What to Consider When Doing a Cleanse

1. Plan ahead. Planning is key to a successful health journey. The most common feedback I hear from my health coaching clients who struggle to stay on track is “I didn’t have time.” We all lead such busy lives, and also things beyond our control come up. Plan as much as you can, and then be flexible and creative to still meet your goals.

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2. Set goals you can keep. I know how this sounds, but this is not at all settling or having a low standards for health. Incrementally increase your goals to achieve success. Outright lofty goals can be so overwhelming. It’s hard to stick to them. Don’t set yourself up– set yourself up for success.

 

 

3. Consider your health. Your current status of health is crucial. If you are on medication or have any particular condition, you will need to consult your physician before doing a cleanse. Cleanses are good, but they are not one-size fits all. Doing a juice cleanse for instance, may not be enough.

blood oranges and white jean shorts

 

4. Don’t do it for weight loss. Weight loss is often a bi-product of doing a cleanse, but it should not be the objective. You don’t want to change a cleanse into a crash diet. You’ll put undue pressure on yourself and your body. A cleanse will help your body perform optimally by removing toxins and boosting metabolism. It can definitely jump start your weight loss journey, but I feel strongly that it should not be a weight loss technique.

 

Green smoothie cleansing drink

5. Don’t cheat. We can reason our way out of anything. We humans are crafty this way. This is why #2 is so important. Setting goals you can reasonably stick to instead of ones you will later disregard when they matter most. Take the raw/vegan challenge, for instance. I knew that I would not want to do raw food all day. I’m stuck in a ridiculously cold, over air-conditioned building for almost 10 hours each day. All I really want when I get home is warm meal, and not cold food. I felt it was much more reasonable to do what I’ve seen others do which is raw before 4pm. This gave me to opportunity to enjoy a warm, sensible vegan meal each evening.

 

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6. Get rest and lots of water. Sometimes as your body is adjusting to a cleanse and ridding itself of toxins, you may feel a bit tired. The tired feeling will not last, but it is good to plan for it and get to bed early the first few days. You should also consume lots of water, though I won’t tell you how much that is. Your water intake should be based on a lot of factors: your weight, level of activity, and the weather, to name a few. I’ve never been a fan of just blindly doing a gallon of water a day drinking challenge. For what? Not everyone needs that. I think the water intake needs a little more thought. But let’s just for now stick to a minimum of 8 glasses per day to be safe. 🙂

 

Stay tuned for a follow-up post and video next week of what I ate during the cleanse and more tips!

So that’s it! These are just a few tips and tricks that you might consider if you’re thinking of doing any type of cleanse. I hope it helps you decide if a cleanse is best for you, and makes you think more in depth about how you might need to customize your plan. If you have further questions, comment below!

xoxo,

Fifi

Weight Loss & Frozen Entrees

Are lean cuisines good or bad? Well, that choice is up to you. Personally, I think that Lean Cuisines, Smart Ones, and other frozen meals just provide the convenience of a low calorie fast meal.

Did you know that the FDA allows for an almost 20% margin of error when it comes to calories for pre-packaged meals? More than anything, this encourages me to make my own food and to really just use portion control. If we plan at the beginning of the week, we can come up with yummy combinations that can be refrigerated or frozen. Diet is a bad word because it refers to restriction– but if can change our lifestyle to incorporate meals with nutritious ingredients, we are less likely to gain the weight back.

Check out this video with more tips on weight loss:

 

 

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Safely Vegan

Sauteing garbanzo beans as the vegetarian option for pasta.

Recently I was asked for a few tips to help out with a new vegan diet. I can understand wanting to be safe, because many times people set out to become vegan or vegetarian and without knowledge, they become discouraged or even in poor health and they end up switching back to their old ways. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying a pescatarian, paleo, vegan, or vegetarian lifestyle–it needs to be an informed decision. It is good to know your body and your current state of health before starting, and to have a plan. I’ll share with you my tips, and I’d love to hear some feedback on what has worked for you! Even if you aren’t thinking of going vegan, I know several fitness enthusiasts who eat vegan a few days out of the week. This post is for you, or for someone you know!

1. Get a blood test: This to me is first and foremost. If you have a good baseline, you will know what nutrients you may  be deficient in (or prone to deficiency) so that you can eat and take supplements to make up for the deficit. Great things to test are the thyroid activity, iron count, vitamin D, and B12, to name a few. Vitamin deficiencies are nothing to play with; they can lead to lots of problems including issues with your heart, extreme fatigue, and depression.

