21 Day Sugar Detox Wrap-Up

I completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox.
And what do you know, I survived. :-)
Not that it was ever a question, but there were a few days in there when day 21 seemed like a looooooong ways away.

So why did I do the detox?
I eat clean, crazy clean, as in no grain, dairy or soy and very, very little processed foods (about 5%). I don’t really see certain foods as being ‘off-limits’, I just don’t like the way junk makes me feel, I kinda like feeling good, so it’s not a diet that I go on and off, this is the way I eat.
But I do have a history of abusing food. I was an emotional eater for many, many years and turned to food to ‘solve’ a multitude of issues. I am very aware of how food makes me feel and I also am aware of when I’m feeling unnaturally drawn to sweets, i.e. cravings.
My weight had started to creep back up, my clothes were fitting tighter and I was feeling like I ‘needed’ to have something sweet all the time. You may be wondering how I can put on weight and become re-addicted to sweets eating only natural, whole foods? Hmmm, I don’t know, I guess I’m just gifted that way. lol But seriously, it’s easy, for me it’s called fruit.. raw honey.. and nuts. And… a lot of it. More than I can handle and maintain a comfortable weight for me. It’s not the fruit itself, a lot of people can eat it without problems, it’s the feeling that I ‘needed it’ that was getting out of control. I know I have this issue (a sweet addiction past) and have to keep myself in check from time to time, and this was one of those times.
So you’re probably wondering- did the 21 Day Sugar Detox (21DSD) work?
Well, if the point of the detox was to recalibrate my tastebuds, then absolutely it worked. Back in March of this year for no reason that I can explain, I gradually started eating more sweet foods. And because I was eating more, I was craving more. Yep, that’s the way it works. Nasty vicious cycle. I know this, I knew this, I STILL know it, but I started down the path and it was hard to reverse once it was in motion without a slightly drastic measure. I needed a recalibration because fruit and raw honey that used to be super sweet for me and would even give me a headache from the sugar rush, suddenly wasn’t enough, and I wanted (needed) more.The detox resets the tastebuds and the cravings, so that I can be satisfied with just a little bit of sweetness and can actually taste the natural sweetness without having to eat a ton of it to feel ‘content.’
Many people use the 21DSD to lose weight. And I confess I was hoping to lose the 8 pounds I had put on since the beginning of March (did I just say that out loud?) But I only ended up losing 4 pounds. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t really eating that bad when I started (just bad fro me) and maybe I’m gaining a bit of muscle with all of the serious physical work I’ve been doing for the last 2 months, whatever it is, it may be time to accept that this might be my new ‘normal.’ And somehow that’s ok. {bliss.}
Was it hard?
Yeah, it was a bit tough in the first few days, I had some pretty strong cravings for ‘my’ sweet potatoes and plantains etc., but I expected it to be a little uncomfortable, after all I had gotten myself into this hole, and I had to work my way out. The key was (and always is) to have cut up veggies and meat prepped so when you do get hungry, there is something available-quick. On Level Three of the program I was only allowed 1 green apple a day (in the fruit department) and no sweet potatoes. But after the first few days I really started to enjoy radishes, cucumbers, cabbage and bell peppers and didn’t miss the sweeter fruits and veggies so much.
It’s been a week since I finished the 21DSD. The day I finished the detox I can’t say that I had no desire whatsoever for sweets anymore, I think I’ll always struggle with that on some level, but I’ve noticed that the desire for them has greatly minimized. I’m not thinking about when and how I can eat some fruit (or honey), I don’t feel like I need it anymore, in fact I went all day yesterday without any fruit until dinner and the only reason I grabbed a piece of watermelon was because we were heading out to do some very physical labor and I knew I would be needing the extra carbs.
I feel free. And that’s a great feeling. :-)

I recommend the 21 Day Sugar Detox because sometimes we just need a little help. Especially if you are where I was and your taste buds could use a tune-up. Check it out, it’s $21 and it comes loaded with lots of great info, including a list of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed for the 21 days. I also recommend getting an accountability partner who will hold your feet to the fire and if you can’t find one, shoot me an email at catrinaishungry@gmail.com and I’ll help you out with that. If you decide to do it, or if you already have, I would love to hear about your experience. :-)

Consistency. At least once in a while.

