DAY 30! WE DID IT!

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WE.

DID.

IT.

WE DID IT! 30 challenging and sometimes gruesome sugar free days! There were the magical days when you felt on top of the world like you could beat this challenge with your eyes closed and then there were the days where you wanted to throw in the towel and do nothing but eat a pint of ice cream.. maybe two. Girl, i know. Now prepare for an essay of words that you should totally read:

There is something so incredibly satisfying about beginning a task and actually seeing it through to the end. A lot of us start things with the intention of completing to only get half way and give up. But not this time!

I just want to say i am proud of you and thank you for joining me on this journey. Whether it was just to observe, whether you actually joined or started later – any and all! I just wanted to create a platform where i could express my thoughts and opinions and create awareness on health and hopefully help people along the way.

 

THOUGHTS ON THE CHALLENGE

So what do you think about expelling added sugars in your diet? Has this changed your mind on consuming sugars? Do you feel different? Has your body changed? Will you keep it up? And what do i think?:

  1. I think it’s great! I really do think I can live without sugar added foods. It’s difficult when i eat out more than anything which leaves me to usually make my own food. It’s also difficult when others want to indulge in ice cream or cookies and i’m around because i want to join in but I generally had substitutes so i didn’t miss out and I lived.
  2. This has challenge has definitely changed my mind on how i see sugar. I realised how many different foods had added sugars.
  3. I feel better. I feel great. I feel amazing. Happier, clear minded, just generally fantastic.
  4. Yes! The most notable things are my skin and my mood. My skin is amazing, i haven’t had a pimple or blemish since i started the challenge and i really believe its because of the clean meals i’ve been eating. Actually it’s also my hair is healthy and shiny and my nails are thicker and growing faster (coincidence? I think not!) I’m eating little to none processed foods and I really believe it’s complimenting my hair skin and nails! Tripple whammy!
  5. Now my mood – I feel great but I am worried about when/if I do have sugar heavy foods like cake, ice cream, alcohol and cookies. I really think it’ll give me a migrane the next day or even feel a little depressed. It’ll be a negative shock for sure.
  6. My body has changed! Well i’ve been training so i’ve gained muscle but i’ve also gained size from fat. I put it down to the fact I initially ate more food to compensate for the lack of sugar. I did eat quite a bit more at meals until i realised i needed to drink water to curb those cravings or realised I could ease the cravings with substitutes like fruit. But I don’t regret gaining the weight because it was a learning curb. It may have taken me a couple weeks to understand my body and how it reacted but that’s okay. I learned and now i’m working out! Sexy body is coming back!
  7. Now will I keep it up? For the most part yes I believe i will continue to eat good clean whole foods, unprocessed and sugar free but i will indulge every now and then, maybe once a month or so because mostly i just don’t want to feel poor the next day. I don’t want to not feel my best or look my best because I feel pretty great right about now! And i don’t see a reason to change that.

 

Last but not least, will i continue this blog? Yes! I think i’ll post once a week though so i can put together some quality posts for you, work on the content and design so it’s somewhere you want to come and learn and discuss the road to a healthier you. Let me know what you think! And once again, thanks for being here! I’ll keep you posted on the continuation of the blog. X

 

I Owe You Recipes

So the last few days have left me with little time and you guys will no recipes.. Forgive me! But now you’ve hit the jackpot so we’re square, right? You’ve earned THE top 2 of my simple yet delicious creme de la creme numero uno recipes that i usually wouldn’t share with a soul but will now because you deserve it! Without further adieu here is the secret to my: Avocado On Toast and Chicken Schnitzel Fingers! Enjoy!

Avocado On Toast 

Ingredients:

1 small Avocado

1/2 Lemon

2 slices Whole Grain bread

Pepper to Taste

Optional: Fried Egg, Chilli Flakes

Method:

  1. Toast bread in toaster and plate once toast has reached desired done-ness
  2. Cut avocado in half and scoop half the avocado directly onto 1 slice of toast and smoosh down with a fork roughly
  3. Repeat on the other half
  4. Squeeze half the lemon over both slices of toast
  5. Sprinkle pepper over the top as desired – Voila! Avo on Toast, just like dad makes it.
  6. Now this is where i stop, but when i’m feeling for a little extra i put i fried egg on top with some chilli flakes for a kick! You can go for bacon, tomatoes, onions, garlic – the options are endless. Play around with it! It’s your meal!

