What I Eat in a Day

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One of the most popular questions I get asked is: What do you eat all day? I took sometime to document an entire day from start to finish. Here we go!

Monday: I wake up at 6:30am. I drink a glass of room temperature water, get ready for my day and head out of my apartment in Brooklyn around 7am. I teach a cycling class at 8am, so I have to be at the studio by 7:30am. I don’t eat anything before that class. I don’t like to eat too closely to teaching because I’m generally not that hungry early in the morning, and i’ll get an upset stomach during class if I have a full stomach. At the studio I make myself a hot green tea with a splash of almond milk in it and drink before class begins.

9am After class I order a smoothie from the cafe at the studio. Usually with banana, strawberries, pea protein powder, almond milk, and coconut oil. I also have a cold brew coffee on ice with a little half and half in it.

10:30am I teach two 20 min rides back to back. After these three classes on Monday morning, I’m feeling accomplished and hungry!

11:30am I eat an early lunch! I go to a restaurant down the street and order brown rice with steamed vegetables and tofu with a vegetable patty and avocado on top. All with some tahini sauce and this amazing Korean bbq hot sauce.

By 2pm I’m back home in Brooklyn. I decide to make one of my favorite recipes in the crockpot for dinner. Butternut Squash Coconut Chili. (Click here for recipe!) It’s an incredibly easy dish to put together, especially if you buy the butternut squash cut already. Everything goes into the crockpot and then in 4 hours the meal will be ready!

Around 4pm I’m hungry for a snack. I put together a plate of gouda cheese, cut up gala apple, hummus, rice crackers, and some raw almonds. This is my “cocktail hour” snack. My mom use to make a small cheese and fruit plate around this time when I was growing up, so its kind of engrained in me. It makes me feel like home.

7:30pm dinner is served! Butternut squash coconut chili goes on top of some cooked quinoa, topped with chopped avocado and some coconut flakes. I eat dinner with a large glass of water. This dinner is so comforting, and incredibly aromatic! My entire apartment smells delicious, and this slow cooked meal is easy to digest and leaves me feeling full and happy.

9pm I have some pieces of dark chocolate, make some hot rooibos tea with steamed almond milk, and start winding down to get ready for bed. I’m in bed by 10:30pm, and usually asleep by 11pm.

So, how do you FEEL?

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My 30 day sugar detox is coming to a close at the end of this week. A lot of people are asking if I feel any different. And I DO. I feel great.

There's a part of me that didn't even know if my willpower was strong enough to do something like this. So the psychological part of this challenge has been rewarding as well. I CAN do something I put my mind towards -- if I want it bad enough, I definitely can.

Physically, I feel great. My energy has been more consistent. Throughout the day I use to crash, and either need more caffeine, or more sugar. Don't get me wrong, I still take naps, but my energy just feels more steady. My skin has cleared up. I believe drinking lots of water and staying hydrated also helps your skin. I haven't been having any weird unexplainable stomach aches. I guess maybe I can explain them now... They are probably from sugar. Duh. And the biggest shocker of all is that I haven't been craving sugar as much as I thought I would. Maybe its because I KNOW I can't have any, so I don't even let me mind go there, or maybe its because my body is feeling so good WITHOUT it. Whatever it is, I now know that if a sugar craving arises, it will pass. And that is wonderful.

Some friends of mine who have also been doing this sugar detox have lost some serious weight as well. 10-15 pounds! In just a few weeks. Its incredible what your body can do and how it can feel if you just give it some love, some nutrition and some attention.

Now, I can not help but think of what the first sugar loaded item of food I will consume, when this detox is done. I'm pretty sure it will make me feel awful. I've already decided that it will give me a stomach ache and a head ache. So it has to be worth it. I'm thinking ice cream.

Do I continue to live a sugar-free life after the 30 days? (After the ice cream that will give me a headache.) I will definitely be limiting the amount of sugar I consume, but I guess we'll see!

Let's talk SNACKS.

SNACKS! I love snacks, and I think that's where most of my sugar addiction comes from. "Oh, I'm a little bit hungry? I'll just stop into Duane Reade and grab a granola bar. Oh! and its around Easter [Halloween, Christmas, Valentines, etc.] and there happens to be holiday candy right in front of me, so I'll just snag one of those delicious peanut butter chocolates shaped like an egg [pumpkin, Christmas tree, heart, etc.]" That was the conversation that I would have with myself. In my head, not out loud, don't worry.

