Archive | February 2013

21DSD: What not to do (recap)

*Last day to enter the giveaway! Hurry up and go! There have been almost 300 entries already…WOW! If you want a chance to win, simply enter here. The prize is a digital copy of Skintervention by Liz Wolfe, a new all natural skin care guide that very well could change your life!*

Hey guys! So, my 21 day sugar detox is over, and I really wish I was here with some great news to tell you how it changed my life and I’m done with sugar forever now, but unfortunately that is not the case. This has nothing to do with the actual program, and in fact I’ve found it incredibly useful for showing me where my weaknesses lie. I don’t think I really grasped how much sugar controls me until I tried to do this. It is crazy, really crazy, how much I love chocolate and ice cream. I had no idea that it meant so much to me, and it was really really really hard to cut it all out. As I have posted, I had a couple of slip ups. I posted about 1, but not the more recent one. I had another couple of drinks, which was one of the things I found REALLY hard to restrict.

Overall I did pretty good, definitely not perfect though. This is my story of what you should not do. You should NOT do the 21dsd and then as soon as it’s over jump head first into a bucket of ice cream. Yep, that’s what I did. I just wanted it so badly, I felt so deprived! And afterwards, I felt so sick. This is the reason I am glad I did this:

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After essentially cutting out most sugary foods for 3 weeks, I woke up the morning after my ‘binge’ with my mouth hurting. All of the sugar I had the night before had a serious effect on me! It’s as if the sugar actually burnt my mouth! There’s a sore in my mouth now that was definitely not there beforehand. My stomach hurt too, even until the next day! I was not expecting this! I thought that it would just taste really sweet and I wouldn’t want it anymore and that would be that. Well, let me tell you, that was NOT the case! It still tasted good. DAMNIT!

Those physical effects just really hammered home how important this really is.  Another thing I realised is that sugar has the opportunity to send me into a huge binge spiral. I ate a WHOLE container of coconut ice cream, which is supposed to be like 3 – 4 servings? Then an hour or two later I also had 2 bowls of ROLO ice cream. SERIOUSLY. How did I even fit all of that inside of myself? I don’t know, I just could not stop. I logically said to myself that I didn’t want it, I would feel sick, etc but it did not stop me.

This is something I need to continue to work on.

I’m giving myself some ‘life rules’ in relation to sugar:

1. I’m NOT going to limit fruit intake right now, but I will aim for max 2 servings per day.

2. I will stick to 1 c kombucha per day.

3. I will not limit my alcohol consumption, but I will try to drink less and not consume alcohol with extra sugar, IE. no more rum and cokes!

4. I will not be baking large batches of anything. I will not bring tubs of ice cream into my house. I will not be buying chocolate bars with 4 servings in them. Basically, I want to eliminate the temptations so I don’t even need to USE my self control in the moment.

5. I will set small attainable goals for myself each week and try to make slow and consistent changes in my life! Stay tuned for those.

Hopefully these few guidelines will help me to be better at this.

Overall

I think this is a good program, and if you have a lot of willpower or aren’t as addicted to sugar as I am I think you could be quite successful. When I WAS off of the sugar, I felt GREAT! And honestly, if you are as addicted to sugar as I am, it probably means you should do this even more! Even if you ‘fail’ or go right back to your old habits, I do believe it will be an eye opener, as it was for me. I probably will revisit this sometime in the future, but I want to be more consistently on the right track before doing any more ‘challenges’. I still need to work on getting the basics down pat. I definitely will say this: I am still addicted (or at the very least attached) to sugar.

With the ice cream…I felt like a drug addict. I needed it SO bad, and I didn’t care that it was bad for me. I could not say no. I felt powerless in those moments. Even when I had already gone overboard, I went OVER overboard. I’m going to be taking these tempting items out of my life for good! I will not be bringing them into my house. The plan is to use the strategies I learnt from the detox to improve myself in the future. That’s all I can do at this point. So, overall, I would still recommend the 21DSD even though I was not completely successful. For me, I just have a big piece of work still ahead of me. Don’t worry; I will keep you updated on my progress on this one. I think I might need to start a count down…

It’s been 4 days since the last ice cream incident.

