5 VALUABLE LESSONS LEARNED FROM 30 DAYS OF CLEAN EATING
I'm a fan of sugar. And wine. And brie. And pretty much everything else that tastes like heaven on earth. And last month I put an end to it all after not feeling so hot about my habits. There were some hard days, some shitty days, and also great days. I kinda learned a lot. So in an effort to inform the lessons learned, here goes.
First of all, 30 days of anything all in is hard. And by all in, I mean, you follow the rules. That doesn't mean you get a bite of mac and cheese and get away with it. You don't get any mac and cheese. Or any sips of wine. You commit. And commit fully. Lesson #1.
I've always been an all in kind of gal. If I commit, I'm pretty much committed. Like more than pretty much. But 30 days of no wine and no processed and no sugar in any form seemed like an unlikely commitment for even me. But once I committed, I was in. Although the first 2 weeks were brutal and felt wrong in so many ways, and somewhat not normal and totally unrealistic (thanks to my babysitter for helping out) while I boiled eggs everyday and made tuna in the kitchen more than I liked, it was still worth it. Committing to something for me, made me feel empowered (only by week 3 and now) and hungry! But the mind never failed me because I was all in. My mind went to La Croix and almonds instead of wine and cheese every time I would choose the latter. I realized my commitment and my will were stronger than me and they returned the favor by showing me through daily choices.
Health + Wellness
Let's be honest, I didn't grow up on clean eating. I had Spam and rice a few times. (yup. don't ask). I also had donuts on Sundays after church (happy memories). But raised in a family of 6, chicken and rice (also we are Hawaiian) was the norm. Roasted brussels and sweet potatoes were not. Side note, (Mom and Dad fed us great and I'm in no way criticizing their choices). But after not being the skinniest girl in the high school and not following what one dancer told me was her lunch (carrots and taco bell sauce), it took me a bit longer to learn health and wellness. Also, eating disorders were not my thing and for that I'm grateful. I really wish this topic was a hot topic in our education as it would've been more helpful than trigonometry (and probably would've saved lives and killed egos.) But back to clean eating. Clean eating is health and wellness. Because what you put in your body if it is clean, does your body well. If it's not, it isn't as well. This is not to say you shouldn't eat cheese or pizza or gelato (because I did every day while living in Italy), but treating your body to clean eating for a long period of time teaches you to treat it well and that's the lesson. When you cut out the processed stuff, you're left with what God put on this earth and trust me when I tell you, your body does an Amen when you do it. At 40, I'm over hype, over dieting and over pleasing people. I'm more about my health and wellness and moderation because life is to be enjoyed, but also to be lived. This taught me exactly that. And yes you can eat cheese again. It just doesn't sit as well as it used to.
Less wine, more sleep
I'm not an addict. Have no addiction to anything and probably never well. But listen, I'm a mother of 3, have twin babies under 2, a 5 year old and a husband who works 12 hour days most weeks. It's fucking hard and I'm ok with it. But I also hit that 4:30 P.M. mark with wine most days because how else can you get through the witching hour? Well, I'm happy to report my witching hour has calmed down, the chaos is less chaotic and I survived 30 witching hours sans wine and I survived! At first it was hard, but then I got so used to it that it wasn't even on my mind. And the sleep!!!! Not only was I more alert and on, I was sleeping like a boss. It's amazing to see how your body works when you don't put any alcohol in it. Was kind of crazy. But also a great lesson. I don't need wine every day and honestly I feel better without it. Do I still love wine. Umm, yes. Will I still drink wine? 100 percent. Just modifying a little. Talk to me in a year.
4 days after cutting out the stuff, I lost 4 pounds. I'm pretty sure it's because I was eating cookies for breakfast over Christmas break up until January 1, but really, my body was in shock. And I was back in all my pre-pregnancy jeans. But this isn't about getting skinny. In fact, I gained so much energy from eating a lot more that I started working out regularly (1-2 times a week because that's all the time I have) and have never felt stronger. My body feels better. It looks stronger to me. It's still had 3 children come out of it and will never be the same because of it, but I like it now. I appreciate what it can do. And when you feed it and nurture it the way God intended, it actually shows. I don't hate that body. I like her. At one point in life, I hated her. I mistreated her and told her she wasn't good enough. And I'm pretty sure I might do that again on a bad day. But the lesson learned here, was re-learning to love the body. To appreciate how she works and to give credit where credit is due. We're friends again, and that is awesome.
I'm grateful I could do this. I mean, eating mostly plants, fruits and proteins is not cheap. Or easy. I'm thankful for the opportunity to do this. I'm thankful for the health of my body. Thankful for the lessons I learned. Thankful to show my kids my strength. They've already seen my weaknesses. And that's ok. Thankful to be breathing. And to be walking on four working limbs. Thankful for the mind to be challenged. And for the grace to carry on even when I didn't want to.
We are only given one life. It's good to be mindful. Good to be aware of our health and how we can better ourselves. How we can also enjoy ourselves. Wine is so good. Food is so good. Moderation is key. I'll leave you with this below.
"He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts."