Woohoo! I've done it! 😀Yep, I Simply Sarah have avoided processed food all September (mostly)
Could you avoid processed foods for a month? 🤔 It's pretty tough but I went back to basics and guess what? it's true! You do have more energy, you do sleep better and you do feel healthier! I'm so pleased because instead of my clothes digging in, I'm now hitching up my jeans and the love handles once resting on my waistband are no more!
After one month of focus I'm fitting into clothes that I'd stuffed to the back of my wardrobe to await a miracle! 😆
You know how it is, holiday food, holiday ice-cream, holiday cocktails yes holiday everything! Only this time I came home feeling tired and I was way too cushiony for my liking! Then back home I was becoming an expert in the field of justifying treats - "oh go on then! Why not! Just this once" Now, lets be honest with ourselves here,
it's rarely 'just this once'!
So I had a word with myself, I told myself to get a grip and I knew I had to make a change!
Making the change
I challenged myself to avoid yellow food/beige food/processed food whatever you want to call it. If it wasn't fresh, it was a no!
Wow, when I started to research it there was so much info! There are so many different interpretations of processed food and so many labelled diets so I just set my own rules to save my sanity!
I soon discovered just how much food I'd agreed to avoid 😐 I'm not kidding, the next time you're at the supermarket look around and unless you're on the fruit and veg aisle or looking at actual fresh meat and fish, there's not much else you can eat when doing this!
What a clean diet the world had before mass production!
Okay there were some things that I didn't want to get fanatical about and although my daughter felt it her mission to highlight all the things I shouldn't be eating 😒 I allowed these:
Knowing that I had three different celebrations during my challenge meant that I had treats to look forward to instead of them being the norm. I was actually excited for each event!
Have you ever gone to the cinema and not had nibbles? It's really hard but it can be done, I recommend pulling a scarf over your face to avoid smelling the popcorn!
Have you ever gone to a burger restaurant and order the naked burger? I have, this isn't too difficult because the bun is just excess to me, I can take or leave a bread roll, chances are I'll leave most of it anyway!
Have you ever gone to burrito stall and ordered the burrito bowl instead? I now have. Despite hearing the two girls behind me questioning why anyone would order a burrito bowl just before I actually ordered one! Me the answer is me!
For a while the evenings were tricky, especially if I was sat in on my own, boredom makes you think about the contents of the cupboards. So I crocheted! it kept me busy and not thinking about unnecessary food! (I'm hoping to sell some of my ever increasing pile of hats and donate the money to the local Christmas fund raiser 👍 Healthier than nibbling and a good deed, yey! 😁
Failing that, I might have to give everyone bobble hats for Christmas! 😉
Then there's the weekends, the time for spending time with families, the time for socialising, the time for treats. I've sat watching a film with everyone else in the room eating and drinking and I've had to say no when offered some! Hard at first but I eventually realised that I would have normally accepted not because I was hungry but to be sociable.
Don't get me wrong I have eaten really yummy things! I mentioned some of my favourite things in my last post so if you want the recipes, click the photo's ↓↓ or have a look on my Recipe Rooms Page for more!
Every time I look at that chilli pic I want to eat it! ↑↑
I took photo's of my meals (I'm that person anyway 😉) and it was a great way to watch what I was eating with the YouAte app. It helped me keep on track instead of trying to keep a written diary! (been there, done that) and most of the recipes were genuinely easy.
When I first started my September challenge, I was hungry and eveyone knew about it, thanks to my super loud growling stomach. I ate a lot of fruit and drank a lot of water just to stay full, but the more I did it, the easier it got. No matter how many things I got offered (so much for friends & family) I started to find it easier to say no and saw junk food differently! I've eaten so much fresh food that seeing people gorge on junk food made me not want it.
Was it worth it?
Im so glad I've avoided processed food for a month, I don't want to avoid it for the rest of my life and I don't want my life to be governed by some diet!
But, feel like I've reset myself somehow 😁 and going back to basics has been a real eye opener for me.
I honestly can't believe what a difference I've seen in four weeks for a little effort and focus!
Experiencing this makes me want to continue my healthy lifestyle, without letting it rule my life.
This morning I had banana pancakes for breakfast, I'm 'allowed' processed food now but I like my newly discovered pancakes so I had them!
As tempting as it once was, I don't intend to celebrate my success by devouring some cake, I'll celebrate by knowing I can fit comfortably in my clothes again. by feeling healthier and by feeling amazing!
(Cue round of applause)
Hi I'm Sarah!
Blogger in The Lakes
I live in the beautiful Lake District...
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