Start… stop.
Start again.. stop.
Start and go a little bit longer and stop.. again.
How many times have you stopped and started a healthy eating plan or exercise routine?
Ok, I won’t make you answer that question.
But answer this for me.. tell me about the success you’ve had when you stayed with a ‘program’ for at least two months?
If you’ve stayed with something for that amount of time, you likely have a success story of SOME level, right?
Let me answer that for you- yes. :-)
Success doesn’t come overnight. If we want results we’re going to have to STAY WITH SOMETHING longer than a few days or a week.
Yes, I know, this is crazy obvious. And yet, I hear people complaining ALL THE TIME that X, Y or Z doesn’t work for them and they NEED to try something else.
(What they’re really saying is- X, Y or Z is too hard, and they don’t want to do anything hard so they need to find something easier.)
Yes, I know there are a lot of reasons WHY it’s difficult, but the bottom line is, we cannot say that eating right and working out doesn’t work if we haven’t really given it a fair chance.

Try this: Challenge yourself. Seek accountability. Stay the course. See the results.

Challenge yourself-

Set a goal date that is 2-3 months from now and commit to eating healthy whole foods (protein, healthy fats, veggies and some fruit and nuts) and exercise 3-4 times per week until then. Take measurements and photos, weigh yourself and most of all- don’t quit.

Seek accountability-
Ask someone that you KNOW will keep you accountable and give you a seriously hard time if you even consider quitting. Ask them to contact you once or twice a week to see how you’re doing. Give them accountability questions to ask you to cut to the chase, questions that you can’t answer- generally. Even better, find a buddy who will do this with you, 100%.

Stay the course-
Plan out what foods are going to be allowed in your diet and which ones are not. Put this list on a wipe board or somewhere you will see it every day. Don’t buy these foods, these items are non-negotiables, don’t bring them into your home. Plan how many times a week you’re going to exercise and what you’re going to do. Seek out encouragement and motivation and walk away from those things that are discouraging (i.e. a desserts board on pinterest, lol) Stay focused on your goal of- finishing.

See the results-
(Barring any serious medical conditions,) you WILL reap the benefits of all your hard work. Go 2-3 months longer and you’ll reap even more benefits. Make it a lifetime decision and you’ll see ongoing results.

It’s not that hard. We make it REALLY hard though, don’t we? :-)
It boils down to consistency. To which there is no half-way. Either we are consistent with healthy eating and working out or we’re not.
When I am consistent with my healthy lifestyle, I see results. I suspect it’s the same for you. The best part about all of this? We can change at any moment! Isn’t that awesome?!
If we are chronic quitters and/or we have a history of being inconsistent with our healthy eating and workouts, that can end- TODAY.
Yes it can.
You can do this.
Consistency is your friend, embrace her, she’s your ticket to success.

Healthy Dairy-Free Whipped Cream

Can we just have a moment of silence for how my life has forever been changed?
I’m serious. Can you just read that title again?
A healthy, non-dairy alternative to whipped cream? Really?

I had completely given up all hope of ever having another parfait with fruit and whipped cream and so many other amazing concoctions since going grain and dairy-free in February of 2011. Not that I am complaining or anything, I happen to love being healthy (no tummy pains and 10 lbs. lighter) since giving up dairy, but still! You know I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it from time to time.

Enter the amazing awesomeness of Coconut Milk.

