Cleanse Recap + A New Addition

There is a new addition in my family.

 

Hang with me and you’ll see what the addition is and why I went for it…

Friday night we had another cleanse buddies dinner.  My friend Kathleen decided to begin the cleanse on Friday, so Mallory and I had a great time re-hashing our experiences with her.  (Click here for the “rules” and post #1.)

 

My first experience doing this cleanse was in November of 2010.  It was HARD.  My eating habits were not clean – I ate too many burgers, drank too much booze, and had a sugar addiction.  Needless to say, the first few days were a shock to my body.  I was tried, cold, and grouchy.  And constipated.

1 week before the 2010 cleanse

 

This time around I didn’t have as difficult a time.  My eating habits had remained fairly clean since that first cleanse; however, I noticed some old habits beginning to creep in and wanted to give my body a little reminder of how good clean feels.

 

Some observations:

  • Caffeine wasn’t as hard as I thought to give up.  My friend, Mallory, who also cleansed noted that after day 4 she actually had MORE energy without her previous 5-6 caffeinated beverages a day habit.
  • My overall energy level was excellent.  I slept better and the circles under my eyes lightened.
  • Digestively speaking… I’ve always struggled with “regularity.”  That was all better by day 3 of the cleanse.
  • At the risk of TMI, I must warn you to beware of gas – all of those greens are potent.  It’s healthy, but others around you may not appreciate that. ;)
  • My daily exercise didn’t change, and there wasn’t any difference with the amount of effort I was able to exert.  In fact, I increased my weight toward then end of week 2.  Popeye was on to something!
  • Creatively this cleanse has been a win.  Tighter food parameters force you to think outside of the box, which has resulted in some of the best meals I’ve had in a while.
  • Weight loss was NOT my goal.  I maintained my weight throughout the cleanse.  Again, my eating habits didn’t drastically change and I made an effort to have an extra protein shake or chia pudding every day.  My cleanse buddy’s eating habits changed pretty drastically… she lost 10 lbs!!!  Congrats, my bestie!
  • Hunger was never a problem.  People were always asking “aren’t you starving?”  Nope.  You would be shocked how filling veggies can be.  I actually was forcing myself to eat more some days!  I also planned ahead (see tips below) to make sure I was never caught without a food option.

 

 

The most common question I’ve been asked is surrounding how time-consuming making all of this food is.  The short answer is that yes, it takes more time.

The longer answer is that it isn’t that hard if you PLAN.  I have a full-time job and am perpetually running late – I’m not someone who has hours to spend on cooking during the week.  My cleanse-buddy has a full-time job, a 7 month old baby, and a husband that travels all week.  If we can eat clean, you can too!

 

 

Here are some ways to make clean eating easier, whether you are cleansing or simply trying to eat better.

Preparation tips:

  • Bookmark/pin/note recipes you like and write down your weekly menu.  This way when you go to make your grocery list and/or prepare meals, you can do so quickly and not worry about scrounging through the fridge to see what you could throw together.
  • Reserve time to prepare food.  On Sunday nights I make a big pot of soup, roast veggies (squash, beets, eggplant, etc), pre-cook wild rice and/or lentils, and pre-cut veggies.
  • Always keep snacks on hand.  If you are anything like me, when you don’t have anything to eat you go into “panic” mode and have the urge to grab whatever is nearby.  Don’t let that happen!  Keep veggie sticks, fresh fruit, and other healthy snack items on hand so you never have to worry.
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative.  Creative doesn’t mean difficult (these roasted tomatoes looked impressive, but were incredibly easy), but it does mean you won’t get bored with your food and abandon clean eating.  There’s no need to eat a salad every meal.
  • Prepare extra food.  Leftovers make great work-bag lunches and are easy to grab when you end up getting home later than you intended.
  • Get a good blender.  Smoothies are fast and easy, especially in the morning as you’re rushing to get ready for work.  They are also an easy way to get extra protein by adding a scoop of a good (low-sugar) protein powder, and an extra serving of veggies add a cup of spinach (the only evidence is the color).  I love my Magic Bullet because it makes the drink right in the cup… I also love my new toy.

