Spring “Cleansing”

Another example of how easily I get distracted and forget to finish something great that I started. Here’s a piece I wrote 2 years ago that I dug up…

Mar¬†2015 ‚ÄĒ Edited on April 2017

As I begin to pack away my winter clothes and change my bed linings in preparation for spring, I’ve also turned my attention to the natural changes happening in my body. I ask myself, “How can I help my body get rid of all the fat built up this past winter and any the toxins that are preventing the natural release?” The natural answer was a true and complete cleanse.

Around this time last year, I went on a smoothie cleanse, where I kicked off each day with a detoxing smoothie with whole lemons, celery, cucumbers, ground up flax seed, green tea powder and berries. I also coupled a carb-free diet with hot yoga, strength training and running. That routine actually ended up becoming a daily routine for me. I was pleasantly surprised but it definitely helped keep the winter “coat” away. Here’s the look-back to last year if you’re interested in reading about it.

A lot has happened in the last month – Holy Ship (which is a 3-day EDM cruise¬†in the Bahamas), snowboarding weekend at Killington, bachelorette/bridal party, the flu… all of which have¬†contributed to a disruption to my sleep cycle, leading to bad eating habits, which resulted in less energy and less working out… in the end, a exact¬†recipe to packing on the pound. Fun? Yes. Sustainable? Absolutely not. So how do I kick myself back into a healthy life style again? 3 days to spring and I raid Trader Joe’s health sections for supplements.

I found two items this past weekend which I’ve been since Monday morning. Trader Joe’s Complete Body Cleanse Kit and Organic Yerba Mate tea

Complete Body Cleanse Kit

It consists of 3 bottles of tablets and capsules. 1 for liver, 1 for digestive and 1 for fiber. The sizes of the digestive tablet is really big, and you need to swallow 3 of it the first week and 2 the second week. The liver one is small and fiber one is normal sized. If you weren’t a pro at swallowing capsules before, you’ll definitely have some trouble. I wonder what would it taste like if I just chewed the digestive ones up. The quantity for the fiber one is also over the top, but I think you can open them up and blend it into a smoothie or something. I¬†will attempt those alternative options and update tomorrow… Anyway, you can read all about the product here. I also¬†searched for other blogs that have written on the experience and found 2 that were from a couple of years ago. I guess this cleanse has been around for some time now… Anyway…

Day 1

Definitely not in a good state when I woke up. Since I didn’t eat much during the day before¬†and had wine plus too much food at dinner, I just felt sick to my stomach the first morning of the cleanse. On top of that, it was also that time of the month so… not a great morning. I couldn’t let anything¬†stop me from my cleanse anymore, I was already pretty upset with the way I was treating my body; I definitely needed to start taking better care with what I put in my stomach…

So, I take¬†4 Fiber caps with half a bottle of Poland Spring water (normal size). I skip the gym and go straight to work. I had gone to the bathroom once before leaving my apartment, no change there. But when I got to work and had my first cup of Trader Joe’s Organic¬†Yerba Mate Tea, that the stomach gurgling started. Let’s just say I was uncomfortable all day and all the normal body function you would expect from stomach gurgling happened very frequently that day. I¬†wasn’t¬†sure at that point if it was my choice of food the day before or the fiber/tea that’s causing all the disruptions… Looking back now, I’m thinking it’s all the simple carbs I had the night before that was reacting with the supplements. I hadn’t had that reaction since and all I’ve been doing differently is avoiding simple carbs.

I didn’t feel hungry all day until 5 in the afternoon, to which I addressed it with a light lunch of arugula, chicken, beet, artichoke, red pepper, asparagus, and mushroom salad with lemon juice and red wine vinegar dressing. After a late night at work, I went home around 7:30 and decided to go for a 4 mile run. It was an exhausting run and my calves haven’t hurt like that in a long time. A bit nervous about that, but hopefully it was just a one-time thing. Exhausted and thirsty, I get home and make myself a protein shake with soy milk, matcha, sugar-free protein powder and a pinch of tumeric. White tea is also suppose to be good for detoxing so I make myself some hot water and tea. A shower and some fussing later, I’m ready for bed. At this point, I downed a ton of tea with my large dose of pills – 8 to be exact.¬†Probably not the best idea to have so much water before bed…

Day 2

So much better than day 1… I wake up to an urgent bathroom trip. A very healthy amount of pee and waste flushed out later, I’m feeling ten pounds lighter. I actually made myself breakfast, which I’m usually not afforded the luxury to do. I’m usually rushing to the gym in the morning. I had an egg white omelette seasoned with garlic and tumeric powder, slightly salt-and-peppered. I also decide to make sauteed curry cauliflower, which made my apartment smell divine.

