First off, I have decided to move a few posts around so as to fit this one in. This full week I plan to focus on income. However for today a more personal story.

It has now been a full week that we have been eating “clean.” This means no processed foods. Let me rewind and get you caught up.

How it started?

My wife and I were sitting on the couch over a week ago (I believe it was Friday evening) and she was reading something on her phone while we were watching something and she said we need to start eating better. Later that evening when we went to bed, she pulled out the article and showed and asked me to go through it and said “We should do a clean eating challenge.” I took a look and said “How long?”

Her reply “Let’s do 1 week. Next Sunday we call it quits and pull a resume.”

I said “OK. let’s do this.”

The road

So on Sunday of last week we kicked off our 1 week clean eating challenge, which meant no processed foods. Only natural grown, organic and non processed foods. Veggies, fruits, rice, quinoa, etc…We had our first meal, organic eggs with spinach, and it was good, we and we stuck to our game plan. Yet I noticed how on the second day my body already began craving certain things, like salty or sugary food items. But I kept my mind in the game and through the accountability we had toward each other, my wife and I supported each other mentally as we stuck to our plan. And I will be dead honest with you – it is tough. To go from eating whatever, whenever you want to eating only certain types of food is not easy.

Evenings I would crave some pringles. You know just pop a few until you suddenly hit the bottom of the can. However rather than eating pringles, I’d eat a handful of nuts or fruits (watermelon, Paraguayans, etc.) Yet, meal to meal and snacks in-between we kept at it. There were moments were I could stuff a steak with garlic and barbecue sauce with anything on the side – like some good fries, and moments where I just wanted a quick pizza or something.

Considering that the past few months we have been ordering out a lot due to the fact that you save time prepping meals and cooking, albeit the fact that we love cooking, in the end you just don’t know what your getting. How salty something is, or what type of ingredients you are being served. Yeah it might definetly taste good however the end result is that it’ll affect your body one way or the other.

By the time we hit Thursday things seemed to be getting easier. It’s like those moments when your running a marathon and you get to the half way mark, you get all positive because you know you only have 50% to go until you reach kilometer 30ish where the pain kicks in. That’s how it felt in those few days. Odd, no?

The dishes we had were delicious and I noticed quick changes. Because, especially myself, was eating more normal-sized portions with foods that were actually filling, I felt great. Mornings would be a lot easier than those were I would eat a whole pizza or juicy steak the night prior. I felt lighter, I felt better and my stomach never felt heavy. That feeling you get after larger, heavier, certain food type filled meals. I’m sure you know what I mean.

Anyways, the challenge that really hit me was when we went grocery shopping. You walked down the aisle and you really noticed how difficult it was to get certain items. Things I use to take for granted and would simply grab because I WANTED too, suddenly were not in question. And while at the grocery store you stop and stare and it suddenly becomes visible how much is processed and “enhanced” with additives and what not. Don’t get me wrong here. We have always eaten a fairly balanced diet. But we ate whatever, whenever and for me that also included larger-than-needed portions. But at times the things I stuffed down were not the best. An evening with a can of pringles followed by roasted nuts and sometime later a small sandwich as an example. So in the end despite training, logically I would never reach my peak performance. My weight has always remained stable and fluctuated between 95-100kg. That’s heavy! Especially if you are running and doing triathlons or other endurance challenges. I have a heavy and wide frame, but let’s face it, my nutrition is what not on course for the World Championships.

The result

Back to the story – now it has been a week since we started and I thought that by the time I would get here, I would be chowing down a juicy burger, but honestly I don’t feel like I need it. Both Renata and I have decided we continue down this path, however that does not mean we won’t eat out, or drop all processed foods moving forward, but we will be more accountable and aware of what we do eat and when. So we continue on a half-based challenge, continue eating clean where we can, however I will opt for a nice steak or pizza from time to time, just not as frequently as I use too.

Aside from that, looking back at the week has brought me back to my earlier days when I was in great shape. In these 7 days I dropped a total of 3kg and reach 94kg for the first time in 6.5 years! I also dropped just over 2.5% body fat and get this – I swam twice this week, ran once and did medogaletics on two evenings (once at home, once on the jungle gym) – and all these sessions were probably somewhere at 60% of my full performance. I just wanted to do something for the sake of doing it. The eating I believe contributed more to the aforementioned numbers than my short exercise sessions. It helped my mind make that switch again to say, hey, practice what you preach, fuel your body with the right gasoline it needs to burn and perform on.

Holistically speaking, you should know that its not just clean eating. Its a balance between eating the right things, at the right time with the right amount and challenging your body through movement. That balanced equation will bring you to your peak performance in no time. And as I always say – the magic formally is the hustle, the grind, the consistency. Its all in your head.

That being said, I’m looking to drop another 2kg and roughly 4% body fat to my ideal numbers so that I can “Float like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee.” (Muhammad Ali).

My challenge to you is to try the same thing for seven days and hey if you struggle, reach out to me. I’d love to help out. Here a snap from something we had and you can find a few more over on my IG.

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