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Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Last week I was indulging on my double chocolate fudge birthday cake and today.. kale water.. LOL it actually wasn’t bad!

I’ve been experimenting with my dehydrator to make homemade green powder. After a few tries I finally¬†made an easy to use kale powder that adds an nutrient boost to any recipe. Today my morning elixir consisted of warm water, 1/2 tsp. kale powder, lemon, ginger powder, tumeric and cinnamon. Before tossing¬†in¬†a packet of stevia to mask the odd combination of ingredients,¬†I decided to take a sip and test it out in its¬†raw form. Wasn’t bad! The stevia went back into the cabinet and I downed my kale water as is.

Today was my rest day so I went for a walk and then had steak, eggs and sauteed spinach for breakfast.

A few hours later I had 2 handful of crushed walnuts and homemade jerky

Lunch consisted of a simple salad of romaine, broccoli, radishes, baby corn, chicken and a sprinkle of kale powder. I dressed my salad with apple cider vinegar and EVOO.

Sunflower seed butter was my snack

By the time I got home from my internship all I wanted was food and sleep. I inhaled one of my chicken thighs and some string beans before realizing I needed to take a pic for my this post. I removed my one eaten chicken bone and quickly took this horrendous pic.

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Could Your Breakfast be Sabotaging Your Energy Levels and Fat Loss?

If you find yourself sluggish and/or hungry soon after breakfast it may be time to change things up!

A bowl of oatmeal topped with coconut sugar and fresh fruit is definitely a delicious way to start the day, but it’s all carbohydrates. It’s good¬†to have carbs in your morning meal but too much (even the good kind) may lead to weight¬†gain and sluggish energy.

What Happens When we Eat Carbohydrates?

  • Carbohydrates raise blood¬†sugar signaling the release of a¬†hormone produced in the pancreas called insulin. When¬†blood sugar elevates insulin works to regulate these levels¬†by taking up the sugar from your bloodstream and bringing it to¬†your cells to use for energy. Insulin works to eliminate or store fat.
  • Too¬†much insulin causes your body to stop burning fat and start storing it.

What Causes High Insulin Levels and Sugar Crash and How it Leads to Weight Gain 

  1. Refined carbs- When we eat low fiber refined carbohydrates (cakes, cookies, white bread, pasta, etc.) blood sugars rapidly increase (sugar rush). Insulin levels rise and quickly swoops in to take the sugar from your bloodstream (sugar crash).

2. Not including protein and fat in your mealРA breakfast consisting of sliced banana on 100%             whole wheat toast with a drizzle of honey has nutritional value, but its still all carbs. Although                 these complex carbs contain fiber which helps slow that rise and fall in blood sugar and insulin,             incorporating a protein and fat in the meal slows it down further. Remake your breakfast by                   adding greek yogurt or hard boiled egg for protein and nuts or nut butter for fat.

Do you find yourself needing to eat several times a day because of poor energy or hunger? Or do you think you’re hungry but you’re actually just tired? When we eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates and low in protein and fat we risk taking a ride on the sugar rollercoaster. When blood sugars run high and then crash it¬†leads¬†us to reach for more food soon after the meal we just had. The unfortunate result of this scenario is we tend to choose foods with high sugar content for quick energy. When we do this, the cycle repeats.

On another note fiber keeps us full, and since refined carbs contain little to no fiber eating a bowl of lucky charms for breakfast will not fill you up and lead to eating more food.

Carbs Stimulate Hormones That May Lead to Overeating 

Eating lots of carbs in the morning causes an increase in the calming hormone, serotonin and a decrease in cortisol, the hormone that gets us up and moving. Starting your day with a carb filled meal may make you feel tired and reaching for more food for energy.

If you have a hard time getting going in the morning try swapping out your bagel and cream cheese for an omelet with veggies and a slice of ezekial bread.

