Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Attempt At The "Sexy Crazy Diet" 21-Day Cleanse

     One of the things I love about being a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor is getting to work with a variety of people of different ethnic backgrounds, of all different ages and sizes, with varied fitness levels, both men and women and some with serious health issues who really need my help. I've even had the pleasure of working with some women who were trying desperately to become pregnant and eventually did and who continued to train with me. I guess knowing that I was still teaching low-impact aerobics and sculpting classes until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant (3 times!) gave them the confidence to let me continue training them throughout their pregnancies. Some of my clients have been with me on and off for over 10 years! I now consider them my good friends.
     One of my newer clients whom I already consider to be my friend is Sally Blenkey-Tchassova. She is a beautiful woman from England who came to the USA and started up one of the first Spray Tan Salons in NY frequented by some of the biggest celebrities called Brazil Bronze Glow Bat located in Soho (www.brazilbronze.com). She is also a dancer with her own burlesque dance team called the "Pink Chardonnays", as well as a mom and wife, horseback rider and all around amazing woman. Although our backgrounds are very different, our passion for life, fitness,  and the pursuit for happiness is the same. Sally told me about a great book she read called "Sexy Crazy Diet" written by a cancer patient named Kris Carr, who researched every possible way to make her body healthier.
     I started reading "Sexy Crazy Diet" right before the holidays and although I will admit I haven't finished it yet (due to a crazy schedule and a touch of ADHD), I totally intend on it because it's a very interesting and well written book. Kris Carr is one the the New York Times Best Selling Authors.

"Crazy Sexy Diet comes on the heels of my best-selling cancer survival guidebooks and my acclaimed TLC documentary. Infused with a bit of sass, wit and advice-from-the-trenches style, Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource and plant-based diet plan that puts you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!
Along with help from my posse of experts, I lay out the fundamentals of my Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, vegetarian (or better yet, vegan) diet plan that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, I include the steps of my own 21-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes." (http://kriscarr.com/products/crazy-sexy-diet/).

     Between the holidays approaching at that time, my past eating disorders that still occasionally  haunt me, and coming out of a year-long "funk" as I call it, I knew I needed to do something different to cleanse my body and mind and hopefully lose a few pounds...and just feel better about myself. Being a vegan made this 21-day cleanse less extreme for me as it may be for most people, as it is mainly a plant-based diet. As Kris pointed out in her book, her pain and suffering from cancer was worse than restricting herself of the foods/beverages she had known and loved.
     This past Sunday was the 21st day of attempting this cleanse. I'll admit I did NOT do all of the suggestions in the book such as a colonic cleanse or using the neti pot to clear out my sinuses. I wasn't even able to cut out everything altogether with Gluten but I did better with some things than I expected, such as giving up coffee (except for the 2 cups I had on the 4th morning due to a headache). I usually drink 3-4 cups of coffee a day and thought that would be the hardest part. I substituted a variety of flavored green teas and black teas that have caffeine which prevented me from having headaches and withdrawals.I might add that yesterday was the first day technically not doing the cleanse and i automatically heated up water for my tea and didn't even realize that I could have had coffee if I wanted! I did make coffee my French Vanilla Dunkin Donuts coffee this morning, but now I know I don't NEED it.
     Aside from this cleanse being mostly plant based, it also recommends cutting out gluten and alcohol. I've never thought of myself as being sensitive to gluten (the protein found in wheat) but since there are several symptoms of gluten that can be misdiagnosed, I figured I'd try to be more aware of what has gluten in it and I tried to cut back with it. "The gluten in wheat, barley, and rye is not safe for people with celiac disease. Technically, some form of gluten is found in all grains, so it's not really correct to refer to other grains as "gluten-free," but that's what gluten-free customarily means: free of wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. (http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/theglutenfreediet/a/GlutenGrainQs.htm)".  Some of the symptoms are abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea, as well as a variety of skin irritations and inflammation.
      I've been to dermatologists several times for skin irritations/inflammations over the last 10 years and was told it can be stress-induced or an allergy to "something". I was told to try using Cetaphil (and CVS Brand) facial cleanser and lotion and it has been reduced tremendously! With all of the stress I had been through the last 20 years, I felt at the time this started I was already a pro at dealing with stress, so I doubt it was from that. I've been vegan for about 5 years and always attributed the abdominal bloating and "grumbley feeling" due to the excessive amount of vegetables I eat, but now that I've taken notice to my gluten intake I found that on the days I eliminated wheat products from my diet I didn't feel all of these discomforts.
     As much as I hate to admit it, cutting out my wine in the evening was the hardest part for me. Being as hyper and active as I am all day long, I find that wine is the one thing that helps me to finally STOP doing all of the "things" that I feel I should be doing until I am physically exhausted. Drinking wine in the evening allows me to relax and slow down by 9pm at night. I made a deal with myself going into this cleanse that I wouldn't have wine at home but when I was not home I could, which was still a few nights a week. I did cave in at home a couple times.
     The last element of this diet was adding a "green juice" to each morning and not eating food before noon. It looks worse than it tastes, although I could've added more fruit to make it taste better but I was trying to keep the sugar content low. I'm not much of a breakfast person anyway, but luckily I was given the NutriBullet by Mayor Gonnelli as a gift for my participation as The Naked Cowgirl in last year's Winterblast celebrating Super Bowl XLVIII (http://www.nj.com/super-bowl/index.ssf/2014/01/secaucus_winter_blast_jan_30_super_bowl.html).
This Magic Bullet is perfect for making smoothies and green juices. I used any combination of spinach or Kale, celery or cucumbers, green apples or blueberries, sometimes ground flax seed or part of an avocado, and some of the vegan "Super Boost" that came with the NutriBullet, which includes Chia & Goji (vegan proteins), cacao, and Maca (energy boosters).
     Now that I finished the 21-day cleanse and am a little thinner and definitely felt better on the days I stuck to it, I plan on continuing this healthier diet as much as possible and making it one of the many positive changes in my life this year. 2015 is going to be a great year for me!