Clean eating…


Eat-CleanThe time has come to get down to it and start shifting the baby weight and then some. In order to kick start my efforts, I signed up for a free three-day cleanse programme, having been assured that it was safe to do so whilst breast feeding. The premise was simple – I was sent a meal plan for the three days and was asked to check in with the group each day – so I stepped on the scales, blanched at the number, and got started.

Here’s what the plan entailed:

  • Hot green tea (unsweetened) and a tall glass of water with a squeeze of lemon 30 minutes before breakfast

BREAKFAST:

  • Half a grapefruit and a tall glass of water
    AND
  • One pack of Shakeology
    OR
  • One toasted slice of Ezekiel bread, topped with half an avocado (smashed and spread) and two poached eggs

SNACK:

  • One apple
  • One serving sunflower/pumpkin seeds or almonds
  • Tall glass of water

LUNCH:

  • Half a grapefruit
  • One cup green tea
  • Tall glass of water
    AND
  • One pack of Shakeology
    OR
  • Berry chicken salad with honey vinaigrette

SNACK:

  • Raw veggies
  • One serving of seeds or almonds
  • Tall glass of water

DINNER:

  • Half a grapefruit
  • Tall glass of water
  • 4-6oz grilled chicken or white fish (seasoned with herbs and spices) with your choice of steamed veggies

BEDTIME:

  • Unsweetened chamomile tea

There are no potatoes allowed, but we can have whatever red, green and yellow veg (apart from corn) as we like.

Here’s what I had over the course of the three days:

TUESDAY

I missed breakfast as I hadn’t yet done my shopping for the programme, so I started with just a cup of tea (which is all I ever have before the school run – I eat when I get home afterwards, as I don’t have time!), which wasn’t technically on-programme, but couldn’t really be helped. I’d already decided the “Shakeology” option wasn’t for me, as I don’t like the idea of meal replacement shakes, and I couldn’t find the “Ezekiel bread” anywhere in the supermarket or health food shops, so I had I do without that. I cannot stand green tea, so there was no way I was going to drink that stuff, but I decided to bite the bullet and have the chamomile tea, despite not being very fond of it.

After I’d dashed into town to get some extra greens and chicken, I headed home in time to make brunch:

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Tuesday brunch

Two poached eggs with a green salad, a handful of blueberries and strawberries, a couple of mango fingers, a small sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a few chopped almonds, with a homemade dressing of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a touch of sesame oil.

I had a cup of hot water with lemon juice squeezed into it.

I was getting my hair done in the afternoon, so I took an apple along with me to munch when I got hungry, knowing I would be there for several hours, and had a tall glass of water while sitting under the drier.

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Tuesday dinner

For dinner I coated a chicken breast in a mixture of dried mixed herbs, ginger, smoked paprika and cayenne, then cut it up and stir fried it in a teensy bit of sesame oil with red onion, yellow pepper, carrot, mushrooms and spinach. It’s a meal I make semi-regularly anyway, but I hadn’t made it in a while. When I do make it, I never bother with rice or noodles, as it’s filling enough on its own and isn’t so stodgy that way. It’s a genuinely delicious meal.

Later on I had a small snack of a few almonds and my cup of chamomile tea, which wasn’t to my taste, but I drank it anyway.

WEDNESDAY

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Wednesday breakfast

I had my tall glass of water and a cup of hot water with lemon juice before the school run, and when I got back, in place of the Shakeology option, I whipped up a delicious green smoothie for breakfast, with a coconut milk and water base, a large handful of spinach, a frozen banana and a spoonful of almond butter.

It’s a gorgeously silky-smooth, filling smoothie that keeps me going till lunch time. And if anyone is wondering about trying green smoothies but is worried about tasting the greens, I promise, you don’t taste them at all. Check out my recipes section for some delicious green smoothie recipes to get you started.

In my enthusiasm, I forgot about the half grapefruit, but by then it was lunchtime.

