2 Week Sugar Detox….Mission Complete!

It’s official….My 2 week detox is over and this girl couldn’t be any happier!!  So how’d I do?  Well, the past two weeks have been a total mental game but I’m happy to say that I won!  If you remember, I started this challenge with just a few goals in mind:

  • To Reduce my cravings & getting my sweet tooth back under control…..CHECK
  • Clearer skin….Not really
  • Less headaches….CHECK
  • A much happier digestive system….CHECK
  • Eliminating the few pounds I put on during marathon training….CHECK
  • More energy!! CHECK, CHECK, CHECK

With the exception of clearer skin, I’m very happy with the detox results.   I guess with running so much, I’m just going to be prone to breakouts.  I really shouldn’t complain because it could be much worse; I’m just used to having a crystal clear face.

The main portion of this detox was centered around eliminating sugar and processed foods.  Here’s an idea of how the past two weeks have gone food wise:

Breakfast: LOTS of eggs. I don’t want to see another egg or egg white for a long time; I missed my cereal terribly.  I also ate lots of RAW multi-grain hot cereal and peanut butter toast.

Egg whites, spinach, turkey sausage, crumbled feta.

Egg whites, turkey sausage, orange bell peppers and salsa verde.

Lunch: Leftovers from suppers the night before, sandwiches of any kind and lots of vegetables. (Sorry, no lunch shots… I get rather hangry around lunch time and forget my manners.)

Supper: Pasta, soup, lean proteins (chicken/pork) cooked vegetables, brown rice.

Chicken and vegetable soup.

Whole wheat pasta with ground turkey.

Snacks: Cut up vegetables, hummus, cottage cheese, clean crackers and cheese, almonds and pistachios, and natural peanut butter.

Love this hummus!!

I may or may not have eaten almost an entire jar of natural PB.  Whoops.

After the detox, I feel better, sharper mentally and my headaches have subsided a bit.   Other than 2 cheats [gum (that’s for the benefit of others) and communion (it was maybe a tsp. of grape juice)] I am really pleased with how I did.

The Good:

  • I control sugar, not the other way around.  I have minimal sugar cravings right now; even the thought of something sugary sweet makes me cringe a bit. {Side note: I am excited to get my fruit back.}
  • I’ve retrained my taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness found in vegetables.
  • I’ve learned I can live without adding honey to everything.
  • I realized just how much processed ‘healthy’ items I was relying on.

The Bad:

  • It messed with my running…badly.  Not properly fueling myself during the first few days of the detox left me feeling light headed and ill. There is absolutely no way I could maintain this detox any further into marathon training.  Especially once I get back into the high double digit runs and have to refuel during the run.  Carrots and snap peas just don’t seem like they’d do the trick on a 20 milers.
  • The sheer amount of time it took to plan/prepare my meals and snacks was ridiculous.
  • My diet wasn’t nearly as balanced or complete as it should have been.  I found myself eating same stuff again and again because I knew that food was ‘ok’.
  • Sugar is everywhere and in everything! It’s almost unavoidable.

What I’ll continue doing:

  • Drinking hot lemon water in the morning.  I fell in love with this!
  • Avoiding all refined/processed sugar while keeping a watchful eye on my natural sugars.
  • Treat myself occasionally.  Like last night… I had small piece of all natural dark chocolate and a protein smoothie made with pineapple, blueberries, ground flax, plain greek yogurt and RAW protein powder.  After a two week sugar detox and 6 miles of hill work last night, fruit never tasted so good!

What does this mean for the upcoming Turkey Day? Well, it means that I do not get a carte blanche pass to eat whatever I want.  I worked too hard to sabotage the benefits from these past two weeks so I will enjoy a clean Thanksgiving with my family.   Holidays are not an excuse to go crazy off a diet.  FYI: The average person consumes almost 7,000 calories on Thanksgiving!

With that being said, don’t deprive yourself, either.  Watch your portion size and if you want something, eat it in moderation.  For me, it’s not Thanksgiving without the French’s Green Bean Casserole.  Totally not clean, but I’m going to eat it anyway.  No need agonizing over a certain dish.  Tomorrow is a day to enjoy, to celebrate and to give thanks for the many blessings in life.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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No Sugar Challenge Update & Vega Giveaway

Originally, I was going to wait until Monday to write this post but then I realized that this weekend is Veteran’s Day.  So instead of trying to cram two posts together, I figured I go ahead and do my week 1 update a few days early.  You don’t mind, right? I’m pretty sure nothing’s going to change between now and Monday.

So how has everyone been doing with the no sugar challenge? It’s definitely been a challenge for me these past few days.  Not challenging in the way that I’m tempted to ‘cheat’ but challenging instead because this is a HUGE inconvenience!  You don’t really realize how much sugar, even natural sugar, you rely on until it’s all been taken away from you.  [insert pitiful trombone noise here]

Giving up all forms of sugar means that I’ve given up most processed foods, even my ‘healthy’ processed foods.   Even my Kashi taste-like-cardboard-to-most-people cereal has evaporated cane juice in it.  So basically, if I want to eat something, I have to make it from scratch which, let’s face it, is insanely time consuming.  No wonder women from the early to mid 20th century didn’t work.  They couldn’t get out of the kitchen.  Throw in some kids and no washers or dryers and I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

On the plus side, I’m over the sugar cravings and I’ve stopped finding myself wandering aimlessly between the pantry and fridge.  The first few days I was starving and felt like I couldn’t fill up but that, too, has gone away.  It always amazes me at how much faster my body digests and uses the nutrients from whole foods vs. processed.  If I don’t eat every 2-3 hours I’m starved!

FYI – if you ever want to jump start your metabolism, make sure to eat at least 5-6 times a day; I prefer 6-7.  By only eating 3 meals a day your body goes into starvation mode and conserves calories from the food you ingest.  Feeding yourself 5-6 daily allows your body the peace of mind to go ahead and burn those calories since it knows you’ll be replacing them again.  Sorry, I digress.

I’ve also been detoxing my body with 20 oz of warm lemon water each morning.  The bitter flavor first thing in the morning took a bit of adjusting to but I’ve started to enjoy it.

So the benefits that I’ve seen so far? Really the only one I’ve noticed is that my skin has cleared up quite a bit.  I don’t know if it’s because of the no sugar / lemon water detox or because I’m not running as much as I was a few weeks ago.  Either way, I’m enjoying not looking like a teenage girl.  YAY!  The downside – it’s really, really affected my running.  That’s really the only time I physically notice the detox.

Wednesday night I hit the treadmill for the first time in months (literally, since July or August) and it. was. terrible.  I’m not sure when I started hating the treadmill so much? I guess maybe when I realized that I wouldn’t melt running in the elements.  But my night got 1,000% better with the arrival of a package from Vega.  (To read more about my thoughts on Vega, check out this review I wrote.)

Holy motherload! This is like $300 worth of product. Me = happy!

I won a photo contest back in September where I had to show them what energizes me.  Of course the photo had something to do with running… It’s actually from my first duathlon.

I’ll have to wait until the no sugar challenge is over to enjoy it but I want to share the love with you! I’m going give away a full size package of Vega’s Energizing Smoothie because I just adore y’all!

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment below telling me what energizes you.
Additional Entries (leave a separate comment for each): 1) Subscribe to Noshing on Asphalt and tell me what e-mail you subscribed with.
2.) Follow me on Twitter
3.) Follow me on Instagram @asphaltnosher
4.) Like my Facebook page

The contest will run through Wednesday, November 14 at 11:59 cst and be selected through Random.org.  I will announce the winner on Friday, November 16.

Belated Birthday Fun Post

Did you vote yesterday? I did!  I go to bed early so when I went to bed last night the exit polls were still neck-in-neck.  I’m curious to see what the final result is.

Today starts day 3 of my no sugar challenge and I’m officially over the pouty stage – yay!  I think the 2 year personality that lives inside me realized that no matter how many ‘I want fruit tantrums’ she threw I wasn’t giving in. Y’all I promise I don’t actually have any dissociative  identity or multiple personality disorders.  This detox hasn’t been the easiest but I’ll give a recap of week one on Monday.

Last week when I was recapping the Marine Corps Marathon and also my MCM weekend fun I mentioned that my birthday was the same day as the marathon.  I wanted to do a separate recap since I have amazing family who went out of the way to make sure my birthday was special.  I love my family!!

Ha!!! There was also a tiara and sash that went along with this button – thanks Mary.

So my birthday festivities actually spanned several days and started with Jody and I enjoying a nice and quiet early birthday dinner at Kora in DC on Friday.   Then Saturday after the MCM expo Mary (my ‘runspiration’) and I headed back to the hotel while our hubbies did some sight-seeing.  This started birthday day #2!

I was surprised to find a lovely golden package sitting on my bed.  I was so confused because I had no idea where it came from.  Turns out my cousin Bridget mailed the package to the hotel so I would have it before the marathon / my birthday!  I. Was. Floored.

It was such a thoughtful gesture; but wait, it gets better! This birthday was actually my golden birthday so she wrapped everything in gold paper and each gift had a gold theme.  I mean, seriously, who thinks of something this creative?!

Just a few of the goodies Bridget sent me.

Rocking my new scarf and the ‘go wild on your birthday’ monkey.

After opening and savoring all of the goodies my cousin sent me, I decided to open a box that my Dad mailed from Colorado.  It had a super sweet card with plenty of motivation to help me run the marathon.  He sent a t-shirt and very cool glass/pewter mug that he had made commemorating the MCM and my Run for Roger.  My mom had already given me my birthday gift which was my race gear for the MCM.

The vino was for a post-marathon toast.

Sunday, day 3 of my birthday weekend: or what’s also known as my actual birthday.  I was somewhat pre-occupied the morning of my birthday (go figure, right?) but after the race, and after getting my husband successfully out of DC before Hurricane Sandy hit, we headed out to eat for a dual purposed celebratory dinner….To celebrate finishing the marathon and also to celebrate my birthday!

