We live in a world that is more and more preoccupied with health, diets, exercise and well being, to the point where it’s turning from a challenge to an obsession. Many of us have tried so many diets, exercise, counting calories, counting steps, counting challenges and the list goes on. I think in this obsessive pursuit of the “perfect figure”, we sometimes forget that a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand.
For me, a challenge is always a good thing! It calls for discipline and commitment. So when I saw the 28 Day Reset Challenge on Blogilates, it sounded like a great idea. This challenge is NOT a diet, but it does challenge takers to observe their bodies’ reaction to certain foods. This is what I learned:
If you forget about sugary for 5 days, you’ve basically won the challenge!
I love all sweets, candy, desert, think of anything sweet, natural or unnatural, I’ll have without remorse. I dive into any piece of cake I can get and enjoy it to the extreme, regardless of the time of day. That has always been the case with me since I was young enough to be told what to eat, but old enough to find Mom’s hiding spots for sweets.
When I started the challenge, it was more like: “let’s see how long I can last” rather than “I am not putting any sugary stuff in my mouth even if the world ends”. This way, I eliminated stress from my challenge and I allowed myself to observe. Of course I had cravings after 3 days, but I controlled those by having more fruit, cold pressed nut bars and drinking a lot of lemon water.
Pausing dairy intake can cause weight loss
The second thing I love to eat besides cake is cheese, any type of cheese will do, mad of any type of animal milk. I always say that if cheese, tomatoes and olives disappear from the face of the Earth, I’d be lost.
There’s a lot of talk about casein, and how reducing the intake of milk and milk products reduces the risk of cancer. I can believe this now, but where I’m from, many generations of children living in the countryside lived off natural milk products and lead long and healthy lives. So the reason why I stopped having dairy (except for eggs) was to see if anything would change. I am now certain that I am not lactose intolerant, I have no reaction to having or not having milk products, but one thing is for sure: eliminating these products from my diet helped me lose weight.
Eliminating alcohol from the diet is good for the liver and the wallet
I have never been much of a drinker, so taking off alcohol from the list was the easiest thing I could do. However, for everyone who loves alcohol, it might get a little tricky, as it offers both comfort and relaxation. I would suggest going to the gym or meditating instead of drinking. One might be surprised of the euphoria that can be experienced after a proper workout or a meditation session. Even so, just take the challenge, you’ll give your liver some time to regenerate and use the money for a different purpose.
Having no processed foods encourages creativity!
The challenge suggests that we should “Stay away from store-bought foods that are processed or boxed. If a packaged product contains added sugar or more than 3 ingredients, it’s probably not allowed. Examples include: breakfast cereals, bread, chips & crackers, soups, condiments, microwave meals and most things from a package.”
I used salt, pepper, and all kind of herbs and spices and I had oats and raisins a few times, but even so, since I became a vegetarian I completely eliminated processed meats, so not having microwave meals and packed soups was really easy. That and the fact that I don’t like their chemical taste. Instead of bread, I had rice crispy breads and gluten free sliced bread.
On the plus side, I had more foods like: tuna, Carrots, Celery Cucumber, Garlic, Green Beans, Green Onion, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Red Onions, Red Bell Pepper, Spinachand a lot of fruit.
Not having gluten was a relief
I noticed that since I don’t really like the taste of gluten free bread, or I haven’t exactly looked of a proper supplier, I limited my bread intake to 10 slices of bread a week, not because I wanted to, but because I simply didn’t feel the need for it.
The result of the challenge: I lost 3.4 Kilos, without much effort and now I can honestly say that my sweets cravings have dropped to an all time low. I also noticed that adding the “forbidden” elements back into my diet didn’t make me feel differently, therefore I am one of the lucky people who is not lactose intolerant, gluten intolerant or anything of the sort.
I’d love to hear anyone else who’s tried this challenge and what they learned about themselves. Just remember: this is NOT a diet and they key to completing the challenge is: NO STRESS! 🙂
Don’t forget to Give. Take. Recreate!