Last week, I mentioned how I wasn’t happy with my BBG progress. This week, I’m still not happy. Obviously not much was going to change in a week, but even on the inside, I’m not feeling too fantastic.

I generally abstain from cleanses because I doubt that any cleanse would work well with my workout schedule, which takes priority. I couldn’t be drinking a gallon of juice all day while trying to bust out some hill repeats. I decided to do a 3-day food-based cleanse because over the past weeks, I’ve felt very out of control. I always have food cravings, but it seemed like this time around, they were getting the best of me. I would argue that I love popcorn more than Olivia Pope, and nothing makes me happier than dipping something crunchy (usually gluten-free crackers) into a bowl of hummus. For me, this cleanse would be about a return to mindful eating, increased hydration, and regaining a sense of awareness around why I was eating.

Last Sunday, I set off to the grocery store to buy my ingredients. What did I eat for my 3 days? Foods I really liked that I never end up eating too much of. For breakfast, I made a smoothie (1/2 fruit and 1/2 leafy greens) topped with a mixture of chia, hemp, and sunflower seeds, depending on what was in my house. For lunch, I had salmon mixed with dijon mustard (I promise, it’s delicious) on a bed of leafy greens with peppers, cucumbers, and roasted Brussels sprouts. For dinner, I had baked chicken breast drizzled with balsamic vinegar with roasted mushrooms and sautéed kale with garlic. Since I already know I can’t give up my snacks, I made plantain chips and bought beet chips and 80% dark chocolate. I also drank loads and loads of lemon water and other herbal teas.

So yes, me, the popcorn-loving, gluten-free cracker obsessed girl basically went paleo for three days. And let me tell you, it did not go as planned. On the first day, I felt amazing. Although I missed my freeze-dried peas and crispy chickpeas, I felt so full! I was surprised to feel so satisfied with few to no whole grains to comfort me. The first day of this cleanse was also my rest day, and my appetite usually decreases a bit when I don’t workout. On the second and third days, I felt fine, but I didn’t feel like my meals were that satisfying. I ended up going back to the store to buy raw veggies to snack on because I was so hungry. What a difference a workout can make!

By the end of my cleanse, I felt ready to be done with it. I don’t really think the grain/legume free life is for me at this point in time. I already have to avoid certain foods because I’m actually allergic to them, so I try not to overcomplicate my life when it’s not necessary. I soak my beans overnight and pressure cook them to reduce lectins and other anti-nutrients. I’ve never come across a grain that led me to anaphylaxis and that’s a lot more than I can say about tree nuts!

What I learned most from this experience is that my mind and my body function on two different wavelengths. I often think that I need things (like popcorn) although I actually don’t. Sometimes I wait too long to eat and feel like eating everything in the world, but in reality, I need to slow down, relax, and enjoy my meal. I definitely did not cure all my bad habits in 3 days, but it was start!

I recognize that my workout performance this week could’ve been hindered by my decision to embark on a cleanse, but it was something that I really needed and I didn’t want to wait any longer. Next week, I’m definitely going to be enjoying my chickpeas again, but I will continue with my healthier snack choices. I don’t know why my craving for popcorn, chips, and all things savory has been so intense lately, but I’m not giving in. Not this time. With two more weeks of BBG, I’m going for a strong finish. I don’t know what I’m going to do once I’m done, so if anyone has suggestions for resistance or strength based workout programs, I’d love to take a look!

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