Over the past two weeks I have been doing a clean-eating cleanse that involved no sugar, no caffeine or alcohol, no soy or wheat, no eggs or dairy (that one was not hard for me), a green smoothie each morning, a lot of water (half my body weight in ounces), and daily yoga. In addition to this I started out doing the December 1-mile a day challenge and a push-up challenge.

The cleanse was a success for me! I feel really great and I think I’m going to keep going with most of it, except for caffeine. With the medication that I take and one of the side effects being grogginess, I need my caffeine in the morning to work. I didn’t drink coffee for many years, but mornings became difficult and working a desk job meant that I needed a way to be productive in the morning. I used to be a morning person! I loved mornings. I wish I could still be a morning person.

The other tough part is cutting out alcohol. Honestly, I think I could cut out wheat and sugar before I can cut out alcohol. It’s likely because I’m already used to the social aspect of being vegan and difficult to eat out with. Alcohol is so ingrained in scheduling social activities around drinking that it really becomes hard to avoid. This weekend I met a whole bunch of new people and almost had a drink, but I thought about my cleanse and how I had been doing so well and didn’t want to “spoil” it by putting the toxin into my body. So I drank water and was the worst bowler there, which would also have been easier to tolerate with the buzz of a drink or two.

Being there and having that urge to drink really surprised me! I sound and feel like an alcoholic. There was a time in my life where I did not drink alcohol for years. Not drinking is so socially unacceptable. There are many assumptions if you are not drinking:

– you are pregnant (if you’re a woman)
– you are religious
– you are on antibiotics
– you are not fun

The real reasons to not drink:

– alcohol is expensive
– better for your brain
– for the health of your body (especially the liver)
– to lose weight*
– to be the designated driver (and offer rides to others)
– you want to have a good sleep
– you can support your partner and friends when they are hung over

My plan for continuing on is to refrain from drinking alcohol for the most part, cut out sugar (as much as possible), eat wheat rarely, eat soy only a couple of times a month, and do yoga several times a week (I subscribe to TWO online yoga sites that I don’t use).

The rest of the challenges I started in December were not as successful. The push-up challenge went to the way-side when I hurt my hand/wrist falling down on some ice. Related to that, I curtailed the 1-mile run for ice reasons as well. The ice last week in our town was crazy. You could skate on parts of the road and it was down-right dangerous.

After the little break from these challenges, I’m going to start the streak again. Today is Day 1 of these challenges and I’m going to continue to eat clean and do yoga daily. It’s time-consuming and hard work, but worth it!

I’ve been trying out some new recipes, which I want to share on here eventually. Partly for my own record, but also to maybe help others with clean eating ideas. Tonight I’m making my first lettuce wrap. Should be interesting!

*According to my friend’s scale (it may or may not be reliable), I have lost about 10 pounds and at my ideal race weight for Ironman. The last time I was weighed was in November sometime. I guess that’s why my pants don’t fit anymore!

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