Liz Hurley Style – Week 1:
For those of you that do not know me…my name is Liz Hurley, I am the group fitness coordinator and a personal trainer at EMPOWER. This is my summary of Week 1 on “The Cleanse.” If you are unfamiliar with it- the cleanse is a 21 day liver detox our nutritionists here at EMPOWER can help you do. The cleanse is a great way to jump start a weight loss program, get back on track with a healthy diet, or just generally help you to feel better. Now, I know your first thought upon hearing the word “cleanse” is – you starve yourself and only drink shakes for days. This cleanse is not like that at all, I was actually surprised during my initial meeting with Cara (one of our nutritionists) about how much I COULD eat. You do eat vegan the first seven days, and then you can reintroduce chicken and fish.
Here is some pre- cleanse background, and I will not lie to you here. The Thursday night before starting the cleanse I may or may not have taught Bootcamp to Beer, had a delicious oatmeal- coffee flavored beer and sweet potato chips at Doolin’s. Also, I may or may not have eaten: 3 vegan chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods, Tutti Frutti fro yo, and a vegetable plate from Rick’s Diner down the street. My motto for Thursday night being, “YOLO” (you only live once), and who knows…I may never have a cookie again after the cleanse! (doubtful) Another disclaimer – I am a coffee feign. I drink between 8-10 cups of coffee DAILY. I love it, the smell, the ritual, the taste, everything. My motto is (was, pre-cleanse) “coffee is the lifeblood that fuels the dreams of champions.” This is a quote from my favorite Will Ferrell movie of all time – Kicking and Screaming. However, I did not tell Cara about this coffee addiction prior to starting the cleanse. The booklet says no caffeine, so I was going cold turkey. (Sometimes you can have green tea during the cleanse to help with this but I wanted to do the cleanse 150%, no cheats). I was in a haze….Friday…and Saturday…and Sunday. My head hurt so bad I felt sick and EXHAUSTED. Even into days 4-7 I would get a caffeine headache now and then. This was by far the hardest part of week 1 for me, just surviving as my coworkers, family and friends drank coffee around me. Just because I knew how terrible this would be, I started the cleanse on a Friday to spare the EMPOWER community from the inevitable grouchiness due to lack of caffeine. You are welcome.
Now, enough about my coffee addiction, here is the stuff you want to know. I embarked on this cleanse journey for a few reasons. Number one – I stepped on the scale in February (for the first time in months) and saw numbers I have never seen before in my 21 years. Number two- I have managed to hurt my right hip and I am not able to exercise at the intensity I am used to. So, if I am not going to exercise I figured I might as well do something that made me feel good. During the cleanse sometimes you do have to adjust your exercise intensity, because you are not eating to support intense exercise. And finally number three- I generally did not feel well. I frequently had stomach aches, I stressed my way through my 3 and half years at UNC-CH. I did not have energy without coffee, and 8+ hours of sleep. So that was it, I woke up one day and I told Cara, lets meet, I am starting the cleanse Friday. When I do something, I do it 100%. I was ready focused and I was going to rock this cleanse. If you talked to me in the first 3 days, I was not really about that attitude. But by Sunday night (the end of day 3), I had discovered a salad dressing I was obsessed with (I adapted it from the cleanse booklet), and kale chips…it was on. I LOVE kale chips, I ate them every day as a snack (see my recipe on our Pinterest and Facebook pages). And, once I was back at work Monday, days 4-7 flew by. I had a routine, I prepared (that is KEY) and I was distracted by my day to day routine. If you ask my family, I was less than pleasant to be around these first few days, I think being grouchy is a side effect of the first few days of anyone’s cleanse journey. Surround yourself with people who will love you even if you say you might beat them up to take the oatmeal they are eating!
A little bit of motivation: the first week is the hardest, but I promise (and you will see in my blog posts to come) it gets SO much better! My advice for week one: have a meal plan for the week, and purchase everything you need to stick to that plan. If you work outside of your home, make sure to pack more food than you think you might need – so when you are hungry you are not tempted by any treats at the office or eating out. Do NOT starve yourself, eat when you are hungry and do not eat when you are not. The first few days are all about experimenting and finding a groove (aka your favorite smoothie recipes and a good salad). Take care of yourself, I hung out with family, caught up with friends, went for walks, knitted (yes…I love to knit), shopped, cleaned, and slept TONS. And stay tuned in my next few blog posts: I will break down my diet staples (favorite smoothies and recipes) AND give you the low down on weeks 2 and 3.