 

A HUGE bonus to the cleanse was cost savings.  My pre-cleanse spending habits cost me about $300 more each week than I spent on the cleanse.  That means I’ve saved $900 in 3 weeks.

My bad influence friend Kathleen suggested that I take that some of that money and use it on something to help me maintain a healthy lifestyle.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Aaaaaand that brings me to the new addition.

 

I got a VITAMIX!!! I’ve had it for 2 days and it has already changed my life.  They are pricy…. but I think it’s going to be worth every penny.

Saturday night I celebrated with Sweet Potato Ice Cream.

Vitamix > Magic Bullet

 

Sunday morning I celebrated with a thick Carrot-Mango-Ginger Smoothie.  I’ve never had such a smooth, delicious breakfast.  I’ll be adding ginger to everything I can now; it added a great zing without overshadowing the sweetness from the carrot and the mango.

Check out the recipe at the bottom of this post.  I’m dying of happiness.

________________________________________________________________________________________

This week was a little ADD in terms of workouts.  I didn’t have a clear focus of what I wanted to do and have (once again) been slacking on cardio.  I find it really hard to do without being able to run!

I DID do my final BodyRock fit test.  Extreme soreness had me waiting a couple of days, and clearly I didn’t stick to the 30 days exactly.  Each move is done for 50 seconds, with a 10 second rest in between.  I didn’t really except to see much more progress… but I did make a little more!  Funny thing is that I’m getting worse at burpees.  I blame the push-ups leading in to them.

 

There were a couple of fun new workouts this week.  Atlanta Fitness Diva gym contacted me asking if I’d like to try a workout.  Of course I would!  That took place Thursday and kicked my butt.  Literally.  We focused on glutes and I am STILL sore.  They are a but pricey to join, but I really enjoyed the small-group circuits we did.

 

The other new addition was the GAINfitness app.  Cait @ Beyond Bananas posted about it last week.  This app will let you tell it time, equipment available, and what you want to focus on and then put together a workout for you.  All you do it hit “start” and it walks you through with a timer for rest periods!  Check out  Cait’s post for a more thorough explanation.

 

Workout Recap (2/20 – 2/26)

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

Carrot-Mango-Ginger Smoothie

  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/4 large mango
  • 1-in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk (or other liquid)
  • 1 tsp maca (optional)
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 capful vanilla extract
  • 6-7 drops liquid stevia
  • Ice, to taste (I used a LOT)

 

Place everything in blender and mix to combine.

Top as desired (I sprinkled some flax and cinnamon), and enjoy!

***

Sunday I was honored to make the FoodBuzz Top 9 for my Vegan Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes.  Thank you for the Buzz, and welcome new friends! :)

Also, it’s time for the February edition of Spicie Foodie’s Your Best Recipe.  Click the badge for more info on joining, and be sure to check back when recipes are posted on March 1st!

Do you have a Vitamix?  Please share recipes! :)

Do you have any tips for eating well?

 

Comments

  1. says

    Woot! I’ve had a Vitamix for about 1.5 years, and I use it at least once a day. It’s the best investment I’ve ever made! My day is not complete without a green veggie + frozen fruit smoothie bowl! :)

  2. says

    I struggle with irregularity (it’s okay for me to say it since you did!) too. I wonder if this would help me with that.

    I have a hand-me-down vitamix but honestly I haven’t used it much. For one, it’s missing the tamper. I need to buy a replacement; I’m constantly stopping it to stick a spoon inside.

    • Laura says

      I bet it would – all those greens are powerful. ;)

      Have you emailed the company about the tamper? They seem to be awesome about customer service – they may send you a freebie if you tell them your story.

  3. says

    So glad you are loving the app!

    I am kind of cleansing right now. It isn’t anything with criteria.. just cutting out all of the added sugars I was eating.. as well as any processed food .. which was slim, but it started to grow!

  4. says

    Thanks for the cleanse tips. I think those are great pieces of advice to follow regardless. I definitely need to work on utilizing my Sunday afternoons better!

    And a Vitamix?! So jealous! I really want one of those bad boys, but until I can afford one, my Ninja will have to do! Have a great Monday, Laura!

    • Laura says

      It’s tough at first, but I found actually scheduling the time to do it helped.

      You should register for a VitaMix!!!

