So last week was a BIG milestone for me in this whole ‘clean eating’ gig. I dropped my first TEN POUNDS! WOO HOO! And I honestly have to say it has been WAY easier than I thought.

Since I began the attending Lisa Carpenter’s E.A.T! Class, a local nutrition program geared toward women who want to lose weight and eat for optimal health, I look at food completely different. I am gaining a greater knowledge and respect for what I should put into my body and how it works to keep me fueled. When I think back to how I used to eat, I had taken my hands off the wheel completely. And I wasn’t binge eating or anything drastic. But really, I was simply NOT in control and here is the simplest reason – there was no thought behind what I ate and whether it was a good choice for me or not. I just flew by the seat of my pants and tried to make the decision as I opened the kitchen cupboards, the fridge door or was out with the kids I would think ‘What do I FEEL like eating?..”

Now I think, what does FEELING have to do what I eat??! But it was ingrained in me as a subconscious pattern. Now it seems crazy to even ask the question. I was indulging myself in a useless conversation knowing full well that I had a fairly limited wheel house of options I would go for – bread, cheese, pasta, with some veggies and fruit. I hated thinking about eating because I hated having to decide and argue with myself, knowing I had NO connection to whether the food I was choosing was a good for me or not. If it wasn’t good for me, I’d easily pass it off as ‘just one meal’ what’s the big deal. But those add up. Bottom line – I was not eating responsibly.

I didn’t eat a lot of food or have junk in my house but on those rare occasions when we did, as soon as my taste buds got wind, it didn’t last for long. I was out of balance and I knew it but didn’t know how to stop it. The thought of going on another round of the SureSlim plan to quickly lose the weight (as it was my go-to solution) annoyed me as I was sick of just doing these things knowing I’d inevitably hit the ‘get cocky’ phase and throw the good eating out the window. I just want to know what I’m doing…

What I love about the E.A.T! is that each week we learn ONE topic related to food and how it functions in our body and why effects body composition. Hmmm… eating with knowledge. Novel concept.

Week 1: We measured, weighed and assessed where we all were, discussed expectations and learned how to food log and pay attention to the food we are eating. We also prepared our kitchens for cleaner eating. Done.

Week 2: Protein! Biggest take away was that it is thermogenic, meaning it requires more energy for your body to break it down = more calories burned. Who knew? But being a fair weather vegetarian (that occasionally orders a veggie sandwich… with bacon) I decided to bring back some animal protein knowing this would help me drop the weight quicker. My previous diet, I learned, was so high in sodium (beans, cheese and of course the bacon) that this was going to impede any progress. So off I went to buy salmon, red snapper, chicken thighs, chicken breast and my new best friend, Non Fat Greek Yogurt. Done.

Our homework was to incorporate FIVE portions of protein into our day with at least two cups of green leafy veggies. This was challenging (not the eating part, the organization and new behaviour) but I did it. And don’t’ think that was ALL I was eating – we could have bread, fruit or a whole pizza for all Lisa cared at this point. She just wanted us to learn the protein part as the foundation. One week at a time.

Week 3: FATS – I began this class by getting on the scale and seeing that I was 11.5 lbs lighter and 8 inches smaller from that first meeting with Lisa. To have the first 10 drop so fast was just a sign that my body was sooo ready for a shift. This is the progress I needed to keep me motivated.

This week’s class was all about the good, bad and ugly about FATS and to stop cooking with oil! More importantly, I took away the emotional and physical benefits on incorporating healthy fats Fish oil, flax, olive oil, peanut butter, avocado into my day because they will keep me balanced and feeling more full. So I’m adding healthy fats to the last two meals of my day to keep me going through the night.

Tonight is CARBS and I say… ba-ring it!!

As much as I don’t want to make it about the weight, I look forward to each class to see if the weight and inches are still coming off – even if only a little. There is a part of me that is waiting for the week when there has been no shift so I can turn to Lisa and say “AH HA! I told you this crap doesn’t work!” LOL!

So far she doesn’t seem too worried about this happening…

Also, the food I’m eating tastes good (not as good as a donut) but there is something about knowing the food I’m are eating is fueling weight loss and making my body more efficient that has me missing the junk less and less. My taste buds are shifting to appreciate how whole food tastes – no additives, no preservatives. I’m eating things I never thought I would – egg whites for one. Not as horrible as I thought! And I’ve had one or two junky meals along the way of pizza and cupcakes. The headache that followed them was yet, another sign I am on the right track.

I have to say that I’m enjoying my days more because although I’m working harder to measure food and plan more it is absolute BLISS saying goodbye to the mental wrestling that went along with trying to figure out what I would eat. There is a sense of freedom I’m getting that I love. I appreciated knowing more, the structure, being in control and with no feelings attached. No more stress about the WHAT to eat. Just follow the guidelines and enjoy the ride. I’m making it a part of my life – one week at a time.

It’s also nice to know I’m not in this alone. Have other people to share my challenges with and hear theirs is really helpful and the women in the class do this for one another. There is a lot to be said for peer support and encouragement.

So for those of you who are curious, here is an example of some of the meals I might eat in a day right now (Note – I have MUCH more to learn – only 3 weeks in):

Meal 1:                 Non-fat Greek Yogurt, Greens First Powder (BEST tasting Greens product I’ve ever tried!), Quick Oats

Meal 2:                 Shrimp, natural yogurt, dill weed, dill pickle diced on whole grain bread

Meal 3:                 Chicken breast, 2 cups of chopped veggies (carrots, peppers, spinach, celery), brown rice, chick broth, apple

Meal 4:                 Shrimp, Mixed Greens, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green onions, Mixed Greens (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dill weed, dill pickle diced, salt & pepper)

Meal 5:                 NF Greek Yogurt, Frozen Mango, Barlean’s Omega 3 oil (Pina colada) – THIS TASTES AMAZING!!

And here are some pics of my meals too (I do this to remember for my food log at the end of the day too):