Healthy Life Challenge: Week 1 Reflections
Last Monday I started a personal two-week challenge to live my best life.
For the past few months I had felt off -- unmotivated, not myself, anxious, sick after I eat anything. I just knew I needed to do a little detox and push myself to make some changes.
I'm fairly healthy but I have a major sweet tooth and I Loooooveeee cheese. My doctor recommended an elimination diet last summer but I quit after five days. My head just wasn't in it. This time, it was me who was motivating myself so I decided to give it another go. I know that diet can have major impacts on other aspects of your life so I thought to start there. For the elimination diet I:
- Cut out red meat; focused on lean protein like chicken, salmon, turkey and eggs
- Cut out sugar; focused on eating lots of fruits and vegetables
- Cut out gluten; focused on whole grains like quinoa and wild rice
- Cut out dairy
- Drank at least 64 oz. of water per day (actually one of the hardest parts for me!)
Basically you cut out everything on your list for two weeks so your body can reset and then you slowly add back in the foods to test how your body reacts to it. It may seem a bit drastic but I'm an all or nothing type of girl. I have to do something cold-turkey or else I'll give myself too much mercy and it will never work. I do want to emphasize that this diet was created for me by a doctor. I do not recommend one of these on your own, please consult a medical professional before starting.
Last summer when I tried this thing, I hadn't found a love for cooking and I didn't know too many healthy recipes. This time I focused on making foods I know I love and enjoy, like salmon!
Here's a sample day:
B: 2 egg cups (meal prepped for the week: just combine eggs, peppers, kale, tomatoes or other veggies and pour into muffin tin (make sure you spray or you will destroy a pan) and bake for 20 at 350 degrees); berries or grapefruit
S1: Carrots and hummus
L: Chicken rice bowl (wild rice, chicken, corn, peppers and a splash of teriyaki sauce)
S2: Apple and peanut butter
D: Salmon and asparagus
Dessert if needed: Banana (+ peanut butter)
I actually really love this meal schedule and hope to stick with it once the elimination is done. I may not be as strict (aka eating dark chocolate after dinner and occasional pizza) but its a lifestyle I think I can maintain. My other meal highlights include: zoodles, cauliflower fried rice and banana pancakes.
In addition to the elimination diet, I focused on getting enough sleep (7+ hours), exercising once a day, yoga once a day and practicing stress relief every day, such as reading before bed, meditation, art, learning and bible study.
After just the first few days I was feeling great. Physically, I felt so light, pure and had no digestive issues. Mentally, I had a sharper focus, I could concentrate better and I was genuinely happy. I also noticed that I started doing little self-care things without thinking about it. I was feeling great and I want to make sure I keep that up.
I'm starting week two and I'm more ready than ever. I have yet to cheat and I'm feeling so happy with this decision.