5 Things I Learned From a 5-Day Cleanse

I have always been the type of person that is interested in healthy living and is always looking for something new to try. Over the course of my life, I have tried countless diets, workout routines, lifestyle changes and have done a few “revamps” when I get bored of what I am doing. Typically, the diets fade, the lifestyle change slows and I find myself living in a new reality – slightly changed by the new information I have learned, but still unable to kick my hardest habits to the curb, such as binging on a late night bowl of chips, or eating too many leftover Christmas chocolates.

This year, I was beaming with excitement after a close friend mentioned she was taking part in a 5-day detox of healthy eating – the Tone it Up 5-Day Detox.

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Curious about what she was doing, I asked her to explain this “detox” to me. Essentially, it was a 5-day, super healthy, vegan eating challenge that required intense meal-prepping. Just the thing I needed! I had just finished my Christmas holidays in Florida, where I ate my entire body weight in chocolate and spent most of my days lounging by the pool. I told my friend that I would be willing to participate in the detox with her and we both agreed to start on January 2nd.

Once January 2nd rolled around, we both went grocery shopping and stocked up on the following items (I already had many of the ingredients the plan had outlined):

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Beet and Carrot Salad

  • Carrotts
  • Red Beets
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas
  • Tofu
  • Red Lentils

After shopping, we made it back to her house and meal-prepped a lovely Lentil and Carrot soup, some Banana Coconut Chocolate “Cookies” and a shredded Beet and Carrot Salad. This would be some of our food for the week. That evening we ate some soup, which was surprisingly delicious (and filling) and we tried the Banana “cookies” which I was not so fond of. After we finished hanging out, I took my portions of the meal prep home and spent the rest of the week indulging in these plant-based foods.

 

 

I didn’t follow the meal plan exactly, but I was proud that I was able to stick it out and make it until the end. Most of my morning breakfasts consisted of “Protein pancakes” that wouldn’t cook (made from banana, flax seed and protein powder). I found that putting the batter in a mug and cooking it in the microwave created the best result – a morning mug cake! For lunch, I made lots of lettuce wraps with hummus and vegetables (beet and carrot salad and cabbage). I also made some delicious salads with spinach, hemp seeds, some tofu and an apple cider vinegar dressing. For dinner, I ate the soup we meal prepped, which was absolutely delicious. What shocked me the most about this five-day challenge was that I was not starving! Since I had the right combination of protein and healthy fats and the food I prepped was actually decent tasting, I was able to keep satisfied. Other than a bit of bloating after eating cabbage for the first time in forever, I felt great. My brain fog that I typically experience had lifted. I didn’t wake up with a headache for once, and I didn’t have to stress about what to eat at all!

I still had some temptations such as chips in the house (I ate some one day) and eating tofu (I am not sure if it was “allowed” for the detox or not), and I ended the detox one meal early, but having ‘perfect’ results is hard for anyone to do. Looking at my major accomplishments, I was able to actually eat vegan for five straight days, which has always been a goal of mine. I also filled half of my plate with vegetables for most meals, which helped me eat smaller portions and made me feel full. I didn’t eat any takeout for the five days, which is a good accomplishment (and a money saver). I also swapped my typical black tea with honey and soy milk for plain green tea with no sugar! This was a huge accomplishment because I typically cannot survive the day without one (or two) black teas (which usually upsets my stomach by noon).

After finishing the five days strong, I have come out of this experience with a new perspective of healthy eating and have learned some new things to incorporate into my life.

  1. Meal prep is KEY
    I would not have survived the five days without the intense meal prep that my friend and I did. This was eye-opening because I realized that it is not fair to expect yourself to make rational decisions around food in a hungry state. I mean, think about it! When you’re in a hungry mood, you probably can’t think straight because your blood sugar is low, causing you to reach for the bad foods around you. If the food is already prepared and in front of you, you don’t have to give eating much thought! If you actually meal prep, chances are you probably won’t even get to that hungry of a state in the first place.
  2. Eat your vegetables with SOMETHING
    I was so surprised at how filling the vegetables in the salads and soups were! In the past, “healthy eating” to me meant eating a salad with as many vegetables in it as possible. I have learned the importance of combining vegetables with healthy sources of fats and protein to keep myself fuller for longer.
  3. Vegetables can help fill you up!
    In a typical meal before the cleanse, I would fill half of my plate with protein, just over a quarter with carbs (like rice) and the remainder with a salad. Since half of my plate was vegetables for this cleanse, I actually found it so surprising that I was too full to finish some meals. I will now strive to fill HALF of my lunch and dinner plates with the vegetables that I like.
  4. Vegan does not mean expensive
    The total cost for the week of meals was around $20, but I did not even finish all of the fresh vegetables that I bought! Lentils, beans, peas and spinach are all healthy sources of nutrients that do not cost a lot of money.
  5. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
    To this point in my life, I cannot recall a single diet, cleanse or major “lifestyle
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Vegan Chili

change” that I have been able to successfully finish or sustain indefinitely. I mean technically, since I deviated from the plan and ate chips, I still haven’t! I am confident that I am not alone in this. Instead of focusing on perfect (nobody’s perfect), I choose to view this as a positive and successful experience. Now that I have made it through five days of being vegan and eating more vegetables, I am sure that I will revert back to some of my old habits, but I have a greater sense of accomplishment and confidence that wasn’t there before. I have learned that goal setting, whether it works or not, is such a great thing because it allows you to learn more about yourself and challenge yourself to try new things. In fact, this cleanse has already motivated me to meal prep for my next week of meals (vegan sweet potato chili and healthy cookies), and it has ignited the flame that I needed to write this blog post.

