Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Surviving Junk Free June

I seem to be succumbing a little to peer pressure at the moment, particularly from my workmates. First I was a little peer pressured to enter the Tough Guy & Gal race (a run an obstacle course through mud in the middle of winter!), but then last week, I was also peer pressured into taking part in Junk Free June...... I suppose there are far, far worse things that I could be pressured into.

So as of tomorrow, June 1st, I will be ditching the occasional takeaways, highly processed foods, and most importantly for me, refined sugars. While right now I am feeling confident, I am also very aware that a lot of delicious, sweet foods end up floating around my office. I have had salted caramel tart, cheesecake and carrot cake all within the past 2 days, albeit tiny slices, but the temptation is still very much there.

So what is Junk Free June?

Junk Free June is an initiative started to raise money for the Cancer Society.  As it sounds, the idea is that you don't eat junk food during June and ask people to sponsor you to do so, with all money raised going to the Cancer Society. Junk Free June encourages people to decide what their "junk" is, so for me I have decided to focus on 3 areas; fast food takeaways, highly processed foods (ones with ingredients I can't pronounce) and refined sugar. What I have decided is ok is eating out sensibly i.e. scrambled eggs for brunch or a salad from a cafe.

Now, as a bit of a disclaimer, it's not as if I eat terribly on a day to day basis, but I definitely like to treat myself with food, particularly sweet foods.

I have decided that there will be a few key areas to help me survive Junk Free June:

Preparation: I know that there are going to be moments of temptation, I would be silly to pretend like they won't happen, particularly when I'm at work, so I want to make sure that I have some sort of healthy alternatives available. I have found that roasted chickpeas are a great alternative to salty chips and there are heaps of great recipes out there for healthy sweet options. It will require a bit of weekend preparation, but luckily for me the first weekend in June is a 3-day one, giving me lots of opportunity to prep.

Start with a great breakfast: I know that a lot of people struggle with big breakfasts early in the morning, but I definitely find that a good, solid breakfast helps prevent a mid-morning energy slump. I have currently been enjoying Bob's Red Mill 6 grain-hot cereal, which is pretty much a great, filling porridge that keeps me full until lunch.

Stay hydrated: When I feel myself leaning towards boredom snacking I like to grab some water of a hot drink like tea or coffee. One watch out for me is that I don't replace sugar high's with caffeine highs, so I will be trying to drink more water and herbal teas, rather than coffee and black tea.

Find ways to treat myself that don't involve food: I think I'm a pretty typical person when it comes to wanting to reward myself with food. As I said, my treat or rewards food would defintiely be something sweet, so I need to come up with ways to reward or pick me up that don't involve food. Initial ideas include getting my nails done, or treating myself to some reading and relaxation time. At the end of Junk Free June we have set ourselves a reward of getting massages, which will give me something to look forward to on days when I am craving sugar.

Throughout June I will keep you posted on how I am going, both on social media and in some Blog posts. While quitting junk and getting healthy is definitely a good goal to have at any time of the year, ultimately Junk Free June is about doing something for a good cause, so if you would like to support me and the Cancer Society, please head to my page to donate.

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