Thursday, October 25, 2007

So how was the Vegan Detox Diet?

A handful of clients and I embarked on a 2 week dietary detox that fusion designed, each with our individual reasons, but all interested in the idea of taking seemingly dramatic steps to shake up our bodies and minds in regard to what we are living off.

Everyone deals with daily decisions or indecisions about what nutrients they are going to ingest. Unfortunately it often becomes more about what is easy, provides immediate pleasure and is being served, than a thoughtful understanding of what will fill us up, fuel our needs, and keep our body healthy long-term.... hence why someone might think about taking two or more weeks to follow a restrictive diet or detox. If you are interested in following the diet, jump down to the pyramid and check it out.

For some, like Nicole, this diet is about weight lose and changing up the types of foods to find an optimal blend of foods that both satiates and achieves weight loss goals, which is great!

For me, creating this diet was really about totally eliminating all those things in our diets that are actually bad for us, and bringing the focus squarely on the parts of our diets that we all too often neglect. In this way it is a great check of what we are actually putting into our bodies, an exercise in shopping, label scrutiny, and meal planning. There is no way to go through this diet and not learn tons.

I learned that Evaporated Cane Juice, on many organic and natural food labels, really just means sugar. So add that to the 10 other names for sugar that are on nearly every packaged food. Getting away from sugar was by far the hardest for me, as I have a sweet tooth after a meal, but peanut butter and whole wheat bread filled that void easily. Eliminating the meat was easy but I would miss it after a while, but the dairy and refined carbs I hardly eat anyway so those were my easy points.

Now the curious question is did we feel any different physically or mentally? Well, I can say I never felt bad, tired or hungry and I felt good about what I was doing. Everyone is a different on this depending on what they were eating prior to the diet.

Dining out definitely becomes an interesting dance, depending on the restaurant. I enjoyed the meals I created at regular restaurants better than my trip to a vegetarian restaurant, partially because the veggie place was all about trying to fake meat which I found terribly ironic. "I don't want a vegan cheesesteak thanks, I want a meal that celebrates the great diversity of flavors and textures in the veggie category."

Read our client's experiences
Our group of hardcore healthy eaters emailed each other during our diet with questions and vegan recipes and at the end have now given their feedback:

"My big takeaway is the skill of monitoring everything you are eating at all times. I’ve learned a lot about what I eat on a daily basis. I know most of the diet’s core focus (raw veggies, reducing sugar, etc.) will stay with me even though I am off it now."
- Evan

"I really like the Detox and saw great results. I actually didn't find the meat portion that hard, it was the diary that gave me a little trouble, mostly the cheese. And again, when I was preparing it myself, it was no problem, it was eating out that gave me the most problems."
- Nicole

"The first couple of days were mentally difficult for finding food items to eat for lunch, snacks, not having any soda etc. After the first couple of days I really enjoyed the diet, it pushed me to explore new food items, I used to think that I would not feel full unless I ate some kind of fish / chicken / meat with a meal. I got over that thought. My mood was better for the whole two weeks. I realized that I can live without soda or high calorie drinks."
- John

I started the diet on Saturday and have been doing a lot of cardio...I've lost almost 2lbs so far!!
- Lawrence


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