April 1…My goal this month is to eat all organic for every meal.  Before I start with the rundown of what April 1st involved, here are my general rules for this month (subject to change upon my discretion/emotional state as the month wears on):

1.  Must eat organic for every meal for the month of April.  If it says “organic” in the title – it counts (more to come on label reading).

2.  Coffee gets an exception.  If there’s an organic coffee option I will get it, otherwise, give me the Starbucks blonde roast.

3.  I get 2 cheat meals for Easter (actually, the Saturday before Easter) – lunch with my family and dinner with Chris’ family.  Holidays and family time should be focused on that….who cares about organic asparagus on these days as they’re few and far between.

4.  If a peer, boss, or someone of an executive level asks me to go to lunch/dinner I will do my best to select a restaurant with organic options.  If I’m not in control of the picking, my default with be the cleanest/healthiest option on the menu.

5.  A minimum of 5 out of the 7 days a week will be “clean organic” as I’m calling it.  Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy.  I could technically fill this month with organic cookies, organic milkshakes, organic chocolate, etc.  I have those in reserve in the pantry, but only for weekends.

6.  I will eat every 2-3 hours totaling between 5-6 meals a day depending upon workouts/timing.

7.  I have keratosis pilaris on the back of my upper arms (aka the tops of my arms get really red) which I’m suspecting (through google searches/self-diagnosis) is due to a casein sensitivity.  Casein is a protein found in milk, therefore, I’ll be giving up all dairy products that contain casein in hopes of wearing sleeveless shirts by May without being self conscious.

So back to April 1st.  The first week of a new goal is awesome – with this new goal every month thing it’s very freeing to release the old goal and start a new one.  I decided that if I can step up my workouts in combination with this “clean organic” eating then I will hopefully feel amazing by month-end.  So I headed out the door at 5:20am to try out my first hot yoga class which started at 6am.  I’ve been doing yoga for years but have always avoided hot yoga because I hate heat.  I guess this blog has inspired me to step out and try new things on a lot of levels.  What’s the worst thing that can happen?….I sweat and leave early?  Fortunately, she only had time to heat up the room 30 minutes before the class so the room only got up to 88 degrees according to the view I got of the thermostat from downward facing dog.  Bonus – the class was free thanks to a birthday coupon I received in my email.  To avoid this blog becoming incredibly long, I’ll hop straight to it on the food.  I pulled out my old obnoxiously large cooler from my figure competition days and packed it for the day.  Here’s what I ate (all items are organic unless otherwise noted):

5am – almonds

6am – hot yoga

8am – oats with chocolate protein powder mixed in it, ginger tea with honey

10am – applesauce and strawberries

11am – Iced coffee from Starbucks – black

12pm – scrambled eggs, sweet potato, zucchini

3pm – protein shake, almonds

5pm – fruit strip while driving

6:15pm – zumba

8pm – scrambled eggs and asparagus

It was easy to stick to my plan today.  It was day 1, I was motivated, and I had a meeting over lunch distracting me from going out to eat.

Here are some pics of the products…

Food 1 Food 2 Food 3

A few things I’ve learned through my pre-April research is….

-If it says “made with organic ingredients” then it’s only 70-94% organic.

-If it says “organic” but there’s no organic logo on it then it’s <70% organic (example, the bag of almonds above)

-If it says “100% organic” plus the logo then it’s 100% organic (in 3 shopping trips, I have yet to find 1 product that says this)

-If it says “organic” plus the logo then it’s 95% organic (which is the majority of the products I bought).  It’s like a class you can never get an 100% or A+ in because everything I’m finding falls within this category.

Here’s the logo you’re looking for which will ensure at least 95% organic and you can see it on everything in my photos except the almonds (and the tea because it’s on the box it came out of):

Organic label

I’ve also learned that the numbers listed on fruits and vegetables will give you an indication if it’s organic, genetically engineered, or contains pesticides.  Every week for the last 6 years I’ve been buying items that start with a 4 (yikes!) but once switching to organic I’ve been buying items with a 9.  The funny thing is, at Whole Foods the asparagus or other items will have a giant 9 in the front to highlight that it’s organic.  So I guess this info is in fact true (my standard is obviously just a pinterest image and Whole Foods sign to make something true)…

