14 Day Clean-Eating + Gallon Challenge

Do y’all remember the 10 day clean-eating cleanse I did back in the spring?

I got great results in terms of shedding some stubborn baby weight and definitely could tell a difference in my energy levels and how I felt in general.

And the food was tasty in the extreme!

So, the big question is: did I continue?

Sort of. I never intended to cut out all dairy/bread/sweets for good, but, of course, with summer and its loosey-goosey ways, some days were–ahem–cleaner than others.

Even so, I lost an additional 5 pounds over the course of the last 3 months, which got me within 2-3 pounds of my pre-baby weight.

Just as a refresher…

cleanse collage

And then we have…

 

cleanseafter

I did everything in my (limited technological) power to make all three of those pics side-by-side so you could better see the progression, but the top ones are linked in a collage, and I can’t find the originals to separate them, and the bottom one just wouldn’t size correctly to fit. So…there.

You get two rows of my creepily headless body for your viewing (dis)pleasure. Assuming that I’ve got some results to report after this round of the cleanse, I’ll make an even greater effort to line them all up in a row.

Never let it be said that good things don’t come to those who wait. Such good things.

ANYhoo, Theo is 8-months-old, and this is, by far, the longest it has ever taken me to shed the pounds, but I can definitely tell that my almost-33-year-old self is a little fonder of extra poundage than her 20′s predecessor.

Yip-to-the-ee.

Lately, the struggle has been to eat well on the weekends. When Shaun’s out of town, I eat clean for the most part, but when he’s home on the weekend, we’ve been going on (much-needed) dates, and indulging just a wee bit.

And while I’m all about enjoying treats on occasion, I don’t love the sluggish, gross feeling I get after a whole weekend of it.

So!

Enter our blog post title:

cleaneatingchallenge

{I didn’t intend for this to continue the headless theme OR look like a mug shot, but since I achieved both without even trying, we’re going with it}

Because I always do better when I have accountability, and I’m guessing I’m not alone in my desire to reset my eating habits after a lax summer schedule.

So, what is this challenge?

Well, basically, I’m inviting anyone interested to join me for the next 14 days (I started today, but I know you guys didn’t get a chance to, so the official dates will be Sept. 10-23) as we eat lots of yummy veggies, eggs, fruits, healthy grains, etc.

Oh!

And drink water.

LOTS of it!

As in 1 whole gallon a day.

I’ve been chugging my gallon for over a week but not always with perfect consistency, which, again, is where you guys and your accountability comes in.

In case you’re wondering, when you drink 1 gallon of water in 1 day, you pee. A lot.

But it’s not nearly as hard as it might sound, and the (positive) effects on your skin, energy, digestion, exercise performance, and general health and well-being are pretty amazing.

Here’s the thing:

The water consumption part is pretty straightforward.

I just carry my gallon jug with me everywhere I go and make sure that it’s empty before I go to bed.

gallon

{I think you’re supposed to write inspirational things on your jug, but I speak sarcasm more fluently than “encouragement”–even to myself [sad, but true]–so this is what I’m working with}

But the “clean” part of the eating aspect can get a little sticky.

After all, how clean are we going? Are we being sticklers about every little thing or shooting for 95% clean without a trip to the health food store required?

Honestly? That’s up to you. If you don’t really even know where to start, then all you have to do is Google the words: “Whole 30 Diet,” and you’ll get a SLEW of details about recipes, what to eat/not to eat, how to prepare it, etc.

There are oodles of resources on Pinterest too.

But I’m trying to keep things as simple/attainable as possible, which means that these are the guidelines I’m using for myself:

*No processed food (no canned soup, no fast food, no chips, no pre-made salad dressings, etc.)
*No sugar
*No dairy/limited dairy (I am allowing myself milk, butter, and cottage cheese…but only on very limited/rare occasions)
*No simple carbs (basically a reiteration of no sugar)
*No bread/tortillas/pasta/oats (with the exception of steel-cut oats)
*Nothing to drink but water

What IS allowed:
*Good fats, including (but not limited to) olive oil, coconut oil, and butter (clarified is best)
*All veggies + fruits
*Meat (no frying/breading/processing)
*Eggs
*Rice/Quinoa (with a focus on brown rice)
*Legumes
*Nuts
*Corn (I might even eat a few corn chips with my guacamole since most corn chips are nothing more than corn + oil; but again, VERY limited)

I shared the recipes that were my go-to during my 10 day cleanse, and I’ll be returning to most of those, but I also have a “clean eating” board on Pinterest that you’re welcome to join (I’d love to see yours as well!)…

AND!