For lunch, I poached one egg and coated a small salmon steak in mixed herbs, paprika and ginger (I know it’s not a white fish, so it’s slightly off-programme, but I’m not a fan of white fish, so this was my compromise). I pan-fried it in a teensy bit of organic coconut oil and served it with a green salad, which had radishes and half a grapefruit mixed in. I made a dressing of a little of the grapefruit juice and some balsamic vinegar and a little sesame oil.

I had my apple as a mid-afternoon snack.

For dinner I made garlic and herb encrusted baked chicken breast, with roasted red peppers and peaches, steamed carrot and asparagus, and herb-sauteed courgette and mushrooms.  The roasted peaches were absolutely gorgeous – I’ll definitely do those again!

I had the half a pink grapefruit as dessert – it was deliciously sweet and tangy, and really refreshed my palette after the lovely, garlicky-herby chicken.

I honestly don’t think I could have eaten another bite!

My late snack was a small handful of almonds and my chamomile tea (still not liking the stuff very much, but I’ll stick with it – maybe I’ll acquire a taste for it).

THURSDAY

brekkie
Thursday breakfast

When I nipped into the shops on Wednesday, I had yet another look for the Ezekiel bread, but couldn’t find it, so I grabbed some multigrain Rivita. I again started the day with my water and lemon-water before the school run, then when I came back, had a breakfast of one of those Rivita spread with avocado (not a fan of avocado – I’ll be ditching it after this!), and two poached eggs. With the half a pink grapefruit on the side, it certainly looked quite pretty.

The Rivita was, as expected, like cardboard – I really wish I could have found some Ezekiel bread. Perhaps I’ll be able to find a good recipe for it and make my own.

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Thursday lunch

Lunch was baked salmon – I coated the salmon steak in cayenne, ginger and black pepper, then topped it with semi-dried tomatoes and a teensy drizzle of honey before popping it in the oven to bake.

Served with a side salad of mixed greens, apple and beetroot, and a few strawberries and blueberries, in my own salad dressing (lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and sesame oil) and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.

Of course, I had the half grapefruit too. Still forgoing the horrid green tea, I instead had two tall glasses of water.

thursday dinner
Thursday dinner

For dinner, I decided to make some kebab skewers, so I cut the chicken breast into small chunks, tossed them in cayenne, paprika and ginger, then threaded them onto the wooden skewers, alternating with button mushrooms, and chunks of orange pepper, courgette, and peach, before whacking them under the grill. Served with lightly steamed asparagus and broccoli. I used my small remaining piece of avocado to make guacamole, by mashing it with a little lemon juice, chilli and black pepper, in an attempt to give that stuff a bit of flavour (avocado is just so bland!).

I’m afraid I ended up leaving the guacamole. It just wasn’t nice at all. Avocado isn’t nice at all. I shall never eat another avocado as long as I live, if I can help it.

And the results? Well, despite not sticking strictly to the plan (no green tea and eating salmon instead of white fish), I stepped on the scales on the morning of day four, and weighed in 3.5lbs lighter than I did on the morning of day one. I’d say that’s a positive effect – 3.5lbs in three days, and all by eating healthily.

I think this “cleanse” is something I could easily do once a month, or even once a fortnight, to help keep things rolling the right way. I didn’t feel hungry (in fact, on several occasions I felt quite stuffed!), and I think that if I didn’t have a 9 month old baby who never sleeps at night I might well be feeling more energetic (as it is, I’m actually still functioning after less than two broken hours of sleep last night, and I’d usually be seriously flagging by this point in the day after a night like last night!). It’s definitely a do-able programme for the short period of three days, and I have experimented a little more with dishes as a result, which has made for some lovely meals and has meant I didn’t feel deprived at all.

Overall, a very positive experience! As a result, I’ve now signed up for a five-day cleanse (which incorporates a set menu and exercise plan) at the end of the month with the same person. If you’d like to give it a go, click the link HERE to be taken to the Facebook event, and leave a post saying, “I’m in!”

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