We were all craving some down-home all American grub so we ended up at Ted’s Montana Grill, a steak place.  I ordered a “spicy” (yeah, right) bison burger with jalapenos and cilantro and washed it down with a tasty sangria.  Totally not clean, but well earned.

Mary and Greg surprised me with an awesome 26.2 necklace and car decal.

I was seriously stuffed from supper so I had no room for dessert.   Which brings me to birthday #4.  It’s like the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day…It just keeps going and going and going.  Since I didn’t eat any cake on my birthday I felt kind of off.  It’s not a birthday until you’ve had cake, right? So I found the largest carrot cake cupcakes ever (like the size of my head…alright, slight exaggeration) and Jody and I went to town scarfing them down.

And with the disappearance of the last morsel of carrot cake, so my birthday extravaganza came to an end.  I can honestly say, hands-down, that this is one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.  I will never forget running a marathon in memory of my brother on my birthday, nor will I ever forget how my family went out of their way to make sure the marathon didn’t overshadow birthday fun.  I definitely think 28 is going to be a great year!

Question:  What’s your favorite birthday memory?  Do you have a favorite age?

Weekend Fun & the 2 Week Sugar Detox

I went on my first post-marathon run this weekend! I had done yoga and gone to the gym last week but I really wanted to give my body a bit of time to recover before running.  My running girls and I had talked about doing 10 miles but someone (who, me?)  might have gotten kind of pouty at the last minute; we ended up doing 7 really easy paces miles (10:32).  The first mile was the hardest but once I got going it was great.  This run was somewhat of a dual first.  It was my first post-marathon run, and it was also the first run of my Rock-n-Roll New Orleans marathon training.  No rest for the wicked, eh?

I’m glad to be running again. I think I may have been driving the hubby crazy  this week with all my excess energy and complaints about ‘having nothing to do’.

After we ran, my running girls and I grabbed some breakfast and then headed over to the Peter Anderson Festival.

It’s a local festival that has hundreds of artist booths and food vendors.  It’s just a blast seeing all of the amazing things people create.

It’s a dog family made out of junk yard stuff!

This is such a cool coffee table. Definitely a conversation piece!

Then yesterday the hubby and I drove over to Mobile for the day.  It was nice just relaxing and enjoying the city together.  One of my favorite things about Mobile is that they have a Fresh Market.  I’m totally deprived of any Fresh Markets or Whole Foods here in Mississippi so of course we had to stop.  I adore walking into the store and seeing all beautiful colors of the fresh produce on display.

Taste the rainbow!

Now it’s onto the main portion of this post….My 2 week sugar detox challenge!

Starting today, I’m going cold turkey with the sugar – natural sugar included.  This means no honey, maple syrup or even fruit (except for lemons; I’ll explain that later) for the next 14 days.  The reason I’m doing this?  Well, the last few weeks leading up to the Marine Corps Marathon I really allowed myself to go overboard with the sugar –both natural and refined– and now I’m paying for it.  I’m not sure how many dozens of times, “It’s ok, I’m running a marathon” came out of my mouth.  This past week I’ve felt sluggish and sickly which is my body telling me to stop putting crap into it.

I think it’s important to point out that even clean eaters can go overboard on sugar.  Just because something’s natural (i.e. honey, maple syrup, fruit, etc…) it still contains the sparkly white stuff….just in the non-sparkly form.  I guess natural sugar can be compared to a diamond in the ruff; it just hasn’t gone through the sparkling (refining) process.

So what are the benefits I’m looking forward to by eliminating sugar?

  • Reduced cravings & getting my sweet tooth back under control;
  • Clearer skin;
  • Less headaches;
  • A much happier digestive system;
  • Eliminating the few pounds I put on during marathon training; and most importantly….
  • More energy!!

I mentioned a few paragraphs ago that lemons are the only fruit I’ll be consuming during this detox.  To help aid my body in cleansing itself I’m going to be drinking hot lemon water every morning during the two weeks.

Studies show that drinking hot lemon water when you first wake up helps stimulate digestion for the day and clears the body of any toxins that may have settled in the digestive tract overnight (source).  Plus drinking lemon water (hot or cold) throughout the day has the following benefits:

  • Supports immune functions;
  • Alkalizes the body;
  • Aids in digestion;
  • Clears skin; and
  • Promotes healing.

So the next time you go to a restaurant, make sure to get lemon with that water!! To read more about the benefits of drinking lemon water, check out this article from Vega.

Whew! Are you tired of reading about this detox challenge and ready to get started?  Feel free to join me during the next two weeks as I get myself headed back in the right, clean eating direction. Not ready to go cold turkey with all sugar?  Then keep the natural and eliminate the refined.  We can suffer through the sugar withdrawals together!  It takes commitment, willpower and lots of label reading but I did this same detox last year for 30 days and it was amazing!