Ah, this deserves another moment of silence.
Shhhh, I’m silencing! :-)

Found in the Asian foods section of your grocery story, us Paleo/Primal/Lactose intolerant folks who have no desire to eat highly processed, sugary cool whip have found our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Isn’t it a pretty rainbow? (Yup, I’m in that kind of mood.)
So, I made a quick video to show you just how easy this is.
And it really is easy..
You know I don’t do hard.. because life is hard enough, it shouldn’t be hard to get awesome food, right?
CLICK HERE TO WATCH- HOW TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM WITH COCONUT MILK

I have just begun to dig in and play around with all the different possibilities this ingredient, in it’s many forms can offer, and I’m looking forward to coming up with some awesome foodstuffs! In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying it with a bowl of berries, or cherries.. yum! Or fresh pineapple, double yum! Or.. or.. yumness awaits at every turn, I can feel it. :-)

If you have Paleo/Primal/Lactose intolerant friends and family in your life, share this video with them, they will love you for it. (I know I would!!)

Happy cooking!
~Cat

THE Question

So many times when we start out on a(nother) journey to better health and fitness we want to jump right in and find out what we should and shouldn’t be eating and what kind of workouts we should be doing, etc., and we skip over, what I think is one of the most important keys to our potential success.
Why.
Without the “Why” we will quit in no time, just like every other time, right? I know it was true for me, I was the queen of stop-and-start… and start again. When I finally got VERY serious in May of 2007 about dropping the 40lbs. I had packed on, I was ready to start slow and do things right.

Knowing your “why” will get you up in the morning and doing the workout routine that seems overwhelming at first, it will also help you choose good food over bad. But this isn’t just a nice suggestion for you to try, it takes concentrated effort and focusĀ (15-30 minutes minimum) to come to the root reasons of why you want to lose fat and get your health back. But if you’re ready.. really ready, and willing to dig deep, you’ll reap the benefits of this little exercise when you need it most: When the going gets tough.
Check out my video HERE, where I talk more about this important key to make THIS time the last time, you have to start over.

For daily encouragement, please join me on the Hungry! facebook page, and “Like” it for motivation delivered right into your newsfeed.

Surviving Super Bowl

Do you ever wonder how things get started.. like the origin of certain things?
Or… am I the only weird one… (don’t answer that.)
Like, what did the first Super Bowl party look like? Was it accidental?
OK that was random!
Well, anyways.. as we all know, it’s the first ‘big test’ of the year for many who are trying to hold on to their New Year resolutions/goals for weight loss.
So here are my top 6 strategies for surviving thriving during a Super Bowl party.

1. Bring along healthy foods.
The biggest trap of the party can be that you’re actually hungry (because these parties can last foreveeeeeeer), but there is nothing there that you can eat. So… bring your own! Plan ahead to bring a savory dish and a sweet treat, both that are within your guidelines for healthy eating. Don’t be offended if no one else wants any, it’s not your job to convince them that it’s healthy (or tasty), what isn’t eaten you get to take home.. more for you, yay!

2. Don’t park sit near the junk.
We’re more tempted to munch and keep munching when we are sitting/standing right next to the food. If it’s in your eye-line and keeps calling your name, move or move the food so it’s not beckoning you. I do this all the time, without apology, so much so that my husband doesn’t even ask what I’m doing anymore. He just knows —it’s tempting me and I want it to stop. Boom. it’s out of sight. Party on.

3. Get an accountability partner.
(Only do this if you’re serious, because it will absolutely help you to succeed.)

It can be your spouse, one of your kids, or that anal (uh, can I say that?) ehem, that person that is 100% ‘by the book’ at all times, who would LOVE to watch you like a hawk to make sure you’re not slipping on your healthy eating. Doesn’t everyone have ‘one of those’ in their circle of friends? Or two? (hey, don’t knock ‘us’, we make great accountability partners.) lol Tell them you’re serious and you give them permission to call you out in front of everyone.
Sound a tad intimidating? Uh.. do you want to be held accountable or not? Don’t pick someone who will say- it’s ok, it’s just a half gallon of ice cream, you deserve it.
You’re trying to thrive here, remember?

4. Don’t drink your calories.
I thought everyone knew this. But… I am a bit sheltered in some areas. Calories that you drink are more concentrated. Fill up on good foods and wash it all down with some refreshing water (and lemon/lime).
Water?!?!

She did not just say- “water.”
Oh yes she did.
It’s the absolute best thing you can drink. You have weight loss goals, right? Stand out from the crowd, set an example, stick to water.

