I have wanted to try some sort of kick-start eating program for a while. Although I consider myself to be fairly healthy when it comes to food choices in the week and I love experimenting with healthy recipes, my willpower seems to go out of the window when it comes to the weekend. It’s like my body says ‘it’s the weekend, which means you can consume everything!’. And I usually do. Most weekends I will stuff my face with take away currys, sweets and I’ll also down the occasional glass of wine too. Then, as soon as Monday comes along, I get straight back on the ‘healthy eating program’ and continue to experiment with recipes and generally try to improve my diet. But when the next weekend comes along? Yes – you get where I am going with this. Whilst I think indulgence at the weekend is totally allowed (who doesn’t?!) I have been starting to get increasingly frustrated at myself. By eating whatever is in sight at the weekend I know I have been un-doing some of my hard work. All the mid-week gym sessions, long runs in preparation for the half marathon and bike rides never have the opportunity to work their magic because a few days later I’m munching on Maltesers. So, a few weeks ago I decided to try and change this routine and to try and get into a healthier weekend eating routine, but a sustainable one. I’m talking a few ‘cheat’ meals – just not constant scoffing.
With a holiday looming and my first ever race in a few months I thought it seemed an appropriate time to assess my diet and try to figure out a routine that fits with my lifestyle. After watching a fascinating programme, Food Matters, I started to consider what kind of ‘diet’ I wanted to try. And that’s when I came across Clean and Lean on social media.
I had heard of Clean and Lean before but never delved too much into it. I knew it was a book and diet lifestyle that was popular with celebrities, mainly Elle Macpherson. But I wanted to know more so I ordered the book. And I’m really glad I did. As well as being full of really tasty recipe ideas, the book was so educational. It is full of fascinating facts about food, the effects of eating processed foods and the benefits of eating natural unprocessed ones. The philososhy of the book fitted with the show I had watched and I felt the ‘diet’ really made sense. Eat produce that is as close to it’s natural state as possible (i.e. potatoes instead of crisps) and eat as much veg as you like and eat fruit (although this is supposed to be limited).
I was so sold by the book that I decided to try out the 14 day clean eating program that’s in it. It’s basically two weeks of eating meat, eggs, a bit of fruit and LOTS of salad. My first day is down, so what do I think? It’s hard – the preparation is the hardest part. Getting up at 6am to grill chicken and chop salad whilst drooling like a zombie is never a good look. But the preparation is paying off – I have never tasted salads with so much flavour in them and I’m finding every bite I take I am savouring (that’s probably because there isn’t much of it!). I have also really enjoyed experimenting with the food so far. Today’s food consisted of eggs, broccoli and rocket for breakfast, some fruit and nuts for snacks, a smoked salmon salad for lunch and a grilled chicken salad for dinner.
Whilst toning up will always be a good thing, the main reason I am doing this is to boost my energy levels. Fatigue is horrible and I think diet has a big part to play so here’s hoping this kick-start helps. So far I am feeling lethargic – but I imagine that’s my body adjusting from a food-filled weekend. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!