It’s the one-year anniversary of my Crazy Sexy Diet cleanse! I wanted to offer an update on my progress over the past year and share my summer self-care plan in case it might help you to create your own. My intention is to go deeper into the journey to health I began in June 2011.
The 2011 Adventure Cleanse
This time last year, I read Kris Carr’s incredible book, Crazy Sexy Diet cover to cover. As I approach the big 3-0, I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle, stop eating so much junk and maybe avoid some illnesses that run in my family (high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease). I learned a TON about clean, healthy eating from Kris’ book. Mostly, it affirmed for me that it’s so important to pay attention to what you put into your body. It also got me into the habit of reading food labels (I know, it sounds basic, but I never really did that before!) and being more knowledgeable about where my food comes from. The diet Kris advocates is a plant-based, low-fat, low-glycemic vegan diet. It’s mostly raw and there is NO meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol or even animal products like eggs, cheese or milk.
At the end of Kris’ book is a guide to embarking on a 21-Day “Adventure” Cleanse with tips, tools and recipes from Kris. It immediately spoke to me and I decided to do the cleanse. Through the course of the cleanse, I learned that I had a SERIOUS sugar addiction as I experienced all the withdrawal symptoms. It felt like I was in rehab from a drug! In the end, I was so surprised (and proud of myself) that I was able to go THREE whole weeks without meat, caffeine, alcohol, (very little) sugar and dairy.
After the cleanse, I decided to go vegan. I loved the energy I got from doing the cleanse and I wanted it to continue. I was able to stick to a vegan diet for several months, until I noticed I was losing a LOT of weight.
I have an extremely high metabolism, so any slight change in my diet or exercise can make me lose weight quickly. It is much harder for me to gain weight, though, and I have been roughly the same size since high school (about 115 lbs.). During the last 10 years, my weight has fluctuated between 114-118 lbs. I would love to get to 120 lbs. just to see if I’d be able to wear a size 3 or 4! When I was vegan, my weight went WAY down to 108 lbs. at my lowest. Yeah, that scared me. I never wanted to lose 10 pounds!
On the advice of one of my vegetarian colleagues, I switched to a vegetarian diet to make it easier for me to maintain my weight. The problem, of course, was not the vegan diet itself, but the fact that I was not getting enough calories or protein from my food choices. I also wasn’t very good at planning out my meals and snacks so I could ensure I was getting enough nourishment. A few weeks after I started eating eggs, yogurt and cheese again, I saw my weight begin to come back. And in November 2011, I began to eat seafood as well.
My Diet Now
As of now, I am on a pescetarian diet, which means I am a vegetarian who also eats seafood. I consume a variety of protein sources, including: eggs, fish, shrimp, tofu, nuts, beans and now, quinoa. As for exercise, I try to walk at least 30 minutes a day. I’m grateful to Kris for showing me that it’s possible to eat healthier, which for me means no meat, more veggies and a lot less sugar. I still struggle with my addiction to sugar, though. And I still don’t like exercising!
My Summer Self-Care Plan
This summer, I wanted to honor the one-year anniversary of the journey I embarked on last June. I talked to my mom about how I could begin to get stricter on my diet and begin to incorporate more vigorous exercise (maybe even get leaner abs!) without getting TOO crazy with it. I’m still a beginner here and I know I’ll never be a gym rat flexing my guns. Luckily, my mom is a personal trainer, figure competitor and nutrition coach! I asked her to make me a custom meal plan and exercise regimen based on the service she offers to her clients. Except mine was free. Daughter discount!
This is the gist of my plan:
- My meal plan essentially consists of three meals and three snacks a day. So, basically 6 meals a day.
- Given my goal of getting to 120 pounds and getting leaner, I am to eat at least 2,000 calories a day (including 80 grams of protein!)
- I aim to exercise at least 4 times a week using HIIT workouts that my mom customized for my physical ability (and the desire to not have to use those weight machines in the gym!).
- I’m supposed to drink at least 60 oz. of water every day (1/2 my body weight in ounces) and limit my sugar intake.
- I’m planning to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, which will be very tough! This means I’ll have to be in bed by 11:00pm if I want to get up by 7:00am to begin my morning routine. As of now, I usually don’t get into bed until 2:00am. Yikes!
- I want to deepen my meditation practice in the mornings. I often forgo being still for a few moments so I can rush to my computer to get to work. Sometimes I only read my daily awareness passage without even engaging in a sitting or walking meditation. I also haven’t used my yoga mat in weeks!
My Strategies and Tools:
Weekly Meal Planning: When I don’t plan my meals, I get into trouble with grabbing junk food and soda on the go. Right now, I go to the grocery store just once a week, so this is when I can buy everything I need for my meals, especially fresh fruit and veggies!
Daily Food Journal: For this, I using My Fitness Pal. Mom hipped me to this iPhone app and I just signed up today. I will be using it to track my progress all summer. Since my cleanse, I haven’t really been keeping close track of my food, just trying to eat as many healthy meals as possible and stay away from meat, sugar and processed stuff in general. This morning, I learned that my “healthy breakfast” of cinnamon spice oatmeal, fruit & nut granola and almond butter has 20 grams of sugar! This daily food journal is going to blow my mind.
The Gym: I have a gym where I am living now and I will likely be using their treadmill from time to time to do walking, jogging or running for my warm-up cardio.
Brita Pitcher and Reusable Water Bottle: I need to buy these this weekend. I had a great pitcher but I gave it away when I moved from my apartment and there isn’t a filter in the kitchen where I’m staying now. I also need a good reusable water bottle to take with me on the go, so I can always get my 60 oz. in!
So that’s my summer self-care plan, folks.
What about you? Will you be starting (or continuing) a healthy eating and exercise regimen this summer?