February Challenge

In the beginning of the year I decided to make 2010 My Healthiest Year yet by working on one healthy habit each month. The aim was that by December I would be healthier than ever! This year I also went back to being vegetarian* so January was dedicated to Mexican Meatless Mondays. I made Black Bean Soup and Mexican Pizza.

Well, my original plan was to make February’s Challenge about Yoga, but I’m going to have to switch it up. I am a firm believer in making healthy changes one and at a time and I really need to focus all my attention on my worst habit this month = Eating after dinner (dun, dun, duuuuun). Yes, despite the fact that I made this one of my NY resolutions I am still falling into this habit.

My February Challenge: Stop Eating After Dinner.

The plan:

1. Brush and floss immediately after dinner

2. “Close the kitchen” by turning off the lights

3. Get to bed early so I won’t get bored or hungry and want to eat

Since I think everyone needs to write their own diet healthy living book please choose something you want to work on this month that is meaningful and helpful to you.

I am frustrated talking about this issue once again, but understand that this problem goes back years. My mom still has this issue and passed it along to me. It’s very difficult for me to stop after it’s so deeply ingrained. I have probably eaten after dinner since I was six years old or something!

Anyways, I ended my life of nighttime eating with a bang. And by bang I mean, Baked Apple with Chocolate Chips and Granola. Yes, it was as good as it sounds! I topped it with some greek yogurt for creaminess. Um, life changing.

Dinner was a veggie burger with cheese. For some reason Ben asked me to make this for myself for dinner so he could taste it. It was very random, but he was craving a cheeseburger and we don’t have any real meat in the house. I didn’t have any particular meal planned so I went with it. That white stuff is Laughing Cow not mayo if you’re curious. I’m running low on ketchup or you’d see it gushing out of here.

This afternoon I also enjoyed an iced coffee and half a muffin.

Anonymous Question: You clearly are an amazing runner and get a lot of cardio time in.  Have you considered adding strength/weight-lifting to your program?  It seems you don’t do much (any?) but maybe you do and don’t document it?

Monica: Thanks for the compliment :) And yes I  recently started working on strength training (like last week when I joined the gym). I have always been reluctant to do it because it’s not as much fun as running!

But…I know it’s good for me and my body responds very well. Even without doing much strength training at all (maybe a dvd every now and then) my arms looked like this when I was 10 pounds lighter… I’m hoping the new strength class I’m going to 1x a week + yoga 1x a week plus losing 10 pounds will get me there again. Okay, that pic is kinda far away, but you can kinda see it…

*Technically I am a pescatarian because I eat fish on occasion. I do not want to seem like a hypocrite or liar by calling myself a vegetarian, but I really only eat fish a few times a month and every time I call myself a pescatarian I get tons of questions about it.


  1. says

    I am a horrible after dinner eater! My goal for February is to stick to my meal plan. I do really well when I plan things out, but not so great when I try to fly from the seat of my pants. Good luck in Feb!

  2. says

    I have the same problem. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with eating after dinner if you are hungry or if it’s a “dessert.” I come into a problem when I eat after dinner and i’m NOT hungry.. just bored. I think it’s great that you are going to kick this habit. But just curious, does that mean you won’t eat after dinner if you are hungry? And are you cutting out desserts?

    And I think it’s a great idea to choose something to work on for a month. My problem is probably eating from boredom. I want to work on eating intuitively.

  3. says

    Good luck to you!!
    This past month I have been working on no random snacking or night time binging…I got to 18 days w/o then tonight the shizz hit the fan. I don’t know what came over me. My February challenge is going to be starting over on the no snacking/binging.

  4. says

    I want to join you on this challenge — it’s definitely a struggle because my body really craves something sweet after dinner, even if I’m not hungry. Usually I’m okay with a piece of fruit but I’d really like to be DONE after dinner.

    I’m going to try turning off the kitchen lights, making a cup of non-caff tea and then brushing teeth immediately. Fingers crossed!

  5. says

    Your baked apple looks FABULOUS! As my blog says, I eat an apple almost every single day and am always looking for a good recipe. Only ate half my apple today so maybe that’s my dessert! It’s a healthier option than the girl scout cookie ice cream I was planning on…

  6. Ashley C says

    Monica, I could not be more with you on this! I actually had made up my mind that I am going to stop eating after dinner next month and then I read your post so it’s great that I can have other people to help break this habit with. As of today I’ve gone a month without chewing gum which I was addicted to (literally, chewing 3+ packs a day) and so if I can break that habit I am going to try REALLY hard to break the nighttime eating which I struggle with alot. My tactics are going to be the same, flossing and brushing, “closing” the kitchen and going to sleep when I’m tired instead of eating to try to stay awake. Thanks for always being so honest, obviously this is a really hard habit that many struggle with and it seems to be one of the hardest for me to break. Good luck!!

  7. says

    This is a great challenge, difficult but great! I definitely have a problem of snacking after dinner, especially when I have to stay up late to do school work.
    Good luck! You can do it!

  8. says

    Aren’t runners advised to not do too much strength training? You want to be lean, with less muscle bulk to increase speed and lessen time. I dunno the truth to that. I just read it somewhere.

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