Cleanse Results

I apologize for the delay in writing this post. Last week was a blur of GSD for the wedding. I really meant to write. I put it on my planner several times. But by the time I had finished the other to-dos of the day, my brain was in a complete haze. I am very much looking forward to marrying Steve and embarking on this grand adventure. I am also very much looking forward to getting my normal brain back.

In short, the cleanse worked great. I would highly recommend purchasing this cleanse from Brandless. It’s not extremely pricey–only $15, plus shipping unless your order qualifies for free shipping. It’s simple. You eat real foods. You can still eat at restaurants. You just have to be more mindful of what you’re eating–avoid sugar, alcohol, processed stuff. I’d view it more as a reset at the beginning of a permanent change in the way you eat, as opposed to a short-term, quick fix.

In long form…

I began my cleanse on a Monday because that’s what worked out for my schedule. I had pre-planned a number of quality foods to eat during the week. I typically ate fruit for breakfast, maybe a couple of almonds, maybe a couple of hard boiled egg whites. Lunch and dinner would be a mix of meat, vegetables, and grains. And a ton of water.

The first day I wasn’t sure if it was even doing anything. I was super thirsty and pretty hungry all day. I think I drank about 100oz of water that first day and most days of the cleanse. To be fair, you automatically get in 50oz a day by following the directions of the cleanse. The vitamin C capsules weren’t a problem. I was a little worried about the acacia powder being gross, but that wound up being fine.

By the second day, I could tell it was working. We can leave it at that.

I totally failed on my goal of doing yoga every day. But that was OK. I didn’t want to beat myself up over it. I also didn’t follow a completely clean diet all week. I had some bourbon, I had some wine, but it would only be a glass or two, and that was all I wanted. I had a Cheeto one night, but I didn’t want more. When I found myself eating cleaner, I wanted to keep eating cleaner. I didn’t crave those thoroughly processed foods that just aren’t good for us.

I don’t compulsively weigh myself. I don’t even own a scale. But I’ll hop on the scale at my grandma’s whenever I go over to clean. I lost a couple of pounds on the cleanse. More importantly though, I noticed that I lost some inches or became less bloated or something. I began feeling better in my clothes, as well as in my mind and body.

In the week after doing the cleanse, I’ve eaten less because I just haven’t been hungry. Not 100% sure if that’s cause and effect, but I’ll take it! I’ve relaxed a little bit about what I’ve eaten, but I can tell when I eat something that’s too processed.

I enjoyed the cleanse so much that I’ve ordered another round, which I will start as soon as it gets in.

7 Day Cleanse

I ordered a 7 day cleanse from Brandless last week. It consists of a Vitamin C supplement, Acacia Powder, and a Magnesium supplement. There’s a post on Brandless’s blog about foods to eat and foods to avoid during the cleanse. The website encourages you to eat berries, cruciferous vegetables, fermented foods, herbs, leafy greens, omega-3s, nuts and seeds, and of course water. The website encourages you to avoid alcohol, artificial ingredients, caffeine, dairy, gluten, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugar. That part is going to be hard, but I’m going to do my best. I’ve been reading through and mulling over Unprocessed by Megan Kimble, so it looks like it’s time to put some of what I’ve read into action. (One of the main things I love about this book is that Kimble searches for how to live in the world while eating unprocessed; total perfection is just unrealistic if you’re wanting to be around other people)

I decided to give it a shot because I’ve been feeling really sluggish in my body and mind. I’m looking for a reset. One thing I like about this cleanse is that it encourages you to eat, but drop the processed garbage that leads to us feeling bad in the first place. Fortunately for me, there is an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that I will eat. Throw in some lean proteins and whole grains and I’m feeling pretty good about my prospects.

Meal planning is going to be key for me throughout the cleanse. If I don’t have something planned, I find myself reaching for junk or wanting fast food.

I decided to have hard-boiled egg whites and strawberries or kiwi (maybe some of both!) for breakfast each day. I like having a routine breakfast. It simplifies grocery shopping and helps me not have to think too much first thing in the morning.

For lunch, I’m making K-Town Beef Bowls with Kimchi from What’s Gaby Cooking. I’ll have leftovers, so I can eat that again in a couple of days. I’m also going to make chicken fried rice with lots of vegetables. Again, I’ll have leftovers for later in the week. I’m using brown rice for both of these dishes.

For supper, I’m going with big salad with a homemade vinaigrette. I like to load up my salads with chicken, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs. What’s Gaby Cooking also has a recipe for Green Rice Burrito Bowls, so I might make that a couple of nights. I like a bit of variety, but I also want to keep things simple for myself this week.

I want to make this into a wellness retreat for myself, so I am planning a morning and afternoon yoga session.

This probably isn’t the best week to do a cleanse because it’s Steve’s short week. But the next week isn’t any better. Waiting until the timing is perfect is never going to happen. At some point you have to decide to just go for it.

I’ll try to make a point of posting updates on how it’s going. I’ll spare the gory details, of course!

Unprocessed Experiment

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I’ve been reading Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble. When she began eliminating processed foods, she was a broke graduate student living in Tucson, Arizona. Her starting premise was that food was unprocessed if she could make it in her home kitchen. She refined that premise as she learned more about the process in which our food is made and transported. It is ultimately a lot more complex. Yet it was important to her to use her few food dollars to maximum effect by buying local instead of blindly giving her money to The Man.

So much about this book appeals to me! I’m still reading it, but I am going to begin my own process of eating unprocessed foods.

I face a few limitations. I live in a small town in Oklahoma–a state that is defiantly and proudly turning a blind eye to sustainability. My options for buying food are very limited. We do have a farmer’s market, but it is out of season right now. I am further limited by a $40 a week food budget, which I am really trying to stick to, though I occasionally go a bit over. I’ll do the best I can at an employee-owned grocery store in town because I figure that less of it is going to a big corporation.

Also, my circumstances are somewhat different than Kimble’s in that I live with my fiance. I try very hard to not impose my chosen dietary restrictions on someone else. Yes, I will seek out recipes that fit the unprocessed structure, but I am not going to be able to completely eliminate fast food or eating out. I can, however, make some better decisions about what I order when I am eating out.

Why am I doing this? Health is the main reason. Over the past while, I’ve felt so sluggish and blah in my own body. This month I’ve been doing yoga more often than not, but I want to take it up a notch by working on my eating habits. Also, health-wise, I’d like to lose some weight because I’m getting married in May.

Secondarily, though, I want to do it for the same reasons that Kimble did. The way our food culture is currently set up accounts for a surprising chunk of pollution. I’m one person, so it’s a small step. But as the book points out “big stuff starts at the day-to-day.” I don’t currently have a ton of money, but I can spend my money differently. I think many people my age and younger are more attuned to economic and environmental state of things. I think more of us are willing to shop local to support our local economies and make better decisions for the environment. (Maybe not so much where I live, but elsewhere in the country, people my age are aware of these issues and willing to do their part) Small changes. But my buying power is all I can control. Maybe through writing about my experiences, I can reach someone else who will read Kimble’s book and make changes to their life, which will have a ripple effect as they reach someone else, who reaches someone else, and so on.

I’m hopeful.

Like I said, I’m still reading the book, so I’m still learning. I’m going to consult other books as well so I can become better informed. But I can still start making changes. My plan is to post a weekly update on Friday or Saturday (or, hell, maybe Sunday!) where I discuss how unprocessed eating is going–maybe share recipes–and also just generally check in on what I’ve been reading and doing and listening to.