Arriving at the office at a leisurely time of 9:10, I down my fiber caps (having forgotten to do so in the morning), make yerba mate tea and start¬†working, happier than I was on the first day. The only downside was a soreness in my calves… Luckily I make my way to hot yoga after work. For lunch, I had baked¬†salmon, arugula, and the¬†cauliflower I made in the morning. The meal didn’t last me as long as I would have liked and so when everyone started snacking on chips and dry roasted edamame, I washed the box of strawberries I had picked up in the morning and ate that. It was surprisingly filling.

75 minutes of hot yoga later, my craving reared its ugly head and I start to want to have pizza, chicken and rice, cheesecake, chips and so forth. Instead, I settle for a Quest chocolate chip cookie dough protein bar. After consuming the whole bar and allowing time to elapse as I make my way¬†home, the hunger and craving was completely gone. I would go as far as recommend Quest as a meal replacement bar. It’s relatively clean and made perfectly to trigger the sensation of fullness with 17g of fiber and 20g of protein. I make sure I drink plenty of water with the bar due to the high fiber and protein content, so another quarter of liter of water in before arriving home.

8 caps in before bedtime with some red chrysanthemum tea ends the day.


I’m really sad I ended the piece on Day 2 because even I’m interested in finding out what happened to the other days that followed until I finished that cleanse kit. But if memory serves me right, I finished that kit and kept up the same regime for 2 weeks. I also didn’t mention this was my pre-Coachella prep, which worked surprisingly well. I believe I had about a month to get back into shape and with the help of hot yoga, I was able to.

Funny how life repeats itself without intentionally making an effort. This is year 2017 and I’m once again back at hot yoga everyday, expect this time, it really is just for myself. I can’t say my vanity is nonexistent, but it sure is a hell’a lot less.

Health is more important than looking hot for the sake of looking hot. Obviously it doesn’t hurt to look amazing in the process of getting healthy, but a health body comes in many shapes and sizes and there shouldn’t be one standard. As long as I’m happy and I feel great, that’s all it matter.

My new regiment is eating whatever I want in small portions and exercising each day.¬†After all these years of trying different diets and establish various routines, I finally realized the ultimate level of dieting is obtaining forgiveness and patience with your own body. It’s okay to have a piece of cake or a bag of chips as long as it’s what you really want. If what you really want is to be happy and so you always turn to food, then maybe supplement it with something else, like yoga, a friend’s company, a walk in the park or a good book.

At some point, I¬†realized I would always gain weight when I’m miserable or unhappy. Maybe I thought being miserable gave me an excuse to eat poorly and be lazy, but that only worsened the situation. Challenging as it may be to get out of that vicious cycle, you need to know when and how¬†to do so. Maybe it’s changing your current situation, no matter what it takes. In the end, I realized getting healthy¬†isn’t about dieting, but readjusting a¬†mindset.¬†

All I needed was to learn how to take better care of myself and make a conscious effort to do so‚ÄĒto do what makes me happy. That was the true cleanse.

If you managed to read this far, thank you and take care! I mean it! ūüôā

Weight Loss / Training Update

Almost another month has passed since my last update and I’m happy to report my progress, slow and steady, has continued.

Weight: 105.5
Body Fat: 18.6% (athlete mode)

What have I been up to?

  1. I have not drank alcohol in a month (I just sip wine if drinking is unavoidable)
  2. I always sleep before 11pm and wake up by 6am (There were only a few occasions where I had to stay up, but I still woke up before 9am)
  3. I switched my workouts to the AM (I’m in the gym by 7am, 7:30 latest)
  4. I incorporated incline runs into my warm-up every day (max 15 incline at speed 6, which is 10 minute miles, 1 minute on, 1 minute off doing squats)
  5. I am eating a lot more protein with healthy fat (salmon especially, and seafood)
  6. Carb loading / cheat day on weekends (For recovery and motivation to eat clean and healthy during the week)
  7. Hard boiled egg white, yogurt, cottage cheese for breakfast or dinner
  8. Purchased a Nike+ Fuel Band to motivate myself to move more throughout the day
  9. Bike or walk everywhere (I would take the subway only if I had no choice)
  10. Surround myself with company until it’s time for bed (Prevents me from boredom eating)

I may sound like a crazy person that’s over-the-top committed, but these things have become second nature to me that I don’t find it difficult at all. I’m seeing the results I want and I haven’t sacrificed my social life, much. I even think I’ve influenced some of my friends to strive towards some of these them. Pick and choose what works for you and stick to it, just give it time.

I end simply with, “don’t just say what you want to do, do it!”

Happy Friday everyone!


Day 13 of CAC

Another friday and¬†the first¬†2 weeks¬†are almost up. I’m back at where I started in terms of weight (110 lbs) but hopefully with less of the fat and more muscle.

I finally took a rest day this morning for the ab challenge. I don’t believe in rest days, but it¬†just felt like one of those morning.¬†I haven’t worked out as hard as I did on Wednesday in a long time. My back, shoulder and glutes are quite sore at this point, but surprisingly not my abs.

Today’s smoothie was an alteration to the normal smoothie, all the ingredients arefresh and¬†not frozen. I’m avoiding frozen/cold drinks and foods for the time being. Only time of the month¬†I dislike being a girl, too much hassle and too many restrictions.

Day 13 Smoothie: 2 celery stalks, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1/2 cup kale, 1/3 cup blueberries, protein powder, matcha powder and 10 fl oz of water

My plan for working out today is the eliptical for cardio¬†since I still can’t run. And no alcohol, hopefully.

Intro/Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 24

Day 11 of CAC

Ever since I injured my foot on Saturday, I haven’t been able to do any running or other cardio, and it’s taking its toll. A friend of mine said working out is detrimental to the body and I would agree but I would also add, not working out is detrimental to my fat cutting goal.

My workout has been limited to the Abs Challenege each morning and a quick weight training session the last 2 days. Also out of curiosity, I googled whether hot yoga count as cardio. Unfortunately just because my heart is pounding doesn’t necessarily mean I’m working as hard as when I run. Less movement = not cardio. With that being said, yoga is great for muscle toning and flexibility. Ladies, if you want to shapely legs and waist, yoga is the way to go.

I can keep making excuses or I can suck it up and admit I’m back to square 1 when I first started last Monday. Weight is back at¬†110.

So, instead of wallowing in selfpity, what’s my next plan?

1. Eat cleaner and cut out alcohol completely. I realized every bite and sip counts for me. In order to work towards my goal, some sacrifises need to be made. No more cheat foods for the time being.

2. Join a gym that has a swimming pool. Luckily there is a pool close to my apartment that offeres lap swim 7am-9am and¬†6:30pm-9:20pm every day. As it’s also getting closer to summer, it might start to get too hot to run in the morning. This makes me think about chopping my hair to shoulder-length so it’s easier to wash and dry.

3. Heavier weights. I realized my 20lb kettlebell has become too light for me after using it to work out all winter. Joining the gym will take care of that. I’m going straight¬†for that¬†squat/bench press¬†machine.

4. Schedule activities that do not revolve around eating on weekends. Preferrably activities that involves physical exertions.

5. Continue with large smoothies for breakfast

Day¬†11 Smoothie:¬†10 fl oz of water, 1 whole organic lemon (peels on), 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 tbsp matcha powder, 1 tbsp protein powder¬†— w/ addition of:¬†1/3 cup¬†cucumber and 1/4 cup celery leafs

Intro/Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 24

Day 10 of CAC

Can’t believe the challenge is already 1/3 way over. I have sped ahead on the Abs Challenge to Day 13, skipping 3 rest days. No rest needed! This way, if I skip a day, I know I’ll still be on track. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to run at all, though beach soccer does count somewhat.

Weigh-in: 109.5 (Another disappointing increase of .5lbs since yesterday)

I wonder if it’s muscle weight…hopefully, but I have a feeling it might be fat accumulation.

Day¬†10 Smoothie:¬†10 fl oz of water, 1 whole organic lemon (peels on), 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 tbsp matcha powder, 1 tbsp protein powder¬†— w/ addition of:¬†1/3 cup¬†almond milk and 1/4 cup cilantro

Intro/Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 24

Day 9 of CAC

Another dreary Monday, progress has regressed unfortunately. A bit disappointing but I think I’ll move past it.

Official weigh-in: 109lbs (1lb increase)

Waist: 24.5 (.5 increase)

I don’t think Dukan method works.¬†Or I’m just not doing it the right way. Maybe I should have avoided the fat. Anyway, back to the stricter diet!

Day¬†9 Smoothie:¬†10 fl oz of water, 1 whole organic lemon (peels on), 1 cup frozen spinach, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, 1/2 tbsp matcha powder, 1 tbsp protein powder¬†— w/ addition of:¬†1/4 cup¬†pineapple chunks and 1/2 cup frozen kale

Intro/Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 24

Day 8 of CAC

Made it through all of yesterday without eating fruits, vegetables and carbs. Luckily the BBQ had plenty of meat and not so much of everything else, though the chips were very tempting. Results?

Weight – 108lb (no change)

Waist – 24in (no change)

% Body Fay – 14 belly, 5 biceps, 13 triceps, 10 back (shaving a few mm here and there but nothing definitive)

What did I eat all of yesterday?

Breakfast – 1 scoop of soy protein powder (0g of sugar)

Lunch – 6 small shrimps, 1 burger patty, ~5oz of galbi steak, 3 small chicken wings, 1 rib

I did eat some watermelon but I just equate that to water since watermelon is basically 91% water.

Dinner – I wasn’t feeling hungry at all after 40 minutes of intense beach soccer and 30 minutes of volleyball, just very very thirsty. I just had 1¬†burger patty and called it a day.

How did I feel?

I basically moved between 3 grills and picked at food that looked good. Looking back, I realized I may not have eaten much at all, but that fullness settled in fairly quickly and I stayed full all day.

I will try the Dukan Method for one more day today and see if I see any results tomorrow.

Click through to see more results: Intro/Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12, Day 13, Day 17, Day 18, Day 20, Day 24