Dr. Oz Three-Day Detox (the Sequel)

In May 2013, I tried Dr. Oz’s Detox  and blogged about it. Since then 8,985 people (and counting!) have read that post, due in most part to Pinterest. This past week, I decided to try the cleanse again and compare my thoughts/results. My eating habits have changed considerably since last May, so I was curious what I would think! I should admit that I’ve also been slacking off a bit since my marathon in August and it felt time for a reset!
IMG_4167Proof of my altered eating habits was evident as I went down the shopping list and crossed off almond milk, flax-seed, cayenne pepper, mango (we use frozen), coconut oil, Epsom salt, almond butter, green tea, Stevia, omega-3 (I used chia seeds), multivitamins, spinach, and cucumber. Why did I cross all of these items off? We already had them at our house because they are frequently used items! Granted, we eat tons of berries and bananas too but those have to be bought fresh. Last time this cleanse cost me $63, this time I only needed $37 worth of ingredients. Again, because I already had the rest in my house.

Last time, the breakfast smoothie was my favorite and that still ran true. I did limit the lemon the second two days because I’m not a citrus person and it seemed to overtake the smoothie. The rest of the smoothie is something I’ve had consistently for the last 15 months so the morning didn’t feel too different. I will mention that instead of taking an omega-3 supplement, I take fish oil already so I just added chia seeds to the morning smoothie. According to MyFitnessPal, my favorite calorie tracking app, this smoothie was 361 calories WITH the chia seeds, so 291 as prescribed by Dr. Oz. I usually eat about 400 calories for breakfast so this seemed right on.

Before I knew it, it was lunch time. Ugh. Those of you who read my May 2013 post know that this was my least favorite by far. This time around I was ready. I got a ripe apple so it was softer. I peeled the cucumber and the apple. I diced both of them and the celery. I plucked the stems off of the kale. I even added a bit extra almond milk… It didn’t help. I just don’t like celery. I do have enough experience with kale now to know that it’s a little bitter but that wasn’t the unpleasant part of the drink for me, the celery was. By day three I had cut the celery back to one stalk. Sorry, Dr. Oz but it’s still not happening. After those adjustments it was completely drinkable but still never my favorite. I clocked it right at 300 calories, perfect. I also drank a 32 oz. Nalgene of water both before and after lunch to hit my hydration goals for the day.

Dinner time was exciting for me the first day because I didn’t have much memory of what even went into the dinner smoothie. I knew from my shopping that blueberries, coconut water and avocado must. I’m a huge fan of blueberries and avocado and a hater of coconut water. I’m happy to report that I couldn’t even taste the water over the other flavors! And the cayenne pepper was a surprising twist too. It made the smoothie seem less sweet and more savory, something I’ll remember for future smoothies. I didn’t end up altering this smoothie at all either, which proves that I’ve accepted kale into onto my palate. By the numbers, this smoothie was 351 calories.

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Hunger wasn’t an issue for me throughout the days, so I never had the fourth smoothie. I had the tea in the mornings and still thought it was fine, nothing special. I even tried the Epsom salt and lavender bath two nights! I can’t say I was that successful as I reported in a text to a friend, “I made it 13 minutes and through one chapter of my book. Not bad!”. I did feel relaxed and liked the smell of lavender… I just can’t sit in warm/cooling water for that long, lol. Oh, and because I’ve been drinking 132 ounces of water daily for training, I was more adjusted to drinking this much in a day. This meant less trips to the bathroom and less feeling stuffed.

After the first day, I looked at the caloric total for the day and saw 932.  That is too low for me to maintain with my workouts. Then I did the breakdown of the macro and micro nutrients. I was concerned about the extremely low level of protein in this menu (23 grams). I usually aim for 100 grams each day, so on the second and third days I added a scoop of protein powder to the lunch smoothies. It added a vanilla flavor and some smoother texture, as well as 100 calories. Cholesterol and sodium were at all-time lows (no processed foods!) and fiber was just above were I want it (30g a day, this was 44g). After adding in 70 calories of chia seeds and 100 calories of protein powder, the last two days were 1,112 calories. This is within my reasonable range, so I was happy.

All said and done, I’m glad I did this three-day cleanse again. If anything, it reminded me how much I snack during the day and how I can sustain myself with junk food. I reminded myself of some great smoothie techniques and I had the chance to reflect on how far I’ve come nutritionally in 15 months!  As far as weight goes, I did lose 2.4 pounds in three days. But like I said before, I had been slacking in the previous weeks so it really just got me back to where I should’ve been all along. I hope y’all enjoyed this second edition of Dr. Oz’s Three-Day Detox and I’d love to hear from any of you that have tried it or something like it recently!

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Operation RAM Update: 5 weeks to go!

