February 20, 2012

Real Foods Challenge: Day 20

Today I had a "short" long run on the schedule of 7 miles. The schedule has the long runs increase in distance for two weeks, then decrease for a week, then increase for two weeks, etc. So the last two weeks were 9 miles and 10 miles, and today was just 7.

Since my kids are in Winter Break, I met Jessica pretty early (7:30) for our run. Jerry was with the kids and waited for me to get home so he could go to sleep (he works a swing shift, and he's on midnights right now).

The run was actually really nice. It was cold outside (18 degrees) but after a mile or two I felt good. I have a love/hate relationship with long runs--I hate them because they're long (duh) but I love them because I can take it at a slow, easy pace and not worry about my speed at all.

Our splits:
Mile 1: 10:36
Mile 2: 10:58
Mile 3: 11:21
Mile 4: 11:32
Mile 5: 11:14
Mile 6: 10:56
Mile 7: 10:49

When we were done, Jessica noticed that I had a "hair-cicle" from my sweat...

Yep, it was a cold one this morning! ;)

I altered my Breakfast Cookie recipe to make some "real food" muffin tops. They turned out really well. I made a batch to put in the freezer and pull out one at a time for breakfast. I had one after my run this morning, and it kept me full until lunch time.
I was very close to calling it quits on this challenge today. Not because I was tempted to eat something like the chocolates sitting on my dresser, but because my weight keeps climbing. I know that it's because of the peanut butter! (It's not muscle, I promise--my clothes are tighter and my body fat % is up, too). I've gone through three jars of peanut butter in 19 days. I refuse to open another one (natural pb is expensive!), so I'm going to try my best to see if I can get my weight back down without counting calories and still continuing with the challenge.

If there is one thing that I take away from this challenge, it's that I was completely right about the advice I always give: Don't make any changes that you're not willing to live with forever. This challenge is too restrictive, and it's not something that I'd be willing to do forever. It's so restrictive that it's making me binge on peanut butter and honey. If it's not peanut butter, then I'm sure it would be something else.

The whole time I was losing weight, I ate ANYTHING I WANTED as long as I counted the calories for it. This kept me satisfied, and I didn't feel too restricted. I think this was a key component to my weight loss. I was mentally satisfied as well as physically, and it worked.

I don't regret doing this challenge, because it really did confirm my belief that everything is okay in moderation. And there are a few things that will be permanent changes (or at least I will try to integrate them)--like eating more vegetables, using "real" ingredients whenever possible, baking with honey instead of sugar (on a lot of items). Oh, and let's not forget homemade tortillas! I won't be buying tortillas anymore.

While eating "real food" is certainly the ideal way of doing things, I can't wait to go back to "normal" and incorporate some of my favorite non-real foods back into my diet. This will make me feel more satisfied and hopefully get my weight back down.

My next challenge is going to be MUCH less challenging and something that I'd be willing to live with forever ;)  All of this thinking has also made me decide not to give up nuts for Lent after all. Instead, I'm going to make it a mission to go 40+ days staying binge-free.

After lunch, the kids and I had some fun re-creating something that I saw on Pinterest. Here is the original picture that I saw:
Photo source
Does that not have Estelle's name written all over it?! So when I was about to recycle a box today, I remembered this picture and decided to re-create it with my cats. It did NOT go as planned, but we still shared a few belly laughs while doing the cat photo shoot. Here are a few of the pics (and I think it's obvious how artistic I am, lol):
Estelle refused to put her face through the hole

Chandler was too fat to fit comfortably in the box, lol

Phoebe can fit through ANYTHING.
Paolo wins for the best mouse photo ;)


  1. too funny, this cracked me up

  2. Love the cat pictures! Too funny!
    Eating real is difficult and is definitely a change from the way that I was used to eating. You have to eat and do what is best ultimately for you and feeling limited in your food choices is not going to set you up for success in the long run. I agree with you- everything in moderation!

    Do you already have a new challenge picked out?

