Have you ever finished an entire bag of popcorn and a container of chocolate covered pretzels in one sitting? Then, you discover the bag of sweet potato chips in your pantry and proceed switching off between salty and sweet snacks in between your actual meals? Haha. This is my struggle and maybe you can relate.
A week ago, I got into one of these snacking cycles that lasted three days. My roommate made an assortment of sweets to bring to her work as Christmas presents. I tried them all but then I kept going. I wanted to cut myself off, but almost felt powerless over the snacking monster living inside of me!
I realized I needed to take a break- a break from sugar and other snacks that I started to become seriously dependent on.
A while back a friend introduced me to the 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith. Many months ago, I completed two days of the cleanse after another one of these eating binges. I knew it was time to try it again. In this post, I will share with you my observations after doing the green smoothie cleanse for three days.
I just wanted to note that nutritional preferences and needs vary by individual. Personally, I chose to do the cleanse for only three out of the ten days due to my level of activity and other fitness goals. You can customize the cleanse to your specific needs and I hope this post will provide some helpful insights.
The 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse splits up the ten days between the first and last five days. The book gives you a shopping list for the first five days and that’s what I purchased from the store.
The book gives you a green smoothie recipe for each day. Here is an example of Day 4.
I portioned out the first five days of smoothies into plastic bags to make the process more efficient. You can make the smoothies in the morning the day of, or the night before and then freeze the smoothies overnight. I preferred making the smoothies the night before since I workout in the morning before work. One bag of ingredients makes enough smoothies for a whole day (one for breakfast, lunch and dinner).
In the recipe, protein powder is optional. However, I try to make sure I meet my recommended protein intake. I customized the recipe by adding Vital Proteins in my smoothies.
Prior to this cleanse, I used Vital Proteins for a few weeks in my matcha green teas and green tea lattes. I loved how convenient it was to get more protein in my diet without necessarily having to sit down and have a full meal. Collagen has many benefits that you can read more about here.
The recipe recommends that you blend the greens with water first, before adding the other ingredients.
I liked freezing all my ingredients beforehand so the smoothie comes out extra thick. The only thing I didn’t freeze were the apples because those get pretty hard in the freezer, which makes it harder to blend.
Then I blended all the ingredients together and it came out like this.
I recommend having to-go containers like these so you can bring these smoothies with you wherever you go.
You can cover them and freeze them the night before and let them defrost in the fridge throughout the day. I usually had the breakfast ones with a spoon, almost like an acai bowl.
During and After the Three Day Cleanse
I started the cleanse on a Saturday and ended on a Monday. My biggest takeaway was that I became an observer of the food choices I would make. Because I could only have the smoothies and some approved snacks from the book, I had to say no to everything else. This gave me the freedom to see what I usually consume in the span of one day.
I realized I snacked a lot because I was bored and that I would snack during specific times in my workday (3pm for example). Do you do the same?
Another observation was that anytime unhealthy food was around in my line of sight, it became harder to resist, especially in the office.
Awareness is definitely the first step to changing any habits.
I also learned that I gained some sort of emotional comfort from “feeling full”. Almost like the state of hunger was something I could never let myself sit in. It’s really interesting. The cleanse made me more present with my thoughts. Food can definitely serve as a distraction sometimes.
Once I got off the cleanse, the snacking cycles slowed down and I wasn’t as ravenous as before for sweets and other junk food. The cravings weren’t as intense and I was able to exercise more moderation.
New Year, New Habits
Have you observed any patterns in your eating that you would like to improve? Consider if you need to restart your system with a cleanse or making more mindful food choices each day. Like I mentioned before, diet and nutrition are highly specific to each individual.
With the new year approaching, it’s a perfect time to assess our eating habits as we work towards a healthy balance in life.
Do you have any food struggles? What’s your favorite snack? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!