Tips for Doing a Green Smoothie Cleanse

Now that I’ve completed the 10-day green smoothie cleanse, I wanted to share with you some of the things that I learned in case you want to do a detox like this one!

10 tips for doing green smoothie cleanse

10 Tips for Doing a Green Smoothie Cleanse:

1) Have enough food on hand. I ran out of apples by Day Three, and I had started out with about a dozen apples. Get plenty of smoothie ingredients and snack supplies to tide you over between smoothies!

2) Be prepared for your energy and hunger levels to fluctuate a lot. People talk all the time about traditional detox symptoms, like getting headaches or being irritable etc. I didn’t really have much in the way of traditional detox symptoms (I got a headache on Day 3, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I cut out caffeine that day)—what I did find, however, was that the amount of energy that I had changed a decent amount, especially for the first few days. One moment, I felt very tired, and the next moment I’d be feeling awesome. It’s the same with hunger: one moment, I’d be thinking oh my goodness I’M SO HUNGRY! but the next moment, I just felt good.

3) Go for a variety. I love my apple-lemon smoothie, but after drinking it for three meals a day, three days in a row, I was starting to get a little tired of it (and concerned that I was getting the exact same type of nutrients each day). So Mr Science and I went to the store and picked up some different fruits to use in smoothies. It provides new tastes and flavors, as well as new nutrients to enjoy. I wish I had stocked up on a variety of more veggies, though… I was getting a little tired of baby carrots for snacks by Day 7!

4) Enjoy the ritual component of the cleanse. Dry-brush every morning. Take pride in making your smoothies. The cleanse can be a lot of fun and feel awesome when you put care into the little rituals involved with the cleanse.

5) Figure out ways to get enough calories in. I struggled with this, and I ended up eating fewer than 1,000 calories most days. It’s not very healthy to eat less than 1,200! If I were doing this again, I’d probably want to add more (carefully portioned) nuts and seeds. After the first few days, my body seemed to adjust to the lower calories and eating some carrots and sugar snap peas was actually quite satisfying (although it still didn’t give me enough calories), but I was still fairly hungry throughout.

6) Find restful things to do. There’s a balance with doing a detox like this: you want enough things to do to keep you busy, but you also want to check in with yourself and be restful and mindful. I reduced my workload a bit during the first few days, and I gathered up a stack of books to read. I also spent my time going for walks, using my acupressure mat, writing, puttering around the house, and trying out new make-up techniques for my fashion blog. Find things to do that are enjoyable, restful, and which don’t require a ton of energy on your part.

7) Think carefully about having the occasional treat. I had a homemade organic meatball on Day 2 of the cleanse, and a glass of wine on Day 5.  Towards the end of the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, I had a couple more bites of grass-fed beef (a spoonful of homemade sloppy joe mixture and a few pieces of stir-fried beef). I had the opportunity to have hot chocolate in the evening of Day 3, but I chose not to drink it – partly because it was already the evening, and I felt if I had made it through the day already then I might as well keep going, and partly because I decided it wasn’t worth it. One meatball for an added protein boost when I was hungry? Sure. A glass of wine at a friend’s birthday celebration? Of course. Hot chocolate “just because” from a place where I haven’t tried the hot chocolate yet so I don’t actually know how good it is and I’m not super in the mood for hot chocolate? Well… not quite worth it.

This is something I really liked about the cleanse: it helps you to consider whether or not a treat is worth it. And perhaps if it was another day, I would really really want that hot chocolate, in which case, it would be worth it. But I didn’t really really want it that day, so it was a good idea to not try it. I also had the opportunity to have a cupcake on Day 5, but since I had already planned a glass of wine, I instead froze the cupcake to have after the cleanse was complete.

8) Find things that motivate and inspire you to continue with the cleanse. If I had been presented with the cupcake on Day 3, it would have felt really rough. I feel that it really is the first half of the cleanse that you need to get through. The first couple of days are a novelty and rather enjoyable; then you’ve got a few days where you realize that you’re not even halfway through the cleanse… and that part is challenging. So I recommend finding some good books to read on topics of detoxes and that sort of thing. You might also want to seek out blogs with inspirational photos or testimonials that you can refer to for those moments when the cleanse isn’t super exciting and fun.