  3. I know you've mentioned it before but I can't find it now, what protein powder do you use? Muscle milk 100 is killing me, I hate artificial sweetners!

    Cute kitty cat pictures!

    I would've thrown in the towel by now with the real foods! Only a few more days to go. :)

    1. I like the Healthy N Fit Egg Protein powder, in the flavor "Vanilla Ice Cream" (to make a chocolate shake, I just add a Tbsp. of cocoa powder). It's sweetened with stevia, which isn't artificial, but it tastes different than sugar (just FYI). When I make my shakes, I use so many other ingredients that I don't notice the stevia. I don't know how the shake mix tastes plain--I've never tried it that way!

    2. I hope they carry it at our gnc. Vanilla is my favorite flavor, so hopefully I can get it!

  4. Paolo's hysterical! I can read his mind: "This frickin' lady better sleep with one eye open tonight!" (Thank God that bullet missed the mouse, by the way!)

    I don't know how you've gotten this far with your challenge! I'm working hard to eat more vegetables and fruit, but certain convenience foods are just too much work to replace, like my Arnold double fiber bread, Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt or flavored coffee creamer! (I tried the homemade kind and it was just ok.) When you cut out certain foods, I think you inevitably eat so much more avoiding it, and then probably head for it anyway! (At least that's my experience.) I think binge-free for Lent is a great goal to achieve. I haven't thought about it, but I'm actually over a week without throwing in the restraint towel after dinner. (Of course, falling asleep before 8pm helps!)

    Great run!!

    1. I cracked up at your comment about the bullet - I was thinking the same thing!

  5. Those cat/mouse photos are hilarious!

    I'm guessing your breakfast cookie recipe is on your recipe blog? It looks delicious.


    1. Yes, the recipe can be found here: http://runsforcookiesrecipes.blogspot.com/2011/08/breakfast-cookies.html

  6. I love Paolo's face! Too cute! That picture could win an award! I "commend" you Katie for continuing your real foods challenge. I agree with you completely "All things are good in moderation" You have grown in experience and have taught all of your viewers some things as well. Thanks for being a great pioneer!

  7. OMG - Paolo looks pissed! I love putting words to their expressions and this one says "the things I have to do to humor these humans!" Lol


  8. I think you're right about knowing yourself and your food. We're all different. I could never last long on your diet, and I'm sure you couldn't on mine! :D

    I have been into whole foods for a long time. But I adore vegetables and grains, so it's easier for me, I think. Today I had two hard-boiled eggs and a banana for breakfast (we raise our chickies, so I know where the eggs come from). Had an apple and piece of cheese after my run. For lunch I did an English muffin and 2 T of peanut butter. For supper I made a big vat of chili -- tomatoes (canned from the summer), kidney beans, pinto beans, a couple of handfuls of dried corn, garlic, onions, and a lb. of hamburger (from a cow our friends' raised). I think the chili powder doesn't count as non-processed, since I did buy that pre-made, but at least it wasn't too adulterated! I mean, nobody can survive being a purist. I don't think English muffins count as whole food, either! :D

    The thing I'd have a hard time giving up is cereal in the mornings. I like the "Mom's Naturals" I get at Kroger -- raisin bran, mini-wheat types, oat squares, etc. It's so easy to get a decent breakfast in the mornings when I can grab a bowl of cereal. This is new to me. I used to hate cereal and would rather have fried eggs and hash browns! But then, I've lost 60 pounds, so something had to go.

    Thanks for sharing your meals. It's really interesting to see how other people do it.


  9. Your new mission for lent is fabulous!

    Love the cat pic's. I saw that on Pinterest this afternoon on my break at work, and thought, "oh how I would love to do that for Simba". However, Mr. Simba is the world's most destructive cardboard eating cat. Well...he chews through anything and everything. No claws, but monster teeth!