Of all the bucket list items on my list, #41 Run a Marathon, might be the worst one on my list. I hesitated for years to even add it to my list because I didn’t want to have to follow through and do it. But it’s there, in my face, reminding me how crazy I am. A bunch of months ago… last fall? My lovely friends from high school convinced me to join them in a marathon, and you can read the full story on the post linked back there. Fast forward to today and I’m still on pace to run in just five short weeks. I haven’t booked my flight, I haven’t done enough hill or speed training, and I haven’t written my will. But other than those three (major?) pieces of the puzzle, I’ve been doing fairly well with preparations.

Running/Workouts

My 24-week training program was both ambitious and reasonable. It’s had me running just three times a week, but building miles fairly consistently the entire time. I did a 20 mile training run a few weeks ago and felt good! Since that point I’ve struggled with motivation to run and my legs have just been dead. Meeting with my nutritionist two weeks ago, we decided it would be best if I gave my legs a break and focused on my food and my “explosive” workouts. So I went to a “HIIT” class last Tuesday for a High Intensity Interval Training workout that kicked my butt… literally. My butt muscles, groin/inner thighs, and shoulders were a waste of space the rest of the week. But our instructor was super positive and encouraging, so I actually enjoyed the class and plan to go back! I’ve been getting into Zumba as well, because it meets at the gym immediately after my yoga class. It’s not as intense, but it’s definitely fun and gets me moving!

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Charity/Donations

I also gave blood last week, which helped me refocus on my goal of helping young adults with cancer during my marathon training. Giving blood is never easy for me, and this time proved no different. I’ve solved my low iron problem with a supplement and food choices, but the lovely nurse still spent almost six minutes “manipulating” the needle to get it in my vein without puncturing it. Lovely. Then my slow-drip blood took just over 24 minutes (with a little “encouragement” along the way) to fill the bag. But again, it was all worth it when I think about the lives I’m helping with my donation. I’ve also been raising money for Hope for Young Adults with Cancer, an incredible organization that helps with medical bills and other necessities, as well as helping build a fun sense of community in 18-40 year-olds who have been diagnosed with cancer. If you’re interested in learning more, check out my fundraising page and consider donating to this life-changing group!

www.crowdrise.com/teamhope4yawcsanfran2014/fundraiser/karenoliver1

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Nutrition/Meal Prep

But now back to the nutrition issue at hand, I always struggle with eating, especially during training, because I just don’t know what to eat and when and why. But I’m getting way better! Currently, we have increased the fiber in my diet with Fiber One bars, spinach, dried figs and apricots, and nuts of all varieties. I’m also trying to be better about meal prepping, at least during the week, and making bulk meals to last several days. It’s hard, and takes some time to plan and get used to, but I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

This past week I tried a new recipe from Pinterest (And Veggie Belly) for a Fruit-Quinoa Salad. I wanted something to accompany my meats and veggies at dinner, that I could also snack on for lunch if I needed to. I was a tad ambitious and quadrupled the recipe because I had bags of quinoa brown rice that were two cups. Oh well! I also ditched the dressing because I thought the salad was sweet enough without it, and I’m just not a huge dressing person. But I did sprinkle basil leaves and squeeze a lemon into the mixture, which added those hints of flavor.

Oh, and for my mangoes, I cheated and used the frozen diced mangoes we use in our smoothies, which actually worked out great and made this dish even easier to make. I would probably just double the recipe next time so the fruit stays fresh, and I might sub something else in for the dried cranberries… maybe my dried apricots for more fiber! Anyway, here’s the full recipe for you to see and thanks to Veggie Belly for the recipe and image below 🙂

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Blueberry Mango Quinoa Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Serves about 2

For the quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

For the fruits
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup cubed ripe mangoes
½ cup cubed cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries

For the lemon basil dressing
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper

Place the quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or till the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve. Chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving. If you add it earlier, it will go black.

Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently.

Assemble the salad just before serving – toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together. Serve other half of the dressing on the side. Serve  immediately.

Greek Crockpot Creation

I have to give credit up front for this recipe. I got it from CrockinGirls, but I did edit it to my personal taste. I wanted to try a crockpot meal in the middle of the week while I was at work. So I got up a little early and dumped the frozen meat (from Costco) and seasoning in the pot. I was a little worried about the meat unfolding properly and having enough juice, so I decided to head home at lunch to check on it.

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Below is a picture of the fat-free tzatziki sauce, which I made in the evening when I got home from work. I omitted the dill in the recipe because I don’t love dill and, to be honest, because I didn’t know if they meant dill powder or seasoning or what. At lunchtime I helped the meat uncurl and covered it in the broth. I was excited to see that there was more than enough juice and the meat was cooking slowly! The morning prep had taken only 10 minutes. And this step took 2 minutes… So far so good!

