The Crazy Sexy Diet, Round 3: A Recap

August 31st marked the 30th day I spent on the Crazy Sexy Diet.

via

via

The Crazy Sexy Diet is also known as the 21 day adventure cleanse, and for three weeks, I strove to:

  • Abstain from all alcohol (DONE. I did this till Day #30)
  • Abstain from ALL animal products (DONE. For 21 days and always!)
  • Abstain from gluten (I did this until Day 21)
  • Abstain from sugar (I need to do a better job of reading the ingredients on EVERYTHING. It’s amazing how many products have sugar hidden in their lists.) (I was MUCH more mindful of sugar but still had a hard time eliminating it completely from my diet.)
  • Dry brush everyday (cleanse off dead skin cells that contain released toxins). (I did this a couple of times/week. My skin has still not completely recovered from a fight with poison ivy last month. Dry brushing everyday would have irritated my skin too much.)
  • MOVE for at least 30 minutes each day. Even if it’s a 30 minute walk with my dogs, I need to get in some form of exercise each day. (DONE)
  • Do a minimum of 20 minutes of yoga each day. (I am very proud of how well I did with this. I actually only stuck to the 20 minutes once or twice. Normally, my minimum was 60 minutes of yoga.)
  • Meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes each day. (I slipped up 3 or 4 times, when I completely forgot about it.)
  • Sleep at least 8 hours every night. (I was doing pretty well with this until the last week. Southern California has been awfully hot and humid, and sleep has proven more difficult.)

Gluten

After day 21, I decided to extend the diet to 30 days. It just made sense to go until my yoga teacher training was finished. The only thing I changed after 21 day was re-introducing gluten.

I had never completely cut out gluten before. I wanted to eliminate it just as an experiment, and I have to say, I did not notice much of a difference. As I previously thought, I probably do not have any sensitivities to gluten. I did feel like I ate less simple carbohydrates by eliminating gluten, and it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. I think I want to eat it less frequently now, in my diet.

Sugar

I may be overly paranoid about sugar since reading this article, but I still feel like I may be eating too much sugar. I worked pretty hard to read all ingredients and not buy anything with added sugar in it.

While tracking my calories and nutrients in MyFitnessPal, I found that I was consistently going over my sugar intake for the day. Most of my sugar is coming from fruit. Maybe I am eating too much fruit? In the summer, it is so hard not to enjoy all the beautiful, juicy seasonal picks.

I am still going to strive to not purchase food with added sugar ingredients.

Other Observations:

  • Until the current heat/humidity kicked I, I was sleeping much better.
  • My digestion improved.
  • As always, my skin is telling me that it is healthier and more hydrated.
  • I lost 6 pounds.
  • I felt fuller, much faster. It did not take as much to fill me up. Most of my food choices were so nutrient dense that a smaller portion went a longer ways.
  • I feel more centered, calm and serene. I am sure meditating and yoga everyday helps with this, but I know my diet also contributed.
  • Overall, I just feel MUCH better. This alone should be motivation to continue eating this way. I do not feel guilty about consuming processed food. I do not feel sluggish, run down or dehydrated from drinking alcohol, eating sugar or vegan junk food. I feel alive, present and grateful.

What’s Next

I really hope to continue on this path. I think it was a great sign that Day 21 came and went, and I decided to stick with it, with minimal effort. Eating whole, unprocessed foods has become more integrated into my life and less like a “diet.”

I know I will not be perfect, and I am looking forward to a little bit of wine, but overall, eating a clean, vegan diet is best for my body, heart and soul, my animal friends and my planet.

taken at Native Foods, Costa Mesa

taken at Native Foods, Costa Mesa

Please let me know if you have any questions about The Crazy Sexy Diet!

Advertisements

Eating Out Vegan & Gluten-Free

Eating out on a vegan, gluten-free diet can seem daunting. I did not eat too often while on The Crazy Sexy Diet, but the times I did where not as difficult as I thought they would be. The key seems to be to stick with ethnic food, which was definitely not a hard task to undertake!

Sushi

Sushi seems like the opposite of vegan fare, but most places will have a veggie option. I ordered the veggie rolls in soy paper. Two rolls were pretty filling and delicious!

