April 12, 2009

Can you handle 4 challenges?

I wish/hope/want/plan to do 4 challenges for the next two weeks!!! I can't remember last time I went onto a diet.. probably 5 years ago? So, I'm a little bit of nervous/excited about this. I'm not going on a diet for weight loss, but I will follow some rules. Here they're with corresponding reasons:
#1 Salad Challenge.
Why? Because it's getting warmer and I crave the freshness and varieties of salads. So when Leng proposed it, I joined her immediately. Now, we're 18 up for the challenge.

#2 Clean Eating. I've been talking to Erica for two (?) weeks now asking her about her clean eating guideline, tips and what benefits she's noticed. I couldn't made my mind to start it because all the little treats that I enjoy. I don't eat a lot of processed food so at first I wonder what can I get from it if it doesn't change my diet much...
Why? Recently I've been feeling discomfort on my belly, I don't know exactly why, I thought I was eating healthy, but for some reason an old problem came back (IBS). Maybe too many snacks due to stress instead of big nutritious meal? Too much meat and food in Argentina? Also I've had pimples in places that I've never had before, and they're related to belly discomfort according to Chinese medicine. I think I really need to detox somehow. As I don't want to loose weight and because I love eating, I can't go to a detox diet, so a clean eating seems more reasonable for me.
Everyone has its own guideline, Erica has hers and here's mine:
Yes to: fresh veggies (fresh, frozen, canned), fruits (fresh and frozen), whole grains, lean protein (fish, shrimp, turkey, chicken, all in its pure form), beans, tofu, egg, nuts & seeds, olive oil, non-dairy milk, bread (if it's very little processed or homemade), coffee (I wish I could eliminate it, but I know I can't), spices. 
No to: any processed & packaged food which includes cereal bars, granola, cheese, chocolates, candies, gums.
What do I expect? feel cleaner, get over with IBS and have cleaner skin.

#3 Dairy Free.
Why? I've said many times that I feel bloated after having greek yogurt and ricotta. And because of the reasons I mentioned for CE, I think it's a good time to try to omit it for a while and then add on later to see if it's really the dairy that was causing my belly discomfort. I know this will be really hard for me since I've been having greek yogurt daily for a year or so? That's why it deserves to be treated a separate challenge.

#4 Go Organic.
Why? We all know the benefits of going organic, I purchase most of my food in Tj's or WF. But now I want to see what it feels going on 100% organic. And because of the challenge #1 and #2, I'll be consuming a lot of raw veggies, so going organic will help to see the benefits. I found a interesting article in Glamour about 5 foods that we should eat organic. check it out!

Okay. All set and said. Quick recap of yesterday's unexciting eats.
BB (boring breakfast)Lunch: lasagna + steamed asparagus and brussels sprouts with BBQ sauce.Dessert: plain oikos blended with pumpkin and wheat berries.PM snack 1: chocolate mousse bar.PM snack 2: almond breeze + wheat berriesPM snack 3: McCann's instant blueberries oatmealDinner: homemade tomato sauce with meat and broccoli on shirataki angel hair noodles.Dessert: pumpkin + wheat berries.Too many snacks and too little substantial nutrients I think. Plus I felt so bloated that it was hard to fall into sleep.

Today will the first day of the Challenges! So excited!
Today's to-do list:
- call my parents
- 90 min vinyasa yoga at sacred space
- groceries
- hair cut to a friend

Question: When was the last time you were on a food related challenge? How was your experience? What was the hardest part? What benefits did you notice?


VeggieGirl said...

Good luck with all the challenges!!

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

Coco - great challenges. I highly recommend Alissa Fleming's book, Go Dairy Free. Very eye opening for me, and a lot of my issues now make total sense! I know, I love Greek yogurt too, but if giving it up means that I'll feel a lot better, than it's bye bye beloved Fage!

P.S.- Your eats DO NOT look boring to me. Quite yummy in fact. :)

Anonymous said...

you've set a lot of ambitious and very impressive/healthy challenges! i'm curious to see how they all go and if they have the effects you want. keep us posted!

Krista said...

WOW! Can't wait to follow you through your challenges! I've been buying the Clean Eating magazine and LOVE it. So worth the money. I suggest checking it out for some great CE recipes!

Mara @ What's For Dinner? said...

I love the ideas of the challenges!! I don't think I could do all 4, but salads? SURE!

Meg said...

Good luck with your challenges. I would say that the hardest challenge for me was learning to cut dairy and eggs out of my diet due to allergies. It sure did benefit me. I feel healthier and I don't have the IBS like symptoms that I experienced all my life!

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the challenge! I hope you come out stronger and healthier!
I'm always challenging myself food-wise because of my ED. i try to face fear foods and challenge myself with trying new things!
p.s. I feel for you on having to go dairy-free. I would die.

Emily said...

Good luck with your challenges!

Also, do you think some of your recent gastro problems might have to do with increased stress levels? I find that being stressed directly affects the way my body responds to food. Just a thought! :-)

Run Sarah said...

Good luck with your challenges! I find certain foods trigger my IBS big time (dairy--besides yogurt, meat, heavily processed, fast food, restaurant food, food with trans fat)...I feel so much better the more I stay away.

Anonymous said...

those are great challenges! very sensible and good ideas. i don't think i could go on a dairy free challenge for just one reason - i love fage toooo much!! and to think i used to hate plain yogurt!! madness.

thank you SO MUCH for your wonderful comment on my blog coco. it was so heart warming.

Gina said...

Wow, those are some hard core challenges! As I dietitian, I agree with most of them, but I'm curious to see how the organic challenge works for you. I really wouldn't think it would make a difference, but maybe I'm wrong. I've have some problems with IBS, for years, and I recently began a low gluten diet. Not gluten free, but much less gluten than usual. I've actually noticed a big difference, not to mention I've cut down on my Beano intake tremendously! Good luck :)

just me said...

good luck w/ the challenges. i think they sound great and you'll do a fine job!

I've never done any challenges like that but would certainly love to do one...i think I just might try doing some this week! It's totally going to be hard though!

best of luck! and i always love your eats! so interesting!

Juliet said...

That's a lot of challenges all at once! Can't wait to see what you eat. Sorry I haven't been around much over the last few days -- been a bit under the weather..

lesley said...

Good luck with your four challenges!!

Pearl said...

wow coco - four challenges? that's intense! knowing you, i think you'll do great on them, though. *hugs* have a happy Easter and good luck with those challenges, dear!

Gina said...

The mushrooms with balsamic are actually not very sorry, or sweet...I guess they are a perfect balance of both! I also add garlic and red wine (about 2 T of the wine), so maybe that takes away some of the sour taste. I love it.

Alison said...

Good luck with the challenges. There's something to be said about doing it all at once - might end up being easier that way. I haven't done big "challenges" with my diet. The only thing I'm seriously considering right now is switching to all free-range poultry, grass-fed beef, and wild fish - but it's hard to figure out how to manage it financially. Do you have any ideas of how you're going to deal with the additional cost of eating organic? That's what keeps me from doing it.

Maggie said...

Good luck!! I'm also going to do the salad challenge, and I've been trying to eat more cleanly. Dairy free - it does make me feel better, and it does make my skin clearer, but I just missed my yogurt too much! Maybe in the future I'll try it again though. Going organic is great! It's just expensive. Can't wait to see how things turn out for you :)

alicia said...

Hi Coco,

I notice that you take quite alot of fiber with your meals and snacks so perhaps that's why you're feeling bloated.

Balance, Joy and Delicias! said...

Alicia: do you think so? How can I tell if I'm having too much fiber?

Mrs. LC said...

Great challenges! I am definitely starting to focus more on clean eating, primarily with loads of fruits and veggies and less sweets! Part of that will include more salads and more vegetarian/ vegan meals - definitely want to see if less dairy helps my belly too! Can't wait to see how your challenges go.

And Happy Easter Coco! :)

TheBoyfriend1124 said...

It will be a little difficult for facing all those challenge.

But I am sure you will go through successfully as you always have done.

Enjoy your challenge!!!

TheBoyfriend1124 said...

It will be a little difficult for facing all those challenge.

But I am sure you will go through successfully as you always have done.

Enjoy your challenge!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! I see your ambition translates to all areas of life! :) I'm just catching up (obvs).

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