If you’re looking for something new to try, I would encourage you to do this five day challenge. They even have meal options for people who are non-vegan, gluten free and vegetarian. Overall, this has been a positive experience and I have learned a lot!

Hope you all have a great start to 2018.

xoxo,

Heather

 

My Bucketlist!

As 2017 is just around the corner, I have been reflecting over my year and thinking of all the things that I still want to do in my life. Time keeps moving forward and I’ve learned that it’s important to not dwell on the past, but live in the present moment. With all of this in mind, I have high hopes that 2017 will be a year jam packed with blogging, adventure and goal achievement!

Here are my top goals for 2017:

  • Get into a Masters Program (Masters of Kinesiology) with a professor that I click with
  • Launch the Vitality Project and really dive in/focus on my blog
  • Commit to a stricter gym routine to help build more muscle (start with 2x per week and move to 3x per week)
  • Try new activities – sign up for more community classes/attend community events (1 per month)
  • Continue to push through school and work hard! School has been going surprisingly amazing this year, so I hope to keep it up as I move into my final semesters of undergrad!
  • Take up more Yoga to help my work on my flexibility and stress management (do one yoga video each night)
  • Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer (CSEP-CPT)
  • Travel somewhere! I would like to book a trip with some friends to celebrate my graduation
  • Be HAPPY🙂 I want to emphasize this point the most! Ultimately I want to have a great year!

What are your goals for 2017?

Hope you are having a lovely week!

xoxo,

Heatherly 💕

My Bucket List! 💕

As 2017 is just around the corner, I have been reflecting over my year and thinking of all the things that I still want to do in my life. Time keeps moving forward and I’ve learned that it’s important to not dwell on the past, but live in the present moment. With all of this in mind, I have high hopes that 2017 will be a year jam packed with blogging, adventure and goal achievement!

Here are my top goals for 2017:

  • Get into a Masters Program (Masters of Kinesiology) with a professor that I click with
  • Launch the Vitality Project and really dive in/focus on my blog
  • Commit to a stricter gym routine to help build more muscle (start with 2x per week and move to 3x per week)
  • Try new activities – sign up for more community classes/attend community events (1 per month)
  • Continue to push through school and work hard! School has been going surprisingly amazing this year, so I hope to keep it up as I move into my final semesters of undergrad!
  • Take up more Yoga to help my work on my flexibility and stress management (do one yoga video each night)
  • Become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach/Personal Trainer (CSEP-CPT)
  • Travel somewhere! I would like to book a trip with some friends to celebrate my graduation
  • Be HAPPY 🙂 I want to emphasize this point the most! Ultimately I want to have a great year!

What are your goals for 2017?

Hope you are having a lovely week!

xoxo,

Heatherly 💕

My Plans for Next Year 💕

I can’t believe it is ALREADY November and I have crossed into the second half of my final year of undergrad. The past three years have flown by and I can’t believe that it is almost time for me to actually get out into the “real world”. In just a few short months, I will no longer have any commitments tying me down, no projects to worry about, no deadlines to meet. I will simply have to figure out how I will navigate my way through the forest of life. Simple… right?

My ultimate goal in life is to help people. This I know for sure. I know that I love teaching, and I am absolutely fascinated with promoting lifestyle change. Honestly, if my life worked out “perfectly” and I got to live my wildest dreams, I would love to be an author and a motivational speaker. I want to help people achieve their dreams and give them the tools to embark on their own lifestyle journeys. I want to inspire others to ignite their own flames and turn their dreams into bonfires.

With all this in mind, I have come to the conclusion that I have a few options to get me to this dream:

  1. Masters Degree
    • If I did a Masters Degree, I would do it within the realm of Health Promotion
    • I think it would be fascinating to look into how people have achieved lifestyle change. Is there a secret?
    • I think that a masters degree would give me the credibility to coach people through lifestyle change. I also think that it would give me an advantage over other applicants for jobs. Finally, this option would allow me to “dive into” and really explore an area of interest.
    • One added bonus is that once you have a Masters Degree, you have it for life. I wouldn’t have to worry about re-certifying or anything!
  2. Post-graduate Certificate
    • I could easily do a post-graduate certificate in something like Fitness & Health Promotion
    • This could help me develop hands-on skills to work with people in areas like personal training and health assessment
    • Honestly, I am not much of a “hands-on” learner… so I am not sure if this would be a good option for me
  3. See what jobs are out there
    • Ultimately, my goal is to be employable when I finish my education
    • If I am lucky enough, I might find my dream job right out of undergrad!
    • I think regardless, I will apply to jobs and see what I can get.
  4. Take a break…?
    • Maybe I should just take a break, travel around the world and just “do me”?
    • BAAH! This is hard!

So… what will it be? This question has been haunting me for the past month. Application deadlines for Graduate school will begin in January, so I am hoping to have it figured out well before then. Stay tuned and wish me luck!

Heatherly 💕