2. Vitamins & Minerals: Those who choose a vegan lifestyle will find that they must work harder to obtain vitamin B complex, which is essential for helping the body convert energy. Vegans will also have to work harder to get iron. Quite frankly, if more people got regular check ups and had blood tests, they would likely find that vegan or not, they could do a better job at meeting their daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. It’s good to do research to find out which vitamins are vegan. Personally, I take the Ultimate Woman vitamin from the Vitamin Shoppe. I love that it’s made specifically with the woman’s body in mind. It requires 2 pills a day, but I chose it because it has a good source of iron and also helps me meet my calcium requirement each day. The top iron sources for vegans are:

Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg
Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4.4 mg
Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg
Quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg
Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4 mg
Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg
White beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg
Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3.2 mg
Dried peaches (6 halves): 3.1 mg
Prune juice (8 ounces): 3 mg
Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg

3. Protein: How do you get your protein? I am asked this question all the time. This is another problem that is seemingly concentrated to vegans and vegetarians, when in reality– it’s a universal problem. There are a ton of people who do not get enough protein. For my 1650 calorie diet, it is recommended that I get at least 62 grams of protein. I focus on getting 20 to 25 grams of protein per meal. My vegan sources of protein are beans, nuts, protein powder, brown rice, pasta, quinoa, legumes and barley. There are other forms like seitan–which have some amount of soy products, but can be great for certain recipes. Since I am a vegetarian, I have the added benefit of protein from dairy and eggs.

4. Soy: Do not fall into the soy trap! It can often be easier to eat a ton of tofu or even worse, all of the processed soy products that exist on the market. Instead, limit your days of these types of foods. Soy sensitivity is real. I have been told by more than one person with endometriosis for instance, that their doctor has told them to steer clear of soy. The consumption of soy products can block certain mineral absorption, affect thyroid activity, and cause the body to produce too much estrogen. It’s good to be informed, so do some research on the effects of soy. Men should most certainly be mindful of their soy consumption, because the estrogen increase can feminize the body. Surely these are not desired side-effects! I will admit that soy research is all over the map right now. One thing is for certain–the way soy is consumed in Asia, is not at all like the processed soy products we consume in North America. In Asia, a lot of the soy products are fermented and consumed in fairly small amounts and thus have less harmful effects on the body. In this way, those who consume it are able to reap the benefits of soy in the diet. Be mindful, and eat soy in moderation.

5. Milk: When it comes to milk, we are afforded many other options outside of soy milk like coconut, hazelnut, and rice milk, to name a few. These are really fun to use when baking for additional unique flavors.

6. Recipes & creativity: The vegan lifestyle does not mean just eat what you ate as an omnivore, and just remove the animal products. Planning meals should be purposeful. You should ask yourself: how much protein do I need? Am I getting a variety of veggies this week? What new recipe can I use to to make this particular item in a new way? Choose a day of the week where you will plan and grocery shop. Try out new recipes so that you do not become bored with the same meals week in and week out. Sometimes, you can simple go to Google and type something like, “What to do with chickpeas”. You never know what delicious recipes you will find. It really is all about exploration. My blog has a ton of vegan and vegetarian recipes that I hope you will make use of.

 

6b.- I have to add this. If you are vegan or vegetarian, and don’t like veggies…. you’re in trouble! Vegan isn’t a solution for picky eaters at all. Every person on earth needs a diet that is heavily focused on plants. We need the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that they provide. If you have a list of more than 5 veggies that you just can’t stand, you probably should research a new way to prepare them. Don’t be offended– it’s all love. 🙂

 

7. The social aspect: Being social and being vegan can sometimes be hard when most of the world eats meat– and enjoys it! You’ll definitely want to share with family and close friends your reasons for going vegan. When it’s for health reasons, who can blame you? Whatever your reason, people who care about you most should be supportive. When you are eating out, it can be hard to get a nutritious meal. If you’re attending a social function, be prepared. Have a protein shake about 2 hours in advance, and then go and join the fun. Then, on the chance that the only vegan options are veggies and dip, you won’t starve. All in all, you just need to be creative. If you are at an Italian restaurant, for instance– you can ask if the chef will be willing to add garbanzo beans to your dish for added protein. If you are at a work meeting or conference, speak to the organizers in advance and let them know you would like vegan/vegetarian options. Most people just don’t have any idea what to provide besides salad. Help them out by providing a few suggestions.

8. Keep a food diary: There are many online sources for this. Currently, I use myfitnesspal.com. Even if you keep your account and diary private, this is a resource for you to keep a close eye on what your diet looks like. A diary log will allow you to look at your protein, vitamin and mineral intake, carbohydrates, etc. It can be very very helpful.

These are my tips, but they are not law. You’ll have to do your own research and find what works best for you. I hope this helps!!!

xoxo,

Fifi