Day 3

Photo on 11-20-13 at 11.19 PM #3

Day 3: Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

Well, as I expected, today was tough. Not only did I start to get cravings, there were temptations EVERYWHERE. First, I went to get a simple water at Starbucks, and the woman there perked up asking if anyone wanted a “free caramel hot chocolate”. Mmm…would have been so nice on a chilly day like today. Then, there was a plethora of free cookies at my college union. Oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, peanut butter…it took all of my willpower to not indulge. That was the worst my cravings have gotten so far. If there’s one complaint I have about this challenge compared to the gluten-free challenge is the lack of variety. At least when you eat gluten free, there are so many options you can choose form now, like breads and bagels and cookies. But almost EVERYTHING has sugar in it, and when you get a craving, hardly anything can stop it besides maybe fruit, self control, and taking sips of water until the craving passes. I completely expected this, but as I walked through the health food store today for an hour exploring what sugar free options I could find…there was anything but variety. Even the organic craisins they had contained “evaporated cane juice” which, I’ve read, could just be plain sugar. I didn’t want to take the risk.
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Mmm breakfast :]

Anyway, I had a pretty normal day of eating. I was a little bit hungrier than I had been the past few days, which was nice since this was the first day I woke up feeling hungry rather than yucky. I kind of skimped on dinner because I was running around a bunch, but I had some pistachios to get me through a run and rock climbing, and came home and had a few forkfuls of leftover brown rice form the other night. One plus, I found DELICIOUS thumbprint cookies at the health food store that were gluten free, vegan, and sugar free. It helped me get over my sweet craving a bit.

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So, with that, I’ve made it over the three day hump! What’s the one thing I miss the most? Cereal. I miss waking up and being able to have cereal. At least on my gluten-free diet I was able to at least have that. Like I said, the lack of variety is discouraging, and was something that made my gluten-free diet fun. I could explore so much. But, I’m trying to keep it fun still! I do feel great, and my run was very nice. So, with that, on to day 4!

Photo on 11-20-13 at 11.20 PM #2

xoxo Katie


SFMenu Day 3

Day 2

Photo on 11-19-13 at 4.46 PM

 

Day 2: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Today has been a little funny. I woke up feeling extremely tired. Now I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I’m getting over a cold, or that I’ve cut out sugar. I’m going to contribute it to both equally. I also felt a little yucky in my tummy, which I’m contributing to how terribly I ate this past weekend. It has just been a weird day. I’m sure I’m undergoing some energy relapse without sugar, which I expected, and am just trying to forge through it.

With that said, I found some really great things today at my local health food store. The town where I go to college has a great health food store that I’m obsessed with, and they also have a small cafe where they make sandwiches and smoothies and baked goods. Since I had to go there for a meeting this morning, I figured I should check out what they had since I still needed breakfast before heading to class. I trust the food there because it is all homemade with some of the best organic ingredients. I wasn’t sure how they stood on sugar though. What I found was very pleasantly surprising though. All of their baked goods (which they display the ingredients by) didn’t have any sugar in them. I took advantage of this. I ended up getting a “Good Morning Muffin”, which was basically a muffin with raisins, carrots, and walnuts, sweetened with a bit of honey. It was delicious and filled me up for practically the rest of the day. I also grabbed a homemade granola bar of theirs, which was rolled oats, raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and honey. Another great find that I’m still full from.

I actually did get to try something new today though, something it’ve been meaning to try; cross training. Now as you guys are probably aware, I run…a lot. And people keep telling me I need to add in some days of biking or swimming as to give my joints a rest, and I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time now. Today…things just happened to have fallen into place perfectly. I did a little bit of kayaking, which was an unexpected activity in my day, and I hadn’t gotten a run in, so after kayaking I figured why not get in a swim in place of a run? So I did. And it felt great. It gave my joints a break and still allowed me to get my heart rate up for a good 20 minutes or so. I need to add this to my weekly routine a few times a week. No lack of energy due to the lack of sugar.