The 21-Day Sugar Detox

What now?

Well, as I mentioned earlier I will be trying to follow a few guidelines to keep the sugar under control in my day to day life. I’m also happy to report that I’ve been back on the clean eating wagon since this bingeing and feeling like crap episode. I’m feeling better being back to basics and eating quality foods. FEWF!

Here are some GOOD things I’ve been eating since I went crazy:

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And Just in case you are curious, here are the other posts I wrote during this experience:

21DSD take 2! Day 1

21 Day Sugar Detox: Day 2

A day in the life–21Day Sugar Detox: day 3

Paleo Valentines Day Breakfast! #21DSD approved

21DSD: Week 1 recap…aka 7 days off of the sugar crack!

21DSD Day 8: “Hey, Cravings! Leave this kid alone.”

I get knocked down, but I get up again!

21DSD Day 18–More on cravings

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Meal Plan For Our Busy Lives

*In case you missed it, this weekend I revealed my before and after skin photos, to go along with my giveaway for Skintervention by Liz Wolfe! Enter to win a copy :)*

Recently, I was given the opportunity to work full time for 2 months instead of working evenings and weekends, part time. I’m really excited and so far it is going well, but this means I need to put a bit more thought into what my boyfriend and I will be eating on a daily basis now. When I worked part time I often would cook food for myself in the mornings before work or on the random days during the week that I had off. Now, that is no longer a possibility, so I decided to start meal planning for us. 015-001

I figured that my meal plan could be inspiring for you guys so I thought I would post it! Here you go :) Expect recipes for some of this stuff soon as well! This is the meal plan for dinners only. Lunches for the BF are always sandwiches. Lunches for me will be leftovers, salads, congee (I’m reading Perfect Health Diet and experimenting with white rice), and maybe some scotch balls. Breakfast is always veggies, with eggs or other protein.

The plan

Sunday – Homemade Pho soup (recipe in the works!)
Monday – Taco salad, with beef I have pre cooked and this dressing.
Tuesday – Leftovers of the Pho or Salad
Wednesday – Whole roasted chicken with frozen vegetables in Crock Pot
Thursday – Roasted Vegetable and Chicken soup made from leftovers (recipe coming as well)
Friday – Pork Loin Roast, still not sure which recipe I will use so far.
Saturday – Breakfast for dinner! Most likely Eggs and Bacon

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Sunday and Monday’s Meals

As you can see, not everything is set in stone, but the main ideas are there. This helped build our shopping list and now we will also know which cuts of meat to take out of the freezer, and what day we need to do that.

I write our menu for the week on a dry erase board I keep on the fridge. This way, my boyfriend and I both know what I have planned, and it makes it much easier to stick to. The other thing is, I’ve strategically chosen these meals based on my workout schedule. I know this week I will be working out after work on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. SO, I scheduled in easy meals, leftovers, or crock pot meals on those days! This way, when I need to cook, I will have more time for it.

Hopefully this meal plan will keep us on track even in our busy lives. I will let you know how it goes!

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Before & After Skin Photos

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As you all SHOULD know, I’m running a giveaway right now for Liz Wolfe’s awesome e-book, Skintervention. Check it out to enter! Anyways…this is a bit of a follow up to my review.

I wasn’t planning on doing this, for a variety of reasons, but a reader requested I post before and after photos of my face so here we go. I wasn’t going to, because I am A) a bit embarrassed by them, and B) I still consider myself to be very much a work in progress. I’ve suffered with bad skin for half of my life, since I was 11 years old. It’s just like what they say about weight loss- it takes a long time to get to this point, and it’s going to take a long time to get back from it.

So yeah, I’m still hoping for my skin to continue improving but there have been some major changes too (in my opinion). Also I would like to note that I do think my skins improvement is due not ONLY to the methods I have adopted, but my diet as well. Skin health comes from the inside and the outside. That being said, I know that replacing the chemicals in my skin care with natural products that don’t irritate my skin anymore has made a HUGE difference.

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As you can see, I have a problem area. My cheeks are where I get the majority of my blemishes. The cheeks tend to be big and red, with active acne and scarring as well. I also used to get zits right on the edges of my lips, which have not recurred since switching to paleo (4 months).

