Saturday, February 8, 2014

Detox Cleanse

I've been hearing about these detox cleanses for a while and decided to jump on the bandwagon. With traveling for work at the end of last year and then off work for two weeks over the holidays, I packed on an extra 4 or 5 pounds. And even though I've been trying to eat a lot better since the New Year and keeping to my training schedule, I've lost about a pound.  :(  Not cool, not cool. Especially with two vacations planned in the next couple months where clothing will not entail jeans and bulky sweaters! So, I know that cleanses are not meant to be a weight loss technique, although that is usually a welcome side effect. I am hoping that it will help with some of my cravings - cheese and anything salty - crackers, peanuts, etc and feeling hungry throughout the day. Then, in the case that I am able to lose a few pounds, I'm hoping that through diet and exercise, I can maintain it.
I was looking at some of the ready-made juices that you can buy, but was a little put off by the price for a first-time cleanse. I suppose the investment may make you more motivated to stay on the cleanse. Searching online, I came across Dr. Oz's 3-Day Cleanse.

Even though, there's a trade-off because of the extra work needed to prepare everything, I did like that I would by buying everything and seeing exactly what is going in each of these smoothies. So I did some research and read reviews; I needed some affirmation that the smoothies were tolerable and I wouldn't be starving for three days!
I decided to do the cleanse on a Monday - Wednesday while I'd be working. I knew I couldn't do it over a weekend with my husband not on it. So, I put my shopping list together, did all my shopping on a Saturday morning for everything I didn't already have and prepped both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Based on tips I read from others, I did the following ahead of time. I made up nine freezer bags with everything I thought could be frozen ahead of time:

Breakfast: Raspberries, spinach (I would have added the bananas but mine weren't ripe enough yet)

Lunch: Cucumber, kale, chopped green apple, celery (I put the celery in a food processor first, 3 stalks instead of 4, and I did remove the skin and seeds from the cucumber)

Dinner: Mangoes, blueberries, kale, avocado

Then on Sunday afternoon, I mixed up Monday's breakfast and lunch smoothies and they went into the freezer. First, there are no blenders at work, second, I get up around 5:15 for work and try to get out the door as quickly as possible, and third, (possibly most important for me!), I needed to make sure I found these smoothies edible, especially the lunch smoothie, which most have agreed they like the least. And my husband wanted to try them as he's going to see how it goes for me before he decided if he's going try the cleanse. So happy to be your guinea pig, hun!  ;)  The resulting amount of smoothie seemed like quite a bit, so I didn't make the optional snack smoothie, I'm hoping the extra I have in the smaller containers will be enough. During the taste testing, I didn't think either of them tasted bad at all.

Day 1:
I'm not a tea drinker, so I wasn't sure how I would like the switch from my morning coffee to the green tea, but it wasn't bad. However, my plan to freeze my smoothies overnight was not the greatest idea. As I pulled them out of the freezer, I knew my breakfast would never thaw in time to drink, so I grabbed a spoon and packed it. So, when I got to work, my lunch smoothie went in the refrigerator and I put the two 'snack leftovers' in the freezer. My breakfast sat on my desk and just as I thought, around 8am, when I wanted to have breakfast, I was chiseling my smoothie. However, this did cause me to take a while to consume it, instead of drinking it all at once. Like others have said, I really liked the breakfast smoothie and could see myself drinking this after the cleanse is completed. For lunch, more chiseling! I still had a mostly frozen smoothie. And this was the smoothie I was most worried about, it seems everyone complains about the texture and even with using the food processor and blender, I can see what they mean. Between thawing and drinking, it took me most of the afternoon to consume it. And it wasn't even all of it. I drank the 16 oz. container, I still had 8 oz. left. I did notice I was a little tired on my way home from work. Luckily, my husband and I had nothing planned, so I made my breakfast and lunch smoothies for Day 2 and then made my dinner smoothie. And I have to confess that I did munch a little during this, just to chew on some food! I had one stalk of celery and a couple pineapple pieces. I was not sure what to expect for the dinner smoothie with the cayenne pepper, although I do like spicy food, just not super spicy. For this smoothie, I did halve the amount of pepper, but overall, I liked it. I would make and drink this again after the cleanse as well. Then, it was drinking my dinner and an episode of Dexter. Luckily, my husband was kind enough to just have a salad for dinner! And a cup with a lid was a must if I wanted to take this smoothie out of the kitchen!

Before I went to bed, I did enjoy my detox bath, it was nice and relaxing.

Day 2:
I woke up feeling pretty good. I had thought about waiting until Thursday morning before weighing myself again but curiosity got the best of me. I was quite surprised to see that I lost 2.8 pounds after the first day. I know it's water weight, although, it did make sense, with the food I've been eating, I was always feeling bloated. Today, it was a bit of a struggle to drink all the tea, I was missing my coffee! But, really no trouble with the smoothies today, even the lunch one. I had frozen both again overnight and took them out when I woke up. I left both of them in my lunch bag when I got to work and this seemed to work out well. The breakfast smoothie took me a while to consume because it was still partially frozen but I had a late morning meeting and after that, my lunch smoothie was ready to drink. I found I just need to gulp it, not take small spoonfuls. Tuesdays are my running nights so when I got home, I finished the extra container I had of the breakfast smoothie, about 5 oz. and went to the gym. I was a little worried about just eating smoothies for a couple days and would I really feel it while running, but no issues whatsoever. After I got back from the gym, I made my dinner smoothie and then made a breakfast smoothie for Day 3. I still have 2 8oz. containers left of the lunch smoothies for Day 3.

Day 3:
I weighed myself again and I lost another 1.8 pounds. I was a little worried about drinking the same smoothies for three days straight, and I would be sick of them, but I really wasn't. However, I don't know what it is with the green tea, but it was a bit of a struggle to drink it. Maybe it was just that I didn't really enjoy the taste, but I feel a little sick to my stomach as I'm finishing it. I think I'll be sticking to green tea in a pill form!

Overall, I am really glad that I did the detox. I weighed myself Thursday morning and lost another pound, so a total weight loss of about 5.5 pounds. Despite what I gain back because of water weight, this experience really opened my eyes up to what I have been eating and what I should be eating. I've been looking up smoothie recipes and am planning to try some different ones and continue having them for my breakfast. They keep me feeling full and are so much better for me than the granola bars and what not I was eating. I feel better too. And they are convenient in that I can prepare them on the weekends and keep them in the freezer. I'll keep you posted in the coming weeks with how it goes.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Training Update

Three weeks into training and so far, so good. Although, this definitely wasn't the part of the training calendar I was worried about! Since I've been running further distances than what is on the schedule for January, I did up my mileage this past Sunday just so I'm not increasing it so much as I get into February:

Last week, I was in Texas for work and unfortunately, I picked up a cold, so I wasn't feeling the greatest this past week. Luckily, I wasn't congested in my chest at all, so nothing a little cold medicine doesn't temporarily fix. Outside of work and my training, I tried to take it as easy as possible so I would quickly get over it. Plus some extra doses of Vitamin C!