A Mind & Body Reboot: Clean Food, Rebounding & Routines

Did you know that you could be carrying around as much as 14 pounds of waste in your system? This may not be the case for the average person, but the horrible prospect should give us all enough reason to cleanse our systems regularly. Our minds are also prone to clogging at times and should also be cleansed. So, how do you do that? Three things: eat clean food, create daily routines and sweat a lot.

That may sound simple, but it does require some rethinking of habits. For me, food had become an element of stress. I like to cook myself but could never seem to find time for it, this resulted in some laziness like ordering delivery and skipping meals, but also in a lot of post-10pm dinners. Before the start of the Best Body Program (see my first post about my Reboot journey) Magen Banwart gave us a detailed food schedule, as well as a list of forbidden foods (chickpeas, corn, dairy, peanuts, shellfish, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, soy, sugar, what/gluten, rice, beans, coffee and alcohol). We were instructed to eat a plenty of leafy greens and drink a lot of green juice — a basic elimination diet designed to identify what foods may be potential allergens (the ones on the forbidden list are common ones) for us. This may sound boring, but surprisingly I have not had any insane cravings (besides when walking past restaurants that smell insanely good).

Organic dark leafy greens = seriously good for you!

Organic dark leafy greens = seriously good for you!

So, without further ado, here is my daily food routine:
First thing in the morning: warm water with lemon + supplements
Breakfast: protein shake (made from Sunwarrior vegan rice protein powder) with chia seeds, flax seeds and maca
Mid-morning snack: half an apple (or pear) and 6-8 almonds
Half-hour before lunch: green juice+ supplements
Lunch: leafy green salad with quinoa (since I am a vegetarian — the protein could also be fish or chicken), dressed with lemon
Mid-afternoon snack: half an apple (or pear) and 6-8 almonds
Half-hour before dinner: green juice+ supplements
Dinner: Salad or cooked veggies (+ supplements before bed)

Pre-bagging supplements and shakes for the week makes it easier (and more likely that you actually will take them).

Pre-bagging supplements and shakes for the week makes it easier (and more likely that you actually will take them).

It may seem strict at first glance — I was certainly a bit nervous when I first looked at it — but I have actually been very satisfied every day. Some days I have even had to skip snacks because I was too full. The green juices are great because they are so packed with nutrients You would have to make a very big salad to be able to consume all those vegetables, but your body also absorbs the nutrients more easily when they’re in a juice. The benefits of drinking green juice daily seem endless, so why not? I happen to love green juice and I decided that I was going to make my own. It’s very simple if you have a good blender and/or a juicer, I use a combination of both. In the juicer, I put half an apple, two or so stalks of celery and a carrot. In the blender, I start with 3-4 ice cubes and some water, then add (in smaller pieces and one by one so the blender doesn’t choke) a handful of spinach, a few kale leaves, some chard leaves, a big leaf of collard greens, parsley and maybe some cucumber slices. Then I pour the juice into the blender along with some lemon juice and blend it all together. It’s really quite delicious and you can use any combination of veggies and fruits, just try to keep the mix to 80% veggies and 20% fruits.

In the beginning I was annoyed that all the prep took a lot of time in the morning, but now I have come to quite like this morning ritual. Routines are soothing for our minds, because we don’t have to think so much about what we’re supposed to do — we just do it. I wake up while it is still dark, make the warm lemon water that I sip while writing anything that is on my mind in a journal. A while later, after using the neti-pot, and maybe exercising, I start by making the rice protein shake in the blender, and while sipping that I make the green juice and my lunch salad. I make a lot of juice and pour it into two glass bottles so I can take one to work and have one ready for me in the fridge when I get home. Then, I clean up the mess that I made, which I’ve also found to be kind of soothing. When I got home from work I had a green juice waiting for me in the fridge, so all I had to do was prepare my dinner veggies. On most days I had quinoa with veggies roasted in the George Foreman, but on Friday night (day 5) I felt like getting fancy and made a delicious lentil-carrot-garlic soup.

My nemesis-cum-friend — The Rebounder.

My nemesis-cum-friend — The Rebounder.

When trying to loose weight and get back into shape exercise if of course very important. Magen is a big fan of something called The Rebounder, which is like a small, foldable (great for apartment-dwellers like me) trampoline that is allegedly more efficient in calorie and fat burning than any other form of exercise. The bouncing motion also massages your organs and creates healthy movement in your system. Mine came with a set of exercise DVDs which, when I got over the initial “this is so silly”-reaction, were great. The first day I did the half-hour intro workout where the people on the screen introduce the moves, on the second day I did an improvised half-hour workout in the morning, which made me feel energized and ready to face the day. I also did a Zumba class that same night, which made me even more high on endorphins. On the third day, I was just totally bored with this Rebounder-thing in my living room, I was mad at it for taking up my time and keeping me from laying down on the sofa. This was not good, since I am supposed to do daily Rebounder-workouts throughout the program, so on day 4 I actually made peace with it, by doing a “bounce and box” workout from the included DVDs. I also did it in the morning this time, so maybe that is the key. Isn’t working out always better in the morning?

Lemon, ginger and parsley add flavor to green juices and are good to always keep in the house.

Lemon, ginger and parsley add flavor to green juices and are good to always keep in the house.

Today, we did a group workout — cardio interval followed by a core class — at a Upper East Side gym. I really hate interval training because it never gives you that same flow that running at a steady pace does, but the combination of climbing on a steep incline and doing sprints really felt quite good. The core class was very hard, with a lot of pilates-like small movements that just burned after a few reps. I’m sure I will be seriously sore tomorrow, just in time for the second group workout! After the workout, we spent an hour (taking breathers each 20 minutes) in the dry sauna, sweating out toxins. This is very good for us, especially for aiding weight loss (but do remember to drink plenty of water). My cheeks were nice and rose when we came out, that’s for sure.

Today I also started a five-day juice fast. So far, it’s been smooth sailing and the juices (a total of 6 per day) are very good. But let’s see how it goes. I will report on that, and everything else, in the next part of this series. See you in 30 juices!

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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