9535810996_f7867f6481_o

Thai

Thai food is always a great option for vegans, and now that I had to think about it, also for not eating gluten. Most dishes are rice, not wheat bases. Thai is usually my safe fall back, when travelling and unsure about vegan options.

I ordered the pad thai with tofu and requested no egg. My husband ordered the drunken noodles with tofu, and we split an order of brown rice.

9589284677_e7a94fc166_o 9589280255_3a3f6044cf_o 9592136414_c967f478bd_o

One of my favorite parts about ordering Thai is that it is so filling, there is usually leftovers for lunch the next day!

Fusion

There is an amazing Korean/Mexican fusion restaurant that opened up about 15 minutes from where I live. Amazingly enough, they carry a variety of vegetarian “meats” and offer tofu as an option. My new favorite is their lettuce wraps with vegetarian chicken. They top the wraps with shredded beets, carrots and jicama, plus an amazingly, flavorful, spicy sauce.

9588790135_34db67e869_o 9533030803_63860891dd_o

It is possible to still eat healthy, while eating out. It is not always easy, but I tend to find my go-to places, and frequent them over and over. Ethnic food always seems the easiest to find food that is free from animals, and wheat.

The Crazy Sexy Diet: Going for 30 Days

The Crazy Sexy Diet is technically set up for 21 days, however, I am going to extend it and go for 30. The other 2 times I have done this cleanse, I was eagerly looking forward to some junk food, and a glass of wine. This time around has been different. The “diet” is simply feeling like the way that I eat now, and not really like a diet. Day 21 came and went, and I did not feel eager to change anything.

I think a big part of that has to do with my yoga teacher training. I am pretty much doing yoga straight from Friday evening, till Sunday afternoon. It would be difficult to do this while eating poorly, or drinking alcohol. The training has been amazing in so many ways, keeping me motivated to eat well is another great benefit of it.

My teacher training ends on September 1st (BIG sad face), so I decided to keep up the diet guidelines, until then.

At the end of Day 21, I am currently feeling great!

  • I have natural, even energy throughout the day.
  • I feel fuller SO much faster.
  • I feel satisfied by eating smaller meals, more frequently throughout the day.
  • My digestion has improved.
  • I feel clean, light and strong inside.

I am eager to feel the benefits of one more week and continue to maintain this manner of clean eating and living.

Here’s an example of one my quick, weeknight dinners. I cooked this up one evening after yoga, when it was still hot out and I did not want to spend tons of time in the kitchen.

I heated up some crushed garlic in olive oil, and then added in white beans. I seasoned the beans with garlic powder, cumin and tajin. I served these in corn tortillas, topped with green onions, avocados and tapatio.

9591464776_3190d1c68d_o 9591581664_175ea48eb8_o

For a side, I sliced up some bell peppers, threw in cherry tomatoes and edamame, topped them with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of tajin.

9588673317_f261535ab5_o

This was a fast, flavorful and filling meal. It has been way too hot to cook up a big meal. I have been trying to keep tons of fresh fruit and veggies on hand that I can easily slice and eat.

The Crazy Sexy Diet: Week 2 Recap

I am just starting week 3 of the Crazy Sexy Diet. Here were some of my favorite eats from last week.

Smoothies: My mornings start off with either a green smoothie or juice. 2 of my current favorite smoothies are: (list of ingredients serve 3 people)

4 figs, 2 bananas, 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk, 2 cups of coconut water, 1 cup of water, 2 huge handfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal, ice

9535630952_4abdb8b1fa_o

2 beets slices, 2 bananas, 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk, 2 cups of coconut water, 1 cup of water, 2 huge handfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal, ice

9535805120_94efb9cd3d_o

These are both pretty sweet and filling.

I made enough green juice for 2 days, for 2 people. The ingredients below made (4) 32 ounce jars.

6 cucumbers, 2 bunches of celery, 5 green apples slices, 1 pound of carrots.

9533026801_0e654bc9cb_o

This juice was pretty sweet tasting. I love the mix of apples and carrots together.

For snacks and lunch at work, I loaded up supplies Monday morning, to help get me through the week.

9535633324_07e208dc6d_o9532849163_1dd833b8fa_o

I brought; sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, 1 pound of carrots, hummus, edamame, trail mix and fruit.

9532851415_fb1be4be0b_o

Lunch for me most days, looked like this:

9532854081_3b995143c4_o

The trail mix definitely helps mid-afternoon when I want a light snack, that is not too filling.

The weather in Southern California has made cooking less than inspiring. Many nights, my dinner looked similar to this quick salad of chopped tomates, avocado, red onion, olives, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. It is surprisingly filling!

9535645776_bd503ed34c_o

Dessert is usually sliced oranges with dates (my favorite!)

9533015751_ed78ef616a_o

I kept most of my meals pretty simple and fresh. It was a busy week and I hardly cooked. Fortunately, my kitchen was well stocked with fresh produce that I could easily grab, slice and eat.

This is feeling much less like a cleanse or diet, and much more like just the way I eat now. I really do not feel like I am missing out on too much, although I do miss bread and other gluten related products. I have still been finding it difficult to find products that have no added sugar in them.

I have been doing pretty well with continuing my goal of yoga + meditation each day. Since that is also a requirement of my yoga teacher training, it is easier to keep the motivation and momentum. This is also starting to feel like it’s apart of my everyday routine. It would feel odd now to go through a whole day without rolling out my yoga mat.

I have been happy to find that my home practice is reaching a deeper level. I adore my yoga studio, but my schedule does not allow me to attend everyday. I have been working more towards not being dependent on making it to the studio to do yoga. I try to be more purposeful with putting in forethought and writing out classes for myself, and practicing at home, even without an instructor and my fellow yogis.

9535642706_b5cf23ea85_o

I am feeling much purer in body and mind. This helps with every area of my life and I feel it makes me better as an employee, family member, friend, yogi, etc.  This should be intuitive by now, but I am realizing when I eat good, I feel good. That alone should be reason enough to motivate me to continue.

Gluten Free Vegan BBQ

This weekend we celebrated Penny’s 2nd birthday. I am one of *those* people who makes an event out their pups’ birthdays. We usually have a barbeque, since both of their birthdays land in the summer.

My usual go-to for a BBQ is veggie dogs, baked beans and chips. It’s one of my favorite junk food meals! When I think of BBQs, this usually comes to mind:

9479706626_864d117869_o

I was stumped for a bit on what to make without gluten or processed food.

I decided to grill up some veggies and top them with pesto.

We grilled up asparagus, eggplant and veggie kabobs (from Trader Joe’s), and topped it with homemade pesto (basil, spinach, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt and pumpkin seeds whirled in the food processor).

9480951663_9f81d5ce04_o 9483738174_a0509821a6_o

I also topped a side of warmed, red kidney beans with the pesto. We ate this alongside fresh tomatoes topped with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and chopped basil. I made a fresh mix of marinated artichokes, fresh olives and sun-dried tomatoes + homemade hummus. We used Trader Joe’s brown rice wraps warmed up and cut to dip into the hummus. These wraps, along with corn tortillas have made this no gluten part of the diet, so much easier!

9480930475_9dbe7ee011_o 9480955099_3a6cac7d29_o 9483725110_a2290658fb_o

This tasted like a Mediterranean feast! Not bad for my first gluten-free BBQ.

9483704130_71248e747c_o

Dessert was fresh sliced peaches and figs. I love this time of year!

9483766258_9994e0af7e_o

Happy 2nd Birthday to my (not so) little Penny!

9500217383_50a8b4ef3f_o

Crazy Sexy Diet: One Year Later

One year ago today, I started the Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD) for the first time., I had recently come back from almost one month in Europe. I had the adventure of my life, thus far and I lived it up each day through Southern Spain, Portugal and one day in Morrocco, eating cheese and drinking delicious wine and beer.

I definitely needed a detox.

Crazy_Sexy_Diet-333x400

This first cleanse set me on a path to being so much more mindful of my health. I completely gave up coffee and soda, which, up to that point, was SO incredibly unheard of for me! You can read all about that here.

I started the transition from vegetarian to vegan. I begin meditating and doing yoga on a much more consistent basis. I begin to make choices that were much more healthy for body, soul and mind. I have been far from perfect, but this past year I feel I have made progress towards being kinder and more nourishing to myself.

The first round of the CSD was really spurred by last year’s annual physical, in which my Dr. told me I had high blood pressure and begin talking about putting me on medication. This was definitely a wake up call for me. There was no way I was going to start medication, until I had exhausted all avenues of first of controlling my blood pressure by my diet and exercise choices. I had just started reading Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet, and knew it was time to make some changes.

I am proud to say that I went to my annual physical last week, and found that my blood pressure was completely in normal range. Another bonus is that I am 12 pounds lighter from last year and lost 2% body fat. Although I would have liked to have lost more weight, I am still considering this a success, since I really did not actively “diet” at all, but simply made better food choices, on the whole. I attribute a lot of this to giving up dairy and cutting down on how much I eat out.

Having a more consistent meditation and yoga practice, coupled with cutting out caffeine has been amazing for my anxiety, stress levels and working through the grief/trauma of my father’s murder, last year.

9481428959_20c236c6a2_o

It helps me take care of my soul, emotions, body, mind and heart. Yoga and meditation have changed my life and help me deal with myself, my situations, my job, my health, my family, etc. in a whole new way.

I follow Kris Carr on Instagram, and I love this post:

9484220210_113e2a76c2_o

It’s such a shame that sometimes we do need a stranger to tell us, but it is so important to take care of our selves. If we do not take care of our own health, mind, soul and body, then who will? I absolutely hope to continue down this path of health and healing, to be the best me I possibly can and hopefully let some of that positive light touch as many beings as the universe allows.

Peace and Love,

What Do You Eat on The Crazy Sexy Diet?

I just finished week 1 of the Crazy Sexy Diet (CSD, 21 Day Adventure Cleanse). This is the third time I have done this detox, and this time around, I have tried to be even more mindful, especially when it comes to gluten and sugar.

Crazy_Sexy_Diet-333x400

I am striving to:

  • Abstain from all alcohol
  • Abstain from ALL animal products
  • Abstain from gluten
  • Abstain from sugar (I need to do a better job of reading the ingredients on EVERYTHING. It’s amazing how many products have sugar hidden in their lists.)
  • Dry brush everyday (cleanse off dead skin cells that contain released toxins)
  • MOVE for at least 30 minutes each day. Even if it’s a 30 minute walk with my dogs, I need to get in some form of exercise each day.
  • Do a minimum of 20 minutes of yoga each day.
  • Meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes each day.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours every night.

On other rounds of the CSD, I have eaten gluten, even if it was just in the form of sprouted, whole grains. This time, I am striving to eliminate it from my diet, (for the 21 days) to see what the results may be.

So what does one eat when they are trying to abstain from animal products, gluten and sugar? Here are a few of my dinners, from the week:

Hummus + carrots + corn tortillas

My husbands’ homemade hummus is my favorite. He added in roasted peppers and cilantro to this batch. It tasted incredibly fresh and vibrant. I dipped sliced carrots and warmed corn tortillas in it. I ate A LOT of corn tortillas this week!

9476549863_3dd11c3b64_o9476553575_26a942b46d_o

Stir Fry

This is one of my quick, healthy and bulky go-to meals. It makes plenty for left over lunches and even another dinner.

I start by sautéing cubed tofu in coconut oil with 2 cloves of minces garlic. Once it has browned, I add in my veggies. I pretty much use whatever may be in my fridge. For this batch, I added in; edamame, 1 red pepper, green beans and snap peas. I cooked about 1.5 cups of brown rice. Once the rice was finished, I tossed it into my wok with the tofu and veggies, and added the seasonings. To taste, I threw in; ginger, turmeric, curry powder, chili oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar and Bragg’s aminos. This stir fry is spicy, flavorful and full of nutrients. This made enough for dinner and a few lunches.

9479350576_b7b34e9562_o 9476564841_179220e182_o Dijon Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

I am fortunate enough to be recipe tasting again for Joni Newman’s new book. We have a fig tree and I literally wait ALL year for it to bloom. This is my favorite time of year for fresh produce and I love how this recipe incorporates figs in a fun, unique way.

This dressing is made by first making a balsamic glaze reduction, then blending the ingredients together. The result is a nice sweet, yet savory vinaigrette. I topped some blanched kale with the glaze, along with slivered almonds and hemp seeds to add crunch.

9476570117_b37cc5367a_o

Red & White Quinoa

This is another delicious recipe from Joni Newman. I loved this so much I will be making it again this coming week. It is pretty simple, with a few, delicious ingredients. The cooked red and white quinoa is combined with kale, almonds and cranberries, and bound together beautifully with a tahini dressing.

The first thing my husband said when he took a bite of it was: “it tastes like cheese!” Maybe it’s been so long since he has had cheese, but I can see how the tangy sauce, combined with raisins and cranberries, could give off a herbed cheese taste.

9479361498_6ca1b7e15f_o

Organic Circus Café

I am so delighted that at my local Farmer’s market, there is a raw, vegan, gluten-free stand. For the past few Thursdays, while we shop for our week’s worth of fruits and veggies, we enjoy dinner from Organic Circus Café. Their dishes are innovative, bursting with flavor and health, not to mention delicious.

Each week there is a new dish, so we enjoyed the Raw Spaghetti Bowl (made with spaghetti squash) & Mediterranean Kracker. The spaghetti bowl was surprisingly filling, but the kracker was my favorite; the sundried tomato hummus was amazing!

9476579603_6136e1f347_o 9476583327_bb324c0a95_o

Thoughts after Week 1:

It was nice to transition into the CSD after the juice cleanse. I feel like I am only filling my body back up with goodness after detoxing some crap out.

I really felt the effects of this when one evening this week, I was not very hungry and only had homemade popcorn for dinner. I woke up the next morning feeling almost like I had a hangover; which essentially I did, just from too much salt. My body told me right away that I did not eat balanced the night before. A few glasses of water cured me, but it was insightful to know how much more in tune and connected I am becoming with my body, when it is healthy.

Another thing I have realized is how hard it is to stay away from sugar, particularly, those hidden sugars! I have stuck to fresh fruit when I need something a little sweet, but while shopping for food this week, I had a hard time finding products with 0 grams of sugar! I ended up selecting items that did not have sugar listed in the ingredient list, and that was still difficult to find. There were so many things I had to put back on the shelf, after reading the ingredients. Why does it have to be everywhere?!

I feel this first week was a success. Another benefit of the juice cleanse was 3 days with no food, makes any food after that point seem like a treat, even if it did not have gluten or sugar. We will see how this next week goes, please let me know if you have any questions about the CSD! 

Hidden Sugars

Have you seen this month’s issue of National Geographic? The cover title story is Sugar (A Not So Sweet Story). It is about the increase in sugar our society consumes (the United States is particularly worrisome) and the health problems that are associated with this rapid increase.

It was a lot of information I had read or seen before. I have often prided myself in not eating too much sugar. I can always take or leave desserts. I do not bake much, pretty much because it would go to waste. I may take one or two bites of something, then declare it “too sweet” and not want anymore. If I ever do order dessert somewhere, it is always to share; a bite or two is always plenty. I am happy to have fruit for dessert. Some of my favorites include; oranges and dates, fresh slices of cantaloupe or my recent favorite, a spoonful or two of So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream, with fresh berries.

9385882144_3c5958f6fa_o

However, this article did bring awareness about foods that I may be eating that have hidden sugars. The obvious cakes, pastries and creams are easily spotted as laden with sugar, but I was surprised by what else has added sugar to it.

The BIG eye opening moment for me was when I read that 4.2 grams=1 teaspoon. I often check out the sugar content on products I purchase and anything under 10 grams never seemed like too much to me. However, now I think of it as whole teaspoons of sugar being poured into my food, and it seems like a lot more than I originally anticipated.

The article mentions that the average American consumes about 22.7 teaspoons of sugar/day! This is mostly through processed food, which always seems to have extra helpings of sugar in it.

I got a little obsessed over this and started checking out some of my packaged food. Before, I thought I did OK. I can say pretty assuredly that there is nothing in my house that contains HFCs. I strive to feed my family whole, nutritious ingredients and I try to be diligent about reading labels.

However, I was surprised to find how much sugar was actually in some of my food. My ketchup (organic Cadia) has 3 grams of sugar in it (the second ingredient is agave nectar).

ketchup

My coconut milk (vanilla flavored from Trader Joe’s) has 7 grams of sugar in it. The second ingredient in it is cane syrup. I use this in many of morning smoothies! That is almost 2 whole teaspoons of sugar!

My marinara sauce had 6 grams of sugar in it! The 5th ingredient was sugar. I never understood why marinara needed sugar in it.

Oh, and the aforementioned So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream (vanilla bean) has grams of 12 grams sugar in it.

This was more sugar that I expected to find. Especially, now with the visual of teaspoons of sugar being poured into my food and consumed by my family. It was definitely eye opening to realize that I eat more sugar that I thought I did.

Before reading this article, I had planned on doing another round of Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. (You can read more about the last time I did it here.) I did it for the first time, last year, at this same time. This was when I quit coffee and soda and made the switch over to vegan. I did this at the beginning of a new school year and it started the year off on a very positive note.

I decided to do it again, at the beginning of my school year. This time I decided to start of with a 3 day juice cleanse (you can read more about the juice cleanse here.)

In this round, I will also be MUCH more focused on eliminating sugar. Again, I thought I did a pretty good job of this before, but apparently I was consuming things that I was not ever aware of.

I am interested to see how I feel now with more of an awareness to not consume sugar. I will definitely be posting about my progress and anything else I notice in those 21 days. I will be starting on August 2nd.

Did you read the Nat Geo article? Did you realize how much sugar is in most packaged foods

 

Crazy Sexy Diet: A Recap

I finished round 2 of the CSD on Friday, 1/25. I have to say that it was much easier the second time around.

On round 1, I gave up coffee for the first time and I was transitioning back to veganism after eating dairy again for about 3 years. I did not go back to either after round 1, so it was easier to jump into the cleanse.

To recap, my original goals are listed below and I made comments in bold as to how I did:

  • Abstain from coffee (I have not had coffee or soda since 8/13/12)-Still coffee and soda free!
  • Abstain from all alcohol-DONE! This was only difficult on the weekends, but I managed to stay alcohol free all 21 days.
  • Abstain from ALL animal products-DONE!
  • Eat minimum gluten (only have whole, sprouted grain products)-The few times I had gluten, it was usually Ezekiel bread. There was one week when I shopped at Fresh & Easy and I did not find Ezekiel bread there, so I bought whole wheat bread. I think I ate 2 sandwiches from it.
  • Abstain from sugar (I need to do a better job of reading the ingredients on EVERYTHING. It’s amazing how many products have sugar hidden in their lists.) I was a lot better at checking my ingredients and I made most meals from scratch, so I knew there was not added sugar. I did mess up twice though. Once, was at a birthday party where they had vegan, gluten-free cookies. Well, I couldn’t be rude, could I? I ended up having 3 and they were delicious. The other time was when we ate at Native Foods, and I ate an amazing dessert. I regret neither discrepancy.
  • Dry brush everyday (cleanse off dead skin cells that contain released toxins)-Sometimes I forgot to dry brush until I was already in the shower, so I just slathered my shower gel on the brush and used it that way. I noticed my skin is a lot smoother.
  • MOVE for at least 30 minutes each day. Even if it’s a 30 minute walk with my dogs, I need to get in some form of exercise each day.-I managed to do this all but twice. The first time was the day after watching the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I only slept a few hours that night and was a zombie the next day. The other time was Day 19. I was extra tired when I got home from work, sore from previous workouts and mentally worn out. I took the day off, got some much needed rest and feel asleep around 6:30 PM, no joke.
  • I am also going to add in yoga or meditation each day. Even if it is for only 15 minutes. It helps set up my day with positive intentions.-DONE. If I did not go to yoga class, I meditated in the morning, some days, I did both.
  • Sleep at least 8 hours every night.-I accomplished this every night except for The Rocky Horror Picture showing. Sleep comes very easy to me, probably too easy.

