings from John Maxwell sums it up…

Let’s evaluate, shall we?

(If you don’t want to take the time to fill this form, would you write a few notes in the comments section below?)

Many of you may wonder how you could keep eating like that long-term as it was hard enough for 7 days. The answer is that you may not! This was a clean up—and is not meant to be like this every day for the rest of your life! (Of course, that depends on how strict you were during the challenge!)

You are now faced with a decision…what now?

- Continue on with the challenge as-is

- Continue on similar to the challenge, with some modifications

- Go back to your old ways

I personally, will make some modifications to the challenge week but will continue on pretty much as I did last week! As I mentioned before, this diet is not too far off from my normal eating. I eat clean a majority of the time and “let loose” on planned occasions. I feel that the challenge has given me back control on some areas that got a little out of hand but am not quite ready yet to introduce some things. (Remember my post about moderation?! I have to take this into consideration!) I didn’t notice how good I felt until the last 2 days of the challenge! It was amazing to get back on track, and honestly, I enjoyed knowing that I had the willpower to say no when my body was saying YES!

If you are wondering whether or not you should insert “______” into your diet, I want you to ask yourself this basic question…

“Do I have control over it, or does it still have control over me?”

If you are not able to control when and how much of whatever it is, then it is probably not a good idea for you to re-introduce it. Give yourself some more time as you break yourself from whatever it is and work on that resistance muscle. As you get stronger, you can introduce it, but introducing it too early while weak will only bring defeat.

Many of you have written to me saying how much BETTER you feel. I want you to note that this challenge had nothing to do with exercise and I kept it out this time because I wanted you to see what better, quality food choices made in your life! I also didn’t want you to be zeroed in on counting calories because I truly believe that if we are feeding ourselves with real, clean food, then the calories fall into place! (Water consumption helps here, too!)

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I would love to hear from those of you who did this challenge! Would you mind commenting below with your thoughts and maybe even answering the questions above? Is this a challenge that you would want to have on the blog again? Will you continue the challenge through this week?

  1. In the early part of the week I did pretty well, but then I kind of ran out of lunch and snack ideas. I do well with planning supper, but didn’t really plan lunch very well…and I also didn’t plan out snacks well enough so I failed. However, I did see that I want to try to do this again this week. I don’t think I will go all out “Clean” just yet…as in, I probably will have to eat bread that has at least some white flour in it, but I will eat only whole wheat versions of everything. Maybe eventually I will cut out anything that has any white flour in it. But I have decided not to buy processed junk like cookies and chocolate bars and to cut out sugar in my tea. Tea really does not taste good without sugar…but I hope it starts to taste good eventually. I don’t like honey. Not sure about the other natural sweeteners like Stevia or Agave ….anyone know about these? Overall, good experience. Oh, I am also pregnant…so that might have made it harder haha

  2. Melinda says:

    I did not do the challenge all the way, but I read all the information so I can apply it in different ways down the road. The last couple of years I have been on all sorts of eating plans(not to lose weight, but for some skin issues and GI issues). We have been trying to resolve all the issues with cleanses and eating a certain way. Doing things this way has not really improved my above issues, but it has made me feel better overall.

    I wanted to comment mainly so I could encourage you to keep up the great work. I did not fully use all the resources and ideas that you gave in this challenge, but I know that I can go to this later and use it then. I really appreciate your biblical emphasis on health and exercise!

  3. Melinda says:

    So let me elaborate on what I did do! I cut way back on sugar. We use an organic sugar, but I still cut way back. I made two recipes for muffins(yes with flour), but used honey, applesauce, and such, instead of sugar, vege oil, etc. I drank way more water. Cut out all snacking that was just out of boredom or whatever. Stopped eating after around 7pm. I just cut back in ways like you said, where I knew I had gotten out of control. I would have loved to do the whole challenge. I just couldn’t quite get myself organized in enough time.

  4. Ok so I was out of town the weekend before you started this so my husband and I decided to start today. We shopped, chopped and prepared for the week. This morning we both made our smoothies and well to be honest neither one of us really enjoyed them. I know we will need to adjust our tastebuds but it was more than that. Do you have other suggestions on more breakfast smoothie ideas? I really am looking forward to the end of the week to feel the results.

  5. Michele says:

    I really enjoyed the challenge! I cut out all processed foods for the week and it was much easier than I thought. I have an issue with salty crackers/tortilla chips so cutting them out completely was the smartest thing I did. These will have to be a permanent thing I cut out because I just can’t seem to limit them. I made your fat flush soup, had it every night for dinner and it was really good! Most of the foods I was already eating but this past week I made an extra effort not to take a bite of my kids food or a bite of whatever was in front of me. Making meals and snacks ahead of time is key for me. A gallon of water a day also cuts down my appetite tremendously.

    I do have a question though. How do you handle social gatherings where you don’t want to partake in cake/ice cream/cookies without seeming like a food snob? I hate the judgment that comes with eating clean!

    • I know what you mean, Michele. You can always bring a dish to share with others that would fit your needs which would help you to partake, however if it would be weird for you to do that, you can just politely say no. You don’t need to make a big deal about it and don’t even need to say anything about it (unless asked), but you will always have push-back!

      Your life is your life–do what you know is right for you!
      Clare

  6. Jenneth says:

    I am such a “plan follower”. So when I saw your meal plan, I thought, “Oh, good, directions.” But I realized that I did not have time to properly plan it out and shop, and also it would be a big change in eating for me. So, when you said NOT to follow your plan, I felt free to make my own choice. I decided to focus on cleaning up a few aspects of my personal eating and then continue to make changes over the next several weeks. My first goal was to increase my water consumption and it made a big difference in how I felt. Next I packed better lunches to take to work. I usually buy the frozen entrees because they are quick and easy. I also pushed the fresh fruits and veggies. So, thank you for letting me feel released and encouraged to clean up my eating habits in a way that worked for me. I hope to try a detox plan in a few weeks as I retrain my body to enjoy healthier choices.

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