30 Days of Eating Clean (with a Few Cheat Days)

After I graduated in December, I now feel as though I’m constantly asked how it feels to be out of school and in the “real world.” So, to save everyone time, I’ve condensed what I like and do not like about working full-time in a bulleted list (no, this is NOT a listicle):

What I like about Adulting:

  • NO HOMEWORK / ESSAYS / TESTS
  • I can actually afford things
  • I’m I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T.

What I hate about Adulting:

  • I can’t skip class (work) to go to the beach
  • I can’t go out on weekdays
  • My days don’t end at noon or start at 2.

 

However, I think the thing that I hated most about adulting was that I started gaining weight and didn’t even notice. In fact, I had no idea I had gained weight until I went to the doctor’s office. See, I can now afford meals that aren’t ramen noodles and I’m sitting at a desk from 9:00am to 5:00pm. I have lunch breaks where, I would much rather go to Moe’s and get a burrito than go to Whole Foods and make myself a salad. I also can’t just hit up the gym after class and sit on the elliptical for an hour because that would mean buying a gym membership (which is lot more expensive than you think).It was after I went to the doctor’s office that I decided to change up the way I think about food and *gasp* exercise.

I BE UP IN THE GYM WORKIN’ ON MY FITNESS HE’S MY WITNESS:

Let me be the first to say I used to HATE running. It was absolutely awful and my boobs were flopping around everywhere. Also I’m really not fast and my college years haven’t done me any favors in the fit department. Here are some ways that I motivated myself to get out there and exercise FO’ FREE:

  • Community Classes: I go to a free community kickboxing class about twice a week. If it’s a good enough workout for Victoria’s Secret models, then it’s good enough for me.
  • Workout Buddies: If you have someone relying on you to workout, then you’re more likely to do it. (shout out to Tyler and Snay for werkin with me)
  • Desk exercises: There are actually so many exercises you can do while sitting down?? It’s kinda crazy. Start by doing leg lifts in your chair – it’s more discreet than you think.
  • Make it fun: go to the beach and run, make a kick ass playlist; point is, make the work out something you’ll look forward to at the end of the work day.
START RIOTS NOT DIETS?

I think that the hardest part for me personally has been trying to eat well. I love food, like REALLY love food. So, for me, it was unrealistic to completely give up cheese, beer, wine, and french fries. Here’s how I was able to change up my eating habits:

  • Tracking my calories: I know I’ve said before that this SUCKS, but, it’s good to put in perspective how much you’re actually taking in. Do this for a while until you can accurately gauge how much you’re actually eating.
  • Hydration nation: It really helps to drink water all day (no more sodas!). Also, I started to only drink on the weekends instead of having a glass of wine or a beer with my dinner every night. I think that for me, and other people in their 20’s, alcohol can be the kiss of death for health.
  • Buying good food: I’ve recently started doing all of my shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s actually so affordable for people on tight budgets (I’ve spent less on groceries here than at Walmart). Plus, the majority of things at the store tend to be pretty healthy.
  • Cheat days: I cannot stress this enough. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO INDULGE. Don’t think that you can’t go to Chick-fil-a or have a bowl of ice cream. You can, just in moderation. I usually make my cheat days on Saturday. That day, I can have all the pizza and alcohol my heart desires.

Okay, so when I’m eating the other 6 days of the week that I’m not cheating? Here’s a typical grocery list:

  • Almond Milk
  • Pasta
  • Chicken
  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Pita Chips
  • Hummus
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapes
  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Wheat bread
  • Protein bars
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
  • Frozen meals (a la Lean Cuisine)

I hope this helps you all with your goals! It’s hard to do at first but after a couple of weeks, it’ll become a part of your normal routine. 

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