February 09, 2012

Real Foods Challenge: Day 9

I'm really starting to hate this challenge. I'm dying to eat something sweet--and I mean SWEET like sugar, not sweet like a medjool date or honey. The first six days or so weren't bad at all, but the last few days have been awful.

I'm extremely tired and lacking energy, my skin feels greasy and is breaking out like a teenager, and I've turned into a superbitch. If anything, I was hoping that eating "real" food would make me feel better, not worse. When I was trying to think of something to make for dinner, I kind of flipped out and yelled to Jerry that I was quitting the stupid challenge--but I didn't, of course. I'm going to stick to it for the entire month.

But just for the record, I'm NOT happy about it.

There, tantrum over. I never did think of something decent for dinner, so I had shredded wheat with frozen blueberries. I don't like shredded wheat (unless it's frosted), so I just ate the blueberries and milk. And too many pistachios.

So my food log looks strange, but something like this:
Breakfast--usual oats cooked in milk with dates, walnuts, and maple syrup
Lunch--usual salad with chicken, almonds, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette; piece of homemade cinnamon raisin bread
Dinner--couple bites of shredded wheat, blueberries, milk, pistachios, 3 medjool dates
Snacks--pistachios, and probably something else tonight (not sure what yet)

I'm going to write out a food plan for tomorrow so I don't feel like I'm always scrambling for something to eat when I get hungry.

On a positive note, I finally get to spill the beans on a project I've been working on for a couple of months. Shortly after my surgery, a man named Rik e-mailed me. He's a reader of my blog that lost 90 pounds and had the same surgery as me. He also became a runner, and he's done a few Ragnar Relays.

I've been wanting to put together a Ragnar team ever since I ran the one in 2010, but I'd be lost as far as being a team captain (it's a lot of work!). Rik said he'd captained a team before, so he would be willing to do the busy work if I could help come up with a team. We thought it would be really fun to put together a Ragnar team of people like us--that had lost a significant amount of weight and become runners along the way. I sent out invites to people that immediately came to mind (people whose blogs you may even read), and after some planning, we are "officially" registered as of today...

We are going to be running the Ragnar Relay Key West in January 2013!!

I am so psyched about this! I'm really excited to meet everyone. We are all strangers to each other from around the country, so this should be really interesting.

We're still waiting for some of our team members to confirm, but so far, here is our list of confirmed runners:
Moi, of course ;)
Mary from a small loss
Jen from From FAT to FINISH LINE
Andrea (a reader of mine who I "met" via e-mail... she was on Oprah!!)
Allison (an online friend of Rik's)

The course starts in Miami and finishes in Key West. My brother Brian just ran this one last month and said it was awesome. So this is how I'm going to be kicking off 2013!

Okay, I just took a break from writing this to go for a run, and I feel so much better now. I had a four miler scheduled, but I decided to do intervals. I decided to run (and try to PR) a 5k next month, and I want to get faster before then. (Anyone else doing the Corktown 5k?) So I'll be doing more speed work. Today I did four miles broken up into: warm-up, then 1/2 mile fast, 1/4 mile slow (5 times).

The half-mile intervals were HARD. I wanted to quit so many times and just run slowly, but if I'm going to PR a 5k, I'll have to run about an 8:41/mi (which will give me a sub-27:00 time). But I'm really hoping to get a sub-26:00 time, which would mean a 8:21/mi pace. So I have some serious work to do in the next four weeks!

My pace for my 1/2 mile splits was: 8:22, 8:44, 8:24, 8:53, 8:45. That's an average of 8:38/mi. pace. It felt so hard that I was thinking, "I really don't need to PR. What does it really matter? This isn't even fun." But it DOES matter, because I wrote it on my 30-in-30 list, and I really want to do it.

Speaking of the list, I got to cross one off today... and it was totally unintentional. I did a nighttime run! I was just about to head out the door at 6:00, when I thought I'd better grab my reflective vest from the Ragnar just in case it got a little dark. Well, it actually got really dark pretty quickly, and I was glad that I grabbed the vest.