I’ve created a FB group for accountability. We can share pics of what we’re eating, ask questions, offer encouragement, and advice–sarcastic or not.

Anyone that wants to can join, but only those who are part of the group can see the pictures and posts within the group, so it will be a safe place for only those truly interested.

Of course, if you’re only interested in participating in one aspect of the cleanse–either the clean eating or the gallon a day, that’s cool too. It’s your cleanse! I’m just excited to see what combining the two does for me this time around.

So…the only thing left to ask is: ARE YOU IN??!

{In case the caps + multiple question marks and exclamations didn’t convey it, I’m excited}

If the answer is yes, leave me a comment or shoot me an email at blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com. And then jump in on the FB group if you’re so inclined.

See you there!

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37 thoughts on “14 Day Clean-Eating + Gallon Challenge

  1. I’m in! I’ve been reading your blog for a while; never comment so it feels a bit stalkerish. I stumbled upon it while looking for a curly-girl short hair styling method, and stayed for the pretty home decor, Christian and marriage goodness, and humor from the author :) . I was actually inspired by your clean eating posts in the spring and started following the regimen during the week. It got me over a hump but I haven’t lost much weight. However I have put on a bunch of muscle because I started taking Bodypump regularly (addicted!) so I know I’ve lost some unwanted fat. I have two children under 5 and this has been amazing for me! My biggest issue than and now is SUGAR. I do great during the week but I fall off the wagon on the weekend, cheating way more than I should. I’ve also gotten lazy during the week a bit (eating my kids’ cheese toast crusts, etc) So my goal is to keep with it during the week and be more moderate in my choices/portion sizes on the weekend. At 32 it’s embarrassing, i should have more control. I still have coffee in the morning with some creamer, can’t give that up. I am chronically dehydrated but I am drinking more water, so while I don’t think I can manage the gallon challenge yet, I’m drinking more than I used to and I feel good about that. I’ll probably still cheat with dessert on the weekend (just being real) but I will really work at keeping the portions small and not ridiculous. I definitely notice a difference in how I feel and my energy when I eat ‘clean’, so it is definitely motivating. My junk-eating husband has talked about doing some kind of diet recently too, so perhaps I can get him on this wagon too.

  2. Just as a word of caution, I have a 3 month old, and recently tried doing a Whole30. After two weeks of doing it, I had to quit because there was such a drastic decrease in my milk supply. After doing some research, it seems this is a common thing because when your body doesn’t get enough carbs/ calories, it starts holding onto what it does get, and stops producing milk. Anyways, maybe you won’t have the same result, but it is something to be aware of.

    Good luck!

    1. Theo was 5 months old when I did my cleanse in the spring, and I had the opposite experience (more milk oroduction), since I was drinking tons of water and eating so many good carbs. Whole 30 is actually stricter (no corn or legumes, right?) than what I’m currently doing (and did then). So, that probably helped. Thanks for the advice!

  3. I really need to clean up my eating. I feel tired and sluggish all the time! I’m working on making sure I get enough sleep. I have also been drinking a gallon of water a day for about a week now and I’m hoping to keep it up for a month. In my schedule it’s not a great time to do a very limited clean eating challenge, but I think I will challenge myself to keep up with the water and to cut out sugar and processed foods, while still allowing myself whole grains, dairy, and my beloved coffee. I requested to join your FB group. :)

  4. I just had my 3rd baby 3 months ago and at 34 years old the baby weight isn’t falling off like it used to. I love my sugar so this would be so helpful in kick starting a more healthy eating lifestyle. Off to join the FB group!

  5. I will join you as I was starting this type of thing off this week anyways! I will modify some of what you are doing but basically the same idea!

  6. I’m in! I actually just started a 60 (gulp) day BeachBody Challenge, so this will tie in perfectly. But I want a cute gallon jug… If I gotta haul it around with me all day, it may as well be cute. ;-)

  7. I’m in! I heeeeaaaar you on those pounds just not coming off quite so quickly post-baby anymore. The closer I get to 30 (this year is it!) the harder I have to work at it.

  8. I’m in too! Need a challenge and accountability to stay on track! I’ll also be adding the extra goal of daily devotions with the focus being on physical health and will include prayers for all of us in the challenge!