  10. Cute cats, and good work getting so far :)

    I know you love peanut butter but be careful with it - not for the calories, but for the allergen potential. I'm normally VERY skeptical about people with food sensitivities, but I went through a phase a few years back where I ate TONNES of PB every day, and a couple of months in, not only had I gained a heap of weight but my mouth was starting to itch when I ate it, and I would also get stomach pains. I recognised this as the early stages of an allergy, and so laid off the peanuts for a while. They're okay in small doses now, but I'm a lot more aware. Enjoy in moderation!

  11. Haha, Paolo looks PISSED! Those make the best cat pictures.

  12. the cat pics are HILARIOUS!!!

  13. I totally know how you feel with runs- if I'm doing a 5k I'm thinking, "omg I wish I was just running a nice easy relaxed pace!" and if I'm doing distance I think "this will never end, I wish I was doing my 5k run!" haha! Those mouse cutouts are too funny! Paolo definitely wins. I had a question, you can email me, reply to this comment or save it for a Sunday- I am running a 5k in a few weeks and want to improve my time. Is interval training on the elliptical as effective as interval running? My outdoor running place isn't too ideal for interval training (a busy loop path around a park, lots of kid and bike traffic), with the going fast and slow. I do however do plenty of interval training at the gym on the elliptical and wonder if it's the same or good enough? If you have any insight that'd be great!

    1. Hmm, that's a good question Laurel. Unfortunately, I have no idea if the elliptical is as effective as interval running! But if I had to guess, I would think no--it's not. You use different muscles on the elliptical than you do when you run, so the best way to get better and faster at running would be to RUN. Could you use a treadmill at the gym instead? You can do speedy intervals on the treadmill.

  14. Hi Katie!!!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!! I have been struggling with what to give up for lent, and I am going to follow your lead and not binge for all of lent!!!! My worse time is in the evening before bed, especially if dh isn't home for some reason. I am going to have a protein powder smoothie in the evening and nothing else. Thanks again and good job on your real food challenge!!!

  15. Oh my gosh I bringing a box home from work today! My cat "thanks you" in advance for this idea lol!! When you are counting calories do you also count grams of fat? If yes what is your ideal grams of fat goal per day?

    Love the blog!!!

    1. Hi Amanda! No, I don't count fat grams. I do eat a lot of fat (nuts, seeds, nut butter, oils) and I don't try to limit my fat intake. Fat keeps me satisfied :)

  16. I love the cat pics....especially Paolo! I have quite a few boxes that need recycled, but first I am going to try this with my cat. He looks a lot like your Estelle, but is hugely chubby.

  17. LOVED your cat pictures. They all cracked me up.

    Like you, I think I will try to go 40 days binge free for Lent. Even though I'm not a Catholic either, self-discipline is a good thing! I think I have binged enough the last seveal days, so that now most of those tempting snacks are gone anyway. Last night hubby & son opened up a box of Vanilla Oreos I had bought for the grandkid's last visit (they didn't want any!). I didn't eat a single one, but I will sure be glad when they're all gone! Girl Scout cookies are going fast. I allow myself two lemonade cookies/day, and there's only 4 left. Hubby took the last of the carmel delites in his lunch today, I stay away from those. One good thing about the Girl Scout cookies, there's not many in a box.

  18. LOL the last cat looks pissed!

  19. Love the cat pics.

  20. Paolo's picture just made me LOL...now everyone at work is wondering what the heck I'm doing! :)

  21. I love your cats! I completely understand your thoughts during running. I have a love/hate relationship with running. When I'm running, I'm usually grumbling about it, but when I'm NOT running, I think of it so fondly!!

  22. My problem at my biggest weight (while eating mostly real and whole foods) is that a lot of times we subconsciously think that because it is real, whole and we raised/grew it, we can eat as much as we want of it. That's simply not true. 2500 calories is 2500 calories no matter where they come from. I'm like Joan up there. I could never eat a lot of processed/boxed foods. I don't like to eat out either because I almost always end up sick :-/

    Anyway, good thing we all get to pick what works for us!

  23. OMGosh the Paolo picture cracked me up!!

  24. Your cats are hilarious!! Thanks for making me smile today!!

    S x


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive