Clean Girls Gone Wild

*image courtesy of my friend Cheri at Kitchen Simplicity

 

Last night marked my semi-regular Girls Night Out.  We did a pot-luck style dinner and I knew it would be a night of indulgence.  I made sure to hit the gym hard that morning and ate clean throughout the day, leaving a decent calorie bank to account for the evening’s cheats.  I made my semi-clean Skinny Caramel Machiatto Cheesecake for dessert and my special occasion Sundried Tomato Bruschetta (pictured above), which is fairly clean, if not for the french bread.

Perhaps it was the Peach Bellini that Julie put in my hand as soon as I walked in the door or the intoxicating aroma of prosciutto and smoked cheddar in Carrie’s Capellini al Forno, but whatever it was, my usual clean eating defenses somehow got checked at the door.

With a scant amount of will power, I consumed twice as much food and alcohol as I had intended. Instead of just one bellini, I downed two. Instead of stopping at one piece of the cheesy pasta pie, I practically hoovered two. Instead of enjoying one piece of cheesecake, I inhaled two. Are you seeing a pattern here? The truth is, I would have been more than satisfied with one small serving of everything. My digestive tract would have taken the hit with a bit more grace and I wouldn’t have woken up this morning with zero energy and three extra pounds on the scale.

Yes, three pounds. All that refined pasta, high-fat dairy, white bread, and sugar had to go somewhere.

So often we don’t respect the fact that the food we eat has an instant effect on our bodies. Not only our blood sugar, energy levels and mental clarity but the excess calories we consume are also forced to turn into fat.  And guess what? They gotta go somewhere!

I used to indulge in junk food and at best, would think about how it may affect my long-term goals. But I grossly underestimated the reality that each bite, if not burned off, would immediately saddle itself on my hips (thighs, face, or wherever else your body likes to put it first). And not sometime….it was going to mosey on over there, today.  Not tomorrow, today!

I believe that’s why calorie counting worked so well for me — it made the food I was eating tangible. If I was tempted to indulge at the day’s end, I could look at my calorie count and say, “If I eat this chocolate bar, I will not lose weight today. If I don’t eat this chocolate bar, I will lose weight today.”  It’s empowering to know that you have the control to make a tangible difference each and every day!

Sadly, yesterday was not that day. But in coming clean to you, I prove that I am still indeed human and I am still learning!  Learning that it’s just not worth over-indulging. Learning that I would have enjoyed the food even more had I exercised some self-control.  Learning that poor eating has residual effects — like this morning’s wasted workout when I could barely get my butt moving, operating at about 25% of my usual!  Do you see how multi-faceted this problem is? This is not just about a scale reading. This is about quality of life!

I’ll say it again: food is powerful! Whether it be disease prevention, energy levels, proper digestion…all of it is affected by what we eat.  If you’re not eating clean yet, you won’t truly understand what I’m saying because you only know what you know.  In other words, it wasn’t until I began eating clean (consistently) that I started to benefit from better skin, better digestion, better immunity, better energy levels, and a better body.  Now that I enjoy all those benefits on a daily basis, my body’s harsh reaction to eating refined foods is drastic and jarring. In effect, the cleaner you eat, the more you’ll notice how crappy you feel after eating junk. But if you eat refined foods every day, then your body has grown accustom to feeling crappy and you don’t even know what you’re missing!  You haven’t experienced the better skin, digestion, immunity, energy, and body that I’m talking about. So what are you waiting for?

Domestically Yours,
Natasha Kay

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