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Clean Eating Challenge—COMPLETED!

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Well. It’s done. It’s over. It’s completed. And we survived. Barely.

The “Clean Eating Challenge” was taken on by my husband and I two weeks ago. I found it online here: Crazy-Ass Challenge
This seemed manageable and actually realistic, since it contained actually meals, not just liquid. We also made a deal that if one of us bailed, we owed the other $100 for each week we didn’t complete. That, and the fact we spent a ton on groceries, kept me in line. But, let me be honest—this was fucking HARD!

We went into this not because we wanted to lose weight, but because we wanted to clean out our systems of some unhealthy habits. Both Dan and I are pretty addicted to beer. Ok, addicted sounds bad, but it is a known fact that we love our craft beer. We usually have at least one beer a day. For two weeks, we had no beer. I crave my salty snacks, especially my Mrs. Renfros green salsa and tortilla chips. Dan craves ice cream and candy. We gave that up for two weeks of clean eating.

How much did this cost? Well, we estimate we spent $600 for the two weeks of food. Yes….that’s a lot of cash. Especially up front. But yesterday, we sort of ran the numbers, and it seemed alright….so, $300 a person for two weeks of meals. $300 divided by 14 days is $21.43 a day. We also have some leftover food. Some of the perishables will have to be composted, but the frozen fish is fine. Also, since we did not eat out at all, that makes this $600 ok for us. Dan and I go out usually once a week, and after all is said and done with meals and drinks, we usually drop $100 each time. Easy.

The one killer about this diet is on the site it claims you will FEEL GREAT! Have SO MUCH ENERGY! Yeah. About that. LIES. Dan and I were exhausted every damn night. I went to bed around 9 pm almost every night the second week. This diet did not take into account our activity level, so we were definitely malnourished. Some would say we were starving ourselves. Dan does intense labour as a landscaper and arborist during the day. I had just started my marathon training and did 30 miles and 35 miles each week, respectively. In that first week I did the Millarville Half Marathon and was so lethargic. Yesterday I did a 14 mile training run and I wanted to curl into fetal position. My body cannot wait to start consuming gluten again. It needs it.

My mind is starting to thaw after this brainwashing two weeks, so my thoughts are a bit scattered today. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of things Dan and I liked, hated, enjoyed, dreaded, etc about the last two weeks. (we made this last last night while we enjoyed our “last supper.” I admit, we drank a beer with it. We deserved it.)

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-Tamari, Hummus and veggies and Baked fish were great additions to our cooking and diet that we will include. We also will try to make more of our own dressings.
-Dan says “Olive oil is the bomb. Your omelets are so much better”
-We buy free range meat (chicken, beef, turkey) and it’s expensive, but I caved for the first time in about three years and bought some shitty chicken breasts by the package at Safeway. I immediately felt guilty.
-Hardest time for Dan was rain days when he was laying on the couch staring at the kitchen. Mine was 4:00 pm. I wanted Cheetos.
-Thought we would be gassier. We weren’t! Yay!
-Vegetarian chili was “fucking terrible”
-I Still don’t care for kale-can handle it in smoothies
-Got better with cooking and multitasking. We had to cook every damn meal in the kitchen and by us tag-teaming the meals, we pumped them out fast.
-With that in mind, this challenge did bring us together more as a couple during mealtimes and immediately after.
-Andrea became a royal bitch by 9 pm. Dan was “touchy with his feelings” but he said I got more out of line

Final number results? Well, it’s no surprise we lost weight. Dan weighed 155.6 pounds when we started. I weighed in at 131. Neither of us had an issue with our weight. But we knew with the limited calories in the diet we would lose some. Just didn’t know how much. Yesterday, Dan weighed in a final time at 147.3 pounds. I was laughing my ass off on the couch because he couldn’t believe he was under 150. A total weight loss of 8.3 pounds. I weighed in at 125.9 pounds-a weight loss of 5.1 pounds. I even put on my wedding dress last night, solely because I could zip it up again!

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I can definitely say this is crazy and unsafe, as losing that much weight that fast is never a good idea. Cutting pasta and beer and cheese out of my diet will do that I guess. Cutting the pasta and beer and cheese out ruined me for my races and training runs, as my system was out of whack and I felt like proverbial crap. Literally. Yeah, take that as you think.

I am now enroute to Albuquerque for a conference, and I think I am gaining that weight back as I type this at the crappy airport bar in Great falls, Montana, while I enjoy my Bloody Mary.

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We both laugh though because as we bitched for two weeks about being hungry, Dan always finished with a sarcastic “…but we look so good!” He also said yesterday he should start taking mirror selfies stat because it’s the best he will ever look. And now I look back at a post I did last year, and me writing this post today is almost ironic and counter productive. I want everyone to still know that I stand by what I said here last year. A lot of you haven’t read this, because you didn’t read my blog until recently, so here’s what I am talking about: My thighs will always touch

And with that. I leave you this picture from my bachelorette party in the Bahamas. Yes. I am wearing a mumu. And yes, that drink is an impossibly blue color. But that cheese sauce…I could have a whole boat of that right about now. Cheers!

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Clean Eating Challenge

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See the picture below:

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That is our fridge yesterday, after returning from a shopping extravaganza at Safeway. What did we buy? Below is a link to the “Clean Eating Challenge” we have undertook. The grocery lists and recipes are located on the page also.

The Challenge

When I initially saw this post online, I admired the fact that it wasn’t some crazy “drink only water with lemon and cayenne pepper for three days” cleanse. I recognized it as a feasible challenge. I printed out the booklets, the shopping lists, the menus, and set a date to begin. I purposely planned on doing it starting this Sunday, June 8th…one week after my marathon. I figured that after all that hell i put my body through, then taking a week off to recoup, a healthy eating challenge would be good for my insides.

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After showing my husband it, he decided he would do it too. I am now so grateful he did, because two nights into it, we both realize how tough it would have been if one person was doing it and another wasn’t. The food prep is tedious, and having both of us working on it is a huge help. Tonight I just cooked a pile of chicken breasts for the rest of the week, pre-made our lunches and snacks, and Dan is washing a ton of pots. If we had tried to do this during a busy time of the school year, we would have quit by this morning.

I run a ton, and I am sure you are all aware of that by now. I consider myself to be in pretty stellar shape. Dan is in decent shape too—he landscapes all day long. We both usually eat relatively healthy—-cereal in the morning, coffee, a packed lunch of fruit, veggies, sandwich….some type of dinner….but where the problem lies for both of us are snacks and booze.

I tend to gravitate towards tortilla chips with my green salsa and sour cream. And i definitely eat way over the recommended amount. I also love, love, love Triscuits and cheese. Dan isn’t a salty snack person necessarily, but when he opens a bag of chips or pistachios, the bag is gone in a sitting. We also love our beer. (Do not fret—-I am not giving up beer for the rest of my life). But you know how when you’re at the doctor and they ask you the number of alcoholic beverages you consume in a week? And you lie? Yeah, that’s Dan and I.

Our initial thoughts so far are as follows (they are rambling and a run on paragraph, because that’s how my mind is at the moment):

Holy shit, the portion sizes are huge! Well…when the lunch is made up of kale, quinoa, and chickpeas for a salad I guess you can be allowed a ton. Can any normal person eat this much kale on a normal basis? Dan thinks he will lose 5 pounds, I will lose 3. I miss mass amounts of cheese. Dinner tomorrow night looks like a letdown. If we had kids we don’t know how we would have the time and energy to make all these random meals and clean up after them. I think I may be crabby come Wednesday. Damnit—this better make me feel good in the end!