I also discovered that I can still eat my favorite…Larabars! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before. I love granola bars as a quick snack, or even a meal sometimes, and I was at a bit of a loss since most have some type of sugar in them. But not Larabars. I can always count on them to have 5 or less ingredients, and to be naturally sweetened by what’s in them. Many of them are gluten free, dairy free, and vegan, and I feel pretty safe eating them, so I had one before I went off to kayak.Larabar-Peanut-Butter-Cookie-021908453071

After kayaking and my swim, I came back and had a nice salad. I figured I didn’t have to change anything from what I usually put in my salads; baby spinach, broccoli, carrots, avocado, walnuts, and cranberries. The only thing I knew I had to adjust was my dressing. I found a nice sugar free raspberry vinaigrette dressing that’s low in calories. I still don’t like the amount of ingredients that goes into it, but it was one of the few sugar free dressing I could come across, and it was delicious. What was shocking to me, though, were my cranberries. I guess since they were Ocean Spray brand and not organic I should have figured this, but the ingredients listed were “dried cranberries, sugar”. Why cant it just be cranberries?! So, wanting a sweet surprise in my salad, like I love, I substituted raisins, Sun Maid Raisins, because all that was on that ingredient list was, luckily, raisins.

I didn’t take any pictures of what I ate today, which I regret, so tomorrow I’ll be more diligent about that. Sorry guys!

As of now, other than my energy level, things went well today. I had a slight craving for something sweet, which I ended up getting by with willpower. We’ll see how tomorrow is. I’m expecting it may be hard as it’s going to be the three day hump.

Photo on 11-19-13 at 10.26 PM #2

xoxo Katie

SFMenu Day 2

Day 1!

Photo on 11-18-13 at 9.43 PM #3

Day 1: Monday, November 18th

Well, the journey of being without sugar has begun, and so far, it’s not so bad! My diet is sort of similar to that of the one I had when on a gluten-free diet, but I can’t have certain things I love, like cereal, which was still possible on a gluten-free diet. Regardless, just form day 1 I feel great. Of course, I didn’t eat well the entire weekend, so anything would feel better. That said, I also was able to get multiple runs in today, without feeling too tired to do so. I was so tired this morning from a poor night’s sleep, and woke up feeling yucky, but I actually gained energy throughout the day, rather than lost it.

I started out the day with a nice smoothie of strawberries, spinach, raspberries, banana, blueberries, and chia, which hit the spot since I wasn’t too hungry, and I’d gotten in a morning workout. Now I know fruit has sugar in it, so I feel the need to stress that I’m giving up refined sugar. Nothing that’s a natural sugar. I see nothing wrong with these sugars, as they aren’t man made. After that I went to the store and got myself some nice, big carrots. I usually go with baby carrots, but decided to finally switch. These carrots are not only cheaper, but, in my mind, are less processed and less at risk of having GMO’s in them.

Later, I found some amazing news when I discovered that my favorite gluten-free rice crackers did not have any sugar in them, which was great because I love eating my daily dose of avocado with them. Great news. I also discovered that my brown rice didn’t either, which was amazing because it allowed me to get some carbs in which I need when I run. This leads into dinner, which was a feast of broccoli, corn, sweet potato, and brown rice. So yummy. I followed this off with an after dinner run for dessert! (Haha)

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The biggest surprise i found today, that I find unacceptable, is the fact that my all natural almonds, yes ALMONDS, had sugar in them. This may be my fault, since I picked up roasted almonds rather than raw almonds as I usually do, but still. There should only be one ingredient in almonds…and that is almonds.

All in all, a great first day, and I’m excited to see how the next 6 days will go!

On a side note…half-marathon training is going awesome!

SFMenu Day 1

xoxo Katie

Let’s See About Sugar Free

So, tomorrow starts a new challenge for me; sugar free. I’ve been hearing a lot about this lately, and seeing that people are losing weight without exercise. Just cutting out sugar. I’ve also begun to read the book “Grain Brain”, which dives into the argument against grain, carbs, and sugar, and the effects they have on your brain. It focuses mainly on how these three things can be little known contributing factors in how our brain develops, as well as contributors to Alzheimer’s Disease.

