Tag Archives: cleanse

Our Whole30 Experience

DSC_0685

A few times on this blog I’ve mentioned my attempts at a detox or cleanse. Usually I ended up feeling worse or just abandoning ship after a few hours. But I’m a glutton for punishment (i.e. my love of crossfit and marathons), so I’ve always been interested in trying a strict cleanse just to see if I could do it. I read many positive things about the Whole30 (like here and here) and I liked that you still eat real food, not just juices, so this one in particular piqued my interest.

I’d talked to Kevin for probably over year about wanting to do the Whole30, but never followed through because it just wasn’t the right time. There was always someone’s birthday, holiday, or weekend away that I didn’t want to miss out on. But finally, this past July we committed to doing it (even though I knew I had Allie‘s bachelorette party during the last weekend of the 30 days). And here’s how it went…

I’ll start with the hardest. Surprisingly the hardest part, was not the feeling of missing out or feeling deprived. Thankfully with the Whole 30, there’s no calorie-counting or measuring your proteins on a scale; just eat what you need to feel full that follows the guidelines (no dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, alcohol, anything processed for 30 days. See here for more details on the program). But what was most challenging, was the extensive planning that goes into it. You can’t leave the house on an empty stomach and easily expect to find something on the go that’s Whole30 compliant. Even seemingly simple roasted almonds at Wawa have hidden added sugar in them. Whenever we’d go to the beach, I’d have to get up early to cook lunch for us to bring since the chances of finding something we could eat at the beach shack were zero. Even for someone who loves meal planning and grocery shopping, there were some days I just didn’t want to have to think about what we’d make for dinner before 6AM.

Even though the Whole30 rules out all of my favorite foods – cheese, bread, chocolate – those weren’t the things I missed most. What I did miss was relaxing with a glass of wine on a Friday night. One of the goals with the Whole is to banish your “Sugar Dragon” and break the habits of the nightly sweets or glass of wine because you think you have to have it. We loaded up on coconut La Croix and dabbled with some Kombucha, but it still wasn’t the same as a glass of rose on a hot summer night. Sorry, Whole30.

But despite the planning, grocery shopping, and wine FOMO, it was 100% worth it and I would 100% do it again (and plan to). The sense of accomplishment and self-command is enough reason for me to start another Whole30 tomorrow. I felt confident, both mentally and physically, which is not easy for me to come by. I physically felt lighter and less bloated. Running, even in the summer heat, didn’t feel as hard. And it definitely felt good to not have to hide a food baby in a bikini on the beach. Probably the best benefit was that all of my digestive issues that I’ve dealt with for years – gas, bloating, serious cramps – completely disappeared throughout the entirety of the program. BIG win!

It was hard and exhausting and annoying most some days, but it was the best I’ve felt in so many ways in a long time. We did spend a lot more money on groceries, though we saved on eating out and alcohol, and I do think it would be a challenge to follow as a vegetarian, but I would absolutely recommend the Whole30 to anyone who’s even remotely thinking about it. There is never going to be the perfect time to start the Whole30 (or any new routine or project), so you might as well start now. And if you start and decide it’s not for you, no one is saying you can’t abandon ship, but I have a feeling you’ll get addicted to feeling the best you ever have. I know I did.

If you have questions about the Whole30 or need help with meal planning, please reach out! Here are some of the resources I went to over and over again throughout the 30 days: The Whole30Well FedLexi’s Clean Kitchen.

This post is not sponsored or affiliated with the Whole30, I just love it that much!

Quick Detox Tips

IMG_1548

We had such a great weekend skiing (more like eating, eating, and eating) with Allie & Raven. The airbnb we stayed in was so cozy and the skiing conditions were perfect. But after a weekend of indulgence and another foot of snow, I’m starting to feel the itch for spring. And with that comes lighter, fresher cooking and fewer layers of clothing. Whether you’re also recovering from a weekend bender or have bathing suits on the brain, here are some of my go-to tips for a quick detox to have you feeling in tip-top shape by next weekend.

Follow one, two, or all of these pointers for a few days or however long you need to feel your best again.

Cut out alcohol. On many weeknights, we’ll have a glass (or two) of wine just because. Even though there’s something about this ritual that is relaxing, there are many other things you can do to unwind. I’ll be giving this one a try this week – check back to see how I do!

