As I reported in my last book club post, I read Ginger Vieira’s Your Diabetes Science Experiment back in August. In the book, she shares her Ten-Day Clean-Eating Challenge. According to Ginger, the purpose of the challenge is to:
Help you see how significantly the food you eat impacts your blood sugar control, your weight, your energy, your insulin needs, and your overall eating habits.
Now, I think I eat pretty healthy but I know there are areas I could improve on. I wrote back in June about my weight struggles and while I lost about 20 pounds between December of last year and this April, I have been pretty stagnant the last few months (although I think I’m getting more muscle and losing fat but my weight has stayed the same and I’ve lost three pounds the last 2 weeks which could be because I’m running regularly again), so I will be interested in the weight part of the challenge. I’m also hoping to get better blood sugar control (that’s a never ending goal in my book) and improve my energy (I get pretty tired some days) so I’m hoping for some great outcomes from this experiment.
If you are thinking about doing this challenge, I definitely recommend reading the book first but a quick summary of the challenge looks like this:
- Eating 5-6 small meals per day (my hubby is always telling me to do this)
- Include whole fruits and veggies in at least 3 meals (I pretty much do this already)
- Include good sources of protein in at least 3 meals (I do this already)
- Low-glycemic sources of whole grain and starches in at least 2-3 meals and preferably at breakfast and before/after exercise
- Two cheat meals during the challenge
I think the hardest part is going to be eating 5-6 meals per day. Right now I just eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe a snack before bed depending on what time I eat dinner. So I’ll have to decrease my meal size while increasing the quantity of meals everyday. I’m a little worried about how eating so often will affect my blood sugars-will I just stay high all day or will this really help my blood sugars? It also seems like a lot of food-more than I’m eating now so hopefully I won’t gain weight doing this food challenge.
The book also describes foods you can and can’t eat. I eat Weight Watcher cakes (not because I’m doing the WW diet, but because I really like the dessert and they are only 12 carbs!) every day as a small dessert/snack and I eat waffles for breakfast every morning so it’s going to be tough to go without those. Then there are two foods I eat a TON of and I can’t decide if they are okay to eat on this food challenge or not. I have eaten Boar’s Head Ovengold turkey and string cheeses since I was 10 (if not longer). I have eaten them every single day of my life. I have heard that deli meat is processed and certain cheeses are as well so I’m going to try and go without these two items but I will have deli meat for lunch the first two days because I have to use up what I have now.
One thing that was interesting was that I found MANY websites devote to clean eating when I was trying to figure out what was okay to eat. When I was reading Ginger Vieira’s book I thought she had come up with it on her own but I guess it’s a thing. And all of the websites have different foods that are okay or not okay to eat. I think overall the challenge is to get away from “boxed” foods like my waffles or WW cakes but then there are grey area foods like mustard-some are clean some which add sugar and other stuff to the mix aren’t. I’m going to try as hard as I can to eat clean but I’m also not going to stress too much (or at least not anymore than I already have). For instance, I am going to use soy sauce when I make stir fry. I’m not sure if soy sauce is allowed or not but I’m going to use it.
So here is my plan for meals:
Meal 1 (breakfast): Egg whites or scrambled eggs or greek yogurt and cantaloupe
Meal 2: Carrots and hummus and banana (eek bananas are the devil for my blood sugar but I’m going to try)
Meal 3 (lunch): Tuna or chicken, spinach, almonds and feta cheese and apples (what I usually do now for lunch minus the WW cake for dessert and turkey for protein)
Meal 4: Cucumber slices, mixed nuts and grapes
Meal 5 (dinner): Ground turkey or chicken, veggies-probably broccoli or peppers, brown rice or quinoa (not sold on the brown rice or quinoa so might rethink this one)
Meal 6: 2 Squares of dark chocolate, almonds and apples
I’m sure I will need to make adjustments. I’m not sure if this is a good plan of attack or not but I’m going to try and stick to the same thing everyday (which is pretty much what I do now anyways just with different food). I’m also going to not drink any alcohol, which could be tough with football season starting up and I’m going to try and eliminate Diet Cokes but I’m only human.
I’m starting the challenge on Sunday-I can’t wait to see how I do! (Although I am going to the Nascar race tomorrow at RIR so hopefully I won’t be too hungover (i.e. craving McDonald’s-only time I ever eat it) to start my challenge.-sorry for all the parentheses)