Earlier this month I started a 2-week cleanse inspired by MyHealthBeet. I had done a 4-day cleanse with her program before that didnâ€™t impact me too much results-wise. I quickly went back to my old food routine. This time, I needed a re-set from stress-related habits that crept in, such as snacking a lot (and mindlessly) at night, grabbing prepackaged meals instead of frequenting the produce isle, and indulging in holiday sweets and treats too generously.
Since I had worn dresses for the duration of Spring and Summer, realizing that my winter pants no longer fit (even the roomy ones) was a bit of a wakeup call. So when Svetlana had a pre-Thanksgiving special on her Shred program, I jumped in, though the PDFs sat in my folder until after New Yearâ€™s eve.
I cleared out the pantry of non-Shred foods over the holidays, and the week of January 4 shopped for the recipes I knew I would like. On impulse I got oranges too, but found out that these are too high in sugar for this low-sugar, no-carb Shred program.
I alternated between egg white omelets and smoothies for breakfast, neither of which took long to make.
Banana Blueberry pancakes kept the Sunday morning pastry craving in check.
The lunch salads were fun too, though as a Chinese medicine â€œwarm eaterâ€ this was discontinued after the cleanse for warmer options. Still, I stuck to the program for the two weeks.
On a super-cold day I resorted to a stamppot recipe since carrots were on the approved foods list (but left out the potato), and enjoyed the hearty winter meal.
The evening meals were easy to prepare as well, and I learned more about protein as I tried to find meat alternatives.
A Pinterest post said that one can grow lettuce from home in just water, so I am experimenting with Romaine Lettuce to see where that goes.
I accepted a brunch at a Vegan eaterâ€™s house, and during a collage workshop I did partake in a slice of cake in spite of the cleanse. It was about conscious eating, not deprivation. True cleanses are easier to maintain in a vacuum, but I am about setting up a better lifestyle for myself, not going from one extreme to another.
I also went off-plan with the craving suggestions, having walnuts in the evening for their crunch rather than the softer food suggestions pinned to my cabinet. The walnuts were part of a salad recipe, so I wasnâ€™t going entirely off script, and a handful was more effective than a cookie or chocolate bar (or 2, or 3) before.
On a whim I stepped on the scale at the beginning of the program and was a bit shocked that my last check-in a year ago was 10 pounds lighter. The good news is that thanks to cutting out breads, wine and chocolate and sticking to the portion-controlled, non-dairy, clean food program I actually lost 10 pounds in the 2 weeks.
I am maintaining the smoothie mornings and have not yet purchased bread or chocolate to keep in the house. That doesnâ€™t preclude me from stopping at the cafe for a mocha and pastry fix, or enjoying appetizers with my friends at a bar, but being aware of the habits at home will help me maintain the weight and might help me shed a bit more.
Meanwhile, I feel better about having upped the ratio of vitamins in my life and lowered the bread-dependency. I may eventually experiment with the recipes that didnâ€™t strike my fancy, but for now I know myself well enough to stick to the foods I enjoy and not let foods I feel iffy about go bad.
Spring and summer will see me having more smoothies in lieu of meals. Iâ€™ve got some recommended movies on my watch list that I am sure will reinforce the semi-Vegan program a bit more, and Iâ€™ve found that it is perfectly maintainable.
When I see those â€˜what I eat in a dayâ€™ features of top models I am always skeptical at their tiny portions, but Iâ€™ve found that when using natural foods smoothies are quite filling, and focusing on protein rather than carbs also keeps cravings away.
For me it really isnâ€™t about the scale but about fitting back into my favorite clothes. If they donâ€™t fit by the end of summer, when I am most active throughout the day, then it is time to let go of the wardrobe and invest in fashion I feel good in, regardless of label size.
I enjoy my life as it is right now, inclusive of outings with friends that involve food and wine. Hip Circle Studio workouts keep me active and healthy, and as long as I feel good about looking in the mirror, my clothes should reflect that.