A couple of weeks ago, I announced to the blogosphere my dietary reset, or cheater cleanse, with three basic rules: (1) no alcohol; (2) no fried food; and (3) much less sugar (white flour and sugar). At that time, on Day 2 of the reset, I was feeling overwhelming fatigue.
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As some of my readers advised, the hard part passed after the first few days. My energy started returning to normal on Day 3, which was good because I need to have energy to run 30+ miles per week. The whole point of this mini-cleanse is to run faster, not turn into a lifeless blob.
One thing I’ve cut out is my almost-daily mocha from Starbucks. I know, I know. It’s a teenager’s drink. But it’s the only way I take coffee, so without being able to drink those mochas, I wasn’t having any coffee, either. I went cold turkey without coffee for about a week and didn’t suffer a single headache. It was a total surprise, because in the past when I tried to cut back on caffeine, I suffered headaches almost immediately. I can’t explain why I didn’t experience headaches this time around, and think it is because of all the green smoothies I’ve been drinking.
Every morning I make myself a large green smoothie with my new Vitamix (swoon). I am a novice when it comes to green smoothies, so the one I drink daily is very basic. It’s even considered a “starter recipe”:
Going Green Smoothie by Vitamix
½ c. water
1 c. green grapes
½ c. pineapple chunks
½ ripe banana, peeled
2 c. fresh spinach (sometimes I substitute out 1 c. of spinach for kale)
1 c. ice cubes
These smoothies are delicious and I can’t tell there’s spinach or kale in there when I drink it. Even my kids are fooled; my son drinks some every morning with me. Drinking one of those smoothies every morning (post-run, not pre-) gives me as much energy as drinking coffee. Seriously. Except the energy I get from the smoothies lasts longer. Apparently, this is a well-known benefit of drinking green smoothies.
So, bolstered by my green smoothies every morning and other healthy dietary tweaks, I held strong for almost two weeks as friends and family would place fried goodies and alcoholic beverages in front of me. “Oh, come on,” they would say, “It’s just one sip of wine.” And I would refuse. I was really proud of my willpower. It’s almost easier to abstain completely than try just a little bit of anything, be it wine or potato chips.
I managed to avoid all alcohol and fried food up until this past weekend, when I had a cupcake at an auction (no big deal–I’m entitled))–oh, and at the brunch following the Tacoma City Half Marathon. At brunch, I went out in a big way: I ordered a chicken-fried steak (not my first choice—I wanted the smoked salmon omelet but they were “out”) and a Bloody Mary.
And you know what? Like the treat at the auction, I didn’t feel guilty at all about that brunch. I had worked very hard that morning banging out the 17-mile long run (inclusive of a 13.1 mile tempo), and I wanted to celebrate the race with my running friends. And I had been so good for the days leading up to those treats, I didn’t think that cheat would set me back.
After that brief transgression, I was back on the fried food and booze wagon. I’m still holding strong, and was even able to pass up these bad boys this morning at the office:
Donuts! My favorite. Well, they used to be.
Now I’m 2-1/2 weeks out and I feel terrific. I am waking up easier than I did pre-cleanse, and I’m not getting any more sleep now than I was before. My mid-week runs seem less labored than a month ago. And obviously I’m energized enough to run strong at the half last Sunday.
As for weight loss, I’m not sure about that just yet. My tummy feels a little bit flatter, depending on the day. I haven’t weighed myself because I hate—truly, truly hate—weighing myself, so I avoid it. We don’t have a scale in our house, so the only time I encounter a scale is at the gym (where I won’t weigh myself—the scale is too complicated, and I’m always in a hurry) and at my in-laws’ house. I would like to give this dietary reset a full month before I weigh myself, anyway. I want my body to have time to adjust to this before I pass judgment.
So far, I’m pretty pleased with the results.
Do you drink green smoothies? What is your favorite smoothie recipe?