Wednesday, April 30, 2014

21DSD: Day 3

I made it through Day 3!  That means I made it to a point in the detox where I can easily track my progress in fraction form -- I'm officially 1/7th of the way through!

I felt a little better today, a bit headachy here and there, but for the most part I was all right.  I had a few temptations today, but pushed through.  First of all, we had a work potluck today as a part of a lunch time training, and the spread looked pretty tasty. Then, after work I met up with my friend HL for dinner and a movie. I badly wanted to order a cocktail, but I stuck to water. Go me!  And now, for the official run down:

Time Went to Bed Last night: 9:30 pm - I was exhausted.

Time I Got Up This Morning: 7 am.  Though I got up 5 or 6 times during the night (I think  that's right- I actually lost count) to pee.  TMI?  Perhaps. It's the truth. I drank a lot of water before bed, plus it is a detox and peeing is what you do on a detox.

How I felt when I woke up (excellent, good, fair, poor):  fair to good. I still felt a little groggy, probably since I was up so much through the night, but I actually thought my overall quality of sleep (when I actually was asleep) was pretty good.

General Mood/Energy throughout the day (excellent, good, fair, poor):  Good - had a productive day, and generally was in good spirits.

Exercise (type/duration): Nada - went to a movie! 

Breakfast:  Coffee with cream, a banana, lots of almonds.

Lunch:   Chicken on a bed of spinach and lots of homemade guacamole (the guac my contribution to the work potluck).  And, sliced colby and cheddar cheese.

Dinner:  8 small, plain Grilled chicken wings.  Half a steak salad.   (so yeah - lots of meeeeaaaat!)

Snacks:  Almonds.

Water Intake: 8 glasses

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

21DSD: Day 2

Day 2...chugging along, but to be honest I felt pretty crappy all day since I did not sleep well last night. Today was also my day to bring in a birthday treat for one of my coworkers.  Luckily, he's a healthy eater, so I made a delicious Greek layer dip that I was able to enjoy as well, and everyone seemed to like (recipe listed below).

Right now, I'm feel a lot of apprehension -- how in the world will I get through the remaining 19 (!!!!) days? Taking on a diet overhaul like this is no small task - I'm used to eating "conveniently", and "in the moment" and am way out of my comfort zone. It's embarrassing to be struggling so much so early on, but I am trying to be good to myself and focus on positive, encouraging thoughts versus defeatist thoughts. I am committed to this and want to stick with it. Anyway, here's today's run down -- 

Time Went to Bed Last night: 10:30 pm (but tossed and turned forever)

Time I Got Up This Morning: 6 am

How I felt when I woke up (excellent, good, fair, poor): poor - could not fall asleep!  My brain would not turn off.

General Mood/Energy throughout the day (excellent, good, fair, poor):  Mood good/fair; energy fair/poor

Exercise (type/duration): Nada

Breakfast:  3 Egg white muffins (same recipe as yesterday) and a coffee with cream (confession - I had coffee with cream yesterday too, completely forgot to record it) 

Lunch:  Salad with chicken (leftover chicken from yesterday), salsa and sour cream, and a green banana

Dinner:  Broccoli topped with sour cream and pork tenderloin.

Snacks:  Almonds, Greek Layer Dip (recipe here);  colby jack cheese and summer sausage (I snacked a ton today!)  

Water Intake: 6 glasses

Monday, April 28, 2014

21 Day Sugar Detox (aka 21DSD): Day 1

Well, here we are on day 1! I made it through the the first day of the 21DSD (at level 1), but it was not easy.  Before I launch into what may sound like a festival of complaints, I am proud  that I overcame all the challenges that surfaced on this, the first day -- and the pride I feel now for  making it through the day supersedes the frustration and angst I felt when faced with these earlier challenges.

My first obstacle was that I woke up this morning with a bit of a crick in my back - I must have slept funny, and I've been sore all day as a result. When I turn my head to  the left, I feel a painful pinch in my left shoulder blade. I've been "painfully" aware (ha) of this ache in my back all day, and it has not been a good distraction.

My next obstacle was the sunflower seeds I chose as a snack this morning.  B did not buy them shelled, hence not very conducive for productivity.  Between trying to shuck the seeds with my teeth and then remove/spit out the shell, I couldn't easily stay focused on work. All in all, it seems like a lot  of work to get to that little  seed.  I think tomorrow I'll pack almonds instead of sunflower seeds.

The third challenge was the shaky hunger that began for me around 3:30 this afternoon. I felt fine up until that point, and when the hunger hit, I felt a little worried - after all this is only the first day!  I should be riding novelty wave and not feeling this way,  right?  Wrong.   I solved the problem by snacking on cheese, and will have to remind myself that the foods on the 'yes/no' list (including cheese!) are unrestricted in quantity, so I need to pack extra food when I'm at work so I don't fall over hungry.  It  also made me feel better that, when I later revisited the "what to expect" section of the book, Diane Sanfillipo (21DSD uthor) said that these feelings are not uncommon on day one, so I feel validated at least.

All in all, I made it through the day, so that = success.   I've chosen to copy the  "daily success log" from Diane's book here in my blog - here's what Day 1 looked like for me. I also tracked my food intake via a favorite wellness app  of mine, MyFitnessPal.

Time Went to Bed Last night: 11 pm

Time I Got Up This Morning: 7 am

How I felt when I woke up (excellent, good, fair, poor): poor - awful pain in my back!

General Mood/Energythroughout the day (excellent, good, fair, poor): fair - that darn pain in my back!

