The Eat Clean & Keep Healthy Challenge: Easier Than I Thought

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Photo Credit: Katie Smith

A couple of weeks ago, I took on the Eat Clean & Keep Healthy Challenge, together with several of my friends.  Taking part in this challenge meant there were several ground rules we had to follow:

  • Eat lots of vegetable and fruits in all the colors of the rainbow every day.  The more colors, the better.
  • Drink lots of water
  • No processed food
  • No carbs in the form of simple sugars, e.g. anything white like flour, rice, pasta, bread, cakes etc.
  • No sugar (or at least limited)
  • No dairy (or at least limited)
  • Regular exercise: at least 3x a week for at least 30 minutes each time
  • For added vanity, we agreed to apply an IZUMIO mask on our face each night before bed.  Well, actually during this challenge, I started and ended each day with my trusty IZUMIO and S Lutein capsules.

Before the challenge started, I jotted down my weight and took measurements for my waist, abdomen, hips, arms and thighs.  Of course, weight is not a full-proof indicator of health.  Because muscle mass is heavier than fat, someone who has more muscle mass might weigh more than someone who is fat, but the weight comparison will be just an indicator.

Think that sounds tough?  Well, it wasn’t really, and I’m telling the truth.

In the 2 weeks that I was on the challenge, I actually found myself consciously making time for that 20-30 minute workout before I picked my kids up from school.  Shows that we really have time to do things if we put our minds to it.

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I was also putting more thought about meal preparation and how to make my meals healthier.  I don’t crave rice and pasta as much as some people do, but I did experiment with some rice and noodle alternatives, which I must say taste rather good.  (I recently bought a spiral cutter so that I can make those awesome zucchini and carrot noodles that look spectacular, just you wait.)

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See?  Healthy stuff doesn’t have to be just greens and boring, tasteless stuff.  I love all the colorful food that is also healthy, and best of all, tastes good!  They don’t leave that incredibly full and bloated feeling in your tummy after, you know?

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One of the happiest moments was when I made a meal of cauliflower tacos for myself (Paleo-friendly) and when I was eating dinner with the family, they all looked at my plate and said, “Your meal looks yummier than ours!” (They were having rice, by the way).

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So yeah, this week, I made the whole family some cauliflower tacos and they enjoyed it tremendously.  Who says eating healthy is not tasty? And who says we can’t make a healthy meal kids would love? ♥

Of course, it wasn’t all home cooked food every day of the challenge.  We usually eat out during weekends, so I found that those times were the hardest to stick to the rules of this challenge.  However, with a little tweaking, anything is possible, if at all, just to make the meal less unhealthy.  For example, instead of the deep fried chicken chop I usually ordered at our regular haunt, I opted for grilled chicken and asked for the gravy on the side, with no dressing on the salad.  I did not eat the gravy though; it was for my daughter; and of course I also did not eat the fries.

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So coming back to the challenge…after the 2 weeks, well even before it was over, I was surprised that I was already feeling more energized, even without the carbs.  I was less tired and more alert, even with only 6 hours or less sleep at night.  Plus… my skin looked clearer and more moisturised.  I had to skip one night of the IZUMIO mask though because I was way too lazy.  That was the 2nd night of the challenge but I religiously applied the IZUMIO mask every night after that, like a nightly ritual.

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Also, after the 2-week challenge, lo and behold, I lost close to 2 kilos and I can now see the outline of my six-pack forming (it’s been a while, baby), but I know it still needs more work and discipline.  Bring it on!!  Also, I am starting to move on to toe push-ups now.  I used to be able to do toe push-ups but because of my sedentary lifestyle, I started with knee push-ups first.  I also lost 2 inches on my abdomen and hips!  Isn’t that great?

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In fact, we love the challenge so much that we are extending it now to 5-day weekdays.  The challenge has kickstarted healthy habits in all of us like snacking only on healthy nuts and fruits instead of chips, candy and chocolate.  Oh, by the way, peanuts aren’t considered healthy nuts, yeah? Just in case you were wondering….  I had my stash of macadamia, walnuts and cashew nuts and they were fantastic.

I find that even now that I am relaxing the rules a little, I tend to NOT eat so much carbs.  Like the other day when we were eating Italian food, I found myself not eating as much pasta as before.  (Hubby treated us all to a celebratory Italian meal, with my favorite tiramisu, nonetheless!)

This is definitely a healthy start and a great challenge!  If you have ever wanted to get healthy and feel good about yourself, I urge you to take on a 2-week challenge like this.  Don’t say you cannot do it because you don’t know what you are capable of.  Do it with a friend or a few friends, because it is so much easier and motivating when everyone supports and encourages each other.  If you have nobody to do it with you, let me know and I will be your partner. 🙂

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Have a great week ahead, peeps!  Stay healthy!

Pssssssttt… just in case you were wondering….yes we were allowed the occasional coffee; but with NO milk and NO sugar (or sugar substitutes). As a result, I think I have developed a love for soy lattes. ♥

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One Response to The Eat Clean & Keep Healthy Challenge: Easier Than I Thought

  1. I applaud your aspirations and your spirit! Keep it up ya! 😀 Myself, I am on a continuous journey of increasing my veggie-intake & decreasing consumption of processed food in my life. It’s been an uphill battle, but I have managed to astound my family & friends on how far I have improved myself from being a person who consumed only 3 types of veggie reluctantly, into someone who can’t enjoy her meals without at least 1 type of veggie. Veggie is an acquired taste, the more you eat, the more you’ll love it. But I won’t be a vegetarian because I love meat, poultry & seafood too much. I do limit my meals to 3 times a day. No snacking in between, but if I really am famished, I’d go for fruits. Admittedly, I succumb to temptations occasionally and I do love sweet things. As for working out, alas I can only stand doing 15-20 minutes zumba weekly. I have 5 kids, I weigh between 45-47kg and I’m barely 5′. I was heaviest after the birth of my first child, maintaining about 52kg for about 3 months. Fortunately, I have a mom who dared to point out to me whenever I start to gain weight. Having the support & understanding of the people we love really helps.

    The Giddy Tigress says: Thank you for sharing, Zurainny! Indeed, support from people closest to us helps more than we know. All the best to you!
    Zurainny Ismail recently posted…MaxisONE Plan – More Data, Unlimited CallsMy Profile

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