Dine

That’s All Folks…or is it?

Last Monday when I started the 10 Day Challenge, I figured come day 11 I would wake up and…

Happy

Where would I go to eat for lunch? For dinner? What sweet treats did I have in store for myself? I survived the past 10 days of having no “added sugar” in my life. Now, it was time for this curtain to close…

That's All Folks

I woke up this morning at 5am in order to get myself together, make a smoothie and be on my way to the Barre. I had some Chocolate Almond Milk that I had bought pre-challenge and didn’t want it to go to waste so I mixed it with the Aloha Chocolate blend, a banana and some ice. I didn’t feel a whole lot different throughout the day. For lunch I had some chicken salad, hummus and pita chips – all which had no added sugar.

Dinner rolled around and I had gotten caught up doing some work on the computer so I decided to head to Savor. I’ve been there a handful of times and hadn’t been there in a while so figured I’d swing by and grab something to go. If you’ve never been to Savor I definitely suggest checking it out. Their “…mission is to work with our local farmers, growers and purveyors to source products with integrity, flavor and soul.The result is food that is simple and straightforward using ingredients at their peak allows us to capture the essence of the season and bring it straight to your table.”

As always, I couldn’t make a decision so I ordered the “Carolina Shrimp & Andouille Sausage Gravy over Yellow Stone-Ground Grits” and the “Cowboy Pork Chop over Country Ham & Succotash Risotto” and figured my boyfriend and I could split it. While I waited for our entrees I stared at the dessert menu. After going back and forth (devil on one shoulder and angel on the other) and the bartender raving about her favorite dessert, I figured why not? Heck, for all the sugar I cut out having some sweets every once in a while isn’t that bad, right? After all, that was one of the main reasons I did this – to learn to have sweets on occasion, but not necessarily every day.

I opted for the Butterscotch Bread Pudding. I’m Team Chocolate for sure (no pun intended), but the bartender strongly recommended the Butterscotch Bread Pudding, promising I wouldn’t be disappointed. Coincidentally, she had also done the Fed Up Challenge before so clearly we had a bond and my trust was instilled in her.

Dinner was awesome. Loved both entrees. I know there was some added sugar in both of them for sure, but I wasn’t focused on that. I was too busy SAVORing (pun intended) how delicious my food was. On to the dessert…

Dessert

I knew I needed to proceed with caution.

Bill

It was absolutely delicious just as she had promised, but…. What had I done?!?

Overload

Ok, so maybe I was being slightly dramatic with my texts to Christina about how I felt after eating several (large) bites of the puddin’ but I swear, my body went into sugar shock. I can’t imagine what I would’ve felt like if I had more than a few bites!

Sugar

And this is exactly what I wanted in order to prove to myself that I really would notice a difference.

So, what’s next?

lettuce

Well, not exactly. I’m going to make a VERY strong effort to do the following:

1.  Continue to buy more REAL food.
2.  Continue to be conscious of how much sugar is in any products I’m purchasing at the grocery store.
3.  Think more about the foods I’m ordering when I’m out to eat or getting take out somewhere.
4.  Still be sure to enjoy some of my favorite not so healthy treats in MODERATION.
5.  “Am I hungry?” vs. “Am I bored?”
6.  “Am I craving sugar?” vs. “Am I just hungry?”

“The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men).”

I think the most important thing is to realize that no particular lifestyle is for everyone. I say lifestyle because the food that we eat really is a huge part of our lives as a whole. After all, food is meant to fuel our bodies. In today’s society, I think sometimes that gets overlooked amidst all of the commercials, advertisements, restaurant openings and food trends. I’m not going to lie, it’s really hard NOT to get caught up in all of that.

Out of all my friends and family there are people that are vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, paleo, gluten free, dairy free… The list seems to go on forever. Then there’s plenty that don’t follow any sort of dietary plan and just eat whatever they would like. At one time or another, I feel like I’ve tried out all of the above, but never really stuck to any of them (other than eating whatever I would like – whoopsies). After watching Fed Up, I think I had a little “ah ha” moment as I started to think about how much sugar I consumed on a daily basis. I also started to think about how much I must’ve consumed a few years back when I was far less “healthy” than I am now.

There truly is so many different components that factor into what YOUR body needs and it might not be what your significant other or your best friend needs. Finding a balance between making healthy choices and enjoying your favorite foods can be really difficult at times. It can take time, but finding what works best for you and you alone will hopefully get you on your way to living a balanced and healthy life.

Dine

Did Somebody Say Challenge?

I made a point on Friday to add watching Fed Up to my “To Do” list. Check. I also mentioned the bag of Cookie Chips and Jalapeño Cheese Puffs I had purchased.  On the “To Do” list was not to finish eating those by the end of the weekend. Whoops. After watching Fed Up, I figured what better time to put my Thug Kitchen cookbook to use. At least I would be checking off another item off the “To Do” list.

