Why I meal Prep?
Every Monday for the past year I have done meal prep Mondays. I make healthy lunches for myself and my husband. Making and prepping our lunches ahead of time has saved me a ton of time during the week, therefore I no longer feel overwhelmed as soon as 12pm rolls around due to the fact I am stressing about what to make myself for lunch. I would spend 30 min every day making myself something to eat. At times my lunches weren’t the healthiest of foods either because I just wanted to throw any food together.
I decided last year that I need to change this and somehow make my lunches healthier and easier. Meal prepping seemed like the solution for me. So I bought myself a Instant Pot pressure cooker on black Friday 2015. I didn’t really know how to use it so after reading blogs and watching YouTube this kitchen gadget became my best friend!
I use my Instant Pot often, as it cuts down cooking time in major ways. The Instant pot works like a slow cooker but takes way less time. For example; I used to make bone broth in my slow cooker and that recipe takes 24 hours to complete. Cooking in the Instant Pot takes 2 hours to complete. Carnitas is another recipe that would take 8 hours to cook in the slow cooker, now in the Instant pot it takes 1 hour for perfectly shredded carnitas.
I highly suggest getting the Instant Pot. I also highly recommend getting into the habit of meal prepping your meals. Trust me its a time savor. Meal prepping ensures my husband and I have quality, nourishing, healthy lunches.
You can find all my meal prep must haves here . Scroll all the way down the page till you see the title ” Meal Prepping Favorites”.
My last week on the 21 Day Sugar Detox, Week 3:
Low Carb | Healthy | Clean Eating
Mashed Cauliflower Shepard’s Pie Recipe
Last weeks detox journey was very interesting, it basically made me face the temptation of sweets head on with the celebration of my daughters 7th birthday. I also had to deal with feeling overwhelmed with juggling the party planning, food prep, and staying on track. I breezed through week 2. You can find my 21 Day Sugar Detox blog post week 2 HERE.
21 Day Sugar Detox week 3 was full of a whole other set of challenges. This week is the week that I knew would make or break the detox for me. The week in general is always one of the hardest week I have to endure every year. This week is my 1st daughters birthday week, her name is Hailey, she will be 14 years old on January 20th. Hailey however sleeps in heaven. She passed away at 6 weeks old almost 14 years ago. It was sudden and unexpected, it turned my world upside down. I won’t get into too much detail now about my little butterfly in heaven Hailey (I will right a future blog post about her when I am ready) but I wanted to touch on it because her loss was something I had to go through while on the sugar detox.
Normally around this time I would use sweets to comfort my pain from the loss of my daughter Hailey. A bowl of ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, candy, pie, etc… does sound pretty good and comforting when your heart is hurting right? It’s what you naturally want to do. Even we as mothers give our kids a bowl of ice cream when they are sad. My brain dealt with her loss in the form of sweets for many years. This year however would be different for me. I would have to find a way to deal with my emotions and not use sugar to sooth my heart. That also meant no beloved wine either (darn)!!!
21 Day Sugar Detox week two experience…
The 2nd week of the 21 Day Sugar Detox was different from my 1st week. My first week as you may have read in my week one blog post have been full of cravings, sugar detox symptoms, hunger, and headaches (also known as the carb flu)
This week however, was much more tolerable to me and my husband. The week started out with me meal prepping my lunches for myself and my husband. I also pre-planned my dinners as well. For breakfast I basically ate the same thing every morning. I know eating the same thing EVERY morning doesn’t sound fun but why make life harder, especially on a detox if you don’t mind a few meals being the same, so for me breakfast was pretty basic.
My breakfast consisted of:
21 Day Sugar Detox Week One: The Hidden Sugar!
It’s the New Year, January 2017 therefore it is resolution time for me. I have major goals this year but my first goal in mind is to conquer the BIG sweet tooth I have, have always loved sweets. I am an anything with chocolate fan. In fact, the way to my heart is paved with chocolate. I eat pretty “clean” these days but my biggest downfall is sweets. Most people who know me assumeI eat super healthy all the time; and most of the time I do…until I see some sweets in front of me!
My big problem is that I like artificial sweeteners and I have been using them a lot. My first go to was Splenda (many years ago), but then I learned Splenda isn’t the healthiest option for you because it is loaded with chemicals that can be hard on your body. Then I found Stevia so I figured this is the answer to my artificial sweetener dilemma. I made the switch over to Stevia which I heard is a all natural sweetener and has minimal processing, plus it is a actual herb.
This notion totally feed into my sugar monster habit. I was using Stevia everyday in my morning coffee. Often, I bought jellies and syrups and would consume these with my morning breakfast. I also used Stevia to bake with often. I probably used Stevia about 4-6 times a day, so basically anything that had sugar in it I would replace it with Stevia. This would fuel my no guilt habit since it was zero calorie just like Splenda.
Then one day I was reading a blog post (read here) from the Paleo Mom blog. In her blog post she address all the sweeteners
there, ranging from natural to artificial. When it came to the topic of Stevia she broke it down really well to me. Basically, the article explains that Stevia is a processed artificial sweetener, especially if it comes in the form of white powder. Stevia actually comes from a plant that is green so they have to process and bleach it in order for it to become the white colored powder that we all see in the store.
On top of all this, the Stevia we often see in the stores are mixed with another powder called dextrose, so in reality we aren’t even getting the true Stevia plant. After reading the blog post I went to the store and started to look at the usual brands I bought, which are Stevia In The Raw or Pure Via. I thought to myself, “wow Paleo Mom was right”.
As I researched more about Stevia I had found it doesn’t really help your body. For example; it will make you crave more sweets just like all other artificial sweeteners in the market and Stevia will make you bloated because your stomach has a hard time breaking it down due to all the processing that is done to it. Stevia also plays with many hormones such as; hunger hormone signals, women hormones, and even brain signaling appetite hormones as well.