It’s been five days since I’ve completed the ten-day challenge. It’s been a great experience, and if you have it in you I would definitely recommend giving it a try! The first few days were the hardest. I craved any kind of sugar possible, be it ice cream, brownies, or juice. The first trip to the grocery store was also pretty challenging because looking at all the labels and finding enough food for a week was really time consuming, but it go easier! I still really missed chocolate, and I enjoyed being able to indulge now that I’m done, but the cravings were a lot less intense after the third day. When I went grocery shopping the second time around, I knew what I could and couldn’t eat, so I was in and out a lot faster. The first time is always the most challenging.
The hardest part about the ten days was all the cooking. There really aren’t a lot of things that can be eaten immediately. Also, when I was starving the cravings were the worst. There were a few things I ate to keep me at least somewhat comfortable while I cooked. I really like cottage cheese on brown rice crackers or fruit with peanut butter. Before when I was hungry and cooked dinner, I’d munch on Little Debbie snacks and cookies and by the time it was done I wasn’t all that hungry anymore. Obviously, stuffing my face with a Pop Tart isn’t going to do much compared to a steaming bowl of whole wheat pasta.
The more I cooked the easier it got. It’s hard to get used to the kitchen. I burned a lot of stuff and when I first started it took me a long time to prepare a meal. I now can make a killer smoothie and even wash the blender in less than ten minutes. I’ve also gotten better at synchronizing my cooking, so the chicken is done when the noodles are done and everything is warm and nothing is burnt ;). Practice makes perfect, get cooking!
I’ve definitely noticed a change in the way I feel over the past week and a half. First off, I have way more energy and find it a lot easier to get homework done. Before I used to come home from class tired, and I told myself I could watch one episode of something on Netflix. I’d sit down on my couch, have a couple oreos and some milk and end up spending the rest of my night unable to motivate myself get up. Now I come home, less tired by the end of the day, I eat a healthy snack, and I’m able to get through my homework with ease. I feel better rested and overall I’m just in a better mood.
These past five days I’ve been off the challenge and allowed myself some sugar. This is what us Psychology majors call reversing back to baseline. Thursday I ate a whole bag of Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses with caramel and gave myself the worst stomachache ever. While watching a moving on Friday night, I had a couple mini cupcakes and a few spoonfuls of Nutella. During swim practice on Saturday morning I felt awful, and told my coach I was going to limit my sugar intake. On Sunday I allowed myself one little sugary snack, Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter spread on a waffle, and I felt unmotivated and lazy for the rest of the day. I have since decided to better limit myself to added sugar. I’m still eating jelly, because I have missed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches probably the most, but now that I’ve been off sugar for so long, it’s a whole lot easier to make healthier choices.
Like I said before, I highly recommend doing the ten-day challenge. The first three days are the hardest, but if you can get through them you will feel so much better! Even after five days of indulging, eating healthier is so much easier and I would pick fruit over chocolate (almost) every time. I’d like to think my journey has helped paved the way for you, and may make it a little easier. If you decided to take the challenge (DO IT!) feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me through Student Health Service’s Facebook page. I’d love to help in any way I can! Stay healthy, Blugolds!