Sunday, January 27, 2013

You Are What You Eat

I didn't set out to try something new. It just happened and I'm glad it did.

I came across a cleansing diet in Martha Stewart's February 2013 issue of Whole Living magazine. I've never really tried a cleanse/detox but hear lots of people talk about them so I decided to read the article called Back In Action.

It all seemed well thought out and not too difficult to follow, especially since you get 3 whole weeks of meal plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I could really use some help in the meal planning department these days. Some of the meals repeat which makes it very nice if you are limited on time.

Each week has a different focus and the meals change week by week.
-Week 1 is time to "Clean the Slate"
-Week 2 is time to "Focus on Awareness"
-Week 3 is time to "Form Healthy Habits"

Certain foods are gradually reintroduced into your diet in order to learn how they affect your body. The plan helps to "tune-up" the liver and has you skip six types of food that over-work the liver: processed foods, added sugars, dairy, gluten, alcohol, coffee. It is based on a base diet of lentils, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, with oils and seasonings as well. Overall, I think it can be a good starter cleanse, a Cleanse 101.

My review, one week in:
Greater self-knowledge is a goal of this cleanse plan and I can tell you that within the first 4 days I was already learning a lot about my body, my self (habits), and seeing healthy changes. The most obvious change is with my skin, especially on my face. It feels like my skin can finally breathe because it isn't clogged by oils. The climate in Denver is very dry and so our skin really suffers, but in the past couple of days my skin has felt much more moisturized.

Today I'm on day 6 and I am still amazed at the changes with my skin and how good I'm feeling. I've told friends and family about the cleanse and some have asked about my energy level, if I'm hungry, or if I've had headaches or discomfort. I can gladly say no! The second day was difficult because I felt hungry but this plan also includes some great snack recipes! If you don't have time to make the snacks, then you can have a handful of nuts and two pieces of fruit each day. Today, was also a bit rough because I wanted to eat what everyone else was eating but I was able to stick to the plan. Phew!

I do have to say that while things are going well, logistically it can be difficult--especially if you have a (big) family. Some meals I have made and served for all 6 of us and others have been just for me. This means I am cooking different meals but, as I said before, you are cooking big batches so some cleanse meals are ready to go.

Top: mango-tahini smoothie, blueberry-mint smoothie
Bottom: cucumber-pear juice, pineapple-spinach smoothie

I have some favorites that I know I'll cook once the cleanse is over. I have enjoyed the smoothies/juices and have two favorites: cucumber-pear juice and blueberry-mint smoothie. Mmm. Of the meals, my favorite is the red lentil and sweet potato stew. I do have to say that the creamy broccoli soup (with the addition of a half a lemon) was the first broccoli soup I've made that I liked!

I know a cleanse diet is not for everyone and I am not encouraging you to try this if you are pregnant, suffering from an illness or disease, or if you don't get your doctor's approval. In fact, I just wanted to post about this on my blog because so far I have found this cleanse to be very positive and beneficial for my body. It has also been educational.

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