Sunday, January 29, 2012

cleanse update: part 1.

by kathleen on January 29, 2012

last night marked the end of phase 1, the elimination phase, of my 10 day detox.  phase one involved the gradual elimination from my diet of meat, added sugar, dairy and grains.  i wanted to provide a quick update and recap before venturing into the scary phase 2 detox phase!

how i’m feeling: all things considered, pretty good.  to be honest, i’m a little tired (not surprising after giving up my morning cup of coffee) and the elimination of sugar from my diet was a major shock to my system.  towards the middle of day 2, i noticed myself getting headaches throughout the day and my guess is that my body was not happy about it’s caffeine and sugar-less mornings.  while i couldn’t turn to some of my usual sugar sources, i started stashing apples in my purse for a quick snack of some natural sugars.  a handful of almonds (up until day 4) also provided a mid day energy boost.  almond butter stuffed dates are a recent staple, but i’m counting down the days until i can have one of these!

i have noticed i have been sleeping more soundly (perhaps the upside to the elimination of caffeine?) and, on an overall basis, have an increased energy level (so long as i snack smart!)  i miss the routine of some of my favorite foods (morning coffee, afternoon cookie, and bed time ice cream), but have found a few serviceable alternatives.  in giving it up for the past few days, i have realized meat is an important part of my diet, but that i certainly do not need to consume it as frequently as i have been.  and finally, i’ve realized that fruit is not dessert.  it will pass as my post-dinner sweet treat for the next 6 days, but i’ll be more than glad to have some of the real stuff back in my life.

what i’m eating: veggies, veggies and more veggies!

more specifically, though:

  • day one (no refined/artificial sugars, caffeine, meat): pretty normal day of eating for me!  i definitely noticed the elimination of meat (i generally have meat with one meal per day), but relied on my usual staples of oats, fruit, veggies and hummus.  i snacked on peanut butter and a protein shake (brown rice protein powder blended with bananas and ice) and made this for dinner.

  • day two (no dairy/eggs): again, no big changes here.  i replaced my morning coffee with herbal tea steeped in almond milk and enjoyed protein pancakes for breakfast.  matt was nice enough to come home with a huge batch of whole foods olive oil roasted root vegetables (easily made at home, but i was swamped with work and appreciated the help!) that i snacked on throughout the day along with roasted almonds and dried apples.  dinner was a delicious brown rice + veggie stir fry with a side of simply seasoned black beans..

  • day 3 (no gluten grains): i said goodbye to oats and brown rice on day 3.  breakfast was tough, but i ended up pairing a protein shake with an almond butter stuffed apple.  around lunchtime i whipped up a batch of my butternut squash quinoa cakes, but subbed the egg for a flax egg and left out the whole wheat bread crumbs.  the burgers did not stick together as well as the original recipe, but delicious nonetheless!  i ended up eating these for lunch and dinner.  finished the night off with what has become my usual bedtime snack — apple slices with almond butter + cinnamon.

  • day 4 (no grains, nuts, seeds): this was hard.  my go-to snacks (primarily almonds and peanut butter) were eliminated.  after a breakfast of my favorite fresh squeezed juice (recipe coming up later today!) i snacked on a boatload of celery + guacamole to get in some healthy fats.  i really need fat in my diet to keep me full and the elimination of nuts and dairy forced me to get creative.  i snacked on brussels sprouts with hummus and two protein shakes during the afternoon and dinner was a big ‘ol veggie stir fry (with a heavy hand on the olive oil) topped with lentils.  each night i have been sipping a cup of stevia sweetened tea with almond milk to keep my sweet tooth at bay and enjoying a piece of fresh fruit before bed time.

overall i feel like i have been eating more (calorie wise) than i generally do.  with the focus on what i can’t eat, i have been more than filling up on the foods i can eat.  i am eating 3 solid meals with 3 substantial snacks in between; additionally, i am consuming larger portions of calorie dense foods (nuts, nut butter, avocado, etc.) to get in fats and protein without the lean meats i eat on a daily basis.  i feel good knowing i’m filling my body with good-for-me foods, but it is interesting that despite the eliminations, i have not once felt hungry.  i will say with the elimination of all artificial ingredients and refined foods for these past 4 days, i can 100% vouch for the fact that real food fuels our body in the best possible way.  that is not to say i will never eat another cup of my beloved, full-of-artificial-sweeteners frozen yogurt (i most certainly will), but i can absolutely recognize and appreciate the need for a real food diet.

exercise: workouts have been the same as usual!  a few yoga classes, an elliptical workout, and walks with the dogs.  i have been having a snack before exercising first thing in the morning (which i generally do not do) and am cognizant of refueling immediately afterwards with protein.  i anticipate in the next three days i may have to cut back as my diet is reduced to fruits and veggies, and energy levels will most likely dip.

next step: on that note, with 4 days behind me, the real fun begins.  for 3 days i will have cruciferous veggies, raw greens, apples + pears.  i will rely on my shakes for protein and liberal use of olive oil for healthy fats and bank on that natural sugar in the fruit to keep me going.  here goes nothing!