Other observations:

  • My energy increased around day 3 or 4, and stayed pretty high through the 21 days.
  • My skin started looking much clearer and brighter around day 7. My skin always show the effects of how I eat. If I have been eating fatty, fried food or drinking a lot of alcohol, my skin starts look sallow and dry. Even with the “cold spell” we had in Southern California (which is completely laughable to the rest of the country), my skin did not dry out.
  • My digestion greatly improved.
  • I lost 6 pounds.
  • I feel lighter and “cleaner”. I do not feel weighed down or heavy. I noticed the difference during yoga and while running. I was able to move better and it was easier to get myself motivated for these activities.
  • I do not think I have a gluten sensitivity, but I did find that I enjoy many gluten-free products. I liked quinoa and brown rice past and felt they digested easier.
  • I really liked starting on a Saturday. Usually, I start new routines on Mondays, but I wanted to ease into this before the beginning of the week. By the time Monday came around, I was already adjusted to the cleanse.

Things I missed:

  • Alcohol. I missed pairing it with certain foods. I love a cold beer with my tacos and a glass of wine with my Italian food. The hardest times where on the weekends, I am in the habit of unwinding from the week by going out to eat and having a drink.
  • Chocolate. Giving up sugar was not too difficult. I am not huge on sweets and can usually take or leave them. However, I do like a small piece of dark chocolate, after dinner. I missed my rich, dark chocolate square.

What now?

I really want to try to keep up with clean eating. I am hoping to not re-introduce too much processed or fried foods, those things should be kept more as small indulgences, not everyday occurrences.

I feel the same about alcohol. I hope to drink more infrequently and not just because “it’s the weekend.” I feel a lot better without it and taking a yoga class or going for a walk is a much healthier way to unwind.

Yoga and meditation will still play apart of my everyday life, I hope to still be able to do at least one, each day.

My goal is to make the “cleanse rules” more of my regular, day to day choices. I may eat chocolate and have a glass of wine, but I want those choices to be in moderation. I want my norm to be more of the healthier choices that leave me feeling better, both inside and out.

Please let me know if there are still other questions you have about the CSD. I hope I gave a comprehensive re-cap, but let me know if there was anything I left out. Peace, harmony and tree poses!

CSD: Day 21

Today is the last day of the Crazy Sexy Diet. I hope to have a full recap up for you sometime next week, but I will currently say that I feel amazing and I am really not wanting to go back to eating junk. I truly hope to keep up this way of living/eating as much as possible.

However, this weekend, I may have a drink or two, because I am going to see Lady Gaga in Las Vegas! Paws up, Little Monsters!

I have two new meals to share with you. These were both taster recipes for Joni Newman’s  new cookbook.

The first is Chinese Style Macaroni Salad. The key ingredient in the recipe is the Sweet Chili Sauce. It really makes the dish stand out and gives it a kick. There is a nice POP from the fresh veggies (green beans & snap peas, especially) and some added crunch from the cashews & carrots.

However, I used a gluten-free brand of pasta that I never have tried before (I have had pretty good luck with other brands). My fellow taster said of the dish, “I like everything but the pasta.” It could have been the brand, it could have been that I cooked it too much or little, either way, I agree it would have tasted better with a different pasta. This is still an amazing recipe.

I served it on the side of Tofurky sandwiches. It was a nice twist on picnic food.

8408557982_b2d70b6d54_o

The next dish I made with the same Sweet Chili sauce is grilled tofu. I marinated the tofu in the sauce overnight, and served it up with brussel sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes. We ate most of these while we waited for the potatoes to finish.

8415870184_c007904dd1_o

8415869374_ac5e676649_o 8414775415_75cde5ebeb_o

The tofu was great! The tofu marinade was a great mix of savory and sweet, grilling gave it nice, smoky flavor and the texture was just crunchy enough.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Check back next week for a full re-cap of the cleanse.