I am embarking on my first ever 30 day cleanse and fat/burning wellness adventure. I have done a lot of reading about cleansing. I have a number of friends who have done cleanses, and a few who do them as part of their regular healthy lifestyle. I think I am ready, and I know I am both excited and nervous. I will be sharing the daily adventure of this month long journey right here. With everything from what I am doing and feeling to what I eat. And I will be sure to share the recipes along the way.
Day 1 Pre Cleanse Day:
Friday, January 18th, 2013: First of all, my starting weight is 143.4 lbs. I am putting that out there to hold me accountable. The next weigh in day is Day 11th. I am looking forward to seeing how much progress I can make before then. The next two days are all about getting ready to cleanse, and making sure the body is ready to burn fat rather than relying on digestion for nutrients, like it normally does.
I have to say that my first challenge of the day was while I was making lunches for everyone. Normally, without paying attention, I munch a little piece of cheese when I cut pieces of cheese for lunchboxes. Lick the spoon after I have filled their yogurt containers before I put it in the dishwasher. Or cut a small piece of banana bread for me as well, when I cut the banana bread for everyone else’s lunch. All things I found myself almost doing this morning.
The other thing for this morning? First day with no coffee. Normally, I am a two cup person, with one sugar and 10% cream: one first thing in the morning right after I have finished the lunches. The second one about 8:45 or 9am. Today, I had warm water early and then at 9am, I had a cup of Green tea.
Coming to the end of Day 1, and I think I did well. I drank my 24 oz water bottle full 4 times! And my friend Shannon was laughing at me this afternoon when I dropped off my daughter, because I told her I had to pee so badly my back teeth were floating (and I had made a trip to the bathroom before we left home!).
By far the hardest part of the day today, was that 4:30 to suppertime period. I must REALLY do some mindless snacking at that time (nothing huge, but a cracker, a piece of cheese, a piece of chocolate). For supper, we had left over Chicken and Black Bean soup, and I made a spinach salad to supplement (not enough soup for all 5 of us). Spinach salad with some slivered almonds, crumbled feta cheese and sliced beets (50 cal for 1/2 cup serving, the beets that is, not the whole salad), and a homemade maple mustard vinaigrette. For the next 30 days, (other than Cleanse days), I will be planning 400-600 calorie lunches and suppers for me (and the rest too, they can just eat more if they are still hungry!). Watch for the menu to show up as a blog post!
Now, off to bed, as pre cleanse Day 2 brings an early morning trip to the ice rink (without my Starbucks Americano), with my travel mug of green tea.
A good day, that involved grocery shopping, and a sit in a cold rink! And then prep for a yummy supper. We ate the Asian Salisbury Steak. The meal is designed to have about 400 calories plus the brown rice. Well, my hubby ate three helpings! I pointed out to him that I didn’t think he needed to eat that much. But since it was after the fact, he just shrugged and grinned.
I think that is going to be my biggest challenge. Not “mothering” everyone else around me about what they are eating. It is so important to remember that this journey is for me first, and it isn’t about how and what other folks are doing around me.
Interesting, my 11 year old asked for a shake for dessert that night.
Day 3: first cleanse day
The day started out really well, but then after about an hour in, I had a wave of nausea, followed by another one. It took me back to being pregnant. Like morning sickness (which it is not, by the way). However, it passed after about 20 minutes, and then all was good.
I had a meeting to attend in the afternoon, so I set my self up with my water bottle with Energenix in it, and took two Isa delight chocolates with me as well as three Isa snacks. When I arrived at the meeting room, I scouted out what was going to be out for coffee time… there was coffee, and hot water for tea as well as oatmeal cookies and fruit. So, I decided that I would get myself a cup of hot water at the coffee break time and have one Isa delight.
After sizing up the table (so I knew what to prepare myself for when other folks brought their coffee and snacks to the table), I made a preventative trip to the bathroom.
Part way through the meeting (it started just after 1pm, so it must have been just after 2pm), I needed to pee. Oh dear! Now, you have to know that for me, needing to pee any day, means needing to pee in oh the next two or three minutes tops. So, given how much water I have been drinking, this isn’t going to end well if I don’t get going pretty quick like. But, knowing the person chairing the meeting very well, I knew heading to the bathroom would draw attention. And the bathroom was way around the other side of the room, behind where the person chairing the meeting was sitting. After a few moments, I realised there wasn’t going to be a choice. So, I waited until in between speakers and then I quietly walked all the way around the outside of the room (doing my best to keep my legs crossed while walking), behind the head table to the bathroom.
At coffee break time, the Chair winked at me, “I suspected given all that water you were drinking that you’d be getting up to make a pee break at some point. At least you were one of the ones who remembered to turn your cell phone off.”
Once at home, supper was a breeze, only coleslaw to make for the family, as supper was in the Slow cooker! Saved! Now, off for a walk while they all eat BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches.
See you soon!
Day 8: The “Ah Ha” Moment
This week has flown by. Tuesday morning (Day 5), I weighed myself and took my measurements. I am down by 6 lbs since last Thursday. My measurements didn’t show a big change, so I won’t share them here. Wednesday night, I went to Spin Class, which is something I try and do on Mondays and Wednesdays, but missed Monday this week, because it is recommended not to do strenuous exercise on a Cleanse day. Wednesday was also the day that Stresses I thought I had left behind in November, reared up again. Now, these are external stresses, nothing having to do with me directly, until it does. And on Wednesday, when I was ready to walk out the door to head to Spin, the phone rang. I quickly put the wheels in motion (which required one email to one person) to move towards solving this issue that had come up again, and then I headed out the door.
After Spin, I drove to the rink to collect my daughter. Before I did that, I had a short talk with the skating coach. Even though events from the Fall, had nothing to do with her, she was now involved in the issue as well, I needed to reassure her that it would all be dealt with quickly and be over finally.
A couple of phone calls, a number of email letters (not just one line emails), making sure the correct people had done what they needed to do, making sure I had done what I needed to do! to make sure that people who really aren’t involved won’t get hurt, and then let the chips fall where they may, as I am walking away.
So, this morning, as I was driving back from taking the kids to school, I thought back over the 36 or so hours that it had taken to deal with the issue. This issue was something that before November, and going back to December 2011, was something that had required huge amounts of my time and energy. And not only that, but it often left me feeling spent, and frustrated, and it took time away from my family. During that time, I had spent a lot of time feeling haunted by the expression, “You are the average of the 5 people you choose to spend the most time with.” All I kept thinking was, “Seriously? I cannot be the average of these people. I just can’t!” Now, the past day and a half had been so different from those long months. I had felt calm and together. Never once had I felt those nervous butterflies, wondering if I was doing the right thing. I made my decisions, worked through what needed to be said and done, and put thought into action. Instead of feeling drained and frustrated, like I had in the past, instead I felt energized, proud and I think I might have even been glowing a little bit, from the inside. Not only had I done what needed to be done and closed a chapter finally. But I had done it with such a deep inner calm. Not once had I been short with my children or my husband. It had not taken any time away from anyone.
And I realised that this nutritional journey I have taken myself on to clean my body, is so much more than weight loss and body transformation. It is a life changing journey, that is giving me so many gifts. It is taking me to where I want to be; where I have wanted to be for a very long time. It is taking me to a place where being the average of the 5 people I choose to spend the most time with, is exciting. It is a journey that I cannot tell you you must take, because only you can decide what you must do. But it is also something that when you do decide to, you will say, “Why did I wait so long? But boy am I glad to be here now.”
Day 10: 1st day of Second Cleanse
Going into this week, I am excited, driven and persistent. Because today is Sunday, I have some prep work for the week to come to do today. A bit of a challenge to be facing a few hours of cooking on a Cleanse day. However, I look at it like I am preparing the food for us (including me!) to eat later on this week. After all, today’s supper will be Taco salad, and the family can do all the prep work for that meal on their own! Tomorrow night’s supper will be Slow cooker beef stew, which means I will prep it all before bed, put it together in the morning and then they can all eat when they are ready.
On last week’s Cleanse days (Sun and Mon), I made supper and then went for a walk while the family ate. So nice to come back to the house and hear them all busy together cleaning up the kitchen.
On cleanse days, I can have water, and herbal tea (my choices are chamomile and Blackcurrant), and also Green tea. However, I found the Green tea a little bit strong for my stomach on last week’s cleanse days. I don’t know it that is just green tea in general or the green tea I happen to have in the cupboard right now. Doesn’t matter tho’ because I am not going to buy new green tea, when I don’t seem to need the caffeine anyway. I will just not drink it on cleanse days. I know some folks talk about eating and what you can eat on a cleanse day. This program recommends not eating because the idea is that your body burn fat for energy on cleanse days, rather than relying on digestion. It takes your body a few hours to figure out that it needs to do this, which is why there are two cleanse days back to back.
