Healthy and Sane

Executive decisions

July 11th, 2009 · 17 Comments · Mexican, pizza, yogurt

I made 2 executitve decisions over the past 2 days…

1) I’m stopping the Cleaner Life Challenge in its strict form. I will continue reading labels to make sure there are no sneaky ingredients anywhere, try to limit my white sugar and white flour intake, and of course continue to support local farmers by buying mostly local produce and meat (and otherwise organic). The soy intake is one thing I’m still unsure about. I think I will use tofu in moderation going forward (instead of it being my go-to vegetarian protein source) but will not eliminate it from my diet in its entirety.  I was fighting to finish what I set out to do (i.e. 30-days of super clean eating) but realized that that was my all-or-nothing mentality coming through again. I learned from the challenge, and it was time to move on. Deprivation was not part of the goal and as soon as it became that, I should have stopped. So I did. I hope you guys are cool with my decision (from most of your comments, I think you would be… and you are a smarter bunch than I am :) )

This decision was made on Thursday night, at which point I went out to The Upper Crust for a nice slice (or 4!) of white flour dough pizza. It was delicious and exactly what I wanted!


My half had portobello mushrooms and ricotta cheese. It was yummy but honestly I’d skip the ricotta next time and go for more veggies. Ricotta is good in calzones but a little too much on pizza. The crust was so thin, crispy and delicious. Really well seasoned too 😀


I ate the whole 1/2 of the 14″ pizza, and was pretty much in a fetal position for a good part of the night after that. I could have and should have stopped at 1/4 of the pizza (2 slices) since I already ate more than my share at home before we even went out, but I didn’t. Adam ate his entire 1/2 so I followed suit. The second I stood up, I pretty much wanted to die. Not good, not good at all. This led me to my second executive decision… 😉

2) I am going to try intuitive eating, instead of calorie counting! You have no idea what a big deal this decision is. I am scared but I think it’s time. I’m trying to figure out why I still have urges to binge when left alone (I had ahem an ‘incident’ on Thursday night) and at times eat beyond the point of pain. Maybe it’s because I don’t always give my body what it wants when it wants it because it’s too many calories. I don’t trust my body at all. I think it will tell me to eat brownies all day long, but I will try to distinguish between “boredom requests” and “true cravings.” During the Cleaner Life Challenge I noticed how often I crave cookies when I’m stressed out at work. Why is that? Did I really need a cookie? Clearly not since I was satisfied with a much healthier alternative. This will be a wind whirl of craziness – me actually trying to trust my instincts. We’ll see how that goes.

This decision was made on Friday morning. Here are my eats during the day (scroll over for descriptions)…




(reused picture… I didn’t realize I’d be blogging about this)

Ok, so the cookies is what scares me about not counting calories. I wanted these cookies, and the second I thought of them, and realized that they’re not “off limits” I couldn’t get them off my mind. These 2 cookies are 600 calories, have lots of fat, and I’m sure have some junk ingredients in them. But they are SO good… and they made me happy! :) A few hours after consuming these beauties, I completed a 5 mile run outside, burning 602 calories. I think as long as I don’t make a habit of eating 2 a day, they can be part of my diet. I exercise a lot (and this may increase in the upcoming months… separate announcement will tell you why), so why not have a cookie or 2 when I really want them? Right? Right? 😉 No guilt over these, btw. It’s been too long since I’ve had them. They tasted like chocolate heaven. Worth every calorie! *I may try to stick to just 1 next time, though…


Lunch was requested by my husband. He wanted “rice and beans.” I thought this was the easiest request to-date, and happily complied. I added to the skillet some black beans, cooked brown rice, diced tomatoes + grilled corn (frozen) and let them all warm through. I then added some S&P + cayenne pepper for a little kick :) My plate was then topped with 1/4 of sliced avocado and a tiny bit of 2% natural Mexican cheese. The portion was small but it was very satisfying. Intuitive eating at its best 😀




And then Adam and I went out! Check back soon for the recap of our Friday night 😀

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17 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - K

    I’m glad you’re letting up on the CLC before it became a bad thing. That’s great you recognized that it had the power to turn into something negative. You will be great at the IE though – good luck :)

    That ‘rice & beans’ dish sounds fantastic!! Are you doing a race?!

  • #2 - Shannon (The Daily Balance)

    I think you’ll be great at intuitive eating. Good luck 😉

    we’re all here for each other though out journeys!


  • #3 - Tiffany

    I finally understand what you mean by eating to the point of pain: Kyle and I went to dinner last night, and through intense conversation, delicious food, and not paying attention to how much I was putting in my mouth, I ended up in insane discomfort. It was truly the most uncomfortable I have ever felt after eating.

