Hello, Day 6! For those following along, I am officially finished with my Milk & Sugar health challenge and Reset body diet. For posts 1 and 2, see here and here.

To recap, I started this challenge after a particularly lousy week and realizing all the amazing bloggers here at Milk & Sugar are crazy health nuts while I spend half my time eating donuts (see here, here, and here…). However, I want to make it clear that I didn’t start this challenge because I hate my body. But I also want to make it clear that, as a woman, I feel it’s safe to say we all go through moments of body shame, even when we know it’s wrong, unhealthy, and outrageous. When you have more beach body advertisements and women’s magazine triteness (see here for a body positive alternative!) than back-to-reality Sarah Silverman face-slaps and wonderfully written New York Times op-eds, it’s difficult not to body shame. So I wanted this week to be about empowerment and self-realization – to really discover whether a detox diet was realistic, whether getting up before dawn for yoga was practical, and whether I could do all that while still increasing my productivity and staying sane (and actually healthy).

The Detox

For the first two days of my Reset body detox diet, in which I replaced my meals with superfood smoothies and eliminated caffeine, sugar, starch/bread, and meat, I felt ok. I was a little hungry to be honest. And by the third day, I felt totally exhausted. In fact, when I got home from work I immediately took a nap and woke up only to watch the premiere of my guilty-pleasure summer show (#PLL) and eat some organic popcorn before hitting bed and getting the best 8 hours of sleep I’ve had in a long time. And when I woke up, and ever since, I felt fantastic. Like, reallyy good. I was shocked. Other than skipping the gym in favor of my nap on Tuesday, I have gone to the gym every day and even managed early morning yoga twice and still feel energized sans coffee. I also noticed a pretty significant difference in bloating (none) and my skin (extra clear and healthy), plus I actually lost 3.5 pounds (though this may come back as I re-introduce caffeine and solid foods. But, still, what a motivator!).

Getting honest

For those of you interested in doing something like this detox, I won’t say it’s not hard nor without difficulties. I definitely cheated by day 4 with some Cheez-its (I’m only human) and day 5 with three pieces of dark chocolate. Definitely not “detox” worthy. But totally worthy of my mouth. I also originally intended to go all five days on smoothies, but only managed three. For the last two, I replaced one meal with a Mezze platter (and it was delicious). Also, this is not an expensive diet plan. Don’t be put off by having to buy new groceries.

As for productivity, I tried to take Martine’s advice to recognize and overcome my procrastination (I’m a master) by tackling my hardest tasks first thing each morning. For me, this includes personal-professional projects like emails, writing, reading, and researching. However, this sort of got in the way of Valentina’s crack-of-dawn-yoga methods, so I ended up splitting my week about 30-30-30 between yoga, productivity, and extra sleep. And since I’m the queen of list making, this week made me realize how often I totally ignore them.

Tips

1. Make sure you make your smoothies really smooth. It’s not that appetizing crunching on your drink because you were too impatient to wait (Pro tip: I pre-juiced my veggies to make a base for my smoothies, rather than chopping them up in the blender).

2. You will have green things in your teeth. Carry some floss.

3. Don’t forget your snacks. This was vital to my mid-morning and mid-afternoon hangry game the first couple of days.

4. If you’re looking to make this a total diet-starter, I would recommend the Lose It app. I’ve been using this to create a goal weight and track my meals and exercise (you can also use it for goals of gaining and maintaining your weight).

5. Water. Lots of water. Especially if you’re hitting the gym.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Eat when you’re hungry. Don’t when you’re not. And celebrate the fact that you are doing something crazy healthy for once. Maybe do a little dance.

The Next Step

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the whole challenge and, as a real girl with real-girl eating habits, I already partied with a coffee and marshmallow dream bar and will be making home-made basil pesto pizza for dinner tonight. But since I enjoyed the challenge so much (and have clearly gotten over the first exhausted-hangry hump), I’m going to try and continue on this clean-eating trend using the Whole 30 method (my family and I did this challenge last November for about 2 weeks and enjoyed it, so we’re looking forward to doing the entire 30 days) and limiting my caffeine intake. I am also planning on tackling my list problem by making fewer, more detailed, lists, with the most challenging tasks first, and choosing to start them before 9 AM every day.

I hope some of you managed to follow along here or on Instagram and Snapchat. Feel free to tweet or snapchat (brookdub) me with any of your own tips, recipes, or empowering shares.