Nix the sweets. This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is probably the hardest one for me. After dinner, I always crave something sweet. If you’re like me, have healthier substitutions on hand like tea, yogurt, or fresh fruit. It will suck at first, but the longer you go without it, the less you will crave it.

Choose only whole foods. If you can’t tell by looking at it what animal or plant it came from, don’t eat it. This means any processed foods, including breads and pastas. If you need bread, opt for a sprouted grain kind like Ezekiel, and instead of pasta, go for quinoa or brown rice.

Exercise! Even if it’s just for 20 minutes, just getting yourself to do something so that you break a sweat is a fairly quick and easy to feel better mentally and physically. And once you do it, it will be that much easier to do it again the next day, and the next, and the next…

Try a cleanse. This incorporates elements of all of the above if you’re really looking for a detox. Read about our experience with a DIY cleanse here and here.

Cleanse Day 3 & Carrot-Spinach Soup

DSC_0110

Someone has had it with Martha…

We’re in the home stretch of our “clean eating cleanse” and we are feeling…hungry. All of the recipes have been quite tasty, but I definitely feel like I need something more to sink my teeth into. Like the Beet Slaw & Arugula Salad for lunch is delicious, but I wish I had some quinoa in there to hold me over throughout the afternoon, clementines and nuts can only go so far. Or this Carrot-Spinach Soup, which is surprisingly flavorful despite the short list of ingredients, but could really use some shredded chicken or a crusty piece of whole-grain bread to sop up the broth. I have to admit, I caved and had a cup of coffee yesterday afternoon – I’d been getting bad headaches and just couldn’t take it anymore. But besides that minor slip, I haven’t been craving my usual culprits – grilled cheese at work, sweets after dinner – I really just want some whole proteins and healthy carbs. So far, I wouldn’t say the past few days have been life-changing, but I do feel they’ve helped to reset my system after a month-long holiday binge. While I hope to incorporate the principles of eating clean, unprocessed foods into our daily routine, I will definitely not deprive myself of wine, coffee, or cheese after this cleanse – in moderation of course.

DSC_0097

Carrot-Spinach Soup adapted from Clean Slate

makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 tbsp olive oil

2 yellow onions, diced

14 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

16 oz baby spinach

1 handful fresh dill, chopped

juice of 3 lemons

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.

2. Add the carrots, turmeric, and salt. Pour in 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Add the green beans to the pot and cook for 2 minutes more.

4. Add the spinach, dill, and lemon just before serving. Cover the pot for a minute or two until the spinach is wilted, then serve.

Eating Clean & a Strawberry-Ginger Smoothie

DSC_0090

When my alarm went off at 6 this morning, I felt tears instantly well up inside me. Is anyone else so not ready for 2015 to start? Usually I look forward to the start of the new year to set new goals, make lists, get organized. Even after nearly a week and a half off from work, I still feel like I need another week to get myself mentally prepared and ease back into things. However, if there is one thing I’m ready for it’s some serious healthy eating. After two months of eating grilled cheese at work, or not getting a chance to eat and then binging on cookies at night, I do not want to look at another carb…for the next few days at least. Which is why Kevin and I are embarking on a 3-day “clean eating cleanse”. I came across the book Clean Slate by the editors of Martha Stewart the other day and felt like it was the answer to my anti-2015 prayers. Not just a cookbook, it breaks down “clean eating” to the basics and provides an action plan for a 3 or 21-day cleanse. We’re doing the 3-day cleanse as a trial and depending how it goes (i.e. how badly I’m jonesing for a glass of wine), we may go for the 21-day cleanse next.

smoothie

So first up is this Strawberry-Ginger smoothie. Which was quite good! The key for this was to prep all the fruit last night so we didn’t have to chop all those strawberries and grapefruit at 6:30 AM. I’m a little nervous that I’ll be hungry for lunch very early, but I brought a couple clementines to snack on just in case I’m on the brink of digging into a wheel of cheddar at work. So here’s to 2015 – I’m not ready for you yet, but maybe with this cleanse I can fake it ’til I make it.

bottoms up

Strawberry-Ginger Smoothie adapted from Clean Slate

makes 1 smoothie

1 cup strawberries, hulled

1/3 grapefruit, peeled, seeded & chopped

1/3 gala apple, cored and chopped

1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.