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Chicken Schnitzel Fingers 

Ingredients: 

3 Chicken Breasts sliced into strips

2 Eggs

1 cup Flour

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1 tablespoon Oregano

1 tablespoon Thyme

1 tablespoon Garlic Powder

1 tablespoon Parsley

1 tablespoon Paprika

1 tablespoon Onion Flakes

1 tablespoon Chilli Flakes

3 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese

Oil for cooking

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Place flour, panko and eggs into seperate bowls.
  2. Season flour with the oregano, paprika, thyme, chili flakes, garlic powder and onion flakes and mix well to combine
  3. Whisk eggs well
  4. Season panko with parsley and parmesan and mix well to combine
  5. Dip a strip of chicken into flour and coat well
  6. Then dip chicken strip into the egg and coat well
  7. Then finally dip the chicken strip into the panko and coat well
  8. Set aside on a plate and repeat until all strips are crumbed
  9. Heat oil in a pan and cook all strips on medium heat until cooked through and golden, approximately 5 minutes.
  10. Voila! Chicken strips for the soul! Serve as is, with tomato sauce or my favourite a barbecue/maple/mustard combo sauce. Enjoy!

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Days 27, 28 & 29 – The End Is Near!

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Tomorrow is the day. The end of the road. It’s been a ride, guys. A rollercoaster of emotions. There has been error and trial, achievement and success. I’ve learnt things about myself like my level of determination and willpower. And i’m not going to lie – it has actually been pretty difficult but no less i’m pretty damn proud of myself.

This wasn’t a weight loss challenge (although i wouldn’t have minded dropping a few happy kilos) it was a ‘reboot’ of sorts, a reprogramming of my body to appreciate the good nutrients in mostly quality natural unprocessed and totally sugar free foods; the foods that we should all really be consuming because let’s all be real with ourselves pasta, pizza, chips, cereals, bread, chocolate, icecream, and all the other sweets and treats are not doing our bodies an ounce of good.

Tomorrow you can pat yourself on the back and say i did it. There won’t be a gold metal or a cheering crowd but there will be you, and knowing you achieved something incredible for your body and your mind. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU, OF US!

 

This is what the last 3 days have looked like:

DAY 27 Thursday;

I did some filming with my brother for work and ran with #NRC Nike Run Club for the first time in a long time! I missed it, big time. There’s something about completing a 10km run in the middle of the week that is a real motivator. I then went to the movies with my mates because movies are great 🙂

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Fruit Salad Cup

Meal 2: Coconut Crusted Snapper with Salad

Meal 3: Tuna Salad with Fries

Total Cups of Water: 9

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

Yes! And if you don’t consider a 10km run a workout then buddy you are craaazzyyyyy!

 

DAY 25 Friday;

I had work in the morning and then embarked on a 3 hour out of town drive to spend time with some of my siblings. I took them out for Teppanyaki, a movie and a sleepover!

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Oatmeal and Papaya

Meal 2: Goji Berries and Nut Mix

Meal 3: Teppanyaki; Fried Rice, all sorts of Meats and Mixed Vegetables

Total Cups of Water: 8

DID YOU WORKOUT?: 

Nope. I was kind of bummed i didn’t get to work out. When missing workouts becomes too frequent i get a little sad my body isn’t as active as i am used to.

 

DAY 26 Saturday;

My family and i woke in the weeeeee hours of the morning, 6am if i am correct. We went out all day bonding with my mom, had lunch together before i had to take them home. I was so tired i didn’t think i could make the drive back at night!

How did YOUR twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth days go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

Days 24, 25 & 26 – Time Flies

 

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WE HAVE 4 DAYS LEFT!!! I AM SO SORRY I’VE BEEN MIA BUT THESE PAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN FULL ON! But i’m here, and we have 4 days left. Well, some of you may have started this challenge later so you have longer but that’s no worry, you’ll eventually get to the remaining 4 days also! Keep on keeping on! The time will fly right past you!

This is what the last 3 days have looked like:

DAY 24 Monday;

I was at a commercial shoot from 8am until 11.30pm. It was a LONG DAY and so i had almost no time to write a post, i’m sorry everyone! The past few days have really occupied me but we’re only a few short days away from victory!

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Tuna and fruit

Meal 2: Protein Shake

Meal 3: Bulalo soup

Meal 4: Chicken fingers and sweet potato fries

Total Cups of Water: 5

DID YOU WORKOUT?: 

No, there was absolutely no time but taking a break was much needed.

