On Sugars, Cleaning My Diet and Setting Goals

The first weekend of September is here and wow!  What a scorcher.  Here is good ol' Leavenworth, Kansas this weekend has been brutal, today being the hottest it has been in a while at 102F.  That is just not right {says the girl who was born and raised in Puerto Rico}.  But seriously, the week before was stunning with temps in the low 70s.  Now that is my kind of weather, not this..  oh yes, I did notice my passenger seat belt light came on this week. 

If it wasn't bad enough that it was blistering, this is the week I chose to start the diet cleanup.  On Tuesday I started my no-sugar challenge to myself, and let me tell you: I AM ADDICTED TO SUGAR.  I realized that this week when the headaches would not go away.  Aside from the mandatory tbsp. of creamer in my coffee I was really good about sticking with the no sugars, and while the "withdrawal headaches" suck I feel so much better today-- even though I have that lingering feeling of a headache but not quite.  You may be wondering why the no-sugar challenge.  Well, while I am doing because my motivation is back and I feel like a slacker, I have an ulterior motive. 

Last week my normal gym partner and I were discussing how great it is to feel a little bit like my old self especially the running.  But how I felt that in these two months I'd let myself go in the physique department.  After making him promise me that he would not laugh, I showed him this picture and told him that this is my fitness goal.  I want to work hard and come at least close to resembling this physique by my birthday which is at the end of January.

This is Amanda Latona, my fitness girl crush! Ha!  I know that sounds weird...but I don't mean it in THAT way.  I just really love the symmetry of her physique and how even though she is fit and muscled, she looks feminine.  So, once the gym partner saw the pic, I thought he would laugh but he didn't.  Instead he said "Well, its going to be a lot of hard work but you can do it.  Actually here is a little added motivation.  If you do get at least close, I will send you on an all-expenses paid vacation in the Caribbean".  As you can imagine I was like "WHAT???" LOL  but I took him up on that.  Hello! That's a great motivator for me.  And yes, it may make me sound shallow and yes, it makes me think of this cartoon:

But here is the deal: I am a very visual person.  I have to see the final goal to get motivated and work hard towards it.  If feel a need to challenge myself and I have been thinking a lot about this for a while.  So first thing next week I have an appointment with my new endocrinologist to make sure all my thyroid levels are good to go because that it going to be the variant: how my body will handle the thyroid hormones meds once I kick up the training.  So wish me luck! 

Going back to cleaning the diet is very important in this process and this weekend I cleaned up my refrigerator of stuff that has been sitting there {yeah, there were a few science experiments} but part of my lack of motivation manifested itself as not being hungry which was soooo counterproductive.  But the refrigerator got clean and I stocked up in produce because guess what piece of appliance I have that  am using for the first time in 2 years?  A juicer!  Yes, I used it for the first time to get beets juice, which I used in the most delicious smoothie, The Purple Haze.   

This smoothie is delicious and totally curbed my sugar cravings: beets juice + 1 cup of water + 1 cup blueberries + 1 banana + 1 cup papaya + ice.  This was so delicious and perfect for the hot weather.  The best part?  It makes two servings so I got to sip on it through the day.  The other recipe I made was from this month's Muscle & Fitness Hers Magazine and it is for Coconut-Lime Chicken Bites & Zucchini Fries (all is baked though) and oh my goodness!  So good.  Now if I can only come up with a clean version of the Chick Fil-A Polynesian sauce I would be set!

This recipe was super delicious and all clean.  By the way, the zucchini fries are not burned, that is just the combo of spices that go into them, which makes them so tasty.  Here is the recipe:
Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (Muscle & Fitness Hers)
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
6 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 4oz chicken breasts 
Cut chicken up in to 1 inch pieces.  Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with non-stick spray.  In a small bowl mix the egg whites with the lime juice.  Put the coconut in another small bowl.  Dredge the chicken in the egg mixture then coat in coconut and place pieces on the baking sheet.  Bake for 25-30 minutes turning often.
Baked Zucchini Fries (Muscle & Fitness Hers)
1 medium zucchini
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
black pepper

Preheat oven to 375.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Slice the ends off the zucchini then cut longways into small strips (like shoestring french fries).  Sprinkle the zucchini fries with the garlic powder, cayenne and black peppers and bake for 25-30 minutes turning frequently. 
Again, both recipes make for a super tasty lunch or dinner.  And actually they make for a clean appetizer for your next football game gathering.  So, as you can see, a very productive week and weekend.  Here is to next week and getting one step closer to my goal!


  1. That plate looks delish! I am definitely going to try both recipes because they seem really easy and I have those ingredients on hand most of the time. And girl, if you ever come up with a dupe for the Polynesian sauce please share it because that sauce is my absolute favorite dipping sauce ever! Thanks for sharing with us!

    xo, Abby @ Always, Abby

    1. You are on! This coming weekend I'll be working on this. I'm a girl on a mission!

    2. Ooh! I can't wait to see what you come up with! You go girl! :)

  • I like to read the Oxygen magazine because they featured strong and fit model like Amanda Latona. I wish you good luck. When you plan to eating clean, the important element is removing saturated fats from the diet, is that correct? I try to eating clean not just to supercharge my weight loss effort but it's about eating healthier. It's can get hard sometimes but I try all my best because it's totally worth it.


    1. Honeybee, definitely cutting off saturated fats. But cutting off (or back if don't want to do it cold turkey) is also important. In doing my research this is what I came to find: so basically, every time you eat sugar, your blood-glucose level rises quickly which stimulates the release of insulin. Insulin signals your body to store fat. The more sugar you consume at one time, results in a greater rise in blood glucose, so basically you are in fat-storage mode for longer time.