Produce label

April 2…I woke up feeling dehydrated from yesterday’s hot yoga, zumba, and probably not enough water.  In terms of food, it was similar to the day before (I have a feeling many blog posts this month will read the same way).  Here’s the general rundown…

8am – oats with chocolate protein powder in it

10am – applesauce and strawberries (I’ve learned to freeze them or they go bad way too fast)

12pm – scrambled eggs, sweet potato that wasn’t cooked all the way through, and asparagus that I ate with my hands like french fries

2pm – coffee with soy milk (soy milk was not organic – I got so excited about soy being an option without casein (I think) and being that high maintenance person who asks them to get special soy milk out that I totally forgot about my organic goal for 5 seconds)

3pm – 2 rice cakes which are very crumbly but taste way better than the quaker kind we normally buy (pic below)

5:30pm – fruit strip while driving (yes, these little adult fruit roll-ups are quick, easy, taste great, and help to avoid starving – pic above)

6pm – lifted back with my trainer

7pm – protein shake on the way home

8:30pm – 2 pieces of toasted Ezekial bread with peanut butter

rice cakes

I didn’t feel any temptation to cheat today except for 5 seconds when something irritated me (my first reaction was ‘what can I eat?!’) and when someone said the word “Donatos” at work today.  One thing I’d like to mention is that I used to be a serious diet coke addict.  I kicked the habit in January 2014 when I had my gallbladder removed (hey look – I got to talk about that surgery twice in this blog and I’m only on my 4th month!).  I decided that was a good time to let it go and never look back.  I don’t think I could’ve switched to all organic and kicked diet coke at the same time this month if I hadn’t eliminated that from my life last year.  Additionally, I gave up red meat at that time (I still eat chicken and turkey but no cow or pig) and alcohol which I never really drank in the first place.

One sad realization I had today was about my arms.  I noticed they were still red (you know in my mind I expected them to clear up completely in 2 days).  I was driving home thinking about it while I drank my protein shake (the one that has the cap on it and is already mixed up and ready to drink).  Then it dawned on me….I looked down and read “contains milk” on the side.  Ugh!  I assumed it didn’t because the tub of the powder I bought of the same brand that I’ve been putting in my oats (and pictured above) says “dairy free.”  So no luck on the no dairy part of the goal yet.  I had one more of those shakes in my fridge so I planned to have it tomorrow and not buy them again.

I’ve lost 5lbs since my birthday (March 25).  Crazy because I’m only 2 days in.  What does that say for what I was eating before?!

April 3…A Friday that I squeezed myself into some old jeans because I was convinced that I was clearly lighter and leaner after a mere 3 days.  As much as I don’t want to type about not feeling well…it’s totally the weather and a sinus/sore throat situation.  I went to work a little late but pushed through and have been taking medicine every 4 hours.  At least it’s not the “blah” feeling I’ve complained about in past blogs based on what I was eating.  The good news is, I think my sense of smell is gone so my food temptations are practically non-existent.  The menu today is….

8am…oats with chocolate protein powder

9:30am…coffee with soy (I figured coffee was my exception from organic anyway so I splashed the same soy I used the day before in there today – look at me rationalizing after only 72 hours)

10am….applesauce and blueberries (froze those too because I’ve thrown away one too many fruits that have gone bad too fast in my day)

12pm….scrambled eggs, zucchini, the other half of the sweet potato that wasn’t cooked all the way through

3pm…fruit strip while driving (Good Friday….got to leave work early)

5pm…protein shake (yes, the last one with the “contains milk” label), almonds

6pm….rice cake with peanut butter

7:30pm…I’ll be making ground turkey black bean chili for dinner after I post this blog

Moved my cardio plans to tomorrow because of not feeling well

The only thing that kept me from not wanting to cheat today was eating every 2-3 hours.  I never got to a starving point where I’d want to stop off and eat somewhere which would’ve been my typical Friday.  I lost another .5lbs so I’m down a total of 5.5lbs now since March 25.  I didn’t start eating organic on March 26, but the 25th was the last day I weighed myself.  While this post was strictly what I bought and what I ate – I anticipate future posts to get more at the heart of the emotional side that comes with weaning off of processed foods and passing Tim Hortons without getting a donut.  I’m an emotional eater.