New Year, new starts: The Crazy Sexy Adventure Cleanse

Happy New Year! My blogging hiatus was intentional and much needed as I recovered mentally and physically after a rigorous academic and work quarter. I learned that working full-time while attending graduate school full-time is not very smart (unless you’re in a hurry to graduate, which I’m not), so I am slowing down and going to part-time status as of (this) winter quarter. During the break in December I visited Portland, cooked many delicious meals, hung with the boyfriend and cats and read for pleasure. And ate lots and lots of sweets.

Like a bite of this one: a delicious, buttercreamy Christmas cupcake from Sweetpea Bakery in PDX.

Like this one: a delicious, buttercreamy Christmas cupcake from Sweetpea Bakery in PDX.

And now it’s January again, and I’m feeling the results of holiday feasting and all those aforementioned sweets. Meaning, I’ve been pretty tired, rundown and not my normal, awesome self. For the past two years, I’ve done a sort of “clean slate” approach to food and eating in January (in 2011 I did a elimination diet that was monitored by my naturopath to check for food sensitivities, and in January 2012 I did a month of clean eating as defined by me).  I feel that it’s nice to say goodbye to the times of eating whatever I want, seriously up my intake of green veggies and fruits, and lessen all things processed and not so kind to my body at the start of a new year. I’ve been vegan for years, but as I mentioned last year that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything I eat radiates health and nutrients. So I really am digging this tradition of keeping myself in check at the start and refreshing my view of eating and creating good intentions to have good habits again.

This year will be no different, but this time I am going full-on cleanse, along with the rest of the world. I was inspired by a few things:

1) I got a juicer for Christmas!!! I’ve had this exact one on my Amazon wish list for years, and now it’s mine

juicer

2) A feature in the February 2013 issue of VegNews, which broke down different types of cleanses and shared staff members’ experiences with them. I found it really helpful when choosing mine
3) “Crazy Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr, which I picked up over my break

As of last Thursday, I’ve been following Kris Carr’s 21-day cleanse included in the book, and will also be doing a one-day juice fast each week. No caffeine, no gluten, no sugar, no processed food and no meat or dairy (natch). Prior to starting the cleanse, I wasn’t too concerned about it, as it seemed more than doable and delicious, and I’ve been right thus far.

Today marks day five (I started the cleanse on Thursday, Jan. 10 so that I could end right at the end of the month), and I’m feeling good, better than I thought I would. Day one had me so optimistic, and excited about my healthier future, and I consumed the primarily high-raw meals with gusto. I got a caffeine headache at 4 p.m., but it was nothing some green juice couldn’t fix. Day two has been the most trying day by far. I woke up, was craving coffee and toast and my mood had completely shifted to one of “screw this,” “this is hard!,” etc., much to the chagrin of those around me. The rest of the days have been great, and I’m really enjoying cooking (or not cooking) new to me foods and enjoying such fresh meals.

My first (very) green juice from the juicer.

My first (very) green juice from the juicer: the Make Juice, Not War Green Juice from “Crazy Sexy Diet” (all these food photos are made from recipes in the book).

Another first: massaged salad, the Shaved Kale Avocado Salad. So, so good.

Another first: massaged salad, the Shaved Kale Avocado Salad. So, so good.

Possibly our favorite meal from the book thus far: the Buddha bowl, filled with good fats like avocado, hemp seeds and oils.

Possibly our favorite meal from the book thus far: the Buddha Bowl, filled with good fats like avocado, hemp seeds and oils.

I am more than a little scared about the juice fasts. I’ve never done one before though I’ve been curious for years. The plan allows for easing out of them with whole foods at the end of the day, though, so I think I can handle it. The first one is this Wednesday. I’m also a little scared about making it the whole way through, as I’ve never done that before and have caved early on both past ones due to circumstances I could control (it was tough) and those I could not, (best friend was visiting and not cleansing). So here’s to accountability due to public awareness!

As I mentioned last January, this restart in terms of looking at food and health isn’t due to wanting to lose weight or reach a certain specific goal, but rather to just clean up my act and make health a priority again. It’s easy to get lost in the Mighty-O Donuts, Daiya-laden pizzas, fake meat sandwiches and what-not, and I do not begrudge anyone for having them. For they are delicious! But I personally need to scale back from time to time, and I figure that there’s no better time than the beginning of a new year. Fresh starts, clean insides. That’s my 2013 motto. Wish me luck, and I’ll be posting more about what I’m eating and how I’m doing throughout January.

Did you make any health-relevant New Year’s resolutions/goals/intentions? If so, what are they, and how are you doing thus far?