For those of you that keep up with me and my lifestyle choices, you know that great nutrition is on my top 5 List as far as priorities go. Family, career, fitness and fun are my other 4. I have tried all sorts of cleanses in the past, juicing, detox teas, smoothies etc. and they have all come up short for me. This time of year we are bombarded with all sorts of claim to fame products that will increase our energy, focus, sex drive, digestion and make us leaner. I eat alot of veggies and minimal amounts of animal proteins, on the daily. I do not take supplements, only a some raw Manuka honey and Collagen protein. I am not endorsed by any company to sell or market their products. I think it’s important to know all of that before I get into the “why” of the detox. My intention with trying any of these programs is always to seek more energy, help rid myself of any bad habits and to keep my mind open to new possibilities of food as medicine. Being a professional in the Fitness and Health Field, I believe puts me on the front line of “testing” methods, ideologies and claims. If you’re trainer is not talking to you, and educating themselves continually, about nutrition and lifestyle, find a new trainer. Workouts don’t mean a thing if you don’t have proper knowledge about your bodies needs, how it works and the link between nutrition and overall good health.
Anyway, I tend to shy away from juicing, as I love to chew my food and because it is not sustainable for me. Of course, if we all juiced all our meals, we would be inherently leaner, and our digestive track would take it easy, however, I am of the mind to want my body to “work” for me. Stripping all the fiber from vegetables seems pointless, but that is just my opinion. When I tried a juice cleanse, several years back, I didn’t last two days. It was supposed to be 5 days. I hated drinking my food, the green juice was awful, I was exhausted and I couldn’t seem to stay focused. This time I had a deeper purpose and more knowledge about what to look for in a program.
While researching food as medicine, I enrolled the help of one of my doctor clients who gifted me a book about the health of our guts and disease. The more I researched, read, and experimented with food, it became clear to me that I was looking for a plant based service that offered ultra fresh, intelligently designed, and delicious food. You know, the kind of food that when you look at it, you stop, you admire and you dive in!
SAKARA grabbed my attention immediately as a “stand out” based on their brilliant marketing, their microbiome approach to better health and simply because it was real food that I could chew. I wasn’t looking for a cleanse or detox per say, however, I was comparing plant based meal delivery services as a resource for my own clients and members. When it comes to people changing habits, convenience is at the top of the list. Let’s face it…prepping food can be tedious but that is only a small part of implementing an intelligent nutrition plan. The research, planning, buying and prepping is no small feat and we now have the luxury of several meal services that will do all of that and deliver to your door.
Anyway, I hear and see people talk about juice cleanses, elimination diets and all sorts of methods to help them achieve a greater sense of self and health. It has been years since I tried any such things, as I always research, plan and prep myself, so I welcome a company that has taken the time and thought to develop this service. Below is my experience of what a 5 day detox, claiming to heal my gut, re-calibrate my hormones, and relieve any disease causing inflammation in body, is like. What do I hope to get out of it? Cut my caffeine intake and be rid of any stevia or truvia that I use daily in my coffee. It is super important to know what you want to get out of any program in order to stick with it and to be able to measure your results. And, I am all about creating a healthy microbiome to ensure my plant based efforts are building healthy gut flora! In addition to breaking bad habits, I really needed a break from my own food prep.
Here we go… My first two days of food, teas, broths, supplements and goodies arrived at my door the night before I began. I had been sent two emails prior, with some tips on how to prepare to get the max benefits of the program. I def appreciated the notes and support. I eat really clean usually, lots of greens, fermented foods, fiber rich foods, water and minimal organic animal proteins, however I just returned from a private retreat I hosted in Mexico the week prior. Can you say taquitos???!!! So many tacos….so little time! And then, Superbowl Sunday happened, so I was a little nervous about going all in but I did anyway…
I know what you’re thinking….How much does all this cost? Obviously, different companies charge various amounts. A 5 Day Detox Program from Sakara will run you approx. $99 per day. Will it be worth it? Let’s find out.
This was as tasty as it looked. So fresh and the flavors were on point. You know I love to cook and worked in restaurant kitchens for over 20 years and I love when food tastes as it should…simple, fresh and not overly done! Before I ate this, upon waking, I drank 16oz of detox water that Sakara also provides. Breakfast was a Root Veggie bowl, a cup of digestive tea and some essential amino acid supplements. DELISH!! I ate slowly, savored the flavors and had some quiet time to re-establish my intentions for the detox.