  5. says

    Congratulations – you did awesome on your cleanse! I found that the gassy-ness went away after my body got used to all the veggies (for the most part). Prewashing beans helps too. :) That’s a beautiful Vitamix – something I don’t have yet, but everyone loves! My blender has done a great job (wedding gift – so it’s about 10 years old), but I like that it makes soups hot for you.

  6. says

    Thanks for such a thorough review, Laura! Sounds like you nailed the cleanse! I can definitely vouch for planning ahead- fail to plan and you’re planning to fail!

  7. says

    So excited for you about the Vitamix, the top 9, finishing the cleanse, everything!! I’m so sorry we didn’t make it to YDFM together this weekend… I was a slacker at life over the weekend. I hope we make it together sometime soon!

    • Laura says

      I was slacking too! We’ll have to do it soon. I go every week! So cheap. AND I saw they had chia flour this time. I refrained until I can use the 5000 other flours I have. :)

  8. says

    Gah. You’re kind of making me want to do this and that is really saying something!! Haha. I have a feeling if I did I would feel very similar to how you did the first time around…glad to know that it gets easier though!

  9. says

    Congratulations on the Vita-Mix! I got one back in December and can’t imagine my life without it.

    Oh to think of the creations you will come up with now that you get to blend the hell out of it!

    Great work on the cleanse Laura and some very helpful tips. Just starting out on a cleanse having snacks has been key for me just in case I don’t get to have a meal right when I thought I would.

  10. says

    I really want a vitamix even more now! Congrats on getting through that cleanse although it sounds like it was super easy and fun this time around. I’m too scared on how my body will respond without caffeine to really commit although I have been doing my best to eat a mostly vegetarian diet (let’s not talk about the Austin bbq). This blog has me thinking though…maybe I should just do it!

    • Laura says

      That Austin BBQ looked worthwhile. ;)

      Doing it with a friend made a HUGE difference – I should have noted that a little support is a HUGE asset.

  11. says

    Great recap on your cleanse! And way to go for your friend for her energy and weight loss (and other friend for starting up!)…so neat! :) How fun you bought a Vitamix too…one day I’ll go for it! ;) I’m curious to do the cleanse… just seems like it would reawaken my body to true clean eating (I don’t eat as clean as I probably think I do, you know?). Thanks for this! …now go enjoy a little nut butter. ;)

    • Laura says

      Thanks, Bonnie! You are so right about it reawakening your body. I love begin able to push that reset button. The nut butter has been enjoyed alllll day. :)

    • Laura says

      Ha! I have to name mine!

      I’m so excited about making nutmilk. AND I just read that it can blend avocado seeds, which have a ton of nutrients.

  12. says

    Congrats on completing the cleanse! I’m so impressed. I’m doing a vegan challenge with runtothefinish for March, and am really determined not to keep it clean and not replace dairy with snacking on cereal or tortilla chips. I’m also so impressed with your 60 push ups, way to go!!

  13. says

    So much to love about this post! That shirt–Omg, I need one! “Eating healthy takes so much time”–I get that a lot too. But really, it’s not that hard, and if you make it a priority, you just get it done. Every damn day.
    Congrats on completing your cleanse so successfully–I agree, you came up with some awesome dishes during that time. I have several bookmarked waiting for me to try. I am intrigued by Sweet Potato ice cream. Did you post a recipe yet? (Please do!) And lastly, congrats on being the proud new momma to a Vitamix. I hear only good things, and hope to someday join the club. So, what was the first thing you ate post cleanse?

    • Laura says

      Thank you, thank you! Please do let me know what you try out. I love feedback and hearing others’ twists.

      The sweet potato ice cream will come soon! Maybe Wednesday… I’m so behind!

      First thing I ate was a giant spoon of PB. :)

  14. says

    Cleanse you say?? I’m fortunate enough that caffeine, alcohol, and meat keep by body regular and cleansed.

    Seriously though, kudos to you for cleaning your insides…I’m not sure I could give up the caffeine.

