Last week, I went on a Five Day Detox given to me by Jennifer (@zengirlfitness) that had me dropping coffee, sugar, dairy, alcohol— you know what? It would be shorter to say what I could eat as opposed to what I couldn’t eat. Basically, it was select steamed veggies (I ate mainly kale, broccoli, cauliflower and beets), select fruit (I ate mainly pear, apple, and grapes), fresh juice, millet, quinoa, potatoes and sweet potatoes.
I did the detox with Allie (she volunteered) which made the whole thing much more manageable. It’s so much easier to do something like this with a buddy, especially since we sit in the same office all day. We also worked out for an hour on three separate days, which oddly made us feel more alive rather than more exhausted.
First day was really hard. The lack of coffee gave me a headache and made me feel tired. Second day was even harder. My headache was gone but I felt really low energy and I couldn’t focus or do any work. Third day is supposed to be the hardest but that’s when I started feeling better about the whole thing. By the time Friday hit, I was like— I can keep going! This feels great! I had lost five pounds, which brought me back to my pre-traveling weight and thought…what if I lost five more pounds? That would bring me back to my wedding weight! And what if I went below my wedding weight? Then maybe I could find a new husband! (Just kidding, Mike.)
And then I checked myself, because as someone commented on Facebook, “Be careful. Detox can be a slippery slope and make you fall into old habits.” Those old habits are from before I was pregnant with Mazzy, when I was very restrictive about what I ate and prone to binges when faced with a plate of all-you-can-eat cookies in my office break room.
I definitely do not want to go back to yo-yo dieting.
I’ve thought about this a lot since the person made that comment and I realized something. My intention with this new health kick was never to go on a diet or to lose weight. The real reason I was suddenly up for the challenge is because lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about aging. Exercise and eating healthy are obviously good things, particularly as we get older, as long as you don’t make yourself crazy. Since I’m at a point in my life when weight is not something I think much about, it’s probably the perfect time to find some balance.
So, Saturday morning, after the detox ended, I indulged in my favorite thing— a cup of coffee. I ate pretty close to the detox for lunch and even had a juice in the afternoon. Then, we went out to dinner where I had a glass of wine, roasted chicken and veggies. I also had a slice of a thin crust pizza that Mike ordered as an appetizer, which tasted FANTASTIC. By then I was pretty full and opted out of ice cream for dessert.
I felt good.
One thing that Jennifer had told me about ending the detox is that I would notice what foods bothered me if I reintroduced them one by one. Sure enough, on Sunday at lunch, I had scrambled eggs and they didn’t sit well with me at all. So, I guess eggs are not a good match for me at the moment.
Sunday night, we had a big pre-Passover dinner and I ate mindfully but was not restrictive. I had small portions of everything on the table (including dessert), without feeling the need to stuff myself just because it’s a holiday.
So what happens now? What will I take away from this? Will I do anything differently? If I gain the five pounds back tomorrow, will it mean anything?
Here are three things I think I will change:
1) I’m sticking with the detox breakfast. Before the detox, I usually just had a cup of coffee so this is actually more food than before. You squeeze half a lemon in a cup of water and drink it right when you get up, a piece of fruit a half hour later (I’ve been eating it on the bus to Mazzy’s school) and then some grains (millet or quinoa on the detox but I might do oatmeal instead) when I get into the office.
2) Instead of scrounging for snacks around the office in the afternoon or grabbing a second cup of coffee, I’m really like the ritual of getting a green juice.
3) I am going to make an effort to stop late night eating. One late night during the detox, I sat down to write a blog post at my usual spot at the kitchen counter. One minute into writing, I found myself up and looking through the cabinets. I did it without even thinking. I realized— that’s my nightly ritual. I write a bit. I grab a snack. I write a bit more. I grab another snack. And so on and so on until I’m finally finished with my post and go to bed. So, instead of writing at the counter, I took my laptop in my room and wrote the post there. The snacking spell was broken. And I really enjoyed the feeling of going to bed without feeling like my digestive system was in overdrive.
So, there you go. Some positive outcomes and learning, beyond just dropping five pounds that might or might not come back tomorrow.
The last thing, of course, is continuing the workouts and pilates, which I’ll discuss more next week.
Since people asked, below is the five day detox plan. It was given to me by Jennifer to kickstart an 8 week workout program I am doing at Zen Girl Fitness, a pilates studio in SOHO. I am not advising anybody to do this and I take no responsibility if you try it! (FYI, I did not take the Psyllium or the betonite clay.)
The 5 Day Detox
When you wake up: drink one to two 8 oz. Glasses of room-temp. purified water, with half a lemon squeezed into each glass.
30 min. after water: eat a small bowl of fresh fruit (one or two pieces of fruit, cut into pieces) NO CITRUS FRUITS, choose only from the list beow.
30 min. after fruit, eat a bowl (about 1/4 cup dry) of cooked millet or Quinoa. Drink a small glass of water, tea or juice with your meal.
Mid-Morning Snack (1 -2 hours after breakfast):
Drink 2-3 cups of veggie juice or diluted (half juice/half water) fruit juice. Use only the fruits and veggies on your list. Add Psyllium to juice or take it straight.
1 piece of fruit (Again, from the list)
Lunch (Aprox. 2 hours after MM-snack):
Eat 1-2 bowls of steamed veggies (2-3 cups total)
Mid-Afternoon Snack (1-2 hours after Lunch):
Drink 2-3 cups of diluted Juice
Dinner (about 2 hours after MA-snack):
Eat 1 or 2 bowls of steamed veggies plus 1 potato or 1 sweet potato. (Try not to eat too late to allow your digestive system maximum time to rest before you eat again.)
After Dinner (at least 1 hour before Bed):
Herbal tea or water, no SOLID foods. Drink 2nd glass of psyllium or bentonite clay.
**You may eat ONLY the following Veggies and fruits**
Veggies: Beets, Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower
Fruits: Apple, Pear, Grapes, Watermelon, Cherries, Banana
Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments!