Super-Clean Eating (or how I survived Tony Horton’s 4-Week Cleanse)

Last month, I finished up a 4-week transitional diet (each week more restrictive than the last) from Tony Horton’s book, Bring It! (available under the  “Shopping” tab above!) I did the “striver” level cleanse, which is the middle-difficulty one.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • Week One: take out caffeine and alcohol
  • Week Two: also remove processed food, gluten, & sugar (including fruit juice)
  • Week Three: also remove all dairy
  • Week Four: also remove all animal products (Vegan!!!)

Now, the book and this plan changed my entire lifestyle.  Many of the things I began to eat out of necessity became things I still eat out of enjoyment. Things that became a part of my current diet include:

  • Ezekiel Bread: not gluten-free, but it’s MUCH better for you than others and the gluten in it is rarely offensive to gluten-sensitive eaters (celiacs and the like.)  It’s also a complete protein, with TONS of fiber and a delicious taste.  Recommended 110%.
  • Avocados: fantastic source of fat-burning FAT 🙂  Great replacement for mayonaise on your sandwiches, great for guacamole (just keep it healthy!)
  • Quinoa: if you’ve never tried this fantastic “pseudocereal” then you owe it to yourself to try it.  Cook it like rice, try quinoa-based pastas and other products.  Gluten-free, great taste, and a wonderful protein/energy source.
  • Smart Balance EVOO Spread: A great butter-substitute and it tastes SO GOOD.  Use it on toast, in grits, on potatoes, etc.  Anywhere you’d normally use artery-clogging butter 🙂
  • Chick Peas, aka Garbanzo Beans: Great for hummus (make your own or buy it – pick a HEALTHY version if you buy it!) or on their own.  My 2-yr old fell in love with these little guys.  I’d have some on my salads, or by themselves, and he’d have his on his dinner plate.  Mega-healthy and my favorite vegetarian discovery of the whole cleanse diet!!!
  • Blueberries: Turns out, I love these things.  I never ate them growing up, but now they go on my corn flakes, in my fruit salad, on my lettuce-based salads (with a nice raspberry vinaigrette!!!) Blueberries are a super-food and just SO healthy they shouldn’t taste this good!
  • Legumes: Kidney beans, especially – LOVE Legumes.  Pair them with another incomplete protein and you’ve got a much easier-to-absorb protein source, especially compared to red meat and dairy.  I’m not knocking red meat – it’s a fantastic source of Iron, protein (complete,) and more… but Americans eat waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much of it 🙂  Consider Legumes your friend if you want to build muscle but keep the fat off in the process!
  • Seeds: Sunflower seeds and Flaxseeds… Chia seeds… there are SO MANY seeds out there to fill you up, give you energy, and help you get healthy from the inside out!
  • Soymilk and Almond Milk: Can’t say too many nice things about Silk-brand products.  They don’t use GMO’s, they taste great, and they’ve been a crucial factor in me finally leaning out my physique.  For my body, and countless others, dairy is just NOT compatible with losing that tummy-fat.  Thanks to soy & almond milk, I can still enjoy some cream in my black coffee, my cereals, etc.

Things I no longer eat as a result of cutting it out and keeping it out include:

  • fruit juices
  • MOST dairy products (greek yogurt is still a part of my diet)
  • sugar
  • processed food of almost all kinds
  • regular bread

Along with Shakeology, these dietary changes have resulted in me breaking every weight-loss plateau that remained between me and the weight I never thought I’d see!  Order Tony’s book, Bring It, challenge yourself to make some adjustments, and see what happens with you!  God has given us these amazing bodies that can heal themselves if we but give them the medicine they need: proper nutrition!

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