What the heck is clean eating you ask? It’s simple. It’s a diet full of food that is, for the most part, real food that has no artificial flavorings, colorings, or sugar substitutes. We have quite a number of T9ers here at headquarters taking on the challenge of living a clean eating lifestyle, and one of our very own, Nicquie, shared with us her story, as well as the accounts of three other T9ers making this big change in their life.
Imagine you’re in a world with all the knowledge and experience to get better. Better at what?? EVERYTHING! That’s what I have working here, at Title Nine. So what do I do with power like that? I use it to my advantage all the time. At a time in my life where I thought I would be complacent, I am changing everything about me from the inside out. Through the years my passions have been dancing and kickboxing so I didn’t really worry about what I ate. Right or wrong. Like so many other women out there I believe I never learned enough about the most important stuff in school… how to take care of me. With the help and knowledge of my co-workers I have started learning how to LOVE working out. I went from a tired couch potato to loving being active. It didn’t happen over night but it happened. All with the help and knowledge of my Title Nine co-workers and some very well thought out company challenges that pushed me both physically and personally. Now as a group, or as I prefer a family, they are teaching me not just how to eat but how to be good to my body. Anyone can eat. We all know how. Now I am learning the healthier perspective of fueling my body. This is our journey of clean eating.
So what exactly is clean eating? I am not exactly sure but as a co-worker recently shared with me: “your food journey is always changing to fit what works for you.” Clean eating is also known as caveman eating. Think: hunter and gather. Nothing processed and nothing artificial. Meats, vegetables, fruits and 70% cocoa dark chocolate for a treat. Count me in! Below is a personal account of four Title Niners and our experience with the clean eating challenge. The changes we are making and how they are making us feel.
Simple tweaks to my already relatively healthy diet have resulted in the following
– sleeping like the dea
– faster muscle recovery
– more energy
What I have noticed after these first couple weeks is the toxins leaving my body in strange ways. My face is breaking out more than normal, which is a bummer, but I don’t really let it bother me. Out damned toxins!
I’ve cut out sugar, gluten, most dairy (except for some greek yogurt a couple times a week) and all processed foods. Lots of veggies and lean proteins. I did go a little nuts on Thanksgiving, and I’m okay with that. I feel great. I’ve never been a fan of scale-weight, but I can notice a difference already in my clothes.
For me, this isn’t about losing weight necessarily. Of course seeing the numbers on the scale go down is AWESOME, but what I’m really looking to do is lose body fat and continue to gain muscle. Since I’ve started this clean eating “challenge” I’ve noticed immediate changes within the first week:
– I have more energy
– Sleeping like a baby, but when my alarm goes off, I’m up. I was becoming too comfortable with hitting snooze and skipping morning workouts, now I’m looking forward to them.
– Overall, I just feel so much better. I feel fresh and energetic and rarely get moody.
After two weeks strong, I entered Thanksgiving weekend feeling pretty good, but with family in town and being surrounded by lots of food and wine, I fell off the bandwagon a bit. What I realized the most was how eager I was to get back on the bandwagon!! I felt sluggish, tired and lazy. It really goes to show how important it is to put quality foods in your body, and that’s exactly what this “challenge” has taught me (so far). 🙂
I started my journey several months ago on a quest to lose some of the flabby belly fat that has had me dodging my bedroom mirror for years! My whole family is overweight so the way I have been feeling most of my life (fatigue, sluggishness, getting sick easily) was something I thought was a way of life. I started a Primal eating plan, and over a few weeks, I noticed a huge difference. I sleep well, the fatigue is gone, and I haven’t had a cold since I started. Through some testing I realized I am allergic to gluten. This discovery has changed my life. When the opportunity to do this clean eating challenge with my work friends came up, I was happy to join and really eat “clean”. We share recipes and keep each other on track. That’s really helpful especially during the holidays (I have a killer sweet tooth!). I feel awesome, I’m down a dress size, and I’m getting to know the people I work with a little better. Winning!
I have felt GREAT since starting this “challenge”. I have more energy than I have ever had in my life. I have always had a high energy level but it is crazy how much energy level has increased over the last couple of weeks. I have lost a little over 3 pounds and gained some muscle. I am now able to tell how the different foods I eat affect my body. If I eat a clean meal the night before I run, I enjoy my run and feel like I can go forever! I am also discovering how to substitute cravings. I used to crave dessert after dinner every night. Now I keep dried mango in the house and I nibble a little piece after dinner and am totally satisfied. I really do feel incredible. I also know that even when this challenge is done I will not go back to the way I used to eat. I also love that the fact that I have a support group. I get to share my joys/wins, frustrations, recipes, ideas and we offer each other suggestions. I believe for me the most important aspect is the support group. Now I am not the only one that makes this seem more do-able. My clothes feel like they fit better and I don’t feel drained at the end of the day AND I am ALWAYS in a good mood.
Be good to yourself! Be good to yourself by being realistic when heading in a new direction. Don’t go base your plan on the results of others. We are all created differently and we should celebrate that, not box ourselves in by it. Get a support group or someone other than you to bounce ideas and frustrations off of. Sometimes an outside perspective is all you need to feel better about your choices. Research and experiment with what works best for your lifestyles and needs. Just because it worked for someone else doesn’t automatically mean it will work the same way for you. MOST importantly listen to what your body is telling you. If it doesn’t feel right ….. it just might not be right!!
So what do you think of clean eating? Is it something you would be able to do in your own life? Completely? With modifications? Let us know in the comments below!