  1. I totally told my husband I wanted to do this relay! I live in Orlando. Good work!

  2. Please do not give up! I cut out refined sugars and all wheat products in August and have never felt better. You can do it. I know it's hard but if I can do this anyone can. Just looking at your food log you do not seem to eat a lot. Maybe eat more fruits and veggies. I know at this point you don't want to hear advice!!LOL. I promise you will feel better in about 3-4 days:)

    1. I've eaten more fruits and veggies in the past 9 days than I've had in months! Today was just not a good food log day, because I was feeling so frustrated and, well, pissed off about it. But when I said "too many pistachios" I meant WAY too many--I'm sure my calories are well over 2,000 for the day ;)

      I AM going to stick it out, but I just wish I was feeling some good effects from this challenge to help me along! Thanks for the confidence :)

  3. I may be a little confused here...but couldn't you have...maybe 'raw' sugar or something? It does come from a plant right? Maybe I'm understanding your challenge wrong though.

    I'm happy for you that you are able to do another relay like you've been wanting to! : )

  4. Clean eating will get easier. The crankyness and the oily zit face are your body detoxing. The good news is if you drink alot of water it will go away in a couple days. Hang in there the good effects will come after you detox. Drink TONS of water. It helps.

  5. I am so jealous of your course!

    Ok stupid question, but can you eat higher sugar fruit? Like bananas, grapes, clementines? They might take care of the sugar cravings.

  6. I'm doing the Corktown 5k! :) I just ran my first 5k on Super Bowl Sunday and loved it. I'm hooked. :)

  7. If you're craving something sweet, might I suggest "Chocolate Covered Katie"'s blog? She has TONS of awesome, healthy, vegan, real-food desserts that are awesome! And many of them are written to make small batches or even single servings, so they're great when you don't want to bust your butt baking. http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/chocolate-covered-recipes/

  8. That race sounds awesome. We went to Key West a couple years ago, it's so beautiful. I would love to run down there.
    I hope your cravings get better. Detoxing sucks.
    Jennifer Bass

  9. Alicia aka 135BY35February 09, 2012

    It won't be long and the worst will be behind you. I wonder are you playing a head game with yourself and that is why you are craving sugar so badly? You know the whole, "I can't have it, so I want it," kind of thing.

    The race sounds awesome, and what a great group of team mates!

  10. I'm not sure if these count for your real food restrictions, but one of my favorite non-processed sweet treats are coconut date rolls: http://www.shutterbean.com/coconut-date-rolls/

    In Chicago, I would buy them one or two at a time from the bulk bins because it's all too easy to make a container of them disappear in a day :P

  11. I feel your pain on the sugar!! I have been on a sugar/sweets (ie., desserts) fast for 40 days that ended at midnight tonight. I'm a cake baker and decorator and it's been HARD!! I remember day 5 was super hard for me, but it did get easier! I hope it does for you too!

  12. That run looks so cool! If you didn't know from my blog, I'm a Disney FREAKO! The bf and I want to run the half marathon in California and the half marathon in Disney World, so we can win coast to coast medals. Lots of people complain about Florida but I love it there. I've never been to the keys so that's really cool! Also I may try do start interval training. I run a 5k in 31-32 min and I would love to do it in a half hour for my first race this spring. I'm open to any advice you have on shaving off some seconds!

  13. It takes time for your body to adapt to clean eating, especially if your diet was mostly processed foods - there are so many hidden sugars in them that even if you think you've checked you're still never 100% sure of how much sugar you've consumed. The lethargy, crankiness and skin break outs is just your body working out all the existing 'junk' and adjusting itself to the new food :) You'll find when you go back to processed foods your tastes will change too and you need less sugar to get the same kick! You are such an inspiration, I'm a lurker reader really but have been on a cleaner eating / exercise kick since January 3rd and feel fantastic!

  14. I think by the end of the month you will totally be rocking the clean eating. I think what will actually happen is you will feel bad when you go back to "junk" food. I actually am excited to be reading your progress. I think it's all withdrawal right now. You are rocking this! Don't quit!

  15. You're doing WAY better than I ever would! 9 days is a real accomplishment! I bought fruit salad at the store yesterday, telling the cashier that if it's already prepared for me I'm more inclined to eat it. Well, it's till sitting there! I gave my husband some to bring to work since he's not much of a fruit/veggie eater unless I GIVE it to him! Look at the bright side, you did pick the shortest month of the year to do your challenge. Just too bad it's a leap year and it has an extra day! LOL!

  16. We are doing Run Shamrock in Ann Arbor on March 11th, I didn't there was a race in the D that day!

    You know what, just for you, I'm going to make an exception an eat a Mrs. Fields cookie today. ;-)

  17. I could not be more jealous right now if you were married to Ryan Gosling! Key West is my favorite place on this planet and THAT is the Ranger I want, no NEED, to do. I have friends who do the Ranger but always here in NY or they want to do Napa because they like wine. You are going to have the absolute best time and I for one will be living vicariously through you that weekend!

