This is the time of year where I tend to reflect back and be thankful for where I am and see those areas that still need some changing. My name is Lindsay and I help every week making the beautiful food that goes out to you from Nourish. I've been working in vegan kitchens for the last year and a half and not all are created equal. I love that every week we make food full of color, nutrition, and powerful flavors, and that we're conscious about the impact we have on the environment by eating more plant based and make sustainability a priority.
This year I don't have many resolutions because the start of the year isn't a guarantee of things changing. I've spent past New Years setting unrealistic goals and falling short. The big shift in the last few years in my mindset is that I recognize I have the ability to change my life and circumstances whenever I want. I don't have to wait til January first...
That being said, it's January 1st and the first day of me doing the Starter Cleanse. I know...the irony! Wooohooooooo resolutions.
My reasons for wanting to start this cleanse:
-I am a sugar junkie....seriously. sweet tooth is an understatement....and I know I feel sluggish because of this
-I have a bad relationship with food from childhood....binge eating, emotional eating, stress eating, food as a reward and family gathering revolving around food.... I've used food for what it shouldn't be instead of the fuel it should be. (I also see a counselor for these issues, but I've walked out enough healing that it's ok now for me to take the responsibility and control back on my health and how I feel based on my eating choices.)
-Spiritual Component: taking extra time to pray and seek direction for the new year
-I have inflammatory issues (psoriasis) and have been saying I need to eat a more anti-inflammatory diet for a long time now, but giving up sugar and glutenous things has been a struggle and I haven't fully committed
That's been me for a long time, but I'm really excited that by doing the Starter Cleanse I'm jumpstarting my nutrition for 2019 and cultivating a healthier relationship with food this year and the rest of my life.
Day 1: Not gonna lie. Today was an adjustment. I went in super optimistic...but went with some friends for brunch just to hang out and recap their New Years adventures...I ate before and asked for hot water with lemon and drank a ton of water to hydrate while chatting with them. It's hard not to feel like your missing out when you are eating differently...but I focused on the conversation rather than the food and mentioned to them about how I was starting the year focused on fueling my body right and getting to write about it. When I was eating my salad before I left I honestly was surprised by the amount of greens. I think when I go to make my own salads, I don't eat as much volume when it comes to greens and I struggled to eat it all but I knew I'd want to fuel myself for later. Overall my energy level was great! I had a mild headache mid day probably just some toxins letting loose, but focused on eating when hungry and resting on my off day. I ended the day with the hearty Jamaican Shepherd's Pie for something warm and comforting. I think my biggest struggle is wanting to snack when watching tv, and eating out of boredom, and the sweet tooth at night. I just wanted to end the night with sweets, but settled for a glass of digestive tea and then another herbal tea later.
Day 2: Today I really wanted coffee….honestly I’m still not sure if I like coffee just for the smells and comfort it brings….but I went to a coffee shop for free smells and to try and get out of the house to focus on personal projects for the month. I went prepared with my Bodhi Bowl and an energy bar. I told myself if I still wanted something while there I’ll get an herbal tea. Also went to the store today to get some snacks and additions to my cleanse and to make some things for after. I honestly miss making my own meals and the creativity of that, but this has definitely set the bar for the amount of veggies I need to include in my diet. I picked up some lemons for lemon water in the mornings and some avocado to add to the Signature Salads. After I want to make some hummus so I bought some tahini and chickpeas to be ready to do that. If I run out of snacks I can always make some myself.
Day 3: I’ve been adding cacao powder to my smoothie in the morning….I miss chocolate, but the cacao with the sweetness of banana is honestly enough and was satisfying to start off the day. I might go back to making chocolate banana ice cream when the cleanse is over since I got a food processor for my birthday. I would say throughout the day I felt both extremely light and energetic and also kinda foggy brained. This no sugar thing is really kicking my butt I think.
Day 4: Lemon water to start off the day woke me up in the same way I've been missing coffee. Today seemed like the most level-headed day energy-wise. It was a full work day for me, so lots of physical exertion but I felt full and focused all day. No headaches. Sustained energy. Today was good.
Day 5: Second full day of work with sustained energy and I didn't even need the energy bar to get me through til dinner. I'll save that for another day. Day 5 complete!!!
I'm thankful for this experience doing the Starter Cleanse with Nourish...it has taught me how I have used sugar as a crutch for a quick energy fix, to numb the hard places, and out of boredom. It's shown me I can be full and focused off less than I thought from only whole plant-based sources. Physically I feel lighter, with more energy. My joints feel more lubricated and less creaky. If I'm honest, sometimes I feel like an old woman with creaky joints....and I noticed this decreased significantly during the cleanse.
I can't emphasize this enough...You set yourself up for success by preparing in advance. I spent the week before the cleanse systematically using up things in the fridge I knew wouldn't last through my cleanse that weren't approved. I also rearranged my pantry to feature approved snacks in the front and off limits items in the back. Then I even decided to forgo that system and set out approved items on the counter. When it comes to self-control, it's ok to know if you have little to none and set yourself up for success. For me that starts with what I can see. If I see pizza right when I open the fridge or chocolate in the front of the cabinet, I will want it because it's what I'm seeing first. I'll take that to heart moving forward and put more veggies, fruits, and healthy snacks in front of me to encourage better choices, and then reach for the occasional treat.
Above all, my number one tip besides preparing your pantry and fridge is to prepare your mind. Go in with a positive mindset, and give yourself grace in the hard areas where you don't have it all together. This process is meant to bring things to the surface, both light and dark. You get to decide where you go from there and the direction your body, mind and spirit journey towards.