Sunday, March 11, 2012
I have signed up for lots of challenges. Just to see how much I can juggle.
Actually, it’s not so bad, as they sort of dovetail into each other. That happens, sometimes.
I started participating in a “No Fake Sugar, No Real Sugar” challenge on Facebook. This runs for the length of Lent, February 22 to April 8. I haven’t been perfect, but except for last weekend, when a client in the group home in which I work had a birthday party, I have been staying away from refined sugar. Fake sugar is nasty (to me) anyway, so I have always stayed away from it whenever possible (sometimes it’s in stuff and I just don’t notice). I do allow myself modest portions of cane sugar (as far as I can tell that’s not quite as processed) and pure maple syrup. And I do eat fruits.
Then I started the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge here on SparkPeople. I started this on March 7, and it runs for 4 weeks (or until I get it right – I remain in many SP challenges past their official end dates because I keep slipping up). Week 1 recommends documenting how much sweet stuff I eat, but not making any changes. I’ve already started making changes due to the Lenten challenge.
I’ve found that I haven’t been craving sweets since starting these challenges – I have been craving salty. Specifically, I have been craving tortilla chips. I don’t know why. It’s not as if they have much flavor. It HAS to be the salt. I will deal with the salt later. I am concentrating on curbing sweet for now.
I joined the 30-Day Meatless Challenge in the SparkTeam Calling all Vegetarians (and Vegans)! I’m more flexitarian, if anything, but decided to join the team and challenge to learn new ways not to eat as much meat. This is a March-long challenge, or at least the first 30 days of March. I have done well, as I have not had pork, chicken, beef, etc. I still eat eggs and cheese, and had some fish and scallops in the past week. For the most part, though, I’m choosing veggie burgers, tofu, and tempeh, and I have discovered an interesting product called Quorn, which is yet another meat substitute.
And recently, I joined SP’s Spring 5% Challenge (which will very likely be closed to new members by the time this blog goes live). The challenge officially starts March 17, and losing 5% of my current weight will get me to goal weight. So this will be a good challenge for me! Success in the previous challenges can only be assets to my success in this challenge.
My diet plan: no real diet. I just plan on eating low-sugar, low-meat, clean meals. I subscribe to “Clean Eating” magazine and have quite a collection of cookbooks (including “The SparkPeople Cookbook” and “Easy Vegan Meals,” a SparkPeople Kindle book).
My exercise plan: walking, hiking, biking, and exercise videos (including SP’s 27-Day Boot Camp and several on yoga). I like to mix it up, and much depends on the weather.