In my efforts to shed the last 20 pounds (for over a year now, down 10 since January 2013!) I have changed my focus of straight up running to working in a strength program a few days a week. I’m not training for another race for a month or two so my thought process was that I might as well get tone, build some muscle so I can finish my races stronger. If I make strength training a happy now I won’t abandon it completely when I start training for another race. Also, building muscle is more effective for weight loss as muscle burns more fat than just doing a cardio routine. I read that after a strength workout your body is still burning calories up to 12 hours after said workout wherein with cardio you are just burning calories for the duration of that cardio workout –i.e: run for an hour, you are only burning calories during that hour of running. Logically it makes sense to do strength training for a variety of reasons.
Nevertheless, along with building more muscle, trying to get all buff for the summer last week I decided to take on Dr. Oz’s three day cleanse. My thought process was this: I could flush out some toxins, cleanse the ‘ole colon and if I shed a few pounds more power to me! When I told my husband that I was going to do this he quickly jumped on the band-wagon it was a pleasant surprise which made me even more motivated to partake in the cleanse.
The three day cleanse in theory seemed easy, three shake a day, a few multi-vitamins, and a nice soothing bath. How hard is it to make a shake and take a bath? Well, it’s not hard at all, but it is time-consuming. It takes time to cut veggies, it takes time to make a shake, and it takes time to take a damn bath.
Day one of the cleanse was the hardest I was completely lost without having a meal and the process of actually chewing food. I was fully aware that I was drinking my meals which to me was odd, I felt hungry but I do think that was really mind over stomach, I constantly had to remind myself that I was not eating food.
The morning shake was by far the best tasting; the lunch shake was well a helluva a lot: an entire cucumber, four stalks of celery? Really?! And that was only two of the ingredients! The lunch shake was also really chunky, I am not sure if it was the ingredients, my blender or if I didn’t chop the veggies small enough, this one was the absolute worst of the three. The dinner shake was tasty but the cayenne pepper made it a little weird I do understand the theory behind the cayenne pepper (as spicy foods speed up the metabolism etc). After the first day of shakes I was completely deflated, didn’t really want to continue. My husband completely dropped out, I am not sure if it was the lunch shake that did him in or the fact that he just needed food.
Day two was a little easier; the feelings of having to eat something subsided well, because I did have some food! I ate some low-sodium turkey breast. I needed something because I was working out, I ran/walked for over an hour, and strength trained for 45 minutes, my body needed a little more than just fruit and veggies. For the lunch shake I halved the recipe and it was so much better in terms of chunkiness and drinkability. I will say that by the time dinner rolled around I was not looking for food; I wasn’t really looking for anything, I think I was really full from both the shakes and my appetite for food decreased.
Day three was just as easy as two, but is also the day I got lazy and was really over drinking my meals. I made the breakfast shake, skipped the lunch shake because I just couldn’t think of making and drinking that again. I did make and drink the dinner shake but also had a full salad as well. Not a total bust but not on the plan either.
While doing this cleanse I learned a few things:
1) I now appreciate food even more; not only for the nutrients but that I have it in abundance and should not abuse it.
2) Mind over matter – once I told myself that I really didn’t need food (as in eating not drinking my food) I was really okay, time to start strengthening my brain as well as my muscles!
3) Support is key – in every aspect of life, for any goal you want to obtain. For me, if I didn’t have the support of my friend Christy (she made me laugh a lot!) I would have thrown in the towel on day one, no doubt!
4) Options – I like having options!
5) I still hate coconut water but can definitely make almond milk a part of my life.
All in all, I would not do this again, not because the shakes weren’t tasty because I really didn’t like the process of it all. It just wasn’t for me. In my regular routine I usually have (2-3 days a week) a shake for breakfast this cleanse helped me realize that I can try different flavors and maybe even a few for lunch. As for my weight loss, releasing the toxins, feeling cleansed, well I lost 1.3 pounds (not bad), I didn’t feel much different from the day I started, I don’t know if I released any toxins, and as for feeling cleansed well, the verdict is out on that one too!