My cheeks have definitely seen a great improvement. One of the things that may be doing it is that I no longer use shampoo, so any chemicals that I may have been reacting to are no longer rubbing up against my face all day. You can see that a LOT of the redness and broken out parts are gone now. I still have a lot of scars to fade though, huh? I need to go read back what she suggests for that one.

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Pre paleo, this is what I was living with everyday. and I considered this ‘good’, much better than when i was a teenager.

before
changing my diet allowed me to get a bit of clearance as you can see here, but it was still not great by any means.

after
Now, I’m still dealing with breakouts but the quality of my skin is WAY better, and you can see that a lot of that irritated redness is gone.

I just want to thank the commenter who asked for these photos. Thanks Meg. I have realised from doing this just how far I have come! Amazing!!!! I’m so happy :) I can’t wait to see how I look six months from now!

So, after seeing those pictures I bet you are wondering:

What did I do? What do I do now?

BEFORE: I used to use ‘natural’ shampoo, NON natural conditioner, and a ‘vegan’ 3 step face wash. Random moisturizers for the body and normal toothpaste.

AFTER: I wash with coconut oil, moisturize with coconut oil again or tamanu oil. I wash my hair with baking soda, condition with Apple cider vinegar and sweet orange essential oils. Moisturize my body with coconut oil. And I just switched to coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste yesterday! Don’t worry, I took before photos of my teeth guys. I’ll post those when I have an ‘after’.

If you are curious, fellow blogger heyheyhoneybee has also posted her results. Check them out, they are pretty awesome! I WISH my skin looked like hers.

So, has this convinced you to enter the giveaway?

Everything I know I’ve learned from Skintervention, Liz’s website, and The Love Vitamin (check her out!). Thank you ladies for improving my life.

21DSD Day 18–More on cravings

*don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win Skintervention by Liz Wolfe!! You still have 8 whole days to enter!*

Today is day 18 of the 21DaySugarDetox and I am kind of in shock! It is still hard, but I have come to a realization. There is a huge, HUGE difference between physical sugar cravings, and emotional sugar cravings. The 18 days off of sugar (give or take some wine and tequila…) have eliminated the physical cravings, but the emotional cravings are most definitely still there.

What triggers me?

One thing that always makes me want to cave is the lethal combination of being tired and hungry at the same time. If I have just finished a long, hard day and I am even a little hungry, watch out sugar because I am coming for you! One way to avoid this is to keep healthier snacks on hand as to avoid this situation. I like macadamia nuts, but I need to be careful because I can (and do) literally eat 100 macadamias a day. And those things aren’t cheap!

Another one is if I am feeling upset. A lot of things have been going wrong in my life lately and I am finding it really hard not to turn to food. I never considered myself an emotional eater, but now I am realizing I am. As soon as stuff starts spiraling out of control I want to reach for ice cream. Which is definitely not good if you live next door to Baskin Robbins, like I do. (NOT KIDDING!) This is something I really need to keep working on, because I don’t want to have a sugary crutch in my life anymore.

Cravings of convenience

Sometimes I don’t even want something at all, but then I see it and I feel tempted and in that moment I want it. For example, driving past about 30 – 40 fast food restaurants on the way home from work. I will have a BARRAGE of cravings coming at me the whole drive home. I don’t want A&W, but I see it and suddenly my mouth is watering and I’m thinking about a teen burger. Or at work, my office is right beside Second Cup. I want a vanilla latte as soon as I smell it!

What do I crave?

Let me tell you, when I’m emotional, it’s not a banana I am craving. I want chocolate. Caramel. Cheesecake. Stuff that I know I shouldn’t be eating even if I weren’t on the 21DSD. In fact, ON THE 21DSD, I feel much more drawn to foods I wasn’t eating beforehand. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps, it is because now I think of all sugar, natural or not, as a cheat. Why cheat with a strawberry when I will feel just as guilty if I cheat with a sundae? I really need to change my mindset on this aspect.

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How do I fight it?

One way is to remove yourself from the situation. I just don’t even buy a black coffee, so I don’t need to resist switching from black to a latte at the last moment. But, like i mentioned earlier, we are attacked with advertisements constantly.  So removing yourself from temptation is not always an option!