Exercise (type/duration): Yoga class, 60 minutes. This helped alleviate some of my back  pain,.

Breakfast:  3 Egg white muffins (recipe here) - with some modifications (I added onion,  black olives, and garlic). I made a batch of these last  night,  so I'll be eating them all week.

Lunch:  Salad with chicken (cooked last night), salsa and sour cream, and a green banana

Dinner:   Grilled Mexican Lime chicken (courtesy of B, recipe here) and salsa, 1/2 cup black beans with cheese

Snacks:  Those annoying sunflower seeds,  1 mini babybel cheese round

Water Intake: 6 glasses

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Just over a year ago, I decided to tackle my very real, mega addiction to diet coke. Per my 2013/2014 list, I wanted to challenge myself to 30 days diet coke free. At my worst, I would drink 3 to 4 cans (sometimes more!) in a day, and my unwavering dedication to such a dangerous and addictive drink is not something I'm proud to admit.

My former trainer and nutritionist in Austin were both adamant that I cut diet coke out completely, given the surfacing dangers of sweeteners (both artificial and real) and diet sodas. During my Austin days, I was not strong enough to quit cold turkey (much to the disappointment of my health squad).  Plus, despite the evidence, I wasn't ready to believe in its evils - the first step is admitting you have a problem, and I wasn't there yet. Back then, if I had been asked in a focus group to describe my relationship with Diet Coke I probably would have  said something horribly embarrassing like "Oh, she's my trusted friend and confidante,""she's like a sister who's always there for me"...though now I know the reality...she's a conniving "frenemy" who'snice to your face but talks about you behind your back, and tells you nothing but lies! LIES!    While I couldn't fully sever my dependence on DC while living in Austin, I was able to get down to less than a can a day, averaging a slightly safer 4-5 cans in a week.

For some reason though, the words of my Austin health squad stuck with me, and last year, on April 10th I decided I was ready to give up my favorite beverage - at leasttemporarily - just to see what the hype was about.

I wound up giving up diet coke (and all artificial sweeteners) for 240 days. Our initial breakup was painful. For the first week, I felt like shit. I experienced legit withdrawal in the form of irritability, horrible headaches, trouble sleeping, trouble concentrating, and feelings of lethargy.  But, I stuck with it, and after the first 5-6 days, I felt pretty amazing.  After 30 days, I decided "what the hell?  Let's see how long this can last!" But,  I didn't want to restrict myself by saying "never."  Spring swayed into summer and lilted  into fall, and all the while, I was feeling good with my commitment to stay "DC dry." But as the days began to shrink and freeze, I relapsed.  

In December, as a "reward to myself" (It's the holidays!  I've been working long, crazy consultant hours!  The darkness and cold suck so I deserve a treat!), I knowingly cracked open a can of diet coke. While it didn't taste quite the way I remembered, it still had a "hit the spot" comfort and familiarity. Once an addict always an addict. Throughout my 240 days, I thought about diet coke way more than I care to admit - the addiction I have is more powerful than I imagined, and my addictive thoughts actually  scared me a little bit (if this is what a dc addiction is like, I can't even imagine overcoming an addiction  to drugs or alcohol!) When I "gave in", however, I never went back to the same level of diet coke gluttony. At the worst during my relapse, I was drinking a can a day on the weekends, and the occasional can during the week.  

But...I felt the hold strengthening, and on March 5th of this year (day 1 of Lent), I decided to once again give up DC again for Lent and beyond. In fact decided to expand my ban to all sodas (diet or not) - which didn't seem a big leap since I rarely drank other soda anyway, save for a Sprite every few weeks. Lent is now over, and I'm feeling strong and healthy and proud to have conquered my diet coke and artificial sweetener addiction, and while I do still think from time to time how much a dc would quench the thirst, the thoughts are not nearly  as powerful or frequent as the first go-round.  

Still, I remain a bit of a real sugar fiend, with a serious sweet tooth (Caaake!  Ice cream!  M&Ms!  ommmmmnom) and I can tell it's taking a toll on my general health and well being (the hips don't lie, they've been SCREAMING the truth at me for YEARS now).  But, it's not just about a desire for weight loss and to look "good" in my wedding dress this Oct (I'll look  good no matter my size!!). I've mentioned it here and there, but I manage clinical depression and anxiety, and I want to see how much of an impact diet can have on my daily mood.  I've read that a linkage exists between sugar and depression and other mood disorders, and I'd like to do more to minimize my risk.

Today is my birthday (perfect landmark date to make a change!) and I spent much of today planning and prepping for the 21 Day Sugar Detox, which I'm set to start tomorrow.  I bought and read the book, written by Diane Sanfilippo, BS NC, a holistic nutritionist who runs a nutrition blog called Balanced Bites. For the next 21 days, I'm going to follow the yes/no list (level 1) as closely as I possibly can. B's going to do it with me. The Detox includes an inspiring, detailed menu -- but for me personally, it's very overwhelming to imagine trying to learn and try so many new recipes in a week on top of managing a busy work/life schedule. So, the yes/no list works best for me, and I've used it to define a daily eating plan based on healthy recipes that are already in my repertoire and that I know fit into my lifestyle (with a few of the books  recipes mixed in as well).

Throughout the process, I'll do my best to update the blog with my daily menu, and general assessment of mood and well being. It's an accountability thing.

It all began with cutting out artificial sweeteners and ending my relationship with dc...and now I'm looking forward to kicking it up a notch.  Here we go...