Eating Clean Journey
It’s another early morning in Spain. Today I have been awoken at 6am by 2 hungry children who fell asleep before eating their dinner last night. I thought I would write today about my eating clean journey since my last health update post, I wrote at the end of June about my gall bladder diagnosis and my plan. Here is that blog. From then until the end of Aug I went for it big time with clean eating and the results were amazing. I want to share with you what I did as it may help you. The health effects have been really incredible.
My mentor has been guiding me. When I was pregnant with Jack I met Helena on my mama baby bliss pregnancy yoga classes. An incredibly calming and caring influence then who helped so much when pregnant. I can put a lot of my pleasant third pregnancy down to her. She also helped after Jack was born with diet/colic/what to eat when breastfeeding etc. We have kept in touch over the years via Facebook and I attend her super-yoga class whenever I can every few months or so.
Helena is one of these multi-talented people who can sort out the bigger picture, mind, body and spirit. I contacted her as soon as I got the gall bladder diagnosis to get her advice. We had a very powerful skype session the morning before I went off to a spa weekend.
The advice here was quite simple. Eat clean for 6 weeks. And start with an extreme detox for the first week. This meant no to the big 7. No dairy, no gluten, no alcohol, no red meat, no acid, no caffeine, no sugar. A lot of no’s there. And most people’s reaction is ‘wow I could never do that’. But there was something in me, fear of ill health maybe that made me think, I can do this. I can eat clean for 6 weeks and make myself better.
It might be simpler to say what I could eat in week 1. Fish, chicken, turkey, brown rice, rice noodles, green veg, pears, blueberries, papaya, green tea (30 second dip of bag only), water, lemon, lime. I could cope with that. I also had a few vitamins etc. to buy, mostly to take down inflammation of the internal organs, gall bladder, liver, kidneys etc. I had milk thistle, pro-biotics, magnesium, turmeric and aloe vera.
Week 1 was of course a super busy week with 2 business lunches, a wedding, children’s party and bbq. As I have now found though, if you are friendly and have a chat to chef or a nice waiter, restaurants will do anything for you. Or just take an emergency supply of what you can eat. I was mostly fine that week with food. The wedding was particularly hard. The buffet killed me, I love a buffet, and all I could eat was veg sticks and the salmon from inside the bagels. I was on water all day. As people got more and more drunk I was more and more desperate to leave.
Week 1 Side Effects
So I lost 7 lbs in the first week!! Not that one should obsess about weight, but I do. My no 1 goal of #40thingsb440 was to get my weight under 11 stone by March 29th 2017. My skin was glowing. My sleep was deep and refreshing. My energy levels in the morning were incredible. My body changed, I developed a waist. The internal organs swelling went down.
But I was lacking energy in afternoon/evenings. I went to bed early. Exercise was too much that week. I was snappy and irritable. I had sugar withdrawal headaches. They say it’s harder to withdraw from sugar than it is from cocaine. I can believe that! I was slightly desperate for sugar, I got the kick from pear juice and coconut water. And I was desperate for savoury like bread, which I don’t eat anyways! I got constipated as I ate too much white meat. Upping the aloe vera cured that. And stopped eating meat. Helena was on hand on Facebook messenger whenever I had a question for the 6-week period.
Week 2 onwards
There was myriad of events to navigate. Christmas in July with Aldi, they found me gluten free. I tasted the wine and spittoon it thanks Mistress of Wine. A pizza night with bloggers reviewing an app, I drank green tea. Any PR events with food I pre-warned the agency and they got me special gluten & dairy free alternative food. Lovely lovely people.
I slowly introduced new food, humus, avocado, tomatoes, apples. But I was very strict to stay away from alcohol, red meat, eggs. I did have the odd Americano. And I did occasionally try a bit of sugar. I had an Oreo ice-cream on a really hot 30-degree day when I was in London for meetings. It made me poo a lot. I liked this after the constipation issues.
