Day 27 of the No Processed Foods and No Processed Sugar Challenge aka the Real Food Challenge

Hi everyone!

Wow, so I started this challenge on April 23~ its almost been one month already!

I wanted to do another update on how this No Processed Foods/No Sugar/ Real Food Challenge has been going for me!

I probably have less negatives to mention this time around than any other time!  The only problem that I have been having since my last update (Day 19) was that I have been having trouble with leg cramps again.  However, I have, so far, not had any other full blown leg cramps, but I have felt that left calve muscle cramping up for the past couple of days.  This was especially true between Sunday and yesterday (Wednesday).  Tuesday driving home from my last final was the worst it felt.  It was so bad that I thought I would get a horrible leg cramp while driving.  Luckily, I didn’t.  Today my leg has been feeling a lot better though. 

Between various people I’ve talked to, we all came to the conclusion that my left calve muscle will tense up more when I’m stressed.  So, that could have been partly why I have been having so much trouble.  (Finals in college do not equal to low levels of stress 😉 ).

Basically leg cramps in calves can happen because of lack of sodium, potassium, or water.  So, whenever I have problems I try to get all three, which does help.  I do believe it gets aggravated with stress too.  Just something to keep in mind.

All the positives I have been having are much nicer though!

1. My acne has started to clear up again!  Right before Day 19, I had stopped using the Bareminerals Foundation in Fair again because I had started to break out so badly on my face and my neck (where I was using it).  And I wash my face twice a day (I do not sleep in makeup), so I knew it was not because I was not washing it. 

Once I stopped using the Bareminerals again, my face almost immediately started clearing up again!  And this was during my finals week, so there was no lack of stress.  I do like to mention when I have lots of stress just because some people will say to me that my acne might have gotten better or worse because of my stress levels, which is true

However, when I find that my acne is actually getting better when my stress levels are getting worse, that then is definitely saying something about this challenge and the positive effects that it is having on my body. 

So, anyone who is having trouble with acne definitely should consider trying to cut out processed foods and/or processed sugars from their food intake. 

I will keep you informed on how my skin is doing!

2. I have lost some weight.  I actually started following this because I was curious whether I was losing weight eating this way, and I found that I have.  At first, I do not believe I was, but I went from at the beginning weighing around 156 lbs. (I might have weighed a little more than that, I’m not sure, but I do know that I at least weighed that before I started this challenge.) to 150 lbs. now.  So, that’s at least 6 lbs. I’ve lost in almost a month without changes in exercise, or anything other than my food intake. 

(I do want to mention that I have never lost weight when I’m stressed.  When I am stressed I either stay the same weight, or I actually gain weight.)

My energy level is about the same though.  I do feel this is more from how much stress I was under from my finals and hopefully, it will begin to go up again once I have rested.

Here’s one tip on how to resist processed foods and processed sugars that has really helped me~

Read the ingredients on labels!  Every time I feel the urge to eat something processed, I read its ingredients and it immediately makes me not want to eat it! 🙂

Whenever I see high fructose corn syrup, propylene glycol, Red 40, Blue 1, hydrogenated oil, interesterified oil, etc. and many other words that I will probably never be able to pronounce on my food ingredient labels, it makes me not want to eat them because I don’t want them in my body. 

Hopefully that will help you resist too!

And I do want to let you know that I did give myself three days before my Day 1 of this challenge to allow my body a little time to adjust.  Basically I switched over to the stuff that I was going to eat during the challenge, but I was still eating yogurt during this time because I wanted to eat it up before I officially started the challenge.  So, I was still getting a little bit of sugar before I cut it out completely.

And, I did not really eat a whole lot of sugar to begin with before my challenge, so I did not personally have some of the major withdrawal symptoms that some people do have while cutting out sugar. 

If cutting out processed foods, or processed sugars is too much for you to do, or if they are so immersed in your daily food intake that you don’t know how your body would react if you cut them out completely, take small steps. 

Cut one thing out from your food intake.  For example, you could cut out high fructose corn syrup, or all hydrogenated oils and interesterified oils (Interesterified oils I just found out about yesterday.  Oils that are interesterified are what companies are now using instead of hydrogenated oils because hydrogenated oils have been labelled as bad for one’s health.  However, interesterified oils are just as bad). 

Cutting out these ingredients may seem like something a little bit too small, but you may be surprised to find how often these ingredients are in food products. 

And be proud of yourself that you are taking a tiny step for your health!  I personally do not believe that any step towards better health is too small, as long as you keep taking more and more small steps. 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim

Day 12 of the Real Food aka No Sugar and No Processed Food Challenge

Hi!

So, I wanted to give an update on how things are going with my Real Food aka No Sugar and No Processed Foods Challenge.

It’s going really well so far!  I have been doing this challenge for almost two weeks now, and I have been sticking to it pretty well.  However, while I was petsitting this weekend, I did end up eating breaded chicken nuggets (as well as my normal vegetables, fruits, organic milk, etc.) every day.  Yet, that is my only real slip up so far.  And I did eat them consciously because I wanted to make sure that I did have enough meat and salt in my diet.

The other thing that happened was that on Saturday when I woke up, I had a horrible muscle cramp in my left leg.  It lasted for a couple of minutes.  Even a couple of hours after the initial pain, I could not walk with my left foot flat on the ground.  My muscle was just that tight.  I definitely feel it was because I must have not taken in enough sodium.  So, basically the first thing I did when I could move was get to the kitchen and eat things with sodium, or added sodium to foods.  By the middle of the day I could walk with my left foot flat on the ground again, and by the evening it was feeling much better.  The next day it was completely gone.

So, just make sure that you are still getting enough sodium.  Otherwise, you will end up having some leg cramps and those aren’t fun!

When my mom started having high blood pressure, not only did she cut back on sodium, but I did as well.  So, it is just so weird adding sodium to foods now.  I’m getting used to it though 🙂

The other thing that I noticed that I do feel might have happened because of the no sugar and no processed foods challenge was that for maybe the first week, or week and a half, I was getting very pissed off very frequently.  Sometimes, there was a reason, and other times, I’m not really sure if there were reasons.

I had read that some people who cut out processed sugars did have major emotional mood swings.  Not all did, but some did.  Luckily, I’ve (so far) just had the angry ones, which I’m perfectly fine with.  I’d rather have those than start crying about something.  I think I am over this now though, which makes me feel better. 🙂

Those are the two things that I’ve noticed that have been negative.

Yet, I have noticed things that are positive as well!  My skin, for one, has started to really clear up!  I do think this is also partly that I did take out some products from my routine that I thought were breaking my skin out.  However, I do feel that this has definitely helped my skin as well!  And no, my level of stress has still not changed~I now have less than two weeks left in this semester in college.  This equals lots of stress until the end of the semester.  🙂

Also, I do feel like my energy level has slowly been increasing, which is awesome!  I still do not feel that it’s where I want it to be, but it is getting there.

I did check my weight a couple of days ago (I don’t quite remember when) just because I was curious to see if I had lost any weight.  I don’t think I did though.  Like I said though, this is not my major concern.  I did want to let you know though, just in case this was one of the reasons you were thinking about doing this challenge.  However, it is only less than two weeks in.

Also, for the past year, I have been having trouble with my stomach (IBS).  I did get it in control in August 2010.  However, every now and then I will have trouble again.  So far, I have not been having trouble while doing this challenge!  That makes me very happy! 🙂

I will continue to keep updating on the positives, the negatives, and my progress with this challenge!  Stay tuned 🙂

Have a sunny day!

~Kim