Saturday, January 12, 2013

On Cleansing with a Real Foods Diet

Have you noticed how many people around you are on a cleanse right now? I find that almost comical, and yet there is a part of me that feels super energized and excited about the amount of people that are making positive changes in their diet and lifestyle, all at the same time. At first, I thought it was a bit cliche for me to join in the bandwagon, and I could totally manage the extra pounds I gained during the holidays without being on a program. I know how to eat healthy, I've just got to cut the wine and the snacking.

I thought I would try to work out two more days a week, and that would do the trick. Well, at my age, things ain't so easy anymore and I can get a little unmotivated when the results are sloooooowww. While I think it's super positive that I am coming to a place of simply embracing where I am at in life and the kind of body I have, I don't want to just take that as an excuse to not exercise or to have too many cheating days (e.g., eating stuff I'm allergic to, like wheat, or sugar, which makes me cranky).

But then, my friend Missy started this blog on a 28 day challenge she is doing, which involves 6 days a week of barre3 workouts, which is the same kind of workout I do 3-4 times a week, and a diet made of real food, which is how I usually eat anyways. I must say her determination, courage, and hilarious sense of humor convinced me to join the challenge. Heck, if we can all do it together and be accountable, how much easier is that gonna be? And it's not some crazy juice cleanse where you are starving, cranky and peeing all day, it's just a clean diet, for 28 days, with only real, whole foods, plenty of water and low impact but hard core exercise. I'm in! So I'm on day three, and besides my back going out yesterday because I worked out a little too much and those hip flexors have gone super tight, it's felt good to be back on track and treat my body well.

So today, I wanted to share a few links that might be of interest if you are doing a cleanse or plan on doing one, or if you simply have intentions of eating better this year. Eating better doesn't mean eating low fat or sugar free foods. It means eating REAL FOODS.

As you may or may not know, a real food is something that grows and is alive, it's a one ingredient food, or a food made of real foods only (like homemade bread, jam, muffins, soup, etc...), and it's usually something you could imagine your grandmother eating.

Now this doesn't mean that you have to slave in the kitchen and make everything from scratch. There are some processed foods out there that ARE real foods. But they are rare, and you need to know how to read labels. Typically, it shouldn't contain more than five ingredients, shouldn't have anything artificial in it, or colorants, or nitrites or nitrates, MSG, aspartame, and so many other ingredients that are fake and unhealthy (the list is too long).

For a more detailed account on how to read food labels, you should read this article, which is thorough but simple. Another great one on what a whole food is can be found on the barre3 blog, which is also where you will find information on this 28 day challenge my friend  Missy and I (and our friend Christy) are doing.

And if you need a good laugh in the midst of a frustrating cleanse, you should definitely read Missy's blog. It's hilarious, and way more entertaining than mine!

Happy Cleansing :)

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