Full Disclosure: I’m an emotional eater. I’ve always wished I could be someone who couldn’t eat when they were stressed (’cause lawd knows I’d be a freaking waif if my daily stress stopped me from eating) but unfortunately for me, the opposite is true. When I get stressed out, I turn to the fridge. And no, I don’t get in there and grab a bunch of carrot sticks, I grab something comforting of course! Most likely in the form of those evil but oh-so-wonderfully-tasty CARBS.
The year of 2014 ended with some highs and lows for me. The highs? I launched my new business TheChicCanuck.com and celebrated my 27th birthday. The lows? The stress of the launch, juggling three jobs, the holidays, and probably my now 27-year-old metabolism left me FAT as I rang in the new year. Did I mention my hair started falling too? I know.
2015 is now set to be a really exciting year for me. Big things are on the way for both TheChicCanuck.com and GracieCarroll.com, and the year looks like it will include a large dose of travel that will largely be on CAMERA.
That’s rights, exotic globe trotting that, yes, will be amazing, but will also be filmed for all public to see. If the camera really does add 10 pounds, then I’m legitimately going to end up look like a walrus that was let loose in Mexico with a Chanel purse strapped to its back.
Since I obviously want to get back to looking and feeling my best — especially before having a camera follow me around in locations where I can’t hide underneath a giant parka — I’ve decided to put myself through a March Madness 30-day #GCfit plan!
If you too have been overindulging and are ready to get back on track, perhaps you’ll join me? Here’s what I’ve got planned so far:
Now, what I’ve done is created a meal plan combined with fitness plan that I believe will be easy for me to follow. In the past I’ve tried the Paleo 30-day challenge, not drinking, going vegetarian, and even vegan! I also follow almost every nutritionist and health food freak on the internet. Most of my cookbook shelf is made up of clean eating cookbooks by Kimberly Snyder, Oh She Glows (Canadian), Joyous Health (Canadian), Hemsley + Hemsley, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more.
That might make me sound like a crazy crash dieter but I’m not. Really, I believe in eating healthy and exercising to stay fit and not go insane. Unfortunately, I don’t always follow what I believe in and fall into the trap of giving into foods that feel like they’re giving me a nice, comforting bear hug when I want to breakdown, scream and cry. I guess I’ve been feeling like that a lot, lately.
But the difference for me is that when I’m ready, I’m ready. And I’m ready NOW. Goodbye Honey Boo Boo blubber, the only ribs I’ll be seeing soon are my OWN!
What I’ve done is created a weekly meal plan that I believe I’ll be able to follow without wanting to jump off the top of my office building. In the below breakdown I’ll tell you what I’m eating, when I’m eating, and why I think it works for me.
If you share some of the same issues as I do, maybe this will help you too! Follow along on Twitter and Instagram too with hashtags #MarchMadness and #GCfit — be sure to join in! I’d love to see what you’re trying and what’s working for you.
The #GCfit Meal Plan
Pretty much every health freak person preaches about warm lemon water in the mornings. Obviously I’ve had lemon water in the morning here and there, but on the 30-day plan I’m committed to having one warm glass of water with 1/2 a fresh squeezed lemon every single morning as soon as I get up. Some of the benefits of drinking warm lemon water in the mornings include: hydration, weight loss, cleansing of the liver, boosting of the immune system, and its great for your skin. Usually I will have 1-2 glasses of plain water before or after my lemon water because you should always start your day hydrated! Also, one time I read an article where Cameron Diaz said she chugs a giant bottle of water as soon as she wakes up every morning and that really stuck with me. I mean, have you seen that chick’s body?
Normally I eat a pretty healthy breakfast once I get to work that includes a bowl of my favourite Gluten-Free Granola by Gwyneth Paltrow with some almond milk. While I still think that this super-cereal is an excellent choice, when I was considering what needs to change in my diet I thought my breakfast routine could use a shake up, and that I needed a way to inject more fresh fruits and veggies into my diet first thing in the morning.
The answer? The SMOOTHIE!
I’ve actually been avoiding smoothies for a while even though I love them, and I think its because everyone and their mom is always posting about their stupid smoothie ritual every god damn morning on Instagram and sometimes it just drives me kind of nuts.
Well, now I’ve joined the club!
For week 1 (and possibly beyond) my smoothie of choice is one I created that is chock full of nutrients to get the day off to a great start. Since Sam James Coffee commented on this photo asking if it was a caviar smoothie because of its colour, I think it’s only appropriate to officially name this mega glam drink ‘The Caviar Smoothie‘. Here’s how to make one:
- 1/2 banana
- handful or 1/4-1/2 cup of blueberries (I use frozen to make things easy)
- handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon Greens + or Green Vibrance (my preferred green power powder but much harder to find)
- Top with coconut water (or filtered water)
Once fully blended I also recommend topping with chia seeds for an extra power boost. This smoothie may not look all pretty-in-pink perfect, but is one tasty badass.
