Tag Archives: clean eating

Post-#SexyShred Thoughts

Or: What Garbage Will I Eat Now?

I spent 4 weeks eating “clean” in July and August as part of #SexyShred:

  • no preservatives
  • no pork
  • little beef
  • few oils
  • most cheeses eliminated
  • few processed foods
  • no white rice or white flour
  • organic fruits and veggies
  • no added sugars or sweeteners other than honey or molasses

Their version of clean eating is a variation on common styles that might prohibit any added sugars at all, but wouldn’t disallow pork.

I felt pretty amazing. I’ve been working through all sorts of food stuff the last few months, discovering what foods trigger more overeating, what foods negatively affect my mood. #SexyShred came at a good time in that process. (Thanks, Dre!)

Once I eliminated a whole bunch of crap (in line with the list above), a lot of the general “noise” in my mind and body about food quieted. I craved less often, and for less time per craving. Tummy discomfort eased. I didn’t think about food as often.

Some things were friggin’ hard. I took the treasurer position in that month, and that’s a lot of work. Church and other meetings keep me away from home until 20-21:00 three or four nights a week. I ended up eating pretty raw some nights as a result–fresh fruit, nuts, etc.

I’m lucky in that I already know how to cook. I got the impression that some folks in the challenge weren’t very experienced at that. I was able to improvise and adapt, given time. Which I was low on.

The management team was pretty clearly tired of running the challenge, and I wasn’t too surprised when they called a hiatus to #SexyShred, with the intent to return at the beginning of 2014.

But now it’s over.

I traveled the remainder of August, and while I made fairly healthy choices, I didn’t eat rigorously clean.

September was pretty bad. Lots of crappy foods, and while I ran some, I didn’t lift weights, didn’t aim for 10k steps a day, didn’t do yoga or any crosstraining. I gained some weight, lost some fitness, and managed stress poorly. Clearly a too-far swing the other way.

One longer-term solution is to go back to eating normal foods. Ho hum, noisy body, but oh hey, easily-accessible and very tasty foods.

The more obvious solution, perhaps, is to find a much cleaner middle ground. Starting October 1, I’m working from the #SexyShred base and opting in carefully to more normal foods. For instance, sushi is happening. I don’t give a damn about white rice in that context; sushi is on. Rice as a side or a filler (á la Chinese food), I’ll pass. I’ll work on easing my sweet tooth, because hoo, boy, honey is amazing.

It’s a little embarrassing how quickly I go through a jar of honey.

Weightlifting is flowing a little easier. I consider working out to be pretty essential self-care, right up there with journalling and meditative study. I lifted last night, and while it was a little rough (and lo, the aftermath), it felt good even to do my warm-up jump roping.

I don’t know if I’ll do the official #SexyShred in January. I had some internal friction about the way some of the leaders chose to interact with the community. The line between “tough love” and “fear mongering” can be a fuzzy one; my interpretation edged towards “fear mongering” often enough that I might sit out the next one.

#SexyShred was incredibly eye-opening, though. I hadn’t really heard of clean eating, and learned a hell of lot about my body and my various neuroses in that month. Now I just have to move forward with the lessons learned.

SexyShred Cleanup: Watermelon Sorbet

One of my SexyShred food challenges is to take a recipe I might crave, and rework it in a Clean Eating way.

I’m not really up for diving into my old comfort foods. A lot of that is garbage on more levels than just the ingredients, so I struggled to come up with something to convert.

Cranberry sorbet was my first impulse, but not only did I not have cranberries, I’m sick of grocery shopping (been doing it a lot as part of SexyShred) and I knew the honey/water syrup would be pretty hard to get right. Hell, I hadn’t perfected it with sugar in a way that didn’t require almost a full cup of sugar. Which is gross.

Protip: Splenda is also gross in cranberry sorbet. Sugar/splenda mix, too. I’ve tried all sorts of mess.

Clean Watermelon SorbetSo I went with watermelon sorbet. It came out alright, although my rendition was too sweet. The recipe below cuts the honey from the 1/2 cup I used.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 4-5 cups of watermelon, cut into chunks and seeds removed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • Ice cream maker (I don’t like icy sorbets!)

Preparation

  1. Gently boil the water and honey in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. The honey should be well distributed into the water.
  2. Blitz the watermelon in a blender until it’s smooth, then strain out 2 cups of juice.
  3. Mix the watermelon juice into the syrup, and (if the mixture is still warmer than room temperature) refrigerate for maybe an hour. It doesn’t need to start cold, but you don’t want to defrost the ice cream maker too quickly. Room temp is fine.
  4. Prep your ice cream maker, then follow its directions for the standard process of freezing cold drinks or ice creams.

Et voila. Simple, refreshing watermelon sorbet.