  15. says

    Very interesting recap!
    I was wondering, oh goddess of crazy workouts and protein powder, do you have recommendations for good protein powder and ways to make it tasty without too many calories? *puppy dog eyes*

    • Laura says

      LOL! I love that title. Right now I am using the SunWarrior Vanilla. It’s only 70 calories – the lowest I’ve seen! You also want to watch the sugar content (this has none). I used to like the GNC When Isolate powders (vanilla and cookies ‘n cream), but after acquiring the taste for SunWarrior it’s too artificial-tasting for me. Also, I NEVER drink them simply mixed with water/milk. Using some sort of fruit/crazy mix in make the texture and taste 100x better!

  16. says

    Excited to hear about your new addition! I’ve never done a full-on cleanse before, but have been thinking seriously lately that I need to cut back on caffeine to help me just relax and slow down more. t was excited to hear that giving it up wasn’t as difficult as you anticipated. Thank you for the inspiration :)

    • Laura says

      Sure! My friend is really a better one to believe on that – she had a full-on caffeine addiction, but felt so much better after a few days without!

  17. Kathleen says

    It’s funny how you’re inspiring and I’m a bad influence and it works so well!! I may ALSO have to get a vitamix. Maybe a reward for 6 months clean eating?? It’s amazing how without caffeine, I have been awake since 5 am and I’m still raring to go – AH-MAZED.

  18. says

    What a great post! Congratulations on the cleanse and the vitamix!! I bet that is sooo wonderful to have! I want one badly. I just finished a small cleanse a week ago, it’s so nice just to give your body a break from the junk and remind it of all the healthy things we should be eating more of on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing your tips and experiences with it!

  19. says

    Waheyyyy! Well done for finishing the cleanse!! Your willpower is insane girl! Really impressed at the amount of money you saved as well. But when I think about it most of our money goes on food and eating out so really it makes sense!! Anyhoo you def earned that vitamix! (And a nice glass of red!!) :)

  20. says

    Congrats on getting a Vitamix! Is the best purchase, period. I have been known to use mine up to 5x a day! The smoothie recipe looks really good too. If I could marry my Vitamix, I probably would.
    Thanks for all the info/tips on the cleanse, too!

    • Laura says

      Basically… food and wine. Unfortunately for me I love to try new restaurants and Italian wines… and they aren’t always the cheapest. :)

      • says

        but i’m sure they’re delicious! :)

        i told my husband last night that i want us to do the sp cleanse together and he looked at me like i’m crazy! a couple of our friends did it when they were in chiropractic school and now brad’s scared of it bc he said it did not look fun.

        he likes his meats and cheeses and milk. i’m still working on him to do it with me though. it’s really hard to do something like that if he doesn’t do it with me because then whatever he is eating tempts me and makes it so much harder!

        • Laura says

          I swear it’s not that bad. Maybe it will help him to think about how it’s really only 10 days without meat – then you get to add a serving of fish or chicken!

    • Laura says

      I can’t recommend it enough! The discipline is harder at first, but you get into the groove and you don’t really want to eat any other way.

  21. says

    I struggle with eating well – it’s not so much knowing, it’s doing – which frankly, is really frustrating and makes me get really hard on myself. Anyway – suffice to say that I got as far as vitamix and I thought, “maybe I can save enough for a Hurom juicer…” so I’m going to re-read this post in the morning, when I’m rested, and hopefully (maybe?) come up with a plan of action for myself.

    • Laura says

      The execution is the hardest part. One of the things I loved about my cleanse was that it was 3 weeks – the length of time it supposedly take to form a habit. Once it’s a habit, it’s easy! You can do it! Let me know if I can help .:)

  22. says

    oOOoooo this cleanse sounds like it did you lots of good! :D I agree that carrying snacks is one of the wisest things we can do for our bodies….my friends and future motherinlaw are starting to do it, and they’re doing so much better physically! They feel stronger and more “balanced”.

    • Laura says

      Thanks! It really did – in fact, I just signed on for a 30 day vegan challenge. Carrying snacks is a GREAT idea. It goes so far in avoiding bad choices.

  23. says

    Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.
    I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same
    outcome.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] mentioned that while on the cleanse I saved about $350 a week – that’s how bad my foodie habits were.  Hence, the new [...]

  2. [...] me is to go cold turkey (pun intended) to reset myself.  I’ve done this in the past through my favorite cleanse, but I haven’t gotten to the “emergency” point yet.  This time around I’m [...]

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