A challenge you say? I’m in!
A chance to win you say? Game -freakin- on!
So my yoga practice was replaced with CrossFit, spin classes, and circuit training and my eating regimen welcomed in more meat, fruits and veggies, and nuts and berries and said goodbye to grains, dairy, processed food, and refined sugars. Needless to say, the first week was an adjustment. I missed my bowl of cereal in the morning. I wanted to order from the menu when eating out without having to make a considerable amount of substitutions.
The more we change, the easy change becomes. And this challenge was no exception to that. I finally found a groove of what to eat and when. I also saw my body and energy level changing. No longer was I hungry at 10 am or craving food after 3 pm even though I had eaten (what I then considered to be) good meals shortly beforehand.
My relationship with food also changed. A quick bite of something hearty within 30 minutes after a workout was introduced into my diet (yams, broccoli + hummus, or banana + almond butter were my go to). Looking at the ingredient list on foods while I shopped also opened my eyes to how many chemicals and refined sugars are in what I would consider to be healthy foods. I was reminded that good stuff in equals good energy to give out. Bottom line.
I also got to play in the kitchen more – which always makes me smile.
My favourite creations were the following:
Easiest Pancakes Ever: egg + banana (1:1 ratio) blended; pour out the batter on a frying pan and cook like a pancake; enjoy with a peach!
Hide Yo Chicken: chop up your favourite juicy and leafy veggies (peppers, baby tomatos, broccoli, zucchini); line baking pan with a little olive oil; pour half the veggie medley in to the pan; place chicken breasts on a bed of veggies; add in the other half of the veggie medley; cook at 350 until chicken is cooked.
Bacon-wrapped Yam Fries: cut up yam into thin wedges; wrap each wedge with a piece of bacon; put on baking sheet and cook for 25 min at 350. Delicious? I think so!
Morning Muffins: In a VitaMix, blend 2 carrots, 3 eggs, 2 bananas, a handful of almonds, and a dash of cinnamon; pour into muffin tins and top with an almond; bake for 30 min at 350; grab one of these for a good breakfast on the go in the morning.
Power Balls: In a VitaMix, blend a handful of dates (pitted), pistacios, and walnuts with 1 tbls of cocoa powder (warning: it gets thick and sticky); scoop out into balls and roll in shaved coconut; place in freezer to settle and keep frozen for when you reach into the freezer looking for something sweet to eat.
Paleo Thanksgiving Dinner: the only thing we needed to do was substitute the bread in the stuffing for Mikey’s homemade Paleo approved bread. Other than that, we dined like kings on Thanksgiving with no extra fuss.
Post CrossFit Brunch: bacon-wrapped yam fries and eggs baked in an avacado! Mmm mmm good.
So – will I keep this diet up now that the challenge is over? I don’t think I will call it a diet anymore first off. It will be me simply being “food aware.” Because HO-LY! my body (and mind) like good real food. That is clear. The new meals and snacks I learned over the last 6 weeks will definitely be added in to the cookbook too. So technically, I will be about 70% Paleo going forward – adding in rice (sushi!), quinoa, and cheese (I missed you) when I want to. I am also going to add back in more yoga and use high intensity training to supplement my yoga practice – rather than the other way around.
At the end of it all, the last 6 weeks reminded me of the value of food. After all, how we eat is a reflection of what we value.
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