Something else to think about is to look at this like a small picture. everyone always says to look at the big picture but I think that can get overwhelming. 21 Days seems like a long time. 1 day seems like a lot shorter of a time! Tell yourself you just need to make it through the current moment. That’s what I’ve been doing and what do you know, I’m at day 18!

The last thing I’ve come up with is to tell yourself “I can do this”, because guess what, you CAN! Many people have succeeded at this and you can too, we are all capable! I heard a quote today the was just too fitting to this topic:

“Whether you think you can or you can’t – you are right” – Henry Ford

If you don’t think you can succeed, you probably wont. Try to stay positive and remind yourself that you are strong. “I can do this” is a very powerful statement. I’m going to keep reminding myself that I CAN DO THIS for the next 3 days. And I will  be fighting that emotional eating monster for much longer than that. We all have the power to control our lives, we just need to tap into it and make change happen.

Who’s with me? How far have YOU made it on this journey?

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SKINTERVENTION: Review & Giveaway!!!

Woot woot! Everyone likes a giveaway right? Well, since my readers are SO supportive and nice, I thought you guys deserved a treat. A very special treat! SO stay tuned to the end for that one!

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Skintervention is the new ebook put out by Liz Wolfe about all things skincare and beauty related. It goes into so much detail and depth, it truly is just a treasure trove of information!

I, personally, have dealt with my fair share (AND MORE) of skin care issues so I really was anticipating this book a LOT. AS SOON as I heard Liz talking about it on the Balanced Bites Podcast I knew I needed it and would be buying it as soon as it was released. I think I had to wait two months! It was torture.

But when it came out I was NOT disappointed. This book is worth every penny you might drop on it. EVERY ONE! It doesn’t just deal with the surface of your skin, although it does do that too. It is so much more than that. It takes you through all of the bodies systems and how they can also be affecting your skin. It tells you what nutrients you need to glow from the inside out. AND it takes you through different levels of skin care too! So if you want the basics, you got it. But, if you want the hard-core version, those are available too!

The best part is it’s digital, so when you win I can instantly send it your way! :)

skin ad 250x250 F2 AffiliatesI personally have already implemented many of the tricks in her book. She taught me the perfect way to do no-poo, you guys! My hair is looking amazing now. I love it! She also goes so in depth about topical oils and special treatment oils. I now use pure coconut oil to cleanse my face, jojoba oil to moisturize, and TAMANU oil to treat! It’s really great. I swear, every time I wash my face with coconut oil, it comes out looking more and more vibrant. I’ve never been as happy with my skin as I am now – in my entire life!

One of the things I love about Liz (besides her sparking personality) is that she advocates for cutting chemicals out of our daily products, and I think that is very important! I personally am allergic to SLS and SOAP! So I have always been very aware of the chemicals in our products and tried to buy more natural ones. The problem is, even a lot of the ‘natural’ things on the market today are not so natural after all. Now that I am not using any of those products I never need to worry about getting hives in the shower again. It’s cheaper too! Coconut oil for the face goes much more slowly than coconut oil for the tummy!

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Overall, Liz has really revolutionized my routine and made my life easier, too. See that bag full of stuff up there? That is everything I am throwing away from under the bathroom counter. YEP! That bag weighed like 5 lbs at least. I ditched every single product and am faithful that I have all that I need now. I pray that by following her tips, one day my skin will be completely clear. So far, she is the only person able to give me this hope. Nothing else has ever worked as well, been as gentle, and as simple, too. This one time investment will save you so many headaches and dollars! BUT one of you need not invest a dime! I will be purchasing this guide for one of my lucky readers! All you have to do is enter below!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!!
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don’t worry, all  you need to do is like me facebook!}

The contest is running from today to March 1st, so you have over a week to enter. Please, spread the word! One person will win a copy of this amazing ebook. It might just be you!

*this review and giveaway is not solicited at all! All opinions are my own and I will be personally purchasing your copy of the skintervention for you.*

I really just want to share the power that is this e-book with one of you guys :) It has helped me a lot and that is a special thing!

Tell me, what issues do you have that you think Liz can help you solve?

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