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When work was done and the meat had been cooking for just over 10 hours on low, I prepped my sauce and got out the other toppings. I went with pita pockets from Ralph’s bakery, which were only okay. Then cucumbers, spinach, feta cheese, and my sauce. I thought about onions but didn’t want to cut the one I had. I did manage to find grapes to use as a side and called it a meal after that. Pulling the meat was easy as it pretty much just fell apart. Assembling the pitas was fun and after having this meal for dinner that night and lunches for the rest of the week, I was a pro (see below).

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So overall, the prep time was probably 25 minutes all day, with only 10 of those after work when I was tired and hungry. And it was delicious! So I will absolutely try this meal again. Oh, and cost-wise my total was $20 on meat and $5 on other ingredients, some of which I now have stocked. Not bad for three dinners and four lunches with meat leftover. Feel free to comment after you try it yourselves and happy crocking!

Life Update, Just Because :)

Hey everybody! Life has been busy for me recently, as I’m sure it has been for you.  I have really taken a positive, motivated turn in my nutrition and fitness though which has been encouraging.  I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have really been trying to cut out “crappy” carbs and snacks.  This goal is two-fold because not only does it prevent me from eating certain foods, but it also forces me to add in new foods. A lot of people have asked me about what I’ve been doing differently and why, and I should start by saying that I am by NO means an expert and this process is constantly morphing and changing as I continue to learn and experiment. Here’s an outline of what I’ve been getting into though, hopefully it will help you too!

Breakfast

Monday through Friday, my roommate and I take turns making smoothies for each other depending on who has to leave for work earlier. We found this amazing smoothie formula on one of my new favorite websites and I like it because it allows us to mix up the fruits and veggies while keeping the right consistency.  I prefer using cucumbers, banana, almond butter, ground flaxseed, spinach, soy milk, coconut oil, and honey… then whatever fruit we might have.  This is usually papaya, mango, strawberries, blueberries, etc. It’s good stuff and starts my days off right!  On weekends I make 1-2 eggs, have a side of fruit, some sausage, and a veggie muffin.  Breakfast has always been my favorite meal and I feel like I have it on lock down right now.

Lunch

I was a little worried about this meal because I like to munch along all day.  But goldfish and wheat thins and peanut butter and cheese are all out for right now… so what was I going to eat?!  I started with what I knew, fruits and veggies and meats.  So most days I have sliced sweet peppers, either ground turkey or raw salmon, grapes, cutie oranges, and either walnuts or almonds.  Lots to snack on throughout the day! I also drink a nalgene bottle (32 oz) of water with cucumbers slices in it, a nalgene of water with a multi-vitamin powder in it, and ideally a third nalgene of water.  Ideally. And yes, I pee a lot.

Dinner

This is absolutely the hardest one for me, but I’m getting better.  I need to continue to expand my options and add in new items.  But I like to grill portabello mushrooms or make chili lime chicken skewers… and sides are typically pineapple and zucchini or squash. I do like to eat simply and always have avoided condiments and dressings, but I know I need to expand my dinner options so I don’t get bored and give up.  I also still struggle with a “dessert” option, but have found natural fruit strips that are just sweet enough to count or I pop a handful of dried cranberries after dinner and that usually satisfies the sweet craving.  Oh! And I usually drink a glass of passion iced tea, unsweetened.

Workouts

I am continuing to train for my Olympic distance triathlon, which has been a lot of fun to train for so far.  I am good at the slow and steady workouts and know I need to focus more on speed these next few weeks.  But I’ve been putting in 2-3 swim workouts, 2-3 runs, and 2-3 long bikes a week. If that hasn’t kept me busy enough, I’ve been lifting at the gym once a week and going to yoga once a week. I’ve also joined a kickball league which is SO much fun! Our team is awesome and while I was nervous going in because I don’t really do ball sports.  But I’m learning the specific rules and nuances that make it different than softball or baseball (not that I’ve really ever played either of those).  It’s just nice to get outside on Sunday afternoons and play with new people 🙂

Oh, and the last new thing I’ve added to my athletic pursuits is CrossFit.  There was a Groupon so I’m trying it out with Brian.  I have to admit, I was hesitant going in because I cannot stand screaming and yelling and blasting music and chaos while working out.  That just doesn’t motivate me.  Tell me what to do, and let me do it.  I realize this sends off a stand-offish vibe and that it makes me a gym loner.  So I’m trying to work on that by going to these group classes.  It honestly hasn’t been bad! The coaches explain really well how to do the circuits and exercises with correct form, which I love.  Then we adjust weights as needed, so I do the prescribed legs and then just under the prescribed arms for now.  Then we rotate around in small groups or partners and get our circuits done.  Is it anything earth-shattering or really new? I don’t think so. Is it good cardiovascular lifting that gets me in the gym and working on strength when I hate doing it alone? Yes. So there’s that 🙂

