Health Challenge Update: Week 2 and the joys of meal prep

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve survived two weeks (and a day) of a legit health challenge. Although every day hasn’t been completely perfect, I have remained true to no added sugar, no carbohydrates and no alcohol, and generally kept up to date with exercise and meal planning and prepping.

Week 2 threw some hurdles my way. I had several meals out for work and friend commitments, which I managed to muddle my way through –  imperfectly, but with reduced food intake the following day to balance it out. I learnt that honesty is the best policy when it comes to complying with tough food intakes, and that on occasion you need to be flexible yourself with managing days where you may over-eat by balancing with a lighter day.

One of the best things I learnt this week is that nothing beats food shopping at a farmers market. Grocery shopping is one of the chores I absolutely detest; and while I’m lucky that the boyf usually picks up groceries on his way home from work, my large veggie intake and necessary weekend prep means most of the leafy greens need to be purchased on Saturday or Sunday. To make the process more tolerable, I’ve started going to local farmers markets, where you shop in the fresh air and feel a really pleasant sense of community when you fill up your canvas bag with fresh veggies. The atmosphere is really uplifting. Most of the markets I’ve been to have some live music playing, and kids running around being cute. Some have food vendors, and there is nothing like the smells of Moroccan dishes and freshly sizzling bratwurst  to wake you up and inspire you to nourish yourself in new ways.

I aim to immediately chop and store all my veg as soon as I walk through the door. This small bit of discipline keeps my mini kitchen from total disarray, and my fridge from falling subject to rogue rotting broccoli hidden in the back corners behind jars of weird sauce that I don’t remember acquiring. Some new kitchen toys have improved this process immensely, both for speed and enjoyability (my new favourite made-up word). And listening to music with the doors open and the morning breeze transforms meal prep from a chore to a joy…mostly. Unfortunately, there’s always dishes.

Week 2 has brought about some small but noticeable changes. As for the numbers, I’ve dropped 2 pounds (I prefer to weigh in pounds rather than kilos, since pounds go quicker…super lame lifehack) and 2% of my body fat. As for the non-number changes, I’ve seen my skin clear up, my eyes brighten and appear less tired (despite getting less sleep from all the early wake ups), my hair thicken and be less limp, and my posture improve. I’ve seen my body respond better to exercise, and I feel like I can push myself a lot further in the pursuit of improvement. Running has been easier, squats have been deeper, box jumps have been higher and backwards bear crawls have actually been survivable.

Week 3 has already tried to trip me up, with a late work finish making it extremely difficult to budge at 5.30am, when the alarm goes off and my work out gear sits on the lounge room floor, causing great guilt and despair. But digging deep in the hard moments makes the easy moments that much easier, and I’ve hit two work outs this week, and hit them hard.

Until next week,

E x



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