 

DAY 25 Tuesday;

BBQ! Despidita! Mga friends! I had my last training day at 8am with my girl Monica then i hosted a despidita BBQ with my mga friends because Monica moved back to Australia. It was a sad and joyus night where we played uno and danced through the night and cooked and ate. We were merry men, and women!

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Smoothie

Meal 2: Tuna with hummus

Meal 3: Fish tacos, chicken schnitzel strips, spring rolls – (we had a bbq!)

Total Cups of Water: 8

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

Monica and I trained together for the last time.. it was sad but fun and great! We pushed it hard and completed a full body circuit.

 

DAY 26 Wednesday;

Wednesday was an errand-amongst-other-things day where I visited the dentist, did some computer work for clients then hurried off to attend Nike Training Club (NTC). Busy and active and time-occupying!

How did YOUR twenty-fourth and twenty-fith and twenty-sixth days go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

 

 

Days 22 & 23 – Keep On Keeping On!

Lola Lauren (Grandma Lauren) is acting like a total and major grandma! I’ve been sleeping relatively early and been waking at the crack of dawn but hey i’m not complaining because it’s actually fantastic. There’s something about waking to catch the morning light; the quietness of it all and the having so many hours in a day.

And it’s so strange that a little thing like sugar had an impact on it all. Some might not think it, but i definitely do. Diet or shall i say lifestyle change has defiantly made an impact – a big one and boy am i feeling it.

If you’re new here and are wondering whether this challenge is right for you then look no further! Because it is! And if you’re worried because you are diabetic or have some long-standing health problems then by all means discuss this with your doctor first.. however i can assure you that removing processed sugary foods is going to be nothing less than a recommendation from your doctor!

Garlic Chicken

Ingredients: 

5 bulbs of Garlic peeled

1 kilo Chicken Breasts

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 teaspoon Dried Thyme

1 teaspoon Dried Rosemary

1 teaspoon Dried Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Chilli Flakes

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Blend together all ingredients except the chicken until it is a creamy consistency.
  2. Tenderise the chicken breasts so they are the same thickness across (this ensures that the chicken cooks through evenly).
  3. Score the chicken breasts and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Pour on the marinade over the chicken so it can soak into the meat.
  5. Cover with cling wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  7. Place the chicken on a oven tray with foil or parchment paper.
  8. Cook for 40-50 minutes. It’s ready when the top is nice and crisp and garlicky goodness! (Have you noticed we like garlic?)
  9. Serve with salad, or mash or rice, the world is your oyster! Or super garlicky chicken? Enjoy!

 

DAY 22 

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Pancakes

Meal 2: Oatmeal with Strawberries

Meal 3: Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

Total Cups of Water: 6

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: NOPE!

I took a day off training today. I took a break. Enjoyed myself. Exercise isn’t everything. It makes me feel amazing but sometimes this body needs a break.

 

DAY 23

How did YOUR twenty-second and twenty-third days go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

Day 21 – What I’ve Learned So Far

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I’ve learned a lot about myself and my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to food consumption during these last 21 days.

I’ve learned that it is HARD. H-A-R-D but doable once you know what you’re doing. That being said prepping myself for this challenge would’ve been far better than doing it on a whim; having recipes ready, cleaning out the pantry, telling friends and family members my goal so i received support. I survived without it, but if i had them in place it would’ve probably gone smooth and swiftly.

I have learned that i don’t need sugar to have a fulfilling meal or life. Life is still good and happy as ever. My head is clear and clutter-free so i can focus on the important things. AND i don’t get headaches anymore – this is a big one for me as i would wake up with headaches and body pains around my chest and back the day after consuming a lot of sugar, so strange but so true.

Day 30 come at me! I’m ready for you with my bottomless water bottle in hand to fight of the sugar monster! So here’s a quick snack that i learned from my previous employer bak in Australia. This woman was my mentor and ate this literally every lunch time and i quickly caught on. I have this when i’m short on time and i’m on the verge of hangry and need to fill up before i run out of the house, or when i’m at work or whenever really!

Tuna and Apple Salad

Ingredients: 

1 can of Tuna (i use in springwater)

1 Apple diced

1 cup Lettuce

a pinch of Chilli Flakes

Method: 

  1. Toss together and eat! It may seem like a strange combo but i love it. It’s not fancy by any means but it’s what i do!
  2. If you want add a dash of Apple Cider Vinegar for flavour, it’s soooooo good.

