It is said that the average person gains 7-10 pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas! Other studies claim that the average weight gain is one pound. However, these same studies point out that most people never end up losing that one pound, which means as the years pass by, these pounds start to add up. Even with a gain of just one pound over the holiday season, this means that after ten years, one would have gained a substantial ten pounds.
Even if you aren’t one that excessively overindulged over the holidays and you avoided packing on the pounds, many of us are at least guilty of consuming a little bit of unhealthy food/beverages. This consumption can often leave us feeling sluggish as we end the year and prepare for a new year ahead.
In order to kick off the upcoming year fresh and shed that feeling of sluggishness, why not try doing a brief diet cleanse? To test this out, I experimented with a raw, whole foods diet for the three days leading up to Christmas. I have never done a purely raw diet, and before I advocated it to my readers, I wanted to see how it made me feel. This was my experience…
I kicked off the first day by consuming green smoothies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and eating fruit in between whenever I felt hungry. I felt a little tired the first day and was feeling a little skeptical about all the claimed energy benefits of the raw diet. However, I’m sure my mind and body were just adjusting to the diet. I found myself craving unhealthy foods all day.
However, I woke up the next morning feeling great. I felt strong and energized, and had a healthy appetite. My healthy appetite remained throughout the day, so I made sure to munch on fruits and veggies all day long. My energy also lasted throughout the day, and that night I had one of the best sleeps I’ve had in a while.
The third day, I think I was feeling the full effects of my cleansing diet. I felt lithe and energized, and my yoga session felt great. My sense of taste felt heightened, and the whole foods started to taste really good. I would’ve actually considered prolonging the pure raw diet for a few more days if Christmas wasn’t the following day. I didn’t want to skip my annual Christmas breakfast tradition. 😉
I have to admit that this wasn’t that easy for me. As I said earlier, my mind was craving junk food, particularly the first two days. There was plenty of holiday chocolates, cookies, and junk surrounding me and tempting me, making my cleanse that much more difficult. Since I wanted to have fun with this cleanse, I allowed myself to eat one un-whole food per day. I had a Christmas cookie the first day, some brie the second, and some almond butter (compliments of BeFitBefull) the third. I also bought interesting and fun produce to keep my diet exciting. For instance, I picked up some of those little bananas at the store as well as some kohlrabi.
Even though I gave myself a treat each day, the cleanse definitely honed my self discipline. It also enhanced my energy and my senses. When I finally returned to my regular diet, my taste was heightened so that I didn’t need to add quite as much salt on food and didn’t crave sugar nearly as much.
If you want to start the New Year off with some energy, try experimenting with a raw, whole foods diet for a few days. If this seems to difficult, try just making 2 meals a day raw. Keep plenty of fruits and veggies on hand to snack on so that you can fully benefit from the energy you feel from the cleanse. This shouldn’t be a diet intended for weight loss. Although it’s certainly a pure, healthy way of eating, cleanses shouldn’t be looked at as a go-to for rapid weight loss. Instead, focus on how the diet makes you feel. If you plan on experimenting with this diet for more than a couple days, make sure to be conscious of how much protein you’re consuming. Raw nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein.
Kick off your New Year in a healthy way and start 2010 feeling refreshed. Let me know how it goes if you decide to experiment with this!