Knew Better? Do Better

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6 week Challenge. That’s what we called it. A chance to revamp something in your life that you wanted to do. Health? Jump Start it. Clutter? Get rid of it. Me and a group of friends did it. Did we succeed? My challenges during the 6 weeks were to 1. Focus on clean eating. 2. De-clutter my closets. 3. Try to be more organized 4. Be the person you want to be.

How did I fare?

Clean Eating was really about eliminating meat. And juicing. It started off good. Juicing before work in the AM. I’d prepare a green juice with lots of leafy greens before work. I’d get to my desk and have a ginger tea and water and then my juice. Having one juice a day wasn’t too bad. Switching to two juices a day wasn’t thee hardest, but trying to do all juices? Hard. Not only is the world full of temptations, my schedule keeps me out the house for long hours. I might get home after 8pm and have to be back at work by 8am the next day. 12 hours is not a long time to do everything you need to do. On Wednesdays, I leave home to be at work at 8am, immediately following work I drive up to the train station and head to NYU to attend 2 back to back classes. I don’t get home until nearly 10pm.

These sinks full of vegetables and fruits would be eaten or juiced each week. I tried new veggies like bok choy and red Swiss chard and putting green cabbage in a juicer. I realized beets haves sweet flavor and that I love kale!

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So I began incorporating meals into my day. Healthy meals, at least as much as possible. But, I also wanted to get back in to working out. This is where I struggle now. Trying to find time to work out and prepare my healthy meals. Trying to get meals and foods that can last in my refrigerator for a few days.

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I experimented with barely. You see this kale and barley concoction? I made pumpkin oatmeal bars for breakfast. I also tried a vegan “Mac ‘N Cheez” recipe, which was awful but whatever. Spaghetti squash was had, and most recently homemade butternut squash soup. I have woken up before work and had a kale and egg frittata. That wouldn’t have happened before. I’m more adventurous in my foods. I’m Trying to do vegetarian without a carb or pasta heavy reliance. I also don’t want to be salad bored. It’s been very exciting, I won’t lie. But I do know the key to my success is preparation.
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I was the girl who never thought I’d give up meat. Buffalo wings were my kryptonite and where would get protein? But one day, it just seemed like the only thing I could do to take better care of myself. I’d been reading about the perils of meat and the likes of processed food since I first read the book Skinny Bitch by Rory Freeman and Kim Barnouin. I watched different documentaries, but thus past year I felt such extreme frustration with my weight loss efforts not working. After watching Forks Over Knives, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, reading Jillian Michaels book on Metabolism and weight loss. I went to my doctor, frustrated and fearful. I mean technically, according to my BMI I am obese. WHAT THE WHOLE HELL??

But as much as that’s frustrating, I was scared. I don’t want preventable health diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure to dominate my life in the future. So being black, female, and technically over weight, a change was necessary. I never had elevated cholesterol or glucose levels, and wan to continue to have all m stats look good. That is what prompted the gradual transition to get rid of meat. I’d been off of beef and pork since I was about 15, so this was a big step. I haven’t completely given up seafood, but I don’t make it part of my daily diet. I also opt for wild caught seafood over farm raised when buying seafood to prepare at home. But i can honestly say, I’ve purchased seafood maybe twice since completely giving up the meat completely in late summer.

Some of the best things re hearing people say you look great, not about my weight, but my skin. I feel a glow sometimes. I also now feel the difference when eating crap. I feel the difference when I drink coffee and how it upsets my sleep schedule. Never a big soda fan, but now it almost feels poisonous as it goes through my digestive system.

So finally, I know better and am making efforts to do better. Is weight loss important? Yes. I wont lie, but my ultimate goal is overall good health. This challenge with my friends was a great jump start, and I’m already planning the next one. With more structure. More check in. The thing with good results is that you keep wanting to get them!

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