 

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Oatmeal

Meal 2: Chicken Schnitzel

Meal 3: Chicken Schnitzel

 

Total Cups of Water: 9

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I repeated my training from last night when i woke up. I felt like it wasn’t quite enough so i pushed myself to repeat the circuit and reach and maintain my target heart rate throughout the workout.

How did YOUR twenty first day go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

 

 

 

 

Day 20 – How Do You Feel?

Tomorrow is the mark of 21 days. 21 days apparently being the ‘you’ve-broken-your-habit’ mark. How do you feel? Do you think you’ve broken the habit? Personally, i think i could use the full 30 days, more even.

At the start of this challenge i was still playing around with substitutions to satisfy my sweet tooth and i didn’t know what i know now about consuming more water when hungry, the role protein and carbohydrates, how to snack, etc. and now i feel applying everything that i have learnt could really drive this to it’s full potential!

Now, now i’m not getting ahead of myself though, i’ll do the 30 days and see how my body feels and what lifestyle choices i’ll make permanent and what i’ll omit. It’s all about reading your body and letting it tell you what you need!

And so now here’s a great quick meal for when you an a couple friends are short on time to cook but want a quality feed!

Avocado Pesto Pasta 

Ingredients: 

1/4 cup Basil

3 cloves Garlic

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Avocado

1 pack of Pasta (linguine, penne, any!)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Cook the pasta as per the cooking instructions and set aside.
  2. In a food processor or blender combine garlic, basil and pulse into a mince.
  3. Add lemon juice, oil, avocado and a tablespoon of water and process until smooth.
  4. Add additional oil if needed, then salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Dish the sauce over the pasta and serve! Yum!

Note: This sauce is best served and eaten immediately as the avocado will turn brown as it oxidises. Enjoy!

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WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Pancakes

Meal 2: Vegemite on Toast

Meal 3: Protein Shake 

Total Cups of Water: 15

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I trained at home with my brothers! All 4 of us in our little gym. It’s really motivating when the people you surround yourself with have the same goals as you. I did circuit training while they trained with weights.

How did YOUR twentieth day go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

Day 19 – TREAT YO’SELF

You! Yes you! You have done A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y these past couple weeks. Give yourself a pat on the back, go on and do a happy dance because planning to do something this significant then actually committing and succeeding are two very different things.

Have you thought about life beyond the 30 Day Challenge? What your food choices will be when you finish? How you will ‘transition’ into a sugar inclusive diet? I know for a fact that i could not reintroduce sugar into my diet regularly. I really don’t think my body could take it and quite frankly i don’t want it. Sugar makes me absolutely bonkers then on top of that my skin suffers, my waistline suffers – there really is just no benefit.

Once it becomes a habit to reject sugar it’ll be easy because it will be a choice and not a chore. That really is the best. When no one makes you do it and you do it for yourself because you know thats what you want or what is best. Ah yes, simply the best. Cheers to making good decisions!

And so when you’ve done good you naturally want to… Treat yo’self! Here a little something for brekky, dessert or a snack throughout the day:

Overnight Oats 

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup Oats

1 cup Milk

1 teaspoon Chia Seeds

1 teaspoon Vanilla Essence

1 1/4 tablespoon Cinnamon Powder

 

Method: 

  1. Mix all ingredients in an air tight jar and stir to combine.
  2. Refrigerate overnight and wham bam thank you ma’am your oats are served.
  3. Top with fresh fruit, honey or my personal favourite stewed apples.

 

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WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Salad Stop (yes i had salad for breakfast); alfalfa, red onion, cucumber, broccoli, snow peas, beans, avocado, 2 servings of grilled chicken)

Snack: 1/2 serve of Protein Pancakes

Meal 3: Sushi varieties, sukiyaki and udon (i was at a menu tasting for a restaurant and it was awesome! If you’re ever in the BGC area hit up Chotto Matte for some great casual Japanese food)

Total Cups of Water: 12

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I went to another Guavapass class but this time with F45 in BGC. They provide group functional circuit training classes. It was a 7.30am class which was KILLER. You do the workouts 3 times with an active rest (which means it’s not a rest, you’re still working) in between. I got some snaps of the workout they display on monitors but:

  1. Excuse the quality, i did my last minute best.
  2. Start right to left then left to right, or follow the numbers.

How did YOUR nineteenth day go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

 

 

 

Days 17 & 18 – Procrastination 

Procrastinating from your health is a very real and harmful thing. When people don’t see an immediate issue, result or aren’t provided with a reward they tend to push things to the side and say “i’ll worry about that later”, “it’s not so bad yet, i can wait a little longer”. These days we react rather than prevent. We react to obesity. We react to diabetes. We simply react.