In hearing about this, I began doing research, just as I did when I went gluten-free, and I’ve known for a while how bad sugar is for you. I did an entire project on how additive sugar is, and that it should be considered a drug, just as cocaine and heroine are. Because, in my mind, I don’t really see a difference. That’s beside the point. Sugar triggers something in us that tells us to eat more, and more, and more, and all it’s giving us is empty calories and stored fat. It’s skyrocketing our blood sugar, and providing, really, no nutritional value. But we are now so accustomed to this sweetness, that everything is becoming sweeter. We crave it. And the market knows that, so they keep making their products sweeter, and we want more and more. It’s a vicious cycle. A cycle we need to stop our brains from falling into.

Now, gluten-free was easy for me. I just stocked my shelves with gluten-free things, and really tried to stick to fruits and veggies. The problem I’m going to have with this challenge, sadly enough, is that almost everything we buy today, unless it’s straight from the garden, has sugar in it. Even some meats. I’m going to have to check the labels on EVERYTHING, even gluten-free products, because those are some of the biggest offenders. And what’s more, I can’t just look for “sugar”. Sugar is becoming disguised in our packaging. Culprits like “sucrose” and “glucose” and anything really ending in “ose” are essentially sugar, and are…well, gross.

I’m extremely excited to start on this journey. I’m expecting that by Wednesday I’m going to have some sort of withdrawal symptoms occurring, but once I get past that 3 day hump, I’m sure, as with most things, it will get easier. Now I’m mainly doing this to test how I’m feeling. Anything from how full I feel, to my energy levels, how great I feel on my runs, and even my complexion. I’ll be posting my menus and exercises each day, and update you on what’s going on with my body.

With this challenge I only expect good to come with it, but I am aware that quitting sugar cold turkey like this is going to be very tough because, well, my body, just as many others, is addicted to it. I love me some cookies, and I’m aware of this. I’m not going to deny that I don’t have an addiction to sugar, even though I eat my veggies and fruits daily. But most Americans do, and it’s something that needs to be brought to their attention. I’m very excited to see what’s ahead. Wish me luck, and your support is what’s going to keep me going. Thanks guys!

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xoxo Katie

So excited. Day 1 starts on Monday, November 18th! Peace, sugar!

By the way, here are some awesome blogs and articles about going sugar-free, if you want to expand your knowledge more :]

Gluten-Free-Girl blog: http://glutenfreegirl.com/2013/08/quitting-sugar/

Authority Nutrition: http://authoritynutrition.com/the-sugar-free-wheat-free-diet/

12 Tips for Kicking the Refined Sugar Habit: http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/12-tips-for-kicking-the-refined-sugar-habit

National Geographic-Sugar: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/08/sugar/cohen-text

An Update!

1376384_581322118571893_1178017821_nNow I haven’t done a challenge in about a year now, and I apologize for that sincerely. Things got so, so busy in my life, and I just wanted to let you guys know that I did not disappear forever. So what’s been going on with me?

I actually got a job up in Alaska this past summer as a kayak guide. It was the greatest experience of my young life. While I thought I’d have the time to write while I was up there, I, sadly, did not. It was an amazing experience and I got to kayak and show people the area almost every day, and an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. I met so many beautiful, amazing people everyday. I met sled dogs. I kayaked around icebergs the size of a department store. I had humpback whales staring me in the eyes. I ice climbed on a glacier. Things some people never get to do in their lifetime, I was able to do as I made my way into my 21st year of life. I feel eternally grateful and still wonder to this day why I was chosen to experience something so wonderful.

947066_10151456164467444_596869357_n 1011705_10151501430522444_1282931163_n 1146366_10201666093599414_512841396_o 1044924_477099399041250_1749628502_nThe only only complaint I had about the entire journey was that I was not able to stay on my running schedule, or my strict diet, that I had when back in the lower 48. When you get done guiding all day, you’re physically and more so mentally exhausted, and you just want to chill and hang out with the other guides, so I was only getting in 2-3 runs a week of about 3 miles…very low for me. Granted, I hiked sometimes, and I was lifting kayaks and paddling almost everyday, but that still does not give me the feeling of satisfaction that running does. It hurt me. Also, when your boss is paying for our food, you eat what he gives you. Unfortunately, this usually consisted of things like sausage, or hot dogs, or burgers, which was all well and good once a week maybe. It was nice to have the break, and hang out with my boss and the other guides, but it was very hard to eat how I normally do while up there. Plus, you think produce is expensive here? It’s double…maybe even triple up in Alaska. It was tough. So in my return to New York, I tried to get right back into my routine, which is where I’m at now.

