Healthy Habits

Squeaky Clean 2017

28 day food and fitness plan to jump start life, paleo, recipes, health
The second week of 2017 is upon us, and I’m sure many of us are still sticking strong with our resolutions. I know I am. I had a girly night on Friday, watching some movies at home with friends, and let me tell you how much self-control it took to NOT reach for that bottle of Merlot that’s been eyeing me from across the room… To compensate, I drank water from my wine glass. Not quite the same, but “hydration is key” is my motto for this year.

I’ve been following Cassy Joy, from Fed and Fit, for quite a few months now. She posts many delicious recipes, exercises and even has a 28 day project to get back on track with food and fitness. When she published her cookbook/exercise guide, I had to snatch a copy right away. What I love about her approach is it doesn’t feel like a ‘diet’. It is an encouragement to eat real foods (unhealthy oils, processed food and certain groups of food are not in scope), sleep more (who doesn’t want to do that?), exercise regularly, and drink lots of water. The other great thing is just how much flexibility there is and how much you can tweak it to make it your own personal well-being plan. I highly recommend this book, because it breaks down what happens in your body in an easy-to-understand scientific way, but also is engaging and contains a lot of yummy recipes to try.

The recipes in this book are either Paleo, or Paleo-friendly. Paleo is a movement where we try and eat as closely as our ancestors used to eat, eliminating modern processed foods and eliminating foods that came after the agricultural revolution. When I was back in Colorado, there were a million different options for eating, shopping and cooking paleo-approved foods. Here in Hull, my choices are a bit more limited, but trying to abide by the Paleo guidelines shouldn’t be too difficult with a bit more creativity and having to do things more the old-fashioned way. The other day, I was looking for some frozen shredded potatoes without any out-of-scope ingredients, and couldn’t find any in the store, so I had to just make my own. Note – Need to invest in a food processor.

While I feel like I have the eating healthy, exercise and drinking water mostly figured out, I really struggle to get enough sleep. I still have not been able to determine my “Daily Sleep Number” yet, because I keep going to bed too late, and also getting interrupted sleep. The Daily Sleep Number (DSN, as she likes to call it) is basically the number of hours of sleep you need to wake up feeling fully rested. My usual habit is to sit with my laptop (long after my boyfriend has fallen asleep on FaceTime) and work on my blog or troll around on Facebook. After I start finding it hard to keep my eyes open, I crash and then the morning is a constant battle between my snooze button and I (sorry Tracy). I get up, feeling so ill equipped for the day that I rely heavily on several lattes to keep me going. And the cycle continues.

This week, my goal is to make sleep my number 1 priority. Everything is hindered in your body when you don’t get enough sleep (I know Mom, you told me so) and I’m determined to give my body the best shot at recovery, restarting my metabolism and to ensure my workouts are most effective. I work out a lot, try to eat healthy often, and I still don’t see the results I want to. I think changing the types of food I eat, drinking more water and ensuring I get enough rest will help me to look and feel my best. I already feel pretty awesome one week into this program. I am drinking far less caffeine than I normally do, drinking SO much more water, and eating really filling, healthy meals. My tummy hasn’t ached all week, the water is keeping me energized more. Additionally, I’m feeling so much better during my workouts (probably because I was insanely dehydrated before).

One of the other things I’ve started doing is journaling instead of calorie tracking. Calorie-tracking is super ineffective because a chocolate bar may have the same amount of calories as a healthy meal, but you do not get the same end result. A chocolate bar virtually has no value to you in terms of macronutrients that you need for cell repair and growth, organ function, etc.. A healthy meal, however, will keep you going much longer. Ultimately, the journaling process has you looking at how you feel after every meal, evaluate your sleep quality and monitor how active you are being. The goal is to see where you need to make tweaks and what you’re doing right, and it’s been really effective for me this week.

Here is an example of my journal entry:
Date: 03 Jan 2017                         Day #: 2
  • Hours I slept last night: 5 hrs 14 min
  • Quality of my sleep: Alright, but a bit restless (awake 1x, restless 11x)
  • Measures I took to improve my sleep: I didn’t have any caffeine after 10 am, and didn’t have any water for about 1 1/2 before falling asleep
  • Things that disturbed my sleep: I was on my laptop until 1:30 am, still jet lagged and restless
  • Amount of water today:   (tick 1 for each 150 mls you drank today)
  • Over Under At minimum
  • Breakfast: Clean Start Paleo Breakfast Casserole, some raspberries, water, peppermint tea, Americano
    • How did you feel just after eating? Full, with energy
    • How did you feel 2 hrs after eating? Started to get hungry only after 4 1/2 hours after, also started getting a bit sleepy at the same time too
  • Lunch: 2 pieces of Pork Tenderloin leftover from last night and a bit of parsnip mash
    • How did you feel just after eating? Feeling good, although I kind of want more food. Can’t tell if it’s boredom or actual hunger
    • How did you feel 2 hrs after eating? Slightly satisfied, but realized that the hunger was probably more just boredom and thirst
  • Dinner: 2 chicken breasts, chicken seasoning, 1 avocado, sautéed lemony kale, 1 spoon of cashew butter
    • How did you feel just after eating? full and satisfied
    • How did you feel 2 hrs after eating? I’m a bit thirsty now, and It’s time to go to bed. I think I had too much salt in the food, but it was good anyway
  • Activity details: BODYPUMP
    • Length of work out: 1 hr
    • How I felt during workout: Crap. It was first day back, and my knee was killing me
    • How I felt 1 hour after workout: My back hurts a lot, but not from the class
  • Activity details: Running on the treadmill
    • Length of work out: 25 min
    • How I felt during workout: Alright, but not my best run
    • How I felt 1 hour after workout: sore, tired, and in pain from previous injuries
  • Daily Steps: 18k steps reached!
Energy & Mindset: 
  • Describe your energy level today: Really good, but still tired
  • Describe your overall outlook and mindset today: I was bored throughout my day but I had an overall positive outlook
Lessons Learned: 
List 3 things you learned today regarding your sleep water, nutritional needs, or fitness activities and how they correspond to your overall energy levels and/or mindset:
  1.  I learned that I really can get by on much smaller portion sizes
  2.  I don’t need to snack to get by between meals
  3.  I was much more dehydrated than I originally thought
Do you have any tips for sleeping better? What are some of your struggles in living healthy?
As always, don’t forget to follow me on social media and let me know if you have any questions!




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  • Reply Erin

    I totally used to struggle with sleep. I was a night owl and hated waking up in the morning. I have to get up early for work now and I am exhausted by the end of the day. I think if you either force yourself out of bed without the snooze and turn off that laptop at night you will have a much easier time.

    Also, what’s up with these injuries? How are you taking care of them? Are you doing mobility work regularly?

    January 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm
    • Reply caffeineberry

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this 🙂
      I struggle with that snooze button. I have tried to get up at the first time I hear it, but I’m a deep sleeper and can just ignore it, or hit it without realizing what I’m doing. Hopefully, if I’m actually less sleep deprived, I’ll be able to wake up easier.
      I’m not even sure where I got my injuries, but I’ve had them for a long time. Sitting at a desk all day doesn’t help the pain either. One thing I did last night that really helped me feel better today was stretching and Yoga before bed. This morning was much less painful and stiff, and I think I need to start doing that more frequently.

      January 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Erin

    I am totally going to sound like a nagging mom but the key is really setting a time where you turn off your electronics. Phone and laptop off. Reading in bed really helps me. Also, make sure that you are forcing yourself out of bed at that alarm.

    Also, are you doing any mobility work for those injuries?

    January 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm
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