The other day, I decided I want to dedicate one day a week to cleansing my body. No, this doesn’t mean I’m going to fast or go on one of those crazy cabbage soup/grapefruit diets. I don’t do diets (anymore). Every day I hear/see/read of young women who “have to go on a diet” and it makes me go crazy. No, you don’t have to go on a diet. Fueling with healthy foods? Yes. Devoting more time to exercising for the mind and the body? Sure. Cutting out carbs and sugary treats once a week? Fine. But saying you have to go on a diet sounds miserable.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: diets don’t work. Seriously. Sure, you may lose a couple of quick pounds to look slightly better in your too-tight dress…for one night. But wouldn’t you rather live a healthy lifestyle where dieting isn’t a part of it, and you look and feel good all of the time? If you say no to this, then sorry I can’t help you, but if you are nodding your head yes, then stay tuned.
I used to be one of those girls who “had to go on a diet.” I’d have to go on a diet to look stunning for sorority formals, to look like a knock-out on spring break in front of the frat guys, and to impress friends and family when I’d go home for Christmas break. Sure, I’d lose weight and fast…but it was all for the wrong reasons and the wrong way. I’d eat 1,000 calories or less per day, spend hours in the gym, and never treat myself to anything. It was straight up torture. And of course the weight would come back on eventually because a lifestyle of torture is simply not the way to live. A lifestyle of dieting was completely miserable.
Now I don’t do diets. I hear the word diet and cringe. It just sounds God awful. Diets? Maybe for models and movie stars but helllll nooooo are diets for me (nor are they for you). Instead, I practice a lifestyle of healthy eating and living, where I eat well (not perfect) every day of the year, and diets never cross my mind. This kind of lifestyle allows for eating one too many brownies every once in a while and skipping the gym here and there. It allows for carbs and fat and wholesome food. There are no restrictions in this kind of lifestyle…you just live!
Of course, there are still times where I want to crack down a bit (whether it’s for an upcoming vacation or big event) to look and feel my ultimate best. But instead of dieting for these types of occasions, I’ve learned that clean eating is the way to go! Of course I try to “eat clean” every day, but that doesn’t always happen. But let me tell you, when you do eat clean you see all the difference…in your hair, skin and body. When I went to New Zealand six months ago, I lost 4 pounds simply by eating clean: no preservatives, no packaged foods, no crazy dressings, no fried anything. Simply all-natural, fresh, local meals. And I didn’t even have to try! How’s that for a diet? HA!
But I have to admit: I haven’t been eating so clean lately now that fall is here. I have an addiction to baking, and have been indulging in maybe a few too many pumpkin muffins. Then when I went home this past weekend, my mom bought some kind of apple fritter type donut. They were warm, they were freshly baked…I couldn’t resist. While I’m not going over board, all these little bites here and there are bound to add up, and a bloated tummy is no fun for anyone.
So while eating clean may not be feasible all of the time, I’m going to try my best to do so throughout the week, with one day dedicated to cleansing. During my “cleansing day” (I have yet to decide what day it’ll be…perhaps Tuesday?), there will be no processed foods allowed. No coffee. No dressings. No dairy. No meat. No baked goods (not even a bite). Instead, I will load up on lots of water, caffeine-free tea, whole grains, nuts, veggies in olive oil, and fresh fruit.
The Perfect Cleaning Day
breakfast: 1/2 c. oatmeal or quinoa flakes with 1 TB all-natural nut butter; 1/2 grapefruit; water; herbal tea
snack: fresh fruit salad with flax seed oil, or sliced cucumber in olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon
lunch: 1 c. spinach with cucumber, canned tuna (no salt added, plain), avocado, olive oil and lemon juice
dinner: lots of steamed veggies (spinach, broccoli, kale) with garlic, olive oil and lemon (w/ a side of brown rice-optional)
*snack on frozen berries, fresh fruit, raw veggies, edamame, and raw nuts
*avoid salt (causes bloating)
*drink lots of water
*take yoga to relax the mind & body!
*take a bath/ looooong shower
*treat yourself to a facial (I love mixing warm water with oatmeal, leave on for 10-15 minutes)
*avoid caffeine, sip on herbal tea
This is my personal “cleansing” plan, which may not work for everyone. Do you do body cleanses or healthy one-day detoxes? What works for you?