I was actually so inspired (or maybe just looking for a challenge) by the movie that I decided to take the “Fed Up Challenge – Sugar free for 10 Days.” I repeat, SUGAR FREE for TEN days. For some of you, this may sound like a piece of cake (pun intended…clearly sweets will not leave my mind).  For me, I have some type of sweet just about every day. All sweets aside, there is sugar in EVERYTHING. Did somebody say challenge?

Why not?Sure, why not?
Sign me up.

If you haven’t heard about Fed Up, it takes a closer look at what we as a country have been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years. It’s narrated by Katie Couric, who also happens to be the Executive Producer. Here’s a little preview of what it’s all about:

The American Heart Association recommends no more than the six teaspoons of sugar (for women) a day. I never pay attention to just how much sugar I consume on a daily basis, but I’ll assume that I go way over this amount.

Chocolate

So, I’m doing this for several different reasons:

1. Pay more attention to the amount of sugar in the foods that I’m eating every day.

2.  See if I noticed a difference – day to day and on day #11 (if I end up getting half a dozen cupcakes from Cupcrazed.

3.  Force myself to cook more. Hey, my Mom gave me a Vitamix, Toaster Oven and knives for Christmas – I think she was trying to tell me something. It’s not that I don’t like cooking, but half of the time I wait until I’m starving and then opt to go grab something instead.

Day #1 was a success.

Breakfast – Aloha Berry Blend with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Pineapple and Strawberries. Not cutting out fruit. Yes, I realize there’s sugar in it, but your body processes whole fruit different because of the fiber in the fruit.

Lunch – Vegetarian Sushi Roll

Snack – Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavor Squares (they’re not Cheez-Its, but were surprisingly not too bad)

Dinner – Made the Cauliflower Cream Pasta with Fresh Herbs from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook. I added some grilled chicken and broccoli to it. I always forget that rice pasta seems to suck up all the sauce, so would definitely either make less pasta or more sauce next time.

I can’t wait to try out more from this cookbook – particularly, the desserts after I survive this challenge. Not saying that after day 10 is over, will I do my own challenge of a dessert only diet for 3 days straight or anything. I just know, I won’t cut out sweets forever and ever. I just want to cut back and have them every once in a while 🙂

If you’re looking to cut back on sugar be sure that you’re not fooled. Here’s the 56 Names of Sugar. 56. Sheesh. I feel so deceived.

Hidden Sugar

Who needs sugar anyways when I’m already so sweet?

What about you? Do you have a sweet tooth? Or are salty treats your go to? Do you pay attention to how much sugar is in cereals, dressings, salt, everything-in-the-world?

Dine, Music

Sensory Overload

“Every second of every day, our senses bring in way too much data than we can possibly process in our brains.” – Peter Diamandis

Sometimes I feel like my brain is on shuffle. There’s just so many things I want to do, people I want to see and places that I want to go. And let’s be serious… foods I want to try is always top of mind.

So, let’s take a few moments and go through all five senses based off of things I encountered today 😉

1. Sight

What I’m planning to watch tonight (or at least by the end of the weekend).

Fed Up

A friend’s mom let me borrow this a while ago and I keep putting it off. Mainly because I’m slightly petrified at what I’m about to be enlightened with.

And to put this cookbook to use.

Thug Kitchen

I bought it because I liked the title and was pleasantly surprised when I got home to find the humor, but more importantly the story behind the movement. I didn’t even realize the cookbook was vegan friendly, but hey, not complaining about that! I plan to make every recipe. No joke.

2. Hearing

A couple of weeks ago, I made a video with hundreds of pictures in memory of my cousin who had just passed away. One of the songs I used was a cover of Coldplay’s “Sky Full of Stars”. I don’t know why I’m so obsessed with this version by Boyce Avenue right now.

3. Touch

I’ve never been huge on wearing scarfs, but when we got the Soulscarfs at Pure Barre, I fell in love. Bonus: They donate 20% of the proceeds to charity. Look good and feel good.

Soul Scarf

4. Smell

Loving Ralph Lauren’s Midnight Romance that was given to me as a gift not too long ago.

RL

5. Taste

I couldn’t stop thinking about Cookie Chips ever since I saw a Facebook post about a giveaway that they were doing. I stopped at Rhino Market on my way home to grab a bag. I don’t know why I love them so much.

Cookie Chips

Cookies

If that wasn’t bad enough, I walked around the corner and saw these and had to give them a try. Unfortunately, I really like them. I love the assortment of products that you can find at Rhino Market (more to come on this place soon!)

Jalapeno

Oh well, I’ll do damage control on Sunday morning.

Work out

Work Out 2

Have a great weekend!