Before we dive into my overall Whole Living Challenge overview (including how much weight I lost!), I have to share my food log from Week 4. To recap, the following are off-limits throughout the entire 28 day detox plan: processed foods and beverages, added sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol. During Week 4 you can pretty much eat whatever you want as long as it’s not one of the six off-limit things throughout the Challenge–this includes adding gluten products (like pasta) and animal proteins (like chicken and beef) back into your diet.
One of my overall goals for doing this Challenge was to push myself to try new foods and recipes. The following are the new foods I tried for the first time during Week 4:
- Cannellini Beans
And this is the only new recipe I tried:
- Roasted Winter Vegetables with Cannellini Beans (pretty darn good, actually)
And here’s a log of what I ate during Week 4:
7:30am: Detox tea (wishful thinking after my Oscar party food hangover!)
10am: Blue Smoothie (blueberries, banana, orange juice)
12pm: Rice Noodles with Broccoli-Almond Pesto
3:30pm: Apple slices with almond butter
8pm: Three Twizzlers (WTF?! That’s the bad thing about cheating on your diet–it’s SO HARD to get back on track afterwards!)
7am: Cup of hot water with lemon
8am: Beet & Carrot Smoothie (I hated this damn smoothie, but felt like I had to drink it as my punishment for my Cheat Day)
11am: Rice Noodles with Broccoli-Almond Pesto, and veggies with hummus
3pm: A few bites of Quinoa Salad (quinoa, black beans, corn, avocado)
4:30pm: Roasted Winter Vegetables with Cannellini Beans
I was still feeling like crap from my Cheat Day (Day 21), so it was all about back to the basics on this day as I tried to get back on track.
7:30am: Beet & Carrot Smoothie (still punishing myself)
11am: Rice Noodles with Broccoli-Almond Pesto
4pm: Handful of almonds and cashews
7:45pm: Lettuce salad with carrots, red cabbage, broccoli, hearts of palm, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds
7am: Blue Smoothie (blueberries, banana, orange juice)
8:30am: Oatmeal with chopped nuts
12pm: Roasted Winter Vegetables (carrots, brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potato) with Cannellini Beans
3pm: The last of my Roasted Winter Vegetables with Cannellini Beans
6pm: Quinoa Salad (quinoa, avocado, black beans, corn)
9am: Quinoa Salad (quinoa, black bean, corn, avocado–an unusual choice for breakfast, but it worked in a pinch!)
12pm: Lettuce and spinach salad with carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, hard-boiled egg, artichoke hearts, and chickpeas)
3:30pm: Handful of nuts
6pm: More Quinoa Salad
8:30am: Blue Smoothie (blueberries, banana, orange juice), 2 eggs (scrambled, no dairy), and tea
11am: The last of my Quinoa Salad
2:30pm: Sweet Potato Chips & Hummus
6pm: A huge lettuce salad with broccoli, hearts of palm, sunflower seeds and chia seeds, and a teeny tiny slice of pepperoni pizza, and a few gummie bears left over from my Oscar party. Oh yeah…and some beers.
We had some friends over for a card night. It would have preferable to have had it AFTER my Challenge was over, but that was the night that worked best for everyone, and I was SO CLOSE to the end of the Challenge that I figured what the heck, it’s fine. I cheated a little bit with the candy and the pizza, but it could’ve been much worse. I love pepperoni pizza (of course it was from my favorite place) and normally would’ve eaten half the pie. I also normally wouldn’t have have eaten a big salad beforehand, so I was patting myself on the back for those choices!
7am: Green Smoothie (kale, parsley, banana, and green apple)
9:30am: Three eggs (scrambled, no dairy)
2pm: Spicy Black Bean Salad with avocado added
7:30pm: Broiled Lemon Pepper Cod
::Takes a bow::
::Opens a bottle of Chardonnay::
Overall, I found that my second go-round with the Whole Living Challenge was easier to do, but harder to stick to. That may sound crazy, but it’s the best way I can describe it. Last year, when I first did the Challenge, it was SO HARD for me to adapt to this way of eating. Up to that point, fruits and vegetables were just things I purchased to make cute centerpieces. Since completing that first Challenge, however, I’ve drastically changed my eating habits, and eating healthy, whole foods (including fruits and vegetables!) has become a part of my daily life, so in that regard, adapting to the food constraints of the Challenge this year was much easier for me to do.
On the flip side, sticking to the Challenge was much harder for me this year compared to last year. I think the reason for this is that I felt so incredibly different–in a good way!–while doing the Challenge last year that I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize how great I felt. The results were very dramatic for me last year, which really helped me stay committed. This year, however, (which the exception of fighting cravings during that first week) I pretty much felt the same as I always do. I didn’t see huge improvements in my mood or energy like I did last year–which is actually kind of refreshing to realize because to me that means I haven’t gone too far off track since completing the 2011 Whole Living Challenge. Overall, I think it confirms that my 80/20 plan works for me and my crazy stubborn brain that is programmed to want something even more when it’s told it can’t have it.
And now, the moment many of you have been waiting for…the total amount of pounds I lost during this year’s Whole Living Challenge is…
::drum roll please::
That may not sound like much, but I’ll tell you this: 1) That number represents 4% of my body weight. 2) I was at a healthy weight before I started this Challenge and weight loss wasn’t a primary goal of mine, and 3) For the first time…ever?…I actually weigh less than it says on my driver’s license photo.
(Weight loss may not have been a primary goal of mine, but you’re damn right I’m going to celebrate that one!)
As much as my six pound weight loss is a nice added bonus, what I really wanted to accomplish by doing this Challenge was to remain committed to my 80/20 plan, challenge myself to try new foods and recipes, and above all else to set a healthy example for my daughter.
On the last day of my 28 Day Challenge, Kate finally tried (and finished!!) her very first Green Smoothie.
Seeing my incredibly picky two-year-old happily slurping up a smoothie bursting with healthy kale, parsley, banana, and green apple was, without a doubt, my greatest reward.
It’s never too early to plan ahead! Who’s going to join me for next year’s Challenge?
Looking for a great way to view all of my weekly prep posts, wrap-ups, and recipes? Follow me on Pinterest and check out my 2012 Whole Living Challenge pin board!
A huge THANK YOU to Jenna, Frances, Karyn, Jennifer, Sara, Marlena, Andrea, Christy, Melissa, Katie, Kerri, Tori, Rebeca, and everyone else who joined me at All Things G&D on Facebook to face this Challenge together. It wasn’t always easy–hell, it was rarely easy!–but having your support made it so much better. Thank you all so much!