Monday, 15 December 2014

My Clean Eating/Gluten Free/Paleo ish Lifestyle Changes - Trying to Adjust

Change is hard, especially when it involves food! 

At least, that's what I am finding. Starting exercise is almost the easy part, because it's something you do maybe 5-6 times a week maximum. Making changes to something that you do so many times a day, is much harder. It is so easy to slip and slide a long way back and have to start over again. 

At The Circuit Factory the trainers are always reminding you that it is 80% food and 20% exercise, not the other way around. That you can work as hard as you like at their sessions, but if you are still stuffing your face with McDonalds and KFC, then you are never going to get fit. 

That much is obvious, but I was so surprised at how hard it has been to clean up my eating habits, and how hard it has been to stay on track. 

First of all, the core changes have been relatively simple. My three main meals a day are in really good shape. Breakfast is omelette and gluten free pancakes. I've had to adjust to gluten free on a day to day basis, rather than a Paleo diet, because I have real issues with blood sugar levels, and I was getting weak and dizzy and close to passing out at The Circuit Factory classes without a higher amount of carbs. 

Lunch is my main meal of the day, and dinner is much lighter, with no carbs at all. That switch has made a huge difference for me, because the 3pm energy crash isn't so noticeable, and it's easier to handle. 

I am really struggling with the snacking, and the sugar that I really want to eat. On my good days, I eat two squares of 70% dark chocolate, and that's it. I'm yet to manage an entire day without sugar. On my bad days, I'm usually tempted by ice cream. I'm managing to stay gluten free, and I'm only eating high quality ice cream with very few ingredients at all, so I'm keeping the added preservatives etc as low as possible. So as it goes, I'm doing the best that I can, but there is still a shed load of sugar in ice cream! 

We have a family dessert once a week, and that is always from a Paleo recipe. Although, my husband doesn't really like the moist cakes that come from using Maple Syrup or Honey in place of sugar, so I'm still trying to find a balance between eating Paleo for dessert (because I definitely don't need carbs in the evening) and having dessert that he really likes to eat. It's a work in progress and I think I have my work cut out! 

Gluten free, on the other hand, has been amazing. My brain fog has completely gone, as have my stomach issues. I feel a lot more balanced and in sync with my body now, and I can really tell if I have eaten gluten because my stomach issues usually flare the day after I've eaten gluten. I'm still not perfect, and can be tempted by the odd chocolate digestive and Pizza Express pizzas, but in general I'm sticking to the gluten free pretty well. 

So although I still have a long way to go, I'm really pleased that the core of my diet is in line with where I want it to be, and it's a balance between giving my body what it needs (i.e. carbs) and removing the gluten. I'm definitely still a sugar addict, but I am trying to address that in slow steps. If I try to go cold turkey, I usually end up going out at night and eating an entire tub of ice cream, so baby steps it is! 

Have you made any big lifestyle changes? How are you finding it, and what are you doing to keep you on track?