My energy on a cleanse day is a little bit different than on a regular day. I wouldn’t say it is less, but then I stay away from doing strenuous things (like a spin work out or a long drive), so perhaps it is less. I don’t find myself feeling tired, and when I feel hungry, I have some water or a cup of tea. I will say I am a bit more emotional at times on a cleanse day. It caught me off guard a bit on the second cleanse day last week, a bit like a PMS day perhaps, only it only lasted about 45 minutes rather than the whole day (or two or three, like can happen with PMS)
Now, I should really get on with prepping those meals for this week! Mmmmm, I can almost taste them!
Day 12: Really? That wasn’t on the list
Shortly after I turned 40 (a couple of years ago), I noticed that my skin was changing. My whole life I have had slightly dry and sensitive skin. But not long after I turned 40, I noticed that it was often flaky and itchy. It would get irritated easily if I changed shampoos, or had my highlights done. And this past year, it got worse. Eczema. Yuck. Both of my kids get eczema from time to time, between their fingers or on the backs of their knees. But lucky me, it was on my face, near my eyebrows, my forehead and around the hair line. I tried a variety of things and most worked for a while. The only thing I stayed away from was cortisone cream. While I have heard that it works quite well, it also leaves the skin in the effected area much thicker and not so attractive. Not what one wants on ones face. The one thing I had some success with was using olive oil, both for exfoliating and for moisturizing.
Well, when I began this journey of cleansing and fat burning, I wasn’t thinking about my skin. Other than the idea of drinking lots of water was sure to help it. I knew however, from past experience, that just drinking plenty of water doesn’t help eczema too much.
So this morning, when I was getting ready to wash my face, as part of getting ready for the day, I was pleasantly surprised at how soft my face felt. Smooth. I ran my fingers over the areas near my hair line, and my eyebrows, around the sides of my nose. So smooth, and so much clearer. No flush, no itchiness. Some slight flaking, but nothing really. I washed my face, and applied the gentle moisturizer I always use. And went about my day, feeling extra good, that my skin felt so good. Not since I was pregnant with my daughter, 10 years ago, has my skin felt so good.
Day 16: But Mum, can’t you make us a real treat?
I have to laugh. That came out of my 9 year old’s mouth this afternoon, when I asked her if she was ready to help me try and come up with a protein bar that she liked.
Day 17: A big party
Hmmm, how do I manage this one? We are off to Grandma’s 70th birthday party, where there will be over 100 people, and a buffet table filled with dips, appetizers, cheese (I love cheese!), buns and crackers, seafood, chips, veggie trays. Okay, well, since the party is over suppertime, I can choose to either eat carefully or have a shake before I go and have nothing. I opted to havethe shake. A chocolate shake. And I slipped an Isadelight and a small snack cup of almonds into my purse. I was glad that I did both of those things. The seafood dip was so tempting! I did eat things off the buffet, but I stuck to the raw vegetables without dip (I am picky about my dips anyway so this was easy). The only tempting platter was the cheese one, so I just stayed away from it. It was funny how I was able to come up with all sorts of reasons why I really didn’t want to eat what was on the buffet table, “Oh, not sure how long that shrimp platter has been out for…And I don’t know who made that smoked salmon, so I might not like it.” The crab dip, one of my all time favourite appetizers, actually made me chuckle to myself. When I make it at home, I am very meticulous about it. Is there enough crab? Is there enough horseradish? lots of finely chopped onion, and garnished with green onion and toasted slivered almonds. This one smelled good, but looked like someone had dumped it upside down. It was easy to pass. And then, just like that, it was time to go home, and I had made it. Not so bad after all.
Day 18: Working out
I have always enjoyed exercise. It has always been a part of life, since I was young. I remember as a very young child, watching my Dad doing his 5BX plan early in the morning (something he still does some 40 years later). As children, we played sports, and were expected to “play outside” every day. As teenagers, we skated 4-5 days a week during the school year, as well as Track and field practice. In the summers, I played ball, and sailed, and canoed, later on I worked at a Summer Camp for Girls for almost ten years. In University, I played Rugby, and made reasonably regular trips to the Gym on Campus. Staying fit was easy.
Then, factor in full time work, then a husband, a house, child number one followed very quickly by child number two. All of a sudden, where did staying fit go? Actually, right after child number two was born (who was a champion nurser, and weaned herself at 16 months only because I decided she didn’t need a drink at 4am at that age!), I got back into staying fit, and joined a women’s running group. I ran my first 10K shortly before she turned 1. However, not long after that, I opened my own business, and that was when the time really disappeared (or seemed to!). And as the kids got bigger, their activities came to take over any time left for getting fit again.