Currently, I’m still working on getting back to where I was, but I’m feeling very good. I’m ready to start new challenges. I just even completed my first 10K last month! It was an amazing feeling. Now, I’ve just started half-marathon training. So, along with challenges, I’m going to put some updates up here as to how that training is going as well. It will help me keep on track, as well as allow me to reflect each day or so as to how I think it’s going.

1394235_10151739458617444_1816881916_nSo with that, keep a look out for new challenges. I plan to start a new one tomorrow. I missed writing to you guys. This feels very good.

Peace!

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-Katie

Gluten Free on Rock Center

So I was just sitting around having a nice relaxing Thursday night when my mom called me up. She told me to turn on Rock Center with Brian Williams because they were doing a segment on gluten-free foods. Of course I had to watch

Now it wasn’t so much a segment on what gluten free is, but more-so on how big of a growing trend it is, comparing it to that of the low-carb craze from a decade ago. It’s an entire business. Now while they set this up as describing this as just a trend, a fad, something that will die away, they did talk about how a lot of people feel better from it, just as I did when I tried it for a week. This got me thinking that maybe I have a small gluten intolerance, as many people who try the diet find. The marathon runner in the story, who gets a bit excessive in calling gluten “poison for the body”, is on a gluten free diet. But with his diet, rather than replacing gluten food for gluten free foods, he just goes for foods that are naturally gluten free. So, unlike me who adores gluten free cereals, his diet probably mostly consists of fruits, veggies, and protein, things that are naturally gluten free rather than processed gluten free.

Now this story did not bash the diet, just went into how it’s becoming a sort of fad. While I agree, I also am in the percent of people who feel it does do the body good, that it just makes the body feel better. When I do eat gluten now, I just feel heavy, even bloated, and I’d rather just stick to gluten-free. What I did like about the story is that they stated that just because it’s gluten-free, does not make it good for you. A cookie is still a cookie, cake is still cake, whether it’s gluten free or not. And this is true. But, as I’ve said, I love me a good cookie, and if it’s gluten free, then that’s just a plus.

So, whether it’s a fad that will eventually die, as predicted, or something that researchers may eventually find beneficial to the body in general, I know I want to stick to it best I can.

Check out the video for yourself!

Rock Center Gluten Free

First Post in a While…Feeling Lousy

Hey guys. I know I’ve been slacking on this a lot, and I owe you all a huge apology. It’s mainly because I’ve been trying to decide on a great challenge to give you guys, which I’m currently on the verge of deciding on. I also got super busy and didn’t have time to thoroughly research things.. I’m going to get back on track. I owe you all a huge apology post first off. I’ve slacked off so badly, and ever since I ended my gluten free challenge and blogging steadily every day, I’ve been feeling utterly lousy. And I thought I could get it under control, but I haven’t. The only solution I could think of was to post here. It seems that posting on this blog just helps me get a full handle on how my day was just all around; nutrition, exercise, schoolwork, my attitude, everything. All in all, I need this blog to keep a steady day. Especially with my workouts and diet.

I’m going to be creating a separate category just for my to blog each day about my diet, which I’m trying to still keep gluten free. I’m going to be putting recipes and new gluten free items I try up, because I do miss following that diet, but it seems that i feel a greater obligation to follow it more strictly when I know i have to blog about it later in the day, rather than just doing it alone. It seems you guys helps me keep things on track. I will have that up by tomorrow, doing basically what I did with putting up my daily menu and workouts, and just giving an update on the day.

Along with this, I’m thinking my next challenge is going to be a sort of water detox challenge, see how I feel, followed up with a week abs challenge. I’m also thinking of doing a vegetarian sort of challenge where I’d only eat fruits and veggies for a week. Nothing processed. I’m excited for that one. Look for that one soon.

Anyway, as I said, I really do apologize for my lack of posts. Honestly, I need you guys to stay healthy and I need this blog for structure. I enjoy writing to you guys at the end of each day. It’s very therapeutic, and knowing that I have people relying on me to accomplish a challenge keeps me going and prevents me from straying from what I’m doing. Please accept my apologies.

Let’s get healthy, let’s get a challenge going!