I cruised into lunch feeling good, reminding myself to drink some water. If there is one thing I lack, it’s water. I get busy teaching class, on the computer etc. and before you know it, hours go by and no water. I wanted to make sure I got the most of this program and more water was at the top my list. This was a a good eye opener and the big kick in the ass I needed to drink more water. I mean, I tell all my clients that, so no excuse.
Mid Afternoon was a coconut kefir for a valiant dose of probiotics and dinner was a medicinal broth with MCT oil to ease digestion through the night. I had another dose of probiotics and an evening pack of supplements to aid in absorption of nutrients and digestion. The supplements were easy to take, I do not really know how much our bodies absorb supplements and they are not part of my daily routine, however, I loved that the extra support was through for my busy life.
Days 1.2 and 3 were similar as far as food, kefir, supplements and broth. Let’s talk about how I was feeling. What I can tell you for sure is, you need to have a specific goal, reason or a few to keep in your sight. I told you a few of my “why’s” above but day 2 revealed something else. As a mom of two, I am busy in the kitchen early morning to prep breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and what became clear to me by Day 2, was just how much I snack while in the kitchen. I lick the peanut butter knife, I eat a handful of fishies, slices of fruit that my kids leave on their plate, the doubled up sticky clusters of honey nut Cheerios, an occasional bag of gummies that got left behind in my car, AND I drink coffee like a motha fucka!!! Coffee, coffee, coffee…DAMN! Now, I didn’t go about this detox to GIVE-UP coffee, OH HELL NO!! What I did do was drink only one cup, without the truvia, while I detoxed for 5 days. Of course, the company recommends ditching it, but I do what I want!! LOL Joking….but really.
My reasons for doing the detox, were on my mind all the time. True mindfulness, when you are surrounded by distractions, allows you to conquer any obstacle that may be in your path. My energy was good day 1-3, I did not work out hard, just moved a bit in my mobility class, did a little reformer work but mostly wanted my body to focus on the detox process. I sipped many digestive teas, that Sakara provided, throughout the day and evening to keep warm and satisfied.
Enter Day 4. ALL LIQUIDS. I din’t snap any photos because it was the day I was dreading. Started the morning with a green drink, my morning pack of supplements and tea after. I had prepped myself mentally the night before, revisited my intention, took a hot shower and planned a full day of business. I knew I had to stay busy and away from my house. Home is where my comfort is. The cabinets are filled with crunchy bits, the couch is cozy and the mindless t.v. machine is just waiting for the chew fest to begin. I packed all my soups, green drinks, broths, and supplements and headed to the studio. I understand my weakness’s very well and did not want to sabotage the 3 days I already had under my belt so I worked all day. I have to say, I wasn’t really hungry, I did want to chew a hot dinner though. I arrived home later in the evening, heated my broth, sipped on my tea and went to sleep. In between all of that, I still had to be mom, make dinner, referee bickering and braid some girl hair. That’s the thing, I allowed myself more presence to do the things that mattered. To spend time braiding girl hair, doll hair, ribbons a plenty and whatever else my little girl wanted me to braid was a great “side effect” of allowing myself more time by not having to add hours in my kitchen, prepping. Staying busy doesn’t have to mean being “busy” it can mean staying “present” and allowing yourself to be all in with no distraction. That was an “ahhhhhhaaaa” moment for me.
The End of Day 4 for me was epic! I had great energy, had been sleeping good, waking up with energy, and focused on all the important things to me. It was the furthest I had ever gotten following a plan, other than the one’s created by myself. I was ready for breakfast.
Enter Day 5: FOOD!!!
