Friday, January 6, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 1

Happy Friday! Today I have a very special treat - a wonderful guest post from one of my dearest and best friends!  

Now that the holidays are over, I know a lot of us have been feeling less than our best due to all the indulgences we consumed in the last month.  I have been taking a very careful look at what I have been eating and trying to get back into a good routine.  My friend Kaylie has also been taking a look at her eating habits and is currently on the Whole Living Cleanse for 4 weeks.  I asked her to share with all of you her experiences with this and so here is her experiences with week 1!

The Whole Living Action Plan 2012: A Mind-Body Cleanse

Hi everyone! First of all, I am so excited to be guest posting on J’s blog, and very thankful that she let me do this today! J and I are best friends, were each other’s maid of honor at each of our recent weddings, and we are both passionate about health and fitness.

Except, of course, when the holidays bulldoze any hopes of eating healthy, and scrumptious snacks, decadent desserts, and an over-abundance of wine and spirits seem to be present everywhere. For me, this year was no exception, and after four weeks of mindless, unhealthy eating, I was feeling sluggish, inert, and out of control. When the January issue of Whole Living magazine landed in my mailbox just days before the start of the new year, I was immediately enamored by the beautiful, refreshing glass of juice on the cover. The writers promised a 21-day cleanse to detoxify the mind and body, and as soon as I read the challenge plan, I was ready to make the change back to healthy eating. I began on January 1, and tomorrow I will wrap up week one of the three-week cleanse. I’m here today because I’d love to share the plan itself and my experiences and results with you so far.

The 21-day cleanse: what is it?

For those who are wondering, a cleanse is not a fad diet. Cleansing is a way to detoxify yourself and clear out the poisons from your system, such as caffeine, pesticides, and alcohol. Cleansing allows you to get in tune with your body and forces you to truly think about your relationship with the foods you consume. Cleansing also enables you to break your bad eating habits and start fresh again from the beginning. All cleanses are different, but the reason why I like the WL cleanse is because it gives you many options for each meal, which is crucial to good cleansing when your food choices are limited.

How does the WL cleanse work?

During week 1, you eat a basic but very colorful palette of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils

During week 2, you add back in seafood, beans and lentils, and organic soy

During week 3, you add gluten-free grains and eggs

The WL website, but not the magazine, has also included a bonus week 4 to help you transition back into “real world” eating with practical, sensible meal options.

What’s off limits during my cleanse?

WL advises “six to skip” for the duration of this cleanse: caffeine, processed foods and beverages, anything with added sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol. All of these can tax the digestive system and cause symptoms such as inflammation and bloating. 

And now… here we go: my week in pictures! Here is a sample of what I ate:

Antioxidant Smoothie
Coconut Water and mango Smoothie
The Kicker - Green Smoothie with kale and apples
Strawberry banana Orange Smoothie
Lunch: I have no pictures from lunch, but basically my dinner from the night before was my lunch the next day.


Field Greens salad with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Spiced butternut Squash soup with apples
Roasted cauliflower and mushrooms
Avocado with bell pepper and tomatoes
Roasted broccoli and butternut squash with garlic
 I also did not take photos of the homemade snacks I ate, but I simply chose a few from week one of the WL website, and then supplemented with raw nuts or veggies.

My thoughts so far:

This week was TOUGH for me, but I knew I needed to get through it and I did not cheat at all! Although I knew that giving up my beloved cheese and treasured bread would be the hardest, headaches from caffeine withdrawal and low calorie intake plagued me for at least three days out of the seven. And some of the meals I felt a bit discouraged with; for example, try as I might, I cannot love peppers. One night I talked myself into making the Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes for dinner, and I just could not get past the peppers. I would have had a much more successful meal if I had substituted a different veggie and not tried to force myself into eating something I know I don’t like.

You know how Wegmans (our local grocery store) advises us to “eat a rainbow”? Well this week, I truly have. This is an amazing concept to me—both the fact that I did it, and that people tell us to do it everyday— and I think it is certainly more difficult to accomplish with so many other distractions (eggs, cheese, bread… can you tell the things I’m missing?) around us at the grocery store and in our kitchens.

When you eat like an herbivore, there is so little waste. The majority of my garbage bin this week are apple cores and banana peels. Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m lowering my carbon footprint as I eat!

I haven’t lost any weight, but that isn’t the goal of my cleanse. My goal is to feel better and in control of my body and my choices, and I have re-gained both of those things. A cleanse is certainly not right for everyone, and you should definitely make sure you are well-educated on the subject before you begin one. But giving up processed foods, caffeine and alcohol is a good thing to do every once in a while. All in all, I am feeling precisely like the magazine promised I would by the end of week one: “light, energized, clearheaded, and motivated to conquer week 2”! I hope to check back in with you next week to give you my latest progress report!

Is anyone else doing some form of a cleanse as we begin the New Year?

To read more about the Whole Living 21-day cleanse, click here:

Stay tuned next week for Week 2 from Kaylie!!


misszippy said...

This was really interesting to read about. I have always thought of cleanses as unhealthy, but this one is quite the opposite. And I agree on the carbon footprint lowering--just think of all the many items that are trucked in from all over to process foods. Take away the processing, and you knock down the footprint.

Thanks for sharing!

Marlene said...

I seriously would love to try something like this (and sure could use it, right about now) but I don't know if I have the willpower!

justme said...

i did a similar cleanse, it is more about removing allergens and adding back to see if any foods make you feel like crap. i found it was great b/c it helped create some new healthy habits. made me try new foods. my skin was glowing.....

check out the one i are starting one up get group support ....

Mon Amour said...

I would love to try this! Those smoothies look delicious!

Amber said...

Very interesting post! I've never been a huge fan of cleanses but if I was ever to do one it would be one like this! I love the idea of eating whole, fresh foods for awhile!

Emily said...

I hope that we get to hear about week 2 and three as well! This is definitely something that I have been curious about and interested in!

Christine said...

Wow, amazing! I can only imagine how challenging this is. Good for you!!