While out with a hamstring injury I decided to try clean-eating for one month. It was tough, not least because my son brought a stomach bug home from nursery, but the results are finally in and it’s a mixed bag.
I did take some basic body measurements on day one and this is how they compare 4 weeks later:
|Day 1||Day 28|
|Body Fat %||29.1||27.8|
|Visceral Fat %||4||4|
Although body weight and composition were not my concerns going into this; it was still interesting and pleasing to see the changes. Bearing in mind I was not doing any focused cardio workouts for 4 weeks before or during clean eating.
Here are the results of what I was actually looking to change:
The Hamstring “Tear” Repair Rate
It seems to have healed ok and I only feel a little uncomfortable when sitting for long periods. In the last 2 days I have run a couple of slow 5Ks, stretching before and after, and so far so good (better than the 8 weeks rest quoted by the Docs). This weekend’s road relay for Stourbridge Running Club will be the real test but I feel confident. I feel this was rest and rehab rather than just diet related but glad that I did not lose muscle mass while out of action.
My yeast infection is completely cleared up. As I get back into my exercise attire (often lycra inspired) and start sweating we will see if this is a result of diet change or the fact I have been lounging about in baggy sweatpants for a month.
Thickened and Discoloured Toenails
Again, this has completely cleared up. I did take a trip to the podiatrist to have them cut properly on day one so that would account for their thinning out but my nail colour is now normal. However, now that the netball season has begun we will see if all that toe-bashing deceleration will be a factor in making them look manky again.
Eyes: The Not So Whites and Dark Under-Eye Circles
Eye whites and dark circles have definitely improved. The dark circles are much lighter and my eyes look bright and shiny with just a bit of pinkness around the middle. Definitely improved, but honestly so has my toddler’s sleep pattern, so again not sure if this is just diet.
The everyday bloat that seemed to come and go during the course of a day is no more. The bloating I usually get before my period was also significantly reduced. But as a pleasant surprise the dreadful cramps I always get during this time of the month (which were not originally listed as an ailment because I just accepted them as a part of my life) were barely noticeable for all of 2-3 minutes; as opposed to the day and a half of gut-twisting aches and pains I normally experience. Other than diet change not sure what else could account for this.
Alas no change here.
Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin on upperlimbs)
Some change here. My upper arms are not as rough although there are still patches but the redness has completely gone. My thighs still feel and look the same though.
Susceptibility to Cold and Flu Infections
None of us have had a cold or flu in the last month. However, as my partner is a teacher and my son is in nursery it is only a matter of time before their noses come running to me! The jury is out on this one – my immune system is yet to be tested!!
Furry Discoloured Tongue
Now, a confession! This would have been much improved had I actually totally given up tea and coffee. I couldn’t. I am an addict. I did for 9 days though and my tongue looked healthy and pink. I noticed after every brew (milk and 2 sugars) that my tongue suffered in appearance. I know what I have to do.
Sudden Dips in Mood and Energy
Now this was literally the happiest result. After the first week I noticed that I was not having my usual dips after eating. The second week there was no need for a mid-afternoon nap after a 4am wake-up call from my son. Everyday I seemed to have energy for longer and felt…well just happier. I was getting more done, planning more fun things to do with family and friends and basically not sweating the small stuff. Partner was pleased.
All in all, there were enough good results from this eating plan to keep me motivated to continue clean eating for now. However, the more research I am doing, the more I think I will head toward a “whole food plant-based diet”. You see it’s not just about personal health anymore but also about the health of our planet and all the living creatures on it. To be continued….