  9. I’m in for water drinking! Life is way too hectic for clean eating now. And I’m pregnant and I don’t think I can ignore the cravings!

  10. I started my Operation Get Healthy for Disney World today. :) This is perfect!! 43 days before our trip and I want to not be ashamed of pictures for my little one’s first trip to Disney World.

    1. Never be ashamed of pictures of yourself! Please don’t ever think that way. Kids do pick up on that way of thinking, but what’s worse is that you think there is something to be ashamed of. You’re a beautiful you!

  11. Women should only have 88 oz of water each day to help lose weight. A gallon has 128oz. Just be super careful of hyponatremia. I think I’ll stick to 88oz but am super excited about have accountability for clean eating!

    1. YES!!! I just spent several months working very hard to break an over-drinking (just water!) habit after hearing about how damaging water (!) is to your metabolism/brain/etc. I had a hard time excepting it because, well, duh!, water is pushed on us as the cure for everything, from all sides, 24 hours a day. I had to remember some of what I learned about brain damage and water when I my son was in extreme suffering with bleeding on the brain related to his cancer diagnosis, to begin to believe this. As a decade-and-a-half over drinker, just drinking enough was not easy! It was a very good move though.
      P.S. I normally keep quiet about this weirdness of mine, but sometimes you gotta speak up, sorry! : )

      1. Thanks for your thoughts, ladies.

        Janell, from what I learned when I researched the gallon a day challenge before I started, the biggest risks for hyponatremia and water intoxication come from consuming too much water in too little time. It looked like a gallon a day, even for women, was fine/beneficial as long as you were spreading it out over the course of an entire day and regularly replenishing your body’s sources of sodium.

        Also, although this would necessarily not be true for everyone, 128 ounces is about right for me for the recommended amount of water I’m supposed to add in before/after exercise.

        Becky, I didn’t run across any of the side effects you mentioned, but I’m intrigued. Could you add some links?

        1. Hmmm, links… Most of my info came from books and having nurses explain to me a gazillion times that my son’s non-stop,insane begging for water was part of the (temporary, as it turned out) brain damage. Interestingly “water” was just about the only word he could remember for a while. (He was just short of his 12 birthday then. Definitely beyond a 3-5 word vocabulary!)
          Anyway, the basics (as I know them!)are that excess water dilutes your extra-cellular fluids, causing a drop in the salts, sugars, minerals, etc in your blood and other fluids. Your brain can be scrambled and ask for yet MORE water, your metabolism is slowed (deeeeefinitly me), sugars drop lower than they should, you lose excess salts, and you feel cold, sluggish, and tired (me all the way!). When I thought about how often I took a big drink of water and then was shivery or miserably cold afterwards, with zero energy, the light started dawning. Matt Stone’s ‘Eat For Heat’ is the short, reader-friendly introduction to all this, however, his writing style is what I would call “junior-high boy’s bathroom”- crude, and often inappropriate “humor”. I like the book for the easily digestible information; hate it for the cringe-worthy potty-talk.

          My thought is that all information out there is a mix of good and bad, I firmly believe each person has to see what their own body needs and responds well to. I just like for people to have the smarts to STOP doing something that hurts! Don’t keep going because “I know it’s good for me, I just have to get through the ‘cleanse stage’ here.” It’s OK to try anything, but it can be hard to give yourself permission to stop! You have shown the common sense to alter something that’s not working for you, but some people are slow to catch on or give themselves that permission. And there are some things we are so brainwashed to buy into that we forget to notice what they do to ME personally! Water was one of those for me. : ) I see it being one that’s pretty much not questioned by anyone. How can more water be bad?

          Another thought I had was that clean eating itself is often a high water diet. All those fruits and veggies are a big source of water we forget to calculate in. If you feel like you’re drowning, you might be! : )

          P.S. I probably messed some of this up trying to do a quick don’t-have-time-to-look-up-a-bunch-of-real-stuff answer. : ) Sorry I don’t have any handy links! Hopefully this was enough to decide you on more research vs. dropping it as not necessary for you now. : )

  12. I’m in! Still trying to lose the last of my weight from baby boy #4 and have been too lazy and splurge-y recently (umm, Blue Bell is back!) so this will be great! :)

  13. My husband is coming home in two weeks after 6 months and I know will be acting lots of sweets/out to eats/yummy but really not good for you foods do if I do this now maybe it won’t kill the 8 lb. I’ve lost.

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