When people are aware and are educated on how to eat properly and how to look after their health they will then as a result prevent undesirable health issues for themselves. Their actions can even have impact on their family members or friends. Educating yourself is key. Prevention is key.

Now, now of course some of the healthiest people in the world can acquire diseases and health issues or some people simply don’t have access to quality food, sometimes it’s in people’s genetics, or sometimes it’s just bad luck. Then there is a large portion of the population that just don’t know or don’t care – until it becomes an issue. 

Don’t procrastinate and act on your health as soon as you can. Who doesn’t want to feel amazing?! I know i do. That’s why i began this 30 Day Challenge. I didn’t feel amazing and i was procrastinating and i knew i had to change things but i just pushed it to the side. Now i am taking action and i am so happy you are doing it for yourselves also! It isn’t easy, but the sense of achievement you will feel at the end of this will be incredible. 

Now! Recipe time… Something for when you need to satisfy that sweet tooth: 

Avocado Banana Pudding 

Ingredients:

1 Avocado 

2 Bananas 

1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 

1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder 

2 tablespoons Honey 

Method: 

1. Add all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. 

2. Transfer mixture into an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours. 

3. Voila! 

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DAY 17

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Pancakes

Meal 2: Chicken Stir Fry

Snack: Prosciutto and Truffle Cheese on Gluten Free Crackers

Meal 3: Banana Smoothie

Total Cups of Water: 13

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I trained at home with my brothers doing a circuit workout. I ate too close to my workout though and couldn’t keep me food down. Bad idea! Allow at least an hour to digest your food guys! You don’t want that coming back up!

 

DAY 18

WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Pancakes

Meal 2: Chicken Stir Fry

Snack: Steak and creamed spinach!

Total Cups of Water: 10

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I did a pilates class through GuavaPass focusing on my abs and arms. I love pilates. It is so much fun!

How did YOUR seventeenth and eighteenth days go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren

Day 16 – It’s Been Two Weeks Already?

The days are going fast. We’ve made it past the 2 week mark but to be honest it still isn’t easy. I’m not surrounded by sugar at home and yet my body still looks for it. You’d think it would be ‘out of mind out of sight’ but it’s so not the case for me!

They say it takes 21 days to break a habit but taking it that much further and extending it to a month safeguards your habit breaking and shows you that you can do it.

I really truly realise now how tough sugar is to break free from and how hard it must be for people to stop but i know it is possible because WE are doing it right now. It’s not easy and like with any habit you try to kick, you’ll struggle at first (or maybe for 16 days) and sometimes substitutes don’t always satisfy but you’ll get there! It IS possible.

Now here is a savoury snack, side or appetiser that my family love. It’s so simple and quick to prepare with easy to acquire ingredients and most of all – it’s delicious!

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients: 

10 strips of Bacon

10 pieces of Asparagus (stalks cut off) 

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method: 

  1. Wrap a piece of bacon around a piece of asparagus diagonally so it wraps evenly from top to bottom.
  2. Repeat until all slices are prepared.
  3. Grill on the stovetop until bacon is cooked through.
  4. Voila! So simple, and such a great appetiser, snack or as a side to a meal.

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WHAT I ATE: 

Meal 1: Protein Smoothie

Snack: Prosciutto and Truffle Cheese on Gluten Free Crackers

Meal 2: Chicken and Vegetable Curry

Snack: Nut and Seed Mix

Meal 3: Fish Stir Fry and Cabbage Salad

Total Cups of Water: 10  

 

DID YOU WORKOUT?: YES!

I did a full body circuit workout that targeted all areas with exercises such as: weighted squats, deadlifts, dumbbell rows, split squats, cable cross overs, sandbag plank drag, mountain-climbers-to-comando-roll-to-burpees, bicep-curls-to-shoulder-press, 500m row, etc. It was great! it lasted about 2 hours with breaks in-between.

How did YOUR sixteenth day go on the 30 Day Sugar Free Challenge? Let me know! Leave me a comment! And if you want to know or hear about anything else just drop me a message!

X

Lauren