9) Ease out of the cleanse. I had a bag of chips the night before starting the cleanse, and I didn’t find that to be a problem. I know you’re supposed to ease into cleanses, but I’m more of a “last meal” kind of person—it makes me look forward more to the cleanse when I’ve had a guilty pleasure the day before. However! The same does not apply to easing out of the cleanse. Continue with the cleanse until dinner, and then have a healthy dinner. Do this for a couple days at least before changing your breakfast and lunch, if desired. I fully intended on doing that, but I was really tired of eating the same vegetables as snacks (and we also completely ran out of snacks and smoothie ingredients by Day 11), so I spent the weekend eating whatever I liked before going to the modified cleanse. Not the greatest idea. And this leads into my final point…

10) Remember that the point of the cleanse isn’t to drop 10 lbs and then revert back to your old way of eating. Keep that in mind! The point of the 10-day green smoothie cleanse is to retrain your taste buds and to give you a jump-start on healthy eating. That’s not to say you can never have French fries or candy ever again, but by the end of the cleanse you probably won’t have any super intense cravings for those foods. If you remember this, it will be the biggest motivator to continue with the cleanse. I let myself have some chocolate the day after the cleanse (a Friday), and on the Saturday and Sunday I had a few weird cravings–I managed to suppress them and I felt great on Monday (and haven’t had any cravings since!).

I was elated to lose weight on the green smoothie cleanse, but by far the best part was the retraining of my taste buds (and the consequential decrease in cravings).

Got any tips to share on doing a cleanse or detox? Do you have questions about the 10-day green smoothie cleanse? Share in the comments section below!

…And I promise that next week I will return to discussing topics other than the green smoothie cleanse on food/fitness days for this blog :)

The Top Nine Things I Need When I’m Sick

I have gotten sick so many times over the past year. It’s really starting to get annoying! Even worse, every time I get sick, it knocks me out flat for about a week. I spend hours curled up on the couch, and it’s a huge amount of effort to do much of anything during the week.

But I’ve discovered that there are some key essentials that I need to have around when I’m sick. They just make the entire thing a little bit less awful, and helps me to feel better a little bit quicker.

hot tea

Tasty tasty tea.

Without further ado, my survival kit for when I’m ill:

  1. Tea. Hot beverages feel so good on a sore throat! My favorite is chai green.
  2. Pillows. Lots of them, propped up all around you. So cozy!
  3. Lemon water. I don’t like orange juice and it tastes too sickly sweet when I’m ill, but I do like drinking water with several spoonfuls of lemon juice added to it. No sweetener required: just pure lemon juice (and lots of it) mixed with water. Mmm. Perfect for getting plenty of Vitamin C in your system.
  4. Homemade soup. Obviously! I like a thick chicken noodle / rice soup the best.
  5. Kleenex. The Kleenex box must be within arm’s reach at all times.
  6. Popsicles. The perfect complement to hot soup and hot tea is icy cold popsicles!
  7. Netflix. This is vital to watch marathons of Buffy and Angel. Books are good too, but movies or TV shows are better since they don’t require holding up a book. And TV shows are preferable to movies, because then you don’t have to bother with choosing another movie after the first one is done. You just have season upon season of Joss Whedon goodness to enjoy.
  8. Ginger ale. The bubbles, they are nice.
  9. Halls cough drops. These are vital for if you have to go out in public. Without a doubt you’ll get a tickle in your throat, and the best way to deal with it are cough drops.

What’s in your survival kit when you’re ill? Share in the comments section below!

Stock up on your survival kit here:

My Results from the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

The results are in!

Between Day 1 and Day 11…

  • I lost 6.5 lbs.
  • My body fat went from 27.1% to 25.2%.
  • I lost 0.75 inches around my waist and 1.5 inches around the hips.

I was pretty pleased with this overall (I’m back in the normal weight range on the BMI index!). I ended up eating very few calories (not enough) due to, well, poor planning on my part, really. I expect that I might have lost an extra pound or two if I had been consuming additional calories.

I really enjoyed the doing the 10-day green smoothie cleanse. It definitely helped me to re-train my taste buds, to get rid of cravings, and to have a healthier relationship with food overall. It’s nice to have a jump-start on weight loss, too!

What’s next?

I still have some more weight to lose to get to my goal weight of 110 lbs (that’s my “happy weight,” nicely in the middle of my “normal” BMI range and a point at which I have a good amount of energy and will fit into some of those pretty clothes ;)), so I will be doing the modified green smoothie cleanse for the next several months. My goal is to lose 3 lbs by the end of 2014, and after that to lose around 1 lbs each week. Right now I have 13 lbs to lose, so I’m planning to be at my goal weight by March 20, 2015.

The modified cleanse includes drinking green smoothies for breakfast and lunch (as well as the recommended snacks from the regular cleanse, as needed), and then eating a healthy meal for dinner. Of course, some I’ll go out for breakfast or lunch, or I might have a different snack than veggies and fruit, but for the most part I’m planning to stick to the modified green smoothie cleanse. I let myself have the past weekend (Friday—Sunday) off, since I needed a little break from smoothies, but today I begin the modified cleanse. I will report back periodically on how things are going with it!

Check back next week for 10 tips to doing a 10-day green smoothie cleanse!

Did anyone else do the 10-day green smoothie cleanse with me? What do you do when you are in need of a cleanse or detox? Share in the comments section below!

The Positivity Journal

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For more than three months now, I’ve been using a Positivity Journal.

At the end of every day, I take out my journal and write down the date and a few words or sentences about things that made me happy that day or positive things that occurred.

Since I suffer from nightmare disorder, I thought that maybe writing positive things down right before going to bed might help to reduce the nightmares. It hasn’t had any effect on that, but I’m still using my positivity journal for other reasons:

1) It makes me stop and reflect on the day. I generally only take a couple minutes to jot things down in my journal, but those couple of minutes are enough to remind me of good things that happened earlier in the day that, due to other things coming up, I might have pushed from my mind. It’s nice to think of things that happened hours before and think of how awesome it was.

positivity journal

A pretty journal is a must.

2) It helps put things into perspective. I’m careful about not putting negative things into my journal, and to avoid writing things like “I was having a bad day but then XYZ happened and it was all better.” Instead, I just focus on the happy, positive things (just “XYZ happened”). And that, in and of itself, helps to diminish anything negative that might have happened.

3) It makes me more grateful. When you reflect on how the day went, you appreciate that much more the good things that happened, the good times you had, the good people you saw. I feel as though I have more gratitude for the everyday things, because when I stop and reflect on the day, little things will sometimes jump out at me as items to add to my positivity journal.

4) It makes me realize what really matters to me. Spending time with friends and family makes it into the journal very regularly. When I feel satisfied with my work, when I have a good sleep, when I don’t have anxiety, when I enjoy tasty food, all of that makes it into the journal. One day, my entry was just “Getting some alone time. Tidied the house.” Another day I commented how cute the mother dear’s cat is. It’s interesting to see what jumps out at you when you’re sitting down with your journal, what makes you happy and positive, and what shows up day after day.

5) It helps me to understand just how many positive things happen every day. If I were actually writing every single thing that happened each day that was positive, it would wind up being pages upon pages. Instead, I might write down the highlights, or the first three things that jump to mind – but as I’m writing them down, it often brings a smile to my face when I consider that what I’m writing is just a tiny sliver of the positivity around me.

Do you have a positivity journal? What happy/positive things happened to you today? What kinds of things make you happy? Share in the comments section below!

Get your own positivity journal:

An Update on the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse

Today is Day 7 of the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse! It’s been going pretty well so far. The first couple of days were quite enjoyable (I’m assuming because of the novelty of it). Day 3, on the other hand, was tough. That was the first day that I drank decaf tea instead of my usual chai green tea, and I’m not sure if it’s because of the lack of caffeine or because my detox symptoms were finally kicking in, but I had a headache for a good portion of Day 3.

Day 3 was also challenging because it was the first day during the cleanse that I felt strong cravings, as well as very fatigued. I even tried just sitting down on the couch and reading a book, but I was having a tough time focusing on the page – I just felt exhausted. It probably wasn’t the best idea to go for a 5-km run that day and also walk for more than 3 hours over the course of the day, but the exercise had been feeling so good that I didn’t want to cut it out.

By Day 4, however, I was feeling much better. I woke up rested and did some light yoga. I also gave into temptation and weighed myself that morning, the first time since Day 1 of the green smoothie cleanse. And it turned out that weighing myself was a very good idea, because I was down 4 lbs and 1.1% body fat since Day 1! It definitely provided me with extra motivation to keep going.

Continue reading ‘An Update on the 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse’ »