At this point in the morning (say, 10am) if i’m still in need of a caffeine boost I’ve allowed myself to have either 1 coffee or 1 green tea. For this #GCfit plan I really took the time to sit down and think about what has worked for me, and what hasn’t. The last time I tried to go coffee-free was not pretty. Instead of restricting myself to the point of insanity, I decided to allow myself one coffee. For me, if I know I can have something, I don’t obsess about it as much as when I can’t have something. So far this has resulted in me drinking 1 cup or less in my first two days. Normally I drink up to 3 Americanos in a day at work. Yikes!
Now, snack time! If I start to feel peckish a small snack can include a small amount of almonds, or an apple.
Continuing to drink a lot of water in between is also really key here.
I am lucky that I’m able to take a lunch break long enough to allow me to catch most of a lunch time class at my gym. My goal this month is to workout 5 days a week. Some of the workouts I do during the week are spin class, yoga, body combat, and light weights. Obviously if you are not able to work out at lunch you can move your daily workout to the mornings or evenings depending on your schedule. I’m also planning to get back into Bikram Yoga as i’ve always had great physical results when I’ve committed to going more than once a year. This week my goal is to go THREE times!
Lady Gaga also loves the Bikram Yoga! Lady Gaga also has a sick body! #Goals
The year that I went from Paleo to vegetarian to vegan, the one thing that really stuck with me was incorporating vegetarian lunches into my daily diet which I’ve come to love. Now I can’t even imagine eating meat at more than meal a day without feeling sick. I’ve definitely done it a few times and regretted it! Personally I’m a big fan of the original smoothie for lunch — soup! Especially because its easy and fast to make, and gets tons of veggies and goodness into your body when you’re at your desk. Oh by the way, I ALWAYS bring my own lunch to work.
For this week I made a great soup that consisted of a homemade bone broth, onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, sweet potato, apple, coconut milk, and a small hint of chipotle. Once everything was cooked through I used a hand blender to smooth it out right in the pot. Like I said, easy! And it tastes delicious.
I also made a salad from dandelion greens, chickpeas and beets as a side which came in handy after a particularly intense Body Combat class when my body was craving some protein. Even just a couple spoonfuls of the chickpeas helped me stick to a small portion of the salad and soup.
Basically for lunch I’m sticking with a bowl of homemade soup and small salad on the side.
If I start to feel peckish again, its at this point that I nibble on some more almonds and make an herbal tea.
I’ve ready many times that often when you feel hungry it’s really because your dehydrated so remember to CHUG THAT WATER when you think you want a piece of bread.
Ah, dinner. Probably my favourite meal of the day! I live with my boyfriend and dinner time is really the only time we get to hang out together during the work week. We love to cook and eat great food. It would be painful for me to turn that time into something torturous for both of us. There’s also no way I’m going to drink a juice while he demolishes a burger in front of me.
What would be hardest for me and my man to give up at dinner time is eating meat. Since I don’t eat it at lunch, I do look forward to having it at the end of the day and it makes my body feel good. But, that doesn’t mean it has to be paired with starch or carbs to make a great meal.
My plan now includes healthy protein dinners (meat or fish) that involve a lot of veggies on the side, and maybe a little bit of a healthy grain, like quinoa. The goal is to implement a couple of nights of fully vegetarian meals, but we’ll see how that goes. Baby steps people!
One of my favourite healthy dinners that we both LOVE is when we make Sushi Tacos. All you’ve gotta do is cook a piece of nice salmon along with some quinoa then chop up the veg you’ve got in your fridge. Normally I slice an avocado, carrots, cabbage or greens, and cucumber, then squeeze lemon and lime over top of them. To make it easy I leave the sliced veg in their piles on the chopping board because these little wraps are to be made as you eat, like tacos! So what about the taco shell? Easy, all you need is some sheets of nori/seaweed which you can cut into 4 squares if they are large sheets. Once everything is ready you literally assemble them just like tacos. You can add some fresh lime juice on top or a bit of sriracha (although that’s not totally cleanse friendly) for a kick.
No here is my biggest battle. I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I sure do love wine. Just like coffee, I’ve stopped drinking before and the temptation drove me totally insane. For this plan I’ve decided to allow myself one glass of red wine a day. And again, for me this is already working because knowing I can have wine has helped me not want or need any wine. In the past three days I’ve probably had a total of one glass or less. Also, the idea that this would be okay for this plan actually came from Tracy Anderson‘s diet. While her diet is basically to only eat a small bowl of plain broth per day, somehow a glass of wine every day is okay. Thanks for that Tracy!
It might sound like I’m being pretty generous with myself in this plan, but, like I said: I haven’t totally cut off things that I love so that I don’t obsess about having them, because that’s just the way my brain works. I’ve also allowed myself 1.5 cheat days for emergencies where I have to be out for a work dinner, or feel as though I might actually harm someone if I don’t get to eat a piece of pizza. I’m really hoping my brain tricks work and I won’t need to use my cheat days, or I’ll be cautious of my order (and stay away from the bread basket) when I’m out.
As you know, I’m not a nutritionist and this plan has been totally made up by me. I’ve pieced together tips and tricks I’ve read about and tried, and put something together that I think is realistic to stick to. I mean, it’s only week one so we’ll so how it goes and I’ll be letting you know with recaps throughout the month! If you are interested in joining me in the #MarchMadness 30-day #GCfit plan I’d love to hear from you!