Let’s talk Poo
I talk about poo a lot, with my friends, with my boys, with Helena. We all poo so let’s talk about it! I have always had problems with digestion, constipation, piles, fissures. You name it I’ve had it. Anyways this eating clean should in theory mean your digestion is sorted out and pooing should come naturally every day. It didn’t for me. I would maybe go for 5 days without a poo. Maybe I wasn’t eating enough? No Jack eats anything and does the biggest poos in the world. So I had a colonic done.
You know what I had a very old blockage right at top of my colon under my right boob. It took ages to come out in the colonic and we saw it some out. Old, dirty, blocking poo. That colonic removed 2 lbs of waste from my body! I highly recommend them for a clean out. I felt lighter afterwards and just well clean. I was a bit emotional the next couple of days, angry mostly, apparently the psychological effects of colonic are great. A physical blockage removal is also a psychological one.
I have been doing Pilates every week and I have had 3 personal training sessions, all with Victoria Wells. The PT sessions have killed me but in a good way. I am stronger, fitter, more flexible and able to lift more weight and do more repetitions. My stomach fat is reducing. It’s still there and I will always have the nasty loose skin. Good underwear sorts that out.
6 weeks later
29th July marked the start of our official summer holiday. We started with a festival and camping in the UK, then 2 weeks in Spain. I had my first drink at the festival, an Aspalls organic cider. It went down okay. I felt very lightheaded. I ate a rib eye steak brioche bun. This tasted like heaven. I ate a huge slice of chocolate cake which made me feel sick and then gave me the worst ever sugar hangover the following day. It was like the worst migraine ever and it went on and on for days. Lesson learnt, eating that much sugar is not worth it.
Since I have been on holiday I have eaten mostly clean. I have had a gin and tonic most days, maybe a couple. Spanish measures are a lot bigger than UK. I’ve avoided sugar mostly but I have eaten crisps and some pastries. I have been eating fresh baguette most days. I have eaten fish most days, salad and fruit every day, tons of water. So I’m doing good.
The booze is an interesting one. I didn’t miss it at all. And was quite proud of the fact that I was clean for 5 and a bit weeks. But it also got me thinking about how reliant I was on booze for a good night out/to relax/to celebrate/to forget. Alcohol was my coping mechanism, a socially acceptable thing. I would binge drink terribly, from the age of 15 to 39. 24 years of constant destruction of my liver, kidneys and gall bladder. Binging would be 2 bottles of wine and a few shots. I would lose my memory, do really stupid things, get into trouble, embarrass myself. I keep having flashbacks to terrible things I have done when drunk. I am known by my friends to be a bad influence for drinking. Alcoholic?? I don’t know if I was an alcoholic, hopefully not as I have got rid of the monkey relatively easily. But I definitely had an issue.
I weighed myself on 29th July and I have got to 10 stone 11 lbs. This is a 13 lbs weight loss from the beginning of clean eating. 13 lbs in 38 days, not bad:-)
These are pictures before eating clean.
And these are during then after eating clean.
I am pretty chuffed with the after picture take earlier today. I posted on Instagram, its pretty popular:-)
Contact details of Helena and Victoria
I was helped by Helena Bingham, a nutritionist and yoga guru. Her website is here. All contact details are available on there. She offers many services over skype or on the phone.
Victoria ‘at Future Fit’ Wells can be contacted by going to her Facebook page. She specialises in PT, Pilates and swimming coaching and covers Hertfordshire.
Please mention me if you speak to either of them, we would all like to know about any recommendations and where they came from:-)
Gall bladder Thoughts
I am still not 100% sure what to do about this. I have had no pain since eating clean. But it could come back with the introduction of anything fatty? Who knows. I spoke to my NHS consultant about the operation who explained the risks of having the operation and risks of not having it. They tip slightly in the favour of having it. I am stuck a bit between the devil and the deep blue sea. No op=pain forever. Have the op = pain with op. 1-2 weeks rest. Either way I will be eating clean for the rest of my life. But thats really not a bad thing. Look at me, healthy, fit, balanced.