Bottom Line:

  • Eating a breakfast high in carbs (especially refined) and not incorporating protein and fat can lead to a sugar crash¬†and overeating soon after your meal to compensate for lack of energy.
  • To avoid this eat complex carbohydrates full of fiber like fruits, veggies and wholesome¬†grains like brown rice, ¬†quinoa, and Ezekiel bread (or another quality 100% whole wheat bread).
  • Incorporate proteins and fats into all your meals

Final 21DSD Banner

Final Review and Weeks 2 and 3 Recap of the 21 Day Sugar Detox

Technically the detox ends in¬†2 days, but I’m stretching it out to my birthday this Wednesday to get some added satisfaction when I take¬†that first bite of cake.

Nothing major will change from now to then¬†so I’m gonna go ahead and¬†recap the past two weeks. I will share my overall thoughts of the diet and the progress my family and I have made. If you would like to read my previous posts regarding the 21 Day Sugar Detox click the links below:

Starting the 21 Day Sugar Detox

Week 1 Recap of the 21 Day Sugar Detox

I would be lying if I said I was perfect the entire 21 days. Week one¬†I stayed very strict, but week two there was so much going on that I’m actually impressed with how well I did. It’s like I was being put to the test.

And¬†if I was¬†the teacher I’d give myself an A–¬†!

Week one I was surrounded by people doing the same detox as me, there were no outings or events, and although my cravings were strong I was able to push past them.

By day 7 it was as if someone¬†flipped the switch– my cravings diminished. During¬†week two it felt like I was doing something that surrounded me with food and alcohol everyday, but I wasn’t phased one bit by¬†the sight of cake, wine, etc.

On Wednesday my sister, Candyce and I headed into the Manhattan to see Billy Joel at MSG.

Prior to the show we went to out to dinner. While Candyce sipped on Merlot I chugged my ice water with lemon. I ordered grilled steak and a salad but barely ate because I was too excited for the concert.

The following day I drove to my boyfriends apartment for an extended weekend stay. Andrew has the bare essentials in his fridge so the only thing I really had to stay away from was his stash of double stuffed OreosРeasy peasy.

Friday night we to dinner at a restaurant¬†called Char where I (again) did not¬†get glass of wine. I normally don’t eat so much red meat in a week, but I ordered another¬†juicy grilled steak and truffle fries. Fries were my very obvious cheat but I didn’t care. At the end of the meal Andrew pointed out the warm chocolate chip cookie sundae but¬†it didn’t even appeal to me!?! My biggest weakness has always been chocolate chip cookies, but my palate has changed to the point where¬†my mouth watered over¬†something savory (like fries) rather than a sugary treat.

Progress

This past week marks the Verna family’s final days on the sugar detox.

  • For me, not much as changed. I still feel great, my clothes fit looser, energy levels are high and I’m not a slave to any sugar cravings. I do not weigh myself or take measurements but I can tell I look leaner.

  • My Mom lost 5lbs and my brother lost 8lbs. Considering a healthy weight loss rate is 1-2 pounds per week, this is a great accomplishment on their part! They lost this weight with only diet, no exercise (imagine if they threw a few workouts in?!)
  • My Dad lost 3lbs. I called him out for cheating on his detox haha

Bottom Line:

  • Week one kind of sucked but we got through it
  • Week two the skies cleared and I had zero cravings (well, maybe except for caving in to those¬†truffle fries)
  • Week three I feel lighter, have¬†tons of energy and am more satiated throughout the day

IMG_7560

V(Egg)ie Bowl

This is a super easy recipe that does not require measurements. Feel free to add, omit or substitute ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • spinach
  • zucchini
  • cauliflower
  • onions
  • broccoli
  • radishes
  • bell pepper
  • egg
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Lay down a bed of spinach in a shallow bowl
  2. Spiralize (or slice) zucchini and sauté in olive oil until soft
  3.  Top spinach with zucchini
  4. sauté onions, cauliflower and broccoli and lay over spinach
  5. cook egg
  6. while egg cooks, slice radish and bell pepper and garnish your dish
  7. finish by adding the egg!