So, last fall, when my good friend Sarah’s family’s gym began offering Spin Classes, I decided it was time to take back time for me. I bought myself a 10 class punch card, and started Spinning. At first once a week, as that was all I could fit in. But in January, I sorted out our schedule at home so that I could go twice a week. Wow! What a difference! Now, if I have to miss one day during the week, I find myself feeling deprived.
The great thing while doing the 30 day program, is I have found on the Wednesday class, after doing two days of cleansing, I have so much more energy to carry me through the 60 minute work out. The other thing I notice, when I use the e+ shot, all natural energy drink, in the afternoon on days when I have Spin at 5pm, my endurance is better, and I have the energy to push just that much harder when the work out gets tough. It gets me to that goal of 400+ calories in a 55 minute class, guaranteed.
Day 23: Birthday cake
Here we are 21 days into the 30 days. February is birthday month around our house. There has already been one birthday party last weekend, which went really well. It helped that the cake was yucky. Yes, I said yucky. Although I didn’t taste it, but when a 9 and 11 year old both turn up their noses, and whisper (it was a big party), “Yuck. Mummy, I don’t want to eat this”, you know you don’t need to waste a “treat” on it. This weekend, however, it is me making the cake, as it is my dear hubby’s birthday. I opted to make my cleaned up version of Chocolate cake for his birthday. Still, cake is my weakness, and I could eat the whole thing (not at one time, but over a few days). Especially chocolate cake. There are ways to manage cake though, while doing the 30 day program. It takes planning and knowing your calories as well as knowing yourself. If you can’t control yourself (and hey! we are all human), then the Isadelight is the way to go. But, if you just want a taste, then factor it into your 500 calorie supper. Eat a few less carbs with supper to allow room for the small piece of cake. For example, the cleaned up chocolate cake, if you have a very small piece by itself, can keep you under 200 calories, which still leaves you with 400 calories for supper. This time, I opted for a small piece of cake. Since I made it, and I knew what had gone into it, if I am going to indulge, I would rather do it when I can be sure what I am eating. Then,the next day, I divided the leftovers between the 5 lunches I was packing and it was gone. Temptation over. (yes, I wanted a piece, but I sucked on a piece of Isadelight to get me through).
Day 29: My birthday
Yes, we are going out for supper. Oh yes we are. So, today I will watch my snacks carefully, and there will be a shake for Breakfast and a shake for lunch. By watching my snacks carefully, I mean making sure they are 150 calories, mainly protein and low fat. For example, one of my favourites is a hard boiled egg with a spoonful of salsa. Well, sometimes I eat the yolk too. But not today. And my other favourite is almonds and a half a cup of plain no fat greek yogurt. And sometimes I put a teaspoon of maple syrup on it. Not today!
Rob and I headed out for Greek food. We like to share a “Greek platter for two”, which comes with the option of Ossobuco, calamari or Moussaka. Well, since I don’t eat veal, we usually go for either the calamari or the Moussaka (which is Rob’s fave). Nothing deep fried, so we ordered it with Moussaka. It also comes with a Lamb souvlaki and a chicken one. Normally we would split them, but today I asked Rob if he minded if I had the chicken one and his eyes lit up. He also got both the spanakopita, and all the pita bread. When the waitress noticed that I didn’t eat any of the spanakopita, she asked if she could bring something else, so she brought some dolmades. We also ordered the feta cheese on the side for the Greek salad. It made our supper slightly more complicated than normal, but it was delicious. And while I didn’t count the calories, I also chose to have soda water with lime instead of a glass of wine, and we shared the small piece of cheesecake that comes with the meal.
Day 30: Now what?
So, the end of Day 30, and the end of a journey. Well, not quite. The end of the beginning of the journey. But what happens now?
First of all, the stats: I lost just over 11 lbs, so not quite my goal (15 lbs), but not bad either. Especially keeping in mind that being physically active means building more muscle mass which comparing it to fat takes up way less space on your body. And a total of 21.5 inches. And I can see those abs I told you about. I knew they were still there.
So, the next step is to up the exercise. My energy level is great having completed this, and I want it to stay that way. My skin is clear and soft, and even some of the lines around my face have faded some. All things I want to stay.
The plan? Keep up the shakes, once or twice daily. Keep upthe vitamins and theIonix. And to implement a plan for getting more definition in those abs, and increasing my metabolism. But with everything: sleeping better, more clarity, and more self control, why would I really want to mess with anything? We already eat clean, so that won’t change. Maybe now I can convince Rob to try! I will keep you posted!
The most recent update? I am heading into my first 12 week fitness challenge, starting April 1st! Cannot wait for it to start! Watch for more sharing from that one!