Saturday, April 27, 2013

Healthy Habits - My Experiment

A week ago I began the Les Mills 21 Day Nutrition Challenge.  It's a painfully simple regime.  It is all explained in a ten minute video.  It's a low carb diet.  Only meat, low-starch vegetables and good fats are allowed.  No dairy either. 

I thought it would be difficult to follow this diet because it eliminates a lot of the foods I eat regularly.  But, I have found it easy to follow because of the simple method used to explain portion size and because I get to eat more regularly.  It also requires a lot of protein.   I have long complained of high protein diets, because of the expense.  However, I have relied a lot on egg whites during this diet and that has helped the expense a great deal.  I consume egg whites for 50% of my daily protein intake.  I thought egg whites would not be nice to eat without the yolk, but I have enjoyed them. 

I have been surprised that after the first couple days I stopped craving sweets after meals.  I have not longed for dairy or bread either.  I used to live on cheese.  I still crave cheese, but I can give it up for a little while.  

I had a snafu at the beginning.  The diet requires one meal to be a protein shake immediately after working out.  I have long been against protein powders because I believe one should get nutrition from food not from something engineered, i.e., supplements.  I discovered that my gut feeling about this was correct.  After my first protein shake (ever) I had a violent reaction.  I had a severe headache and nausea.  I could not do anything.  It turns out protein powders are loaded with MSG from the processing.  I have always had violent reactions to MSG.  I am surprised other people do not have the same problem I did.

I was a little disheartened about this development, because the protein shake is an essential element to the diet.  But, I got back on the horse and decided to use raw 3 egg whites 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 a banana in a smoothie as my recovery shake.  This has worked out beautifully.

Last year, I joined a gym that uses the Les Mills program classes.  After Lucy was born, I decided to try the classes.  I discovered that Les Mills Pump helped me to lose weight faster.  There is an at home version available for purchase, which I may save for, because my children are sometimes sick and I cannot make it to the gym.  If you click the picture below, it will take you to the Amazon purchase page.

For the last couple months I had plateaued in weight loss.  Even though I weigh less than I weighed in high school I longed to be leaner.  I am still one of the heavier gals at the gym.   When one of the instructors offered this challenge diet, I decided to try it.  When I began the diet one week ago, my waist was 80 cm and now it is 75 cm and I have lost 6 pounds.  I am starting to see a little more definition in my muscles.  So far, so good.  At the end of the 21 days, maybe I will post a before and after picture.  

I am sharing this little story with you, because I am sure most people desire improved health and this is a program that might help you too.  

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