This holiday season was filled with a lot of good memories, great get-togethers with family and friends and, oh yes, the dreaded weight gain and bloating. I know I’m not alone in my resolve to lose some weight this year. It is, after all, the number one New Year’s resolution. All the gyms packed with good intentions and the constant deluge of weight loss commercials on TV will attest to that. And then there’s the morning shows with their nutrition experts touting their new miracle diet or telling us about the psychological reasons why we gain weight. Really??? I know why I gain weight . . . I love food! I know this about myself and I accept it. For me, I can’t imagine giving up the foods I love forever, so it is about learning to eat in moderation. With that in mind, I decided to kick-start my new year with a little detox diet I read about in Redbook Magazine. It is a 5 day cleanse that lets you eat plenty, as long as you forego processed foods, dairy, gluten, refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol. It is designed to get rid of holiday bloat (yes please), improve digestion, boost energy and strengthen your immune system. After reading through the recipes, which you can find here, I decided to give it a try. As I write this, I am on day 4 and can share with you some of the things I’ve learned:
- Giving up caffeine cold turkey is horrible! After day 2, I decided this was one thing I could not get onboard with and went back to my 2-3 cup morning coffee ritual. As soon as I had my first cup I felt amazing!
- Cutting sugar and processed foods from my diet was not as hard as I thought it would be. I actually feel less hungry and have less food cravings than I used to. I think after the 5 days are up I will continue to limit my sugar intake and eat as few processed foods as possible.
- I have been sleeping really well since starting the detox diet. I’m not sure if it has anything to do with what I’m eating or not eating, or maybe I’m just going to bed earlier so as not to think about food : )
- In just 4 days, I have definitely noticed a decrease in bloating, my clothes are fitting better and my skin looks clearer. I have not weighed myself because I didn’t want to get discouraged by the number, but I would be shocked if I hadn’t lost any weight.
Overall, I’m happy with my progress in this first week of the new year and am more determined than ever to commit to a healthier lifestyle. I think the detox diet was a nice way to ease myself into eating better and would recommend it to anyone wanting to do so. The recipes are easy, but if you follow it exactly the grocery list is extensive. I created a shopping list for all 5 days, which you can upload here, to make it a little easier. It seems like a lot, but most of the spices and pantry items I already had. Some of the items you might not be able to find in your regular grocery store, but I was able to find everything at Whole Foods . Like, for example, millet. I didn’t even know what that was. Turns out it’s not a bad haircut from the 80’s, but a nutritious whole grain which can be creamed like mashed potatoes or fluffed like rice. Hmm, who knew? In any case, you can find it in the bulk bin aisle at Whole Foods along with the hemp protein powder for your morning shakes. You heard me right. Apparently, hemp is a complete source of protein and contains all 21 known amino acids. And despite what you might think, you do not get the munchies after consuming it. Sorry, just a little hemp humor. If this all seems like too much and you just want to test-drive some of the recipes, I can tell you my favorites are the Avocado-Mango Shake, Hummus Crusted Chicken, Salmon Quesadilla and Sweet & Sour Chicken.
Let me know if anyone out there tries this diet or any of the recipes. Would love to hear how it worked for you or what you might be doing to meet your weight loss goals this year.