Progress

So how have I seen changes?  The biggest thing I’ve noticed is my flatter stomach and I think that comes solely from changing my diet.  I used to get frustrated that I worked out so much and still had extra fat there, and knew it was from eating.  My shoulders and upper back muscles are way more defined than they were, which I think comes mainly from swimming so much.  My legs I feel like look the exact same as they did. My weight has maintained since I moved to California last August, as in I weighed the exact same this morning as I did when I moved here.  But I’m trying to remind myself that more is muscle and less is fat.  I’ve still got some work to do, but the bottom line for me is to just enjoy what I’m doing and make changes slowly so I really embrace and see the changes and thus motivate myself to keep it up.  I don’t want to be too drastic too fast because I’ll just get frustrated and burn out.  So here’s to keeping this up through the rest of the summer!

Vacationing in Virginia

A short 12 hours after getting home from Sequoia, my awesome roommate drove me to the airport to fly to Virginia! I laid over in Denver and got to talk to my adorable niece, Rachel, and brother while I waited for my next flight. Mom picked me up at Dulles and we did some travel planning and such that night. But let me back up for a second… So our school has two weeks of vacation before summer session starts and when they hired me, I told them I needed three weeks. I wasn’t being greedy, but I had already booked a cruise for my mom’s 60th birthday the first week of summer school. They said okay and I took the job. So we leave on that cruise (more on it next post) on Sunday. I figured if I was coming to the East Coast, I might as well come a week early to see my family and friends!

So Tuesday morning Mom and I drove down to Newport News, VA to see my paternal grandparents. We had a nice lunch with them and then drove then on a few errands. One of these was taking them to vote in the democratic primaries for VA, for which my Grandmother had researched and written her candidates on a sticky note so she wouldn’t forget and took that in with her, lol. Then we had dinner in Williamsburg, VA with my maternal grandparents.

I should pause to mention that I am trying to train for my triathlon right now, which means fitting in workouts wherever I am. Mom and I went to her fitness center at 5am before driving south so I could get a swim workout in and she could lift, bike, and walk. And I had the absolute pleasure of working out with my Grandfather two mornings while in Williamsburg and meeting all the fascinating “old men” he works out with. They all had really interesting life stories and putting me to shame in the gym! I also ran outside one morning while visiting Paige and remembered what I don’t miss about hot, humid Virginia summers.

Back to my week though, so I left Mom with her parents and drive south again to Buffalo Junction, VA to see my dear friend Paige. She’s going to be principal of the high school she’s been working at next year and it was cool to see her office and school! We then spent many many hours talking, relaxing, watching TLC, and just enjoying each other’s company. I did lock the keys in my mother’s car, which was quite an ordeal in the middle of nowhere, but it reminded me of the awesome hospitality of small, southern towns.

Then I drove back to Williamsburg late Thursday night and Mom and I cruised north Friday morning after stopping in to chat awhile with my great-aunt Murph. Storms had knocked out power to much of the Tidewater region, so we scurried off before the day got too hot. Mom dropped me at the metro in NOVA so I could ride in to see Claire! We went to an outdoor concert in the sculpture gardens of DC last night and the weather was perfect. We then walked over to have tapas near Chinatown at La Tasca, which we have frequented over the years.

Time for another pause in the story, so my roommate and I have been trying to eat healthier and “cleaner”, I guess. He calls it Paleo (with some exceptions) and I like to say I’m cutting out crappy carbs and processed foods. Whichever way, I’m basically trying to limit eating breads/grains, cheese, and pre-packaged or “fake” snacks. The goal of this is to feel better and have more energy, while at the same time forcing me to explore fresher, more natural foods. I don’t want to default to Goldfish and Wheat Thins for snacks when I could munch on baby cucumbers and almonds (both of which I’ve discovered I really like). This has been a challenge on this trip but I’ve actually done really well (I think) and am excited to keep it up!

So now to wrap up my pre-cruise trip, I’m hanging out with Claire in DC today and doing some fun touristy things. Then either tonight or tomorrow morning I’m meeting back up with Mom to drive to New Jersey for our cruise! As always, I’ve loved visiting home but it is never enough time to see everyone or do everything I want to :/ Oh well, I can only do what I can do and will enjoy that while I’m here. Happy summertime everyone!

Dr. Oz Three-Day Detox

Before any of you freak out about me not eating, or starving myself, or binge dieting. This isn’t/wasn’t what this detox was about. The goal of this detox is to get all the healthy nutrients you need for the day without a bunch of added fats or sugars. Several of my friends have tried this and said they felt a lot better afterwards, so I figured why not? It is also known as a “non-abrasive” way to get some of the toxins that build up in our digestive tract out, which can’t hurt either. So I decided to try this last Weds-Fri for several reasons: I work all day Thurs/Fri so it wouldn’t interfere with