As I was contemplating a way out of this over-eating, over-junking rut, I got an email from Jordan (theblondevegan - an awesome site with some great plant-based recipes). She mentioned a cleanse she put together and wanted to know if I'd do it with her. Now, to be completely honest, I wasn't even going to read it as I hear the word "cleanse" and roll my eyes so far back I practically sprain them. Typical with fad diets, there is no empirical evidence that "cleanses" actually work or that your digestive organs function any differently when following a "cleanse", there are no known toxins that have been shown to be eliminated any differently during a "cleanse" than normal (after all, the domain of your liver and kidneys is metabolize and excrete any toxins in your bloodstream on a daily basis, and they do that all the time unless you have a liver or kidney disease), and weight lost from "cleansing" is pretty quickly regained. Your digestive system doesn't need a rest, as many commercial cleansing and fasting products claim - the rest our bodies need comes at night, when we are sleeping. That is the point of sleep! Deprivation diets that cut out important nutrients found in proteins and fats are dangerous - your body doesn't get any new materials to build new tissue (ie. you!) out of. I could go one, but I won't. The bottom line is that healthy eating, exercise, and sleep are what our bodies function best with, not gimmicks and fads.
However, because Jordan's blog is so great, I did read the full email and was pretty impressed with the program she has put together. In my opinion, it's not a gimmicky cleanse, it's a 5-day vegan meal plan. While Jason and I are not vegan, we don't eat birds, mammals, etc, and eat a mainly plant-based diet with a few dairy products (e.g. greek yogurt) thrown in. I figured that by following her plan, it would get me out of this habit of eating crap, and back on track with healthy food choices. Sometimes, following instructions just makes things easier as it eliminates the chance of choosing unhealthy foods. So Jason and I decided that we'll give her program a try next week.
Jordan has really put a lot of work into the document outlining all the meals - it's really well-written and has some beautiful pictures. Now, I may be the world's pickiest eater so normally I don't do well with pre-written meal plans. Because this one is all fruits and vegetables, I should be ok... but I'll let you know as it goes. There are also recipes for a couple of juices each day. We don't have a juicer and I don't really drink juice that often, so I'm not planning to rush out and buy one. Generally, juicing removes a lot of the antioxidants and fiber from the skins of fruits and veggies, so I'm not a huge fan of too much juice. But a couple glasses a day are ok - just don't try to live on juices! I'll go to the juice bar in town after work each day to get the next day's juices. I love smoothies for breakfast, but always do the same one so am looking forward to some new ideas. I already eat salads almost every day for lunch, but there are some new things she's throwing into hers that I'm excited to try. There are a couple of cold soups I'm not sure about (I really don't like cold soups...). But one thing I really appreciate is her balanced approach and that it's not about deprivation (which is why I don't think this is a gimmicky "cleanse" where part of it is mentally seeing if you can take the caloric deprivation, which is ridiculous and unhealthy) - if you're hungry in between meals you can snack on fruits, veggies, and nuts of your choice.
|Some pictures of her recipes.|
If you're looking to try vegan eating, or like us just looking for some structure after all the holiday eating, take a look at her plan and give it a try. I'll keep you posted on how things are going; we're planning to start on Monday. Cheers, and happy new year!