I know I’m not alone when I admit that since becoming a mother, I’ve developed some bad habits around food. My sugar cravings went through the roof after my daughter Arabella arrived and when I was breastfeeding, I could easily eat an entire packet of Tim Tams in one sitting. I still can’t resist the 4pm sugar cravings. I skip breakfast in favour of a milky coffee...
I crash at 11am after the mad morning rush and reach for something like a muffin or banana bread (it really should just be called banana cake). I wind down at night with wine and chocolate. I do exercise a few times a week, but my diet desperately needs help.
The thing is, I don’t have time to think about changing my diet. I love healthy food, if it’s put right in front of me, but I’m never going to make chia seed puddings from scratch. So I decided to call on Eat Fit Food – a health food delivery service founded by Bianca Monley who we featured on The Grace Tales a few months ago (you can read her story here and get a tour of the Eat Fit Farm where a lot of the produce is made). I decided to go for it and try the ‘28 Day Challenge’. What is it? A unique program designed to break old habits, reset the digestive system and promote sustainable weight loss. Healthy, delicious food delivered to your door for 28 Days – it’s exactly what every mother needs in her life. For me, the main goal wasn’t really about weight loss (although that was certainly on the wish list), it was more about resetting the way I approach food and hopefully, getting more of what we all need – energy. I was sick of feeling totally exhausted all the time and I knew my food choices were partly to blame.
Now, this isn’t your average cleanse. You’re not starved of food nor do you feel like you’re eating calorie-restricted food. I went from eating no breakfast to starting the day with tomato and herb baked beans with gluten-free toast, gluten-free muesli with rice milk, coconut yoghurt and berries and cacao brown rice porridge, banana and walnuts. For the first time in years, I was excited about breakfast! I was given juices (the ‘Revive’ was made of apple, mint, lemon, kiwifruit, spinach and kale) and yummy snacks such as Eat Fit Food Cleanse Bars and pumpkin, poppy seed and lemon bread to eat and drink in-between meals. I felt a little hungry in the first few days, but after doing a little research, I worked out that it wasn’t hunger. My body was just detoxing from all the sugar (this part wasn’t fun – hello headaches and sleepiness – but it only lasts a few days so try and push through). There are three small snacks a day plus three meals – you’re certainly not going to go hungry.
Free range egg wrap with sweet potato, goats cheese and rocket
Citrus crusted salmon, coconut quinoa rice and spring salsa
I loved that food would just arrive on our doorstep every two days. Our mental load is heavy enough so it was lovely taking food out of the equation and not having to think about what I was going to eat. I also never skipped meals so my energy levels didn’t drop.
I’m not going to lie and say it was easy (I love sugary sweet treats), but you need to be committed to making a change. You need to want to change your health and wellbeing. To be honest, I did cheat a few times – my husband’s birthday dinner, a few wines and coffees here and there, some chocolate. But I’m a big believer in never depriving yourself and we need to be realistic. My overriding goal was to change the way I approached food and it worked. I wanted to fall back in love with healthy food. To be reminded of how delicious it could be (I’m still dreaming of the apple strudel loaf).
Aside from meal deliveries, there is a complimentary Tom Tom Fitness Tracker; a Facebook community (people would snap their food daily and upload it so you were constantly inspired); an Instagram LIVE video forum for support; sample weekend meal plan (weekends aren’t included to make sure you prepare yourself for this as it’s easy to cheat if you’re haven’t planned what you’ll eat); a shopping list; a recipe eBook; and a weekly goals template. There were also little motivational cards in my food pack. Let’s just say they’ve got you covered. You’re supported throughout the cleanse.
I noticed a few things during the 28 days. Everything was gluten-free, which meant I felt less bloated. We never ate carbs at night (all the carbs were consumed for breakfast and lunch). We always ate a substantial breakfast (I never used to feel hungry in the morning but this changed during the cleanse). Vegetables were a huge part of the cleanse – we all need to add more veggies to our plate. We ate regularly – there were three small snacks a day – which helped to boost my metabolism.
Do I now look like Gisele? I wish. Do I still feel exhausted? Of course. But the program dramatically improved my energy levels and transformed my approach to food. Would I do it again? Definitely. I couldn’t start soon enough actually. Given how busy the next month is, I’ll probably try and get a 10-day program in before Christmas (you can pick from five, ten or 20-day programs). It’s not just the health benefits I loved, it was the actual food. It’s so delicious. Plus, having food delivered to your door is a big treat for a busy mother. Now, I just hope the apple strudel loaf comes with the next program.
For more information on Eat Fit Food’s programs, go to www.eatfitfood.com.au