Sunday, July 22, 2012

Clean eating, devil carbs, dishwashers, and scales

So, this past week has been a really interesting one.

1) I decided to eat CLEAN (i.e. no processed foods)
2) I decided to reduce carbs (see more below on why I believe carbs are the devil)
3) I noticed something really weird about my dishwasher
4) The scale moved

Clean Eating
For those that are on this journey to lose weight and have been for awhile, you probably (hopefully) realize by now that not all calories are created equally. Our bodies are going to respond better to a snack of fresh sliced cucumbers that equals 100 calories vs baked processed chips that equal 100 calories. It's reality. It's important to get your fruits and veggies in. Last Sunday was groceries day, and with that I decided it was time to just cut the junk from my life...yeah, I knew I was staying within my calorie limit most days but I seemed to be stuck on a major plateau. And even more unfortunate, I was still desperately trying to lose the last of the 10 lbs I put on when I went to London for 2 weeks in May and get back to my "pre-London" weight.

Carbs Are The Devil 
Now, I decided to also in conjunction with not eating processed foods that I should cut out carbs. Why? Three main reasons:

1) This article - Pasta, Not Bacon, Makes You Fat
2) Bob Harper's new skinny rules recommend no carbs after lunch
3) Dr. Jennifer Ashton of ABC's "The Revolution" said during one show that she has a no carb during the week days rule for her family (so basically limiting carb splurges to just the weekends)

Since these two professionals working in different but connected fields came to the same limited carb conclusion, I decided so must I. There is something sneaky going on with those carbs!!! I haven't really decided yet whose rule I will follow (or a hybrid of the two), but I did decide one thing for sure - as part of my journey and lifestyle transition I needed to incorporate a "carbs in moderation" rule. To prepare for this, I decided I should try a week with very limited carb intake, just so I could get used to what my go-to foods should be. I'll be serious when I say I have NEVER seen my fridge so green! I think I have 3 different kinds of lettuce in there, plus green peppers, cucumbers, avocado, celery, zucchini... and you know what? Despite occasionally having major sugar cravings (what can I say I have a sweet tooth), this week was significantly easier than I was expecting it to be. And now that I know how to eat WITHOUT carbs, I will slowly over the next few weeks start to bring them back in. But probably never to the point I was at before. To be honest, I don't know how many carbs I was consuming before because it just wasn't something I thought about or paid any attention to.

My Dishwasher
So, this is perhaps the strangest observation of all. I almost never do dishes by hand, I have enough dishes that I can continually load the dishwasher til it's full or something does run out, run it, empty it, repeat. Historically there were always two limiting factors - bowls and spoons. Not this week. When I was unloading the dishwasher yesterday something struck me - there is ONE bowl in the dishwasher and NO spoons. In fact, it's all forks and plates. To me, this past life of bowls and spoons equals sugary carb-loaded cereals and the evening snack of just a bit of ice cream (because if it's low cal it's ok, right?)...but I transitioned into meals of scrambled eggs, tuna sandwiches, grilled chicken breasts, stuffed peppers, salads, fresh sauteed veggies, hell I even made a "stir fry" and used some canned french cut green beans that took the place of noodles...and it was delicious! All on plates with forks. Maybe there's no correlation at all, but it's definitely something that caught my eye, and something I'll be on the lookout for in the future.

And the SCALE
I'm pleased to announce that finally this week I hit pre-London weight again. I'm done with those 10lbs forever now. I look forward to never seeing those numbers on the scale ever again :-) And best of all, I feel like even despite being in recovery stages from mono and not being as active as I used to be, I can still focus on my health, I can still lose weight, and I still feel like I'm on target to hit my goal THIS YEAR.


  1. I think it's great you're taking control of your diet, Erin! I agree with the limiting of carbs, but I do think there is a place for them. I have been eating a lot of beans lately, and while they are carbs, I consider them very healthy because of how much protein and fiber they have. I think the reason eating carbs is so easy is because most of them are so convenient. I usually turn to carbs when I get busy because making a pot of spaghetti is quicker and easier than grilling chicken and chopping a bunch of veggies. I need to figure out how to stay organized and make time to prep all my food so I don't turn to the dark side when work gets crazy. :)

  2. Congrats on the weigh in. And I agree about carbs. I have overhauled my diet and all but eliminated carbs from my diet. The only carbs i get are through dairy and veggies. No chips, sugar, etc etc. I FEEL amazing... and the scale is reacting HUGELY. Congrats on taking control of the carb monster!

  3. Hey! New reader here! I agree, carbs are a killer. Have to keep mine lower to see any change on the scale!

  4. While I don't actively track my carbs I try not to have too much processed foods. I just looked on my fitness pal at today's stats and I've had 98g carbs. Now I've eaten a lot of veggies today and I had a slice of ezekiel bread with my breakkie :) Heck I've even planned for a glass of red wine!
    It definitely doesn't have to be boring to eat lower carb.
    Congratulations on a sweet weigh in this week.

  5. The weeks I go to the produce stand and eat 90-100% clean are the best weeks I've had. I'm glad you're getting back to pre-London and figure out what works for you. Congrats and keep it up :)

  6. You are totally hitting your goal THIS YEAR!

  7. Big congrats on the weight loss. That's fantastic!

    As I said on Twitter sorry you have mono/glandular fever. I had it at 18 and it's a horrible virus. It drains you of all your energy. Take it easy. Don't go too crazy on the exercise. Rest when you need to. Take in plenty of fluids.

    Eating clean and healthy will definately help you recover. The more you feed your body with good foods the better you will feel :)

    Great minds think alike. I was going to do a post on carbs with the title "are carbs the devil?" - I have it saved in my drafts! Not all carbs are bad though. There are carbs in fruits, veg and beans/lentils/pulses which are good for you. It's white refined carbs that are bad for you because they are full of sugar and sugar makes you fat. I've been reading some of Bob Harper's skinny rules on Amazon and he advocates carbs BUT wholegrain carbs not white ones. I've pretty much cut out white bread, white rice, white pasta (apart from my cheat meals)and I've cut down on wholemeal pasta and bread because they bloat me. I still eat carbs but in better forms and less of them. I eat lots of fruit and veg and don't worry about the carbs in them but I have swapped white potatoes for sweet potatoes, replaced white rice with brown, I have quinoa and bulgar wheat and oats. But I control my portions of them and don't eat them every day. I love carbs I do but I haven't missed them as much as I thought I would. My friend is training to be a dietican and she says that it is often the kind of foods we put with carbs that is also a problem such as lots of fatty cheese and fatty meats. Fat is good for you but the right kinds of fat from olive oil, avocados, nuts. Cheese should be in moderation and we should eat lean cuts of meat.

    Great post, Erin. Really interesting.

  8. Great post! I agree with the point you made about how a 100 calorie cucumber has a drastically different effect on your body than 100 calorie processed chips. One thing I’ve found to be extremely helpful and useful as a supplement to my current diet/exercise plan is Fullbar ( Not only do their products help you lose weight, they also help you maintain your weight loss.

  9. Awesome! Congrats on reaching that goal! And I agree with you on all counts. Carbs ARE the devil... when I am strict with my dieting, I hardly eat any just because when I count out points for anything carb-y or processed, it's always outrageous. And ditto with the dishwasher, bowls and spoons equals ice creams and sugary cereal lol

  10. Congrats on the loss. Carbs are killer for me too. Bread is something that my body just doesn't deal with well. You'll notice a difference while eating clean. At least I know I have.

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