5. Don’t graze.
If you don’t eat beforehand (which I would recommend) and by some chance there are healthy foods at the party, get ONE plate and take your time eating it. Don’t scarf it down and don’t make a return trip to the buffet. Give that food time to digest, for pete’s sake. If all you do is pick from this platter and that platter and nibble on a little of this and a little of that, you will quickly lose track of how much you’ve eaten, which will doom your goal of surviving thriving at a Super Bowl party. And by the way, stick to your normal eating schedule and portions for best results. :-)

6. Make the day about the people and/or the game.
If you’re not really into the game (it’s ok, you can say it here, I won’t tell) then enjoy your company, engage them, help clean up (your hostess will love you for life), or play with the kiddos. So many of our big traditions revolve around food. If we’re going to start getting back on track with our health, we’ve got to start reversing that and making our gatherings about relationships and interacting with one another, that we also, by chance serve food at.

Bonus: Check out these AWESOME sites for tasty treats that won’t kill your goals.
Fastpaleo.com
Yourlighterside.com
Civilizedcavemancooking.com

What are your plans for staying on track? Do you allow yourself a little treat or stay as far away as possible? Do you have support from your friends and family?
Drop me a comment here or on the facebook Hungry! page.

Happy game day!! :-)

It’s only week #2 and I’m ready to quit.. help?

What is it about the two-week point in your quest to eat clean and lose weight that is so tough to get past? I’ve heard from many of you that you do GREAT for two weeks and then ‘something’ happens, and before you know it- you’re off track (again?).
We could talk forever about the reasons why… but can I just encourage you for a bit? Thanks, thanks (this is my favorite part). :-)

So…
Look how far you’ve come.
No really, do it. When you started two weeks ago, did you think you could make it this far? It’s TOUGH to let go of junk food and sodas and sugary coffee drinks… etc..
VERY tough.
But you did it. YOU did it.
YOU started (which is the toughest part of all) when everyone else was still making excuses. (Do you need to reread that last sentence? It’s HUGE.)
YOU stepped up and took control of your life and your eating habits in spite of a very busy life.

Remember this.
Remember how hard it was and how much you worked to overcome the obstacles.
Remember every time you chose something healthy over something unhealthy. Remember how hard you worked to plan your meals so you would have good food to eat.
Remember.. and be proud of yourself.

Now let’s look forward.
You have a goal, whether its a number on the scale, a certain size pair of jeans, running a marathon, you name it.. but YOU have it. It’s all yours.
See that goal, take a few minutes to see yourself THERE. Finished.
No matter how you’re feeling right now, let me just tell you..
That goal.. YOUR goal is TOTALLY and COMPLETELY possible. Did you hear me?
It’s possible.
You just need to do one thing.

Keep going.

Don’t quit. Don’t try to figure out how you’re going to ‘do this’ for months or years.
Think about your next meal and making it healthy.
Think about kicking some serious butt in your next workout.
Take it one choice, one action, one decision at a time.

Don’t quit.

Take a deep breath (or six) and focus on your goal and do what it takes to stay in the game.
This is your life, and your goal and they are worth fighting for.
You can do this.
Yes, YOU can.
Now, go be the awesome, motivated, hard working, WINNER that you are.
Yeah, you can do that, too.

Just begin.

Where ever you are is the best place to start.

So many distractions in life to take our minds off of what we’re aiming for, what we’re trying to become or finish. So many forks in the road.
So many excuses. :-)
The awesome thing is, we never have to wait for tomorrow or even Monday to start over. We don’t have to wait till we’re a certain size to go back to the gym and we don’t have to wait till we have our own act together before we can reach out and help someone else along. We don’t have to wait for anything to do what we know we need to do.
We just have to decided we want to start over. We have to want to.
The line is in the stand, just step over it. Don’t wait for an invitation or approval.
And definitely don’t wait for the right time, because you’re gonna be sitting there for a long time. :-)
It’s always the right time to do something good.

Where ever you are is the best place to start.