    As for calorie counting, I never do it. I don’t even think I’d know how, in all honesty. I always intuitively eat; unfortunately the things my body wants are sometimes the things that make me feel bad.

  • #4 - Lauren

    Yay for Upper Crust – best pizza in Boston!

    I think intuitive eating is a wonderful idea… it’s something I’m currently working on as well. Really listening to our bodies is the single best way to feed it what it needs and wants – without overdoing it in the calorie department.

  • #5 - Annabel

    Hey Elina! I think you are the only boss of you and that’s great! If the CLC thing wasn’t working, why torture yourself? You’ve got to find a healthy lifestyle that works comfortably and that you may even *gasp* enjoy! That’ll keep you healthy for life and not just throughout a challenge! Cheers to finding our own paths!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  • #6 - Jenny

    yay for intuitive eating! That’s something i’m trying to work on myself! Eating when we’re hungry, stopping when we’re full.. sounds so simple right?! but it’s what lifes all about!

  • #7 - Melissa S.

    I think your decisions are great ones! I didn’t do the cleaner life challenge in the end because i thought it was way too strict and with all the moving and field work i do, too hard to handle. but i love the intuitive eating. i’m in the same boat that i’m still counting cals from forever and a day ago and need to get out of that rhythm and just listen to my body. it helps to keep busy, which i think is the best!

    best of luck!

  • #8 - Hangry Pants

    Elina, I am so happy for you and your decisions! I think the fact that you’ve grown so much and leanred so much about yourself enough to stop counting calories and trust yourself is admirable and wonderful! Good luck. 😀

    I am not sure if you read my final opinon on my experience, but I defnitely was not strict about it at all. I used it as a learning experience and hated feeling restricted.

  • #9 - Elina

    Wow, it’s so nice to see how supportive you guys are (I knew you would be… but it’s still nice to see :) )

    K – I’m thinking of signing up for a race. I’ll know for sure next Wednesday 😀

    Tiffany – yeah, eating until you’re hurting is no fun. Where did you guys go? Sounds delicious :)

    Lauren – have you tried Woody’s or PICCO? Both are awesome too! I love pizza! :mrgreen:

    Jenny – oh how I wish it was that simple. I’m going to work at it though. I think if I get it “right” life will be so much more enjoyable!

    Heather – I don’t think I saw that post of yours… gotta go back and look it up. You have the best attitude! None of that “all or nothing” craziness. You’re an inspiration!

  • #10 - Lara (Thinspired)

    I DO know what a big deal it is to start intuitive eating after strong dedication to calorie counting :) You will do great. I am unsure if I will ever return to calorie counting again, but for now my bingeing urges have definitely let up and I can’t help but see a connection. I hope it’s the same for you.
    Can’t wait for this other big announcement! :)

  • #11 - Shannon, The Healthy Beach Bum

    You will do AMAZING with intuitive eating girly! I tried calorie counting for a while and it is just so stressful to keep up with.

    I never would have thought to put portabello mushrooms on a pizza! Definitely a glamorous pizza :) Yum yum!

    • #12 - Elina

      Lara, I hope it’s the same for me too. I’ve had 2.5 really good days now, but I usually do well when I have a new “game plan”… hopefully this one is the final attempt at getting this balance thing right!

      Shannon, thank you! I actually liked calorie counting but I think it’s not a good habit to have forever. I’m pretty good at gaging calories on foods now, and know what portions I should be eating, so hopefully it won’t be such a hard transition after all! I’ll keep you guys posted 😀

  • #13 - Daria (Summer of the CSAs)

    Oooh, I love Upper Crust’s pizza!

    It sounds like you’re making excellent executive decisions. I don’t keep a strict count of my calories but I try to do a rough running total in my head throughout the day because I have binge-ing tendencies too. The problem is when I do consume more calories than I think I should I tend to think “screw it” and just finish the bag of whatever I’m eating. I debate trying to just eat intuitively, but I haven’t quite been able to do it yet. I’ll be interested to hear how it goes for you – I think it’s awesome that you’re making the switch. Good luck!

  • #14 - Elina

    Thank you, Daria! It’s amazing how many of us have bingeing tendencies. I hope we all find our own ways to stop the madness. It’s just no way to live for the rest of our lives. I bought the Intuitive Eating book yesterday and hope to sink my teeth into it today… hopefully it will help me in my new journey. Good luck to you too!!

  • #15 - ttfn300

    i am *trying* intuitive eating… or mainly focusing on stopping when i’m full!

    i have been meaning to try upper crust since it just opened here!

  • #16 - RunToFinish

    good call on deciding what is best for you right now! I have been afraid to go to far with raw at the moment because I know I’ll think about it too much..and I don’t need that right now!

  • #17 - First real day of intuitive eating

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