This past February we started 20 days of clean eating using the book Clean 20 as a guide. After packing on extra pounds the past year or so, we’ve been exploring how to upack those pounds. Being a fan of no step functions or big changes at all at once, keto isn’t the route for me (but know people who swear by it).
Actually, we’re working toward our first marathon and those extra pounds make running harder. A few have asked why not use the running to get the pounds off? Right?… A reasonable question. We were looking to jumpstart that, make training a bit easier.
…And to make healthy life changes that we can maintain. To get bad habits under control like growing portions, more snacking and not the best food choices.
The big rocks of Clean 20 – no added sugar, white flour, beef, alcohol seemed healthy and workable. The organization of a book with meals/recipes provided a framework that wasn’t too different from how we try to eat normally while providing discipline of a plan that allowed us to be successful while making choices that fit our tastes and lifestyle.
For the most part, it was easy to follow. Like anything, we made choices and swaps that worked for our schedule/work life and tastes. I really liked the new recipes introduced through the book. We don’t typically meal plan – but should – and did. It definitely took time. But it was also freeing… once you set the menu for a couple days and shop for it, the decisions are off your shoulders. Much easier to make good choices.
We each bring different goals, habits, schedules and sensitivities to trying something new. For me, it was a success. The routine helped undo some developing bad habits. Over the 20 days, I dropped over 10 pounds. If you’re a stickler for following directions, be mindful that the book could stand another editing pass (some recipes aren’t referenced in the days and some recipes are more general guides not measured recipes). It was fine once I realized that.
As a reboot, a cleanout, Clean 20 was easy for me to follow, was close to how we normally eat. It was isolating – eating and grabbing a beer is a big social activity for us. But the Clean 20 had a done date – now the challenge is which aspects to keep, or mostly keep.