I sat down to eat, took my time, swallowed my morning pack of supps, drank my digestive tea and planned a day with the kids. It was Sunday, which is Pancake Sunday at my house, and Shawn, my beloved, makes amazing pancakes! We always make them from scratch, Rolled Oats, Almond Milk, egg whites, some protein powder, wild blueberries etc. and the smell while they are sizzling on the griddle fills the house!! I def. wanted one but was satisfied with my breakfast. Smells can make you loose your mind sometimes. Distinct smells can take you for a stroll down memory lane, they can trick you into feeling something that isn’t even real, like hunger after you just ate. The process of detox allows you to focus on feelings of satiation, your energy, and it can help re-establish our childhood patterns of eating until we are satisfied, not full. That is yet, another lesson I learn daily as I watch my children eat. They play between bites, talk, always put their forks down and allow their bodies signals to communicate to their brain that they are satisfied. It’s amazing to witness over and over.
We decided to take the kids to the movies after lunch. Lunch for me was a bowl of greens, seeds, and things that I wilted in a skillet, as I wanted something warm. The movies are another trap for us with the popcorn popping, butter smelling, candy crunching crazies at the movies!! I mean, that’s what I do at the movies anyway. I knew it would be impossible for me to forego the salty deliciousness but I was determined and on Day 5. So, I grabbed a little snack bag and tossed in a couple handfuls of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds to savor while the popcorn addicts devoured every kernal of crunchy corn in my ear. Well, at least that what it seemed like. Haha. Truth be told, it was not hard for me to sit with my baggie and snack on some seeds. I drank alot of water and listened to my body, not my brain trying to trick me.
Dinner was great, I heated my macro bowl of massaged greens and japanese pumpkin, beans with an avocado shiso dressing. Kids and Shawn had plant based pasta with some grass fed organic meat sauce I made that for them, but actually had no desire for meat or heavy food in my belly. Now, I am not really a vegan, I dabble is all sorts of labeled foodie groups, but I loved getting rid of any animal proteins during the process. Once dinner was done, cleaned up, I hung with the fam, and thought about how I was able to manage my busy life, and kids all while experiencing a detox. Most people hear “detox” and they think you are in some sort of chamber away from the World, curled up in the fetal position, sweating. lol This was hardly the case. The Sakara Team sends two guides, one with tips on getting you through the detox and some great tips, recipes and ideas on how to proceed after. Not to mention, every day I received an email, asking how I was feeling, common side effects, tips and encouragement. Well played Sakara. It was nice knowing there was support if needed and there was an after detox plan.
Conclusion: Is This detox worth the $$$$$ ?
The food is fresh, designed with a team of doctor’s who study gut health, and Bobby Flay, who, if you ask me, is one of the best flavor makers in the business. I crushed my goals, No sweeteners in my coffee, I cut way down on the coffee consumption and will keep up with that, I feel amazing. I lost a little weight, which was not a priority for me, but felt leaner, lighter and am filled with focused energy. My skin was hydrated, smooths and glowing. I enjoyed 90% of the meals provided. There was one breakfast, tons of mushrooms, which I typically love, that I could have done without. The luxury of not having to think, prepare and execute my meals for 5 days had me feeling like a Celebrity. For real though! For someone like me, busy taking care of everybody else’s health and fitness goals, creating intelligent meal plans, the endless hours of research and implementation can take away from my own goals. Sakara was and is for me, an amazing option for when I need support and encouragement. I am happy to know they exist and I never put a price tag on my priorities. When somebody tells me that my studio is too pricey and not in their budget or they do not have the money for one on one coaching, I always come back to PRIORITIES! I ask, “how many times per week do you eat out, how many Starbuck’s runs do you go on in a week, how much money is spent on junk food, how much do you spend drinking your wine, getting your nails, lashes, laser’s, and hair done, how many pairs of designer shoes do you own , what car you driving, and how much were those workout leggings again?” I think you get my point… We place so much value on the outside appearance, our look, that we don’t make our primary functions a priority anymore. To me, there is nothing more important than preventing disease, moving better, feeling better, doing better and being a supreme role model for my children, so you probably know how I feel about the cost of this program. It’s a non-issue. I do not have tons of my money in my bank account, I do not drive a fancy car, sadly I do not own any designer shoes etc. I put my money where my health is!! Period. This was definitely worth it. Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY! This Blog post wasn’t just about the service Sakara provides, it is about assessing the things you place as priority in your life and how you go about fulfilling them.
Call me a crazy bitch, don’t care….My life, my rules, my way! Always! If I have ever said, “I would never do a detox” in the past, I changed my mind. This was one helluva good learning experience.