Cleaning up my diet

I am linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What, and Mar at Mar on the Run for this week’s Friday Five, which is a food related topic.


I fully enjoyed the summer. Without one ounce of guilt for the wine with dinner, the ice cream, the before dinner appetizers, dessert at restaurants, tried ALL the food in Greece…. I indulged, was eating too much, and seriously loved every minute of it.



Well, loved everything except the resulting bloat and poor digestion.

I finished vacation August 15th and knew the next few weeks would mean less work travel, more routine with back to school and with marathon training. So, I figured there was never going to be a better time to clean up my diet.

Firstly, let me just say that I can not ”do a diet”. I know there is no short term fix, magical pill, or overnight solution. I also eat very healthy in general. But I felt I needed a reset, so cleaning up my diet is about weeding out those (too frequent) indulgences, eating whole foods, cutting out everything processed and eating a bit less. Yeah, that pretty much sums up what I have been doing.

So mid August I started and have been fully dedicated to a 6 week carb cycling program (which I will talk about a later date, once finished), but in short, it is associating what you eat with the kind of workout you do that day.

5 things about my adventure so far :

  • I focus on what I CAN have. The summer fruit  and veggies season is still in full swing. Nectarines, melon, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, broccoli, spinach, lean protein, eggs, sweet potato, nuts…. I have not once felt deprived.

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  • I plan ahead. I do not necessarily plan my meals, but I buy a ton of fruit and veggies on the weekend, and also make big meals so I will have left overs all week. I bring a bag of nuts to work with me.
  • It is a great learning experience. I log everything in My Fitness Pal. I was never a big fan of the app but surprisingly, I have learned a ton about macros and balancing my food intake. It also details the macros in your meals.



  • It is not 100% clean. I am using 85% dark chocolate and Diet Coke as my 2 guilty pleasures.
  • I have avoided all gluten, dairy, alcohol, pre packaged foods and my downfall… ice cream.


The result ? Whatever I am doing is working.  While I haven’t weighed myself (I am not a fan of the scale), I can confirm that I have lost major belly fat and back fat. All my pants, skirts, dresses and tops fit so much better. Nothing is snug.

No bloat.

I am eating less, but I have found I can actually survive and function very well on less food.

I can not say it has affected my energy or sleep because I already had a ton of energy, and never really have sleeping issues, but my mind is so much clearer.

And my workouts have felt stronger. This summer I was having some niggles with the change of routine, but now that I have had 4 weeks of discipline, adding in some new workouts in addition to my marathon training, I physically feel AMAZING.

So, for the moment, I will stop there as my 6 week adventure is not finished, but so far, so good.

What do you do to clean up your diet ?

Ever tried carb cycling ? 

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Comments: 15

  1. Kimberly Hatting September 9, 2016 at 1:22 pm Reply

    My diet could use some fine-tuning, no doubt. Sugar is probably my biggest no-no….but I justify it because I need the calories. I eat fruits and veggies (definitely not as much as I should, though), and I just do not feel satisfied or “full” afterwards. Also, most fruits and veggies are low in calories, so if one is trying to maintain their weight, it’s tough to get enough calories from them without eating round the clock…I know, first world problems. LOL
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Hydration…from a vestMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France September 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm Reply

      I was a sugar addict too, but this has really helped me be more aware of my choices, and has forced me to make better choices.

  2. Haley September 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time in Greece. I would love to dine in Europe over the Summer. So many great cuisines.
    And it also looks like you’re making great choices to get back on track. Nice job with that. Keep it up and you’ll be back to normal in no time.

    • Karen - Fit in France September 9, 2016 at 5:48 pm Reply

      LOVED Greece. Can’t wait to go back !

  3. Mar @ Mar on the Run September 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply

    sounds like you had a marvelous summer! I keep hearing about carb cycling.
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Favorite Football Foods & a few Healthy AlternativesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France September 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm Reply

      I will fully review it when I am done the 6 weeks, but so far, I am amazed

  4. Marcia September 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm Reply

    Good for you for going about this in a sensible way. I’ve not tried carb cycling but my husband is a big fan of it. I too had a pretty indulgent summer and while I managed to not gain weight, I certainly did not lose any either.
    Marcia recently posted…Get Ready to SparkleMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France September 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm Reply

      Thanks Marcia, I feel it is sensible. And I am learning so much

  5. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy September 9, 2016 at 7:57 pm Reply

    So glad it’s working for you! The last couple of weeks I was totally on the stress diet (which for me means not eating a whole lot), but now I’m back to eating a bit more normally. Hopefully I can actually stay home a few days. I actually brought all my own food, for the most part, with me, because my parents have such crap and I couldn’t get out at all — thank God I did, it really helped.

    I have tried carb cycling, but didn’t find that it really did anything for me. Maybe I wasn’t strict enough. 🙂 I’m not good at following other meal plans.

    Mostly I try to bring sugar down when I’m trying to clean up how I eat. Other than that, I eat less carbs on non-running days, more on days I run, some of that also depends on the distance I run . . . Unfortunately, I’m a volume eater — restricting amounts just doesn’t work well for me psychologically. I mean, of course I pay attention to portion size, but ack! Too tired to make sense right now.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Things in Life LatelyMy Profile

  6. Coco September 10, 2016 at 2:23 am Reply

    My weakness right now is enjoying my son fixing dinner – as part of the deal I have to let him fix what he wants – even if it’s steak or pasta ….
    Coco recently posted…Cycling To Harpers Ferry West VirginiaMy Profile

  7. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home September 10, 2016 at 3:18 am Reply

    For sure I am cleaning up my diet. No worries, there will always been indulgences. But I’m cutting back on all of them. The hard part is being married to a guy who doesn’t care…we’d both weigh 300 pounds if I wasn’t on top of it.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After a RunMy Profile

  8. Nicola @ Running Happy September 11, 2016 at 7:33 pm Reply

    Your summer holiday in Greece sounds lovely.

    I’d not heard about carb cycling until I read your blog but it makes sense to match what you eat with how much activity you are doing.

    • Karen - Fit in France September 11, 2016 at 7:53 pm Reply

      There is a lot published on carb cycling… makes for interesting reading. My experience has been very positive.

  9. Kates October 22, 2016 at 1:31 am Reply

    Actually, diet should not be just a diet but it should be a lifestyle which means that it is more permanent than just a temporary decision of dieting for a week and giving up on the 2nd week, diet should not be just called a diet but a lifetime commitment of staying health y and being more energectic!

    • Karen - Fit in France October 22, 2016 at 8:10 am Reply

      Yes, fully agree !

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