  18. Have you ever tried stuffing the dates with peanut butter? Very easy, very sweet and easy.

  19. I bet that Ragnar is going to be AMAZING!!!!! I want to run one so bad someday. I just ran my first half marathon in September and I was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time. Running has taken a drastic back seat lately. :( I am still out pounding the pavement 4-5 days a week but it is mostly walk/jog. Not an actual run. It has been hard for me to keep up my running during this pregnancy. :( Anyway, you are amazing. so glad I found your blog a few months ago. Love that you are so motivated. Thanks for inspiring me.

  20. I made this chocolate cake the other day using only honey to sweeten it since i don't have stevia on hand and it tasted really good. Check it out, it should fall into your real foods guidelines. I know it sounds weird but even my husband liked it, and he doesn't usually eat cake.

  21. Hi Katie - How about pretending your 'ELF' and pouring some of that pure maple syrup all over something like a sweet potato! That would be really sweet! I know that's not what you're craving though - a damn vegetable! Some friends are doing a 30 day juice cleansing right now and have made it through the first, very hard week. They're starting to feel the good effects! Maybe you're just thinking about it too much - we all know how our minds mess with us when it comes to food! Key West is awesome - even if you have to run all the way to get there:) Onward! Lynne

  22. Clean eating sounds pretty sucky! :) You're a better woman than I am! But maybe once I get down to a more comfortable weight I can do it. I'm sure it would help with my weight loss, but just being new to all the calorie counting, etc it's all I can focus on for now! But good for you! I hope today is a better day for you!!

    I have two questions for you. What does PR stand for? I'm guessing it has something to do with placing in the race, but I'm running challenged! ;)

    Also, when you first start losing wieght people always say stuff about "water weight.". How many pounds does that count for? I think that term pretty much stinks because it makes me feel like I can't take credit for those (however many) pounds! I'm claiming them, though! I've worked hard for them! Last time I commented I was down 9 pounds and as of this morning I'm down 11!

    Oh - I know you weigh in Wednesdays, but I've heard some people say weigh every day, every week, every other week. What do you think?

    1. PR stands for Personal Record. I had to look it up myself when I started running. I still don't know what the hell a negative split is though!

    2. LOL, a negative split is when your mile times get faster as the race progresses... for example, in a 5k, if you miles splits are: 9:15, 9:07, 9:03, then those are negative splits. Negative splits are a good thing!

  23. Hey Katie - one sweet treat I love are Maple Glazed Walnuts - an Ellie Krieger recipe. It should fit with your all natural eating:

    2 cups walnut halves
    1/3 cup maple syrup
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Preheat a dry skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, stirring for a few minutes while they toast. Add the maple syrup, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized, about 3 minutes. Dump on waxed paper and sprinkle with salt. Let cool.


    (TheresaQ from Spark)

  24. Hi Katie. I have a recipe for a sweet treat here. Can you eat granola? (perhaps something all-natural?) Try these:

    Goody Two Chews-
    1/3 cup light peanut butter
    1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    2 egg whites
    1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    2 1/2 cups low-fat granola
    3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

    Preheat oven to 250F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan wiht cooking spray and set aside.
    In a medium bowl, beat together peanut butter and maple syrup on medium speed of an electric mixer. Add egg whites and spice and beat again till smooth.
    Stir in granola and chopped cranberries. Divide mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack before removing them from the pan. Store in an airtight container.

    Per cluster: 124 calories, 3.2 g fat, 4g protein, 22g carbs, 1.2 g fiber0mg cholestrol, 65mg sodium

  25. I went through something similar when I tried the 4 Hour Body diet. It was slow carbs--so lots of beans and stuff but NO SUGAR. And not even natural sugars like fruit. I just didn't feel great.

  26. Not every thing works forever one. I think it's good to stick it out for the month. I've been reading your food logs and you seem to eat the same things every day. Maybe you need more variation? So boredom doesn't happen. Maybe try looking for vegan recipes, I find that even though I'm not vegan (or vegetarian) that they have some of the best ideas for recipes and foods. I usually look at them and then apply them to how I eat. But they are great starting ideas.

  27. You should check out the E2 diet. Really yummy "real foods" recipes. :)

  28. I am super excited about this journey we are about to go on together!! Thank you so much for inviting me along on this challenge!



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