Monday, March 17, 2014

Maintenance Mode

It’s been a full ten days since the Whole Life Challenge ended, and I have to say I’ve learned some surprising things in that short period of time. My husband and I decided that we would take these ten days to just live our lives without any rules or restrictions—to see which habits that we acquired while on the challenge stuck, and which ones fell by the wayside. So, you want to know a bit more about my surprising lessons? Well, okay then!

The first surprise: Dairy is not my friend. When I had some Greek yogurt, I got all this annoying allergy-like phlegm in my throat. (Tasty, right?) Also, I no longer like milk in my coffee. I was seriously so looking forward to not having to make my own almond milk until the next challenge but after trying a cappuccino made with milk last week? I went right back to soaking my nuts! (Er…you know what I mean.) And no, I don’t want to buy the almond milk they have at the store. It doesn’t taste anything like the creamy, delicious almond milk that I make—and besides, the store-bought stuff has crappy artificial ingredients in it. I am finding that I can tolerate, and very much enjoy, a small amount of cheese (or, okay, a giant mass of it on top of a pizza or nachos). But honestly? I definitely don’t need it so it will be a rare indulgence rather than an everyday one.

The second surprise: Fake food tastes…fake. I know I shouldn’t really be surprised by that, but it is kind of amazing how foods that I used to love now taste absolutely awful after having gone without them for a while. For instance, I tried a small mint chocolate ice cream sandwich the other day and it basically tasted like the plastic container from whence it came. I will admit that I had some M&Ms, and those were delicious. But most of the other garbage I tried tasted like just that: garbage. And since I’m not a trashcan, I believe I’ll be steering clear of it for the most part. (I'll be steering clear of the M&Ms too, not because they taste like garbage but because they have a garbage-like effect on my system.)

The third surprise: I can consume things in moderation after all. This has been particularly surprising when it comes to alcohol. I mean, anyone who knows me will tell you that this is a borderline miracle. But finally, at long last, I’m not only paying attention to how wine (as well as other foods and beverages) makes me feel while I’m having it, I’m also thinking about how I’m going to feel a few hours down the road. Yes, in the immortal words of ABC: “I’ve seen the future, I can’t afford it.”

Anyway, those are my top three takeaways from the challenge so far. I did also find that although I continued to stay active in the past ten days by getting 10,000 steps a day on most days, I allowed the exercise (in the form of an actual workout), as well as stretching and lifestyle habits (specifically drinking enough water) to fall by the wayside. So, the husband and I are going into full-on WLC Maintenance Mode until the next challenge (which starts May 3, FYI). I’m going to continue to work on finding delicious, clean, and compliant recipes to share here on the blog along with other insights and strategies that are working for us. If you want to play along, feel free to click on the WLC MAINTENANCE tab above and let me know how it’s going for you. (Also, if you want to know what self-imposed weekly lifestyle challenges I'll be doing until the next Whole Life Challenge, follow me on Twitter or Facebook. This week it's all about the water!)

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