Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seven Day Cleanse

My ten-year high school reunion is in seven days (UPDATE: I got a little confused - it's actually in fourteen days:-)).  And I'll be damned if I show up bloated with bad skin.  I grew up with these people, attended every grade, kindergarten through twelfth, with most of them!  And I haven't seen most of them since we graduated.

I've also been eating horribly.  Since I started working in a bakery, I have plenty of alone time with trays and trays of fresh baked cookies, tarts, bars, and other such confections.  My sweet tooth has always been my downfall.  I truly am addicted to sugar, which means when I stay away from it, I'm healthy and happy Helen, but when I eat it, I crave more and more and I turn into tired, moody Helen with Sugar On The Brain! (I'm not talking about occasional agave/honey/maple syrup/molasses-sweetened food; I'm talking about processed cane sugar food).

So, starting today, I'm proclaiming this week Cleanse Week!  (By default, Chris will also be participating in Cleanse Week).

Cleanses are exciting to me.  Because they always, without fail, improve my attitude, confidence, and sense of well being - as well as my skin and the way my jeans fit.

Now, I would never attempt one of those crazy maple syrup or cabbage soup cleanses.  I definitely don't plan on being grouchy, starving, and tired during my cleanse.  And the cleanse I do never leaves me feeling that way, yet still achieves its purpose, perfectly.  What cleanse is this, you ask?  Well, here are

The Rules:

Thou Shall Eat NO:
Sugar (no cane sugar, that is)
Processed Food (Including processed vegan products like soymilk, Tofutti sour cream, Daiya cheese, etc.)
Processed Grains (bread, pasta, crackers, chips)
Dried Fruit (the sugar and calorie content in dried fruit tends to be much higher than in fresh fruit)
Store-bought Fruit Juice (same deal as above)
Nuts (nuts generally have a higher fat content than seeds, which are okay for this cleanse)
Table Salt or Sea Salt
And obviously, No Animal Products (meat, fish, dairy, or eggs)

Thou May Eat:
Vegetables (roots, leaves, fruit, seaweed, etc - raw, baked, or steamed/boiled/water-sauteed)
Whole Grains (like steamed brown rice, quinoa, barley, or millet - no couscous or bread or pasta; those are not whole grain!)
Beans / Lentils (1 cup cooked beans per day at most. If using canned, rinse to remove salt)
Tempeh and Tofu (1 serving per day at most)
Fresh Fruit (1-2 servings per day at most)
Raw Seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower seeds, 1-2 tablespoons per day at most)
Vinegar, Soy Sauce, or Miso (1 tablespoon per day, spread out throughout the day over salads or steamed vegetables or in soup. Miso, soy sauce and some vinegars, like ume, have a high salt content, so these will be your only source of salt this week.)
Maple Syrup, Agave Nectar, or Molasses (1 tsp per day)
Coffee (one cup per day at most)
Green or Herbal Tea (unsweetened of course)
Vodka Cocktail with Lemon/Lime and Basil/Mint (no sense in taking away all guilty pleasures this week)
Water (have a glass or sports bottle with you at all times throughout the day)

Other Details:
No eating past 8:00pm.
Daily run.

Okay, I'm tired of writing about this... and I sure did make it sound all serious but it's really no biggie - the hardest, yet most crucial, part for me personally is cutting out the madness-inducing sweets!

Eating healthfully, even during detox week, can and should be delicious, as long as you take the minimal time and effort required to prepare thoughtful, balanced meals for yourself and those dragged into detox alongside you.  I'll make sure to blog about our "Cleanse" meals, so you can see what sort of dishes are Extreme Health Week-worthy.

Let the countdown begin!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a healthy detox. I've been wanting to eat cleaner to help lose weight while I do P90X (and just to be healthier). I'm wanting to cut out bread unless I make whole wheat from scratch and instead eat more quinoa, rice and oatmeal.