It’s Day 10 since I’ve been on the Shred10 program that are the first steps forward in choosing to rethink and reset myself towards a healthier lifestyle. My friend Meredith encouraged me to commit to this ten day program with her (you can read about what it is and first thought here). So, how do I feel?

Let me start by telling you that it was actually easier than I had initially thought. Shred 10 isn’t about shedding 10 lbs. It’s about making ten lifestyle changes. Stuff we kinda all know…

  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink more water.
  • Get seven to eight hours of sleep.
  • Exercise more.
  • Say NO to  gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars, and processed foods.
  • No eating past 7 pm.

I also incorporate Juice Plus whole food supplements. Hey, it’s winter and do you know how expensive fruits and veggies are these days? I actually went to the grocery store to pick up a head of cabbage…it turned out to be $10. “Um, nope. I don’t love cabbage that much,” I told the cashier and walked away.

I stuck with it as best I could with Meredith’s encouragement and reasonable expectations.

On day 3 and 4 I had wicked headaches. Realizing that I was probably going through caffeine withdrawal, I texted Meredith telling her I had caved into 1/2 cup of an Americano as I couldn’t bear it. I was in survival mode. But I did tell her that I had it “clean” with no milk or sugar. Plus, an Americano is pretty much watered down espresso. But guess what? I had just another half a cup the following day and didn’t crave it any other time during the 10 days. This was a surprise to me. I didn’t crave the coffee like I normally would.

I had rediscovered my love for smoothies. Only this time, I used coconut milk. Frozen fruit pieces made things a lot easier to whip up in the mornings and afternoons. I included hemp hearts (seeds) and the Complete shake mix (French Vanilla flavour is seriously good!) that’s recommended in this Shred 10 program. The hemp hearts add the right kind of fat needed and the complete shake mix added protein and other nutrients that actually kept me feeling full for the morning. Ah!! I realized that because I was feeling full…I didn’t have my normal urge to grab for cookies, chips and candy that I would normally have within arms reach.

I felt I needed to give this whole program a fair try so within arms each, I had cut up fresh veggies and fruit daily ready for me to snack on at a moment’s notice. Bonus? My kid did too.

The gluten was easy enough for me to avoid. I was able to eat rice – thank goodness as I told Meredith “I would DIE if I didn’t have rice!” She laughed and said it was fine. I’m not a big bread or pasta lover — UNLESS it’s all made fresh. I’m talking out of the oven bread or hand-made pastas.

Dairy was easy as well. The only time I have dairy is in my coffee, really. I’m not into cheese. Phew. I heard that’s a tough one to break from.

And alcohol? I don’t normally drink unless I’m away on a beach or sometimes socially. So, it was a good  ten days of laying low making this part of the program easier to stick with.

What about sweets? We always have really good dark chocolate at home and a square after lunch and dinner was perfect. Now that I’m off the bowl of Jelly Bellies, I don’t crave the sugar as much which may have heightened the level of goodness in that single square of 70% chocolate.

I also did enjoy a bit of popcorn now and then but as long as it was air popped, no butter then that was okay (I love Skinny Popcorn). The trick here is to just portion out a bowl within reason and not have the entire bag in front of you, right?

When I’m out I making more conscious decisions as to what to order off menus. Shopping at the mall is easy to slip into the bowels of the food court and order not-so-healthy options. Downtown Toronto near the Eaton Centre there are many great options. Here is a delicious bowl from Tractor Foods!

I admit that I did have challenges in drinking more water. So boring. But I’m still trying with herbal teas.

I realize a lot of this is mindset. I look back on the past ten days and learned much about myself and what I’m capable of. Focusing on the upside of this really helps. These are lifestyle changes that are totally attainable. And if you sway a bit that’s okay…just make sure you get back on track before your new routine really breaks.

What have I noticed so far?

  • My complexion has improved. It was a couple of my friends who had first noticed and commented on healthy my skin looks.
  • I’m rested and way calmer – although I feel like I could probably sleep longer than seven to eight hours. Although I did watch Birdbox on Netflix and that messed my sleep up for a couple of nights.
  • I have more energy in the afternoons. I use to feel so dragged out and now I’m not as tired.
  • I don’t feel bloated anymore!

This is all the beginning. Now that the ten days are over will I continue? As much as I can for sure! I know there might be days when I might have to make accommodations but I know I have it in me to get back on track. I’ll also push myself a little bit more to drink more water and to get more exercise. Hey, every step matters even if they are baby steps, right?

Want to learn more? You can reach Meredith here.