The Whole30 diet suggests that when you are craving a snack in between meals you should think to yourself: "Am I hungry enough to eat a full meal? A protein and a carb?" If the answer is yes, ,then you should eat a meal with a protein and carb. If the answer is no, then you should ignore that craving. (I KNOW, IT'S HARD)

That's what I've been trying to do. Eating a full meal when I'm hungry instead of inhaling 30 clementines. However, there are times when I need a quick bite. For example, right after I teach a fitness class. In those cases here is what I do eat:

Almonds, boiled eggs, carrots and hummus, crackers and cheese with an apple, chia seed pudding, avocado toast. Basically, I think it comes down to being prepared so if you absolutely NEED a snack you aren't just grabbing the first thing you see in the vending machine. But also really asking yourself if you are actually hungry or just bored/craving sugar.

Holidays in convenient stores are hard.

 

OK, lets limit the amount of fruit, shall we?

Yesterday I had 10 servings of fruit. A few bananas, a couple apples, some clementines, blueberries, more bananas. Fruits are delicious, because they have lots of sugar in them! And they are easy to eat on the go. So it got me thinking: One of the reasons why I'm doing this no-sugar diet is to try and eliminate sugar cravings altogether. If we keep trying to find new sugar-less desserts, and chomping on 10 apples a day, we are possibly still eating the same amount of sugar, it's just all natural. NOW, I know, fruits are OK. But let's think about how much fruit. I'm going to limit myself to 2-3 fruits a day. Focus on eating bigger meals that actually fill us up so we're not looking for snacks throughout the day. Big meals full of savory foods: proteins and vegetables.

Here's a chart of some fruits and their sugar content (Thanks Chef Mike!)

Sugar No Mo'

I've been told I eat a lot of sugar. By roommates, boyfriends, friends. And I was pretty defensive at first: "I mean I onlyyyyy eat chocolate when I'm PMSing." Or, "So what if I eat a pint of ice cream at night, I exercise for a living!" (not every night, but ya know...) And then I'd constantly be complaining about having weird stomach aches. My skin was so inconsistent and would break out "randomly." My energy was low. I have serious cravings for chocolate, often. And just weird ailments that doctors or I could never figure out. In my opinion, when a physician doesn't know whats wrong with you, its probably related to diet.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't just eat junk food. I actually eat really well, despite the amount of sugar I consume. I have oatmeal in the morning; However, I dump spoonfuls of brown sugar in it. I drink green tea, but I put 3 Tablespoons of honey in every cup. I snack on granola bars, protein bars, all packed with sugar. I eat a lot of fruit -- sugar. I crave something sweet after dinner: a few cookies, ice cream, maybe a spoonful of Nutella... (Whatever its made with nuts!)  Anyway, even writing this now its hard not to get defensive about my sugar eating habits.

What first made me even consider cutting sugar out of my diet was when a friend told me she was trying the Whole30 diet. You basically cut out all sugar, grains, dairy, and legumes, for 30 days. I literally stopped listening to the list of foods she was saying because I was stuck on SUGAR: "You're not eating ALLLLL sugar for 30 days? WHAT?" And then I started doing my research. Sugar causes diseases. Sugar gives you low energy. Sugar is bad for your skin. Sugar is in almost every food, and you aren't even aware that you're eating it. I don't like being fooled, so this started to piss me off.

So I'm cutting out all sugar from my diet. Except for fruit. Because I need fiber, and I'm not trying to torture myself, I'm just trying to be aware of how much sugar I consume. After a few days of not eating any sugar I watched the documentary Fed Up. If you haven't watched it, I strongly encourage you to. Watch it here for free!  It talks about the rising obesity problem in children and how food corporations are strategically putting sugar in everything!  People are only getting sicker, fatter, unhealthier at younger ages. It was a perfect time to cut out sugar, for me. Enough is enough. I could only imagine how much better I would feel if I cut it out of my diet. 

I plan to share some no-sugar recipes and a few updates on how I'm feeling through the next 30 days.  Also, there seems to be A LOT of interest from friends and family regarding this decision of mine, and many people are joining me in this 30 day challenge! (Thank you!) So I hope to share lots of recipes from other people who are also cutting sugar out from their diet. We're all in this together, so lets go!

 

Sidenote: If you're interested in the Whole30 diet, read my friend Amy's blog as she documented her 30 day challenge. http://wholespiely.tumblr.com/