Tuesday, August 9, 2011

30 Day No Sugar Challenge

     I didn't really realize how badly I had cabin fever until we got to Colorado last week.  From the day we got to Beaver Creek to Sunday when we left, we spent all day every day outside in the fresh air.  It was awesome!  We hiked, biked, played golf, swam, kicked the soccer ball around, played putt putt, walked, ran, and just enjoyed being outside.  Oh how I had missed being outside.  With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees here in Houston and the humidity factor making it even more unbearable, I hadn't spent much time outside all summer.  Outside is my favorite place to be.  I need to be outside.  I feel guilty when I'm not outside.  Especially when the sun is shining and the sky is blue and I'm sitting inside...unless of course it's 100+ out there.  Being in Colorado made me even more jealous of my younger brother who is working in Alaska, spending his days outside and eating the fresh fish he's catching in the Pacific.  Sometimes I miss my free spirit, but wouldn't give up what I have here in Houston for anything!  A week in Beaver Creek was just what I needed.  And now that we're back, R2 and I may have to jog together at 9:00 at night just to beat the heat, but we are home.
     So now it's time to get serious about going back to work.  Everything starts up on Thursday and is sure to be a whirlwind until June.  There's no stopping the chaos for 9 months, until the next glorious summer break.  On the plane home Sunday night I unwillingly thought about what I need to get done by Thursday.  Thursday morning is inevitable, and all I could think about was how tired I get during the school year.  Getting up at 5am, on my feet until about 3:00 and then graduate classes that last until 8pm wears me out.  But I do know that what I eat directly affects my energy level and how I feel.  As tempting as it is to eat the candy and junk food sitting around at work, I know that I have to have whole food snacks packed and ready to go every morning or I won't make it through the day.         
     Fortunately, before I left for Colorado I ordered a cookbook called Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well by Terry Walters.  I found the cookbook on my front porch when we got home and leafed through the beautiful pictures of delicious recipes that are gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free, and contain no refined sugar.  I'm excited to try out some of the dishes.  The best part for my family is that she makes suggestions of meat and fish that could be paired with all of the meatless dishes.  Her philosophy is to start cleaning your diet however suits you, no matter how small the changes are.  Click on the link above and it will take you directly to her website which is full of recipes and ideas for eating clean food.
     I'm also picking up my share of fruits and vegetables from the Rawfully Organic co-op today and challenging myself to try a few new recipes out of Clean Start this week.  In an effort to clean my diet and increase my energy, I have decided to challenge myself to a 30 day break from refined sugar.  No refined sugar, one whole month, period.  And while Tuesday, August 9 is kind of a random day to start a No-Sugar Challenge, I'm marking it on my calendar and starting today.  We'll see if I even want sugar come September 9. 
     Are you up for the challenge?  Join me!  We'll feel better and have much more energy for whatever it is you have in front of you this fall.  I'm struggling to accept that summer is over, but I'm looking forward to feeling up to accomplishing what lies ahead.  Mark your calendar, get set, and let go of sugar.  It's just one month, let's start today.

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