Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Maybe Eating Green Does Deserve the Hype

After many failed attempts to "just eat better," I decided to participate in a 24 day cleanse/health challenge with my girlfriend Kattie. She had completed this challenge once before and promised me it would work. And even though it went against everything I liked to believe (until very recently, I would have done a Rant blog post on how unnecessary and ridiculous the organic bandwagon is), I decided I would join her.

Days one through ten were a full-on cleanse - the kind where you don't get to eat or drink anything that tastes good, you pump yourself full of vitamins that leave you rushing to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and you fight tooth and nail to not give into your cravings for salt, sweets, caffeine, or basically anything that's not a fruit or vegetable. It was hard. Ten days is a lot of days to feel like shitting your pants because of all the fiber you're ingesting. Ten days is a long time to feel like crap, to have a headache, and to be tired and sluggish. Ten days is also a long time to attempt to drink 1/2 of your body weight in water. However, in that ten days, I proved to myself that I could make the changes I wanted. I didn't cheat once. Not once. I drank all the water. I popped all the pills. I spent my work days in the bathroom. I threw up the sawdust-textured, barkdust-flavored fiber packets more than once, but I survived. And I lost ten pounds in those first ten days...it was pretty much just my body toxins and water weight, sure, but it was definitely motivating!

Days eleven through twenty-four were easier. Don't get me wrong, they were not easy. I said easier. There were more supplements and a meal replacement shake that actually didn't taste too bad...it was even better if you blended it with fruit. Kattie taught me how to add kale to my breakfast smoothies, and by the end I was pretty much eating a smoothie for both breakfast and lunch, and a salad with some chicken for dinner. I continued to lose weight without adding workouts, but more importantly I was losing inches - when it was all said and done I had lost 19 overall inches and 2 jeans sizes!

This blog is not meant to convince anyone to do the 24 day Advocare challenge (though you should, because it works), but rather to rave about how much better I feel overall by eating more organically, more greens, and less processed crap. I don't even go down the grocery store aisles anymore unless I need pickles or a marinade; I only do the exterior aisles - produce, eggs, chicken. That's it. I shop for as much fruits and veggies at farmer's markets as I can. It has made such a difference! Organic chicken is seriously, so. much. better. It looks, smells, tastes, and cooks better. Its the right color, it has the right texture, it isn't so gigantic that you wonder how the fuck they got a chicken with such big breasts. The first time I bought organic chicken, I was sold. Hook, line and sinker. I take my own chicken to BBQs now, which is both embarrassing and smart. Organic eggs are legit - they stay the right shape when they cook, they're the right color, and they taste clean. Organic produce is clean, crunchy, sweet, and tastes like real produce.

I am on the bandwagon. In the past 30 days since my challenge ended, I have continued to feel better, have continued to lose weight, and have thrown up every time I have attempted to cheat and eat something I used to like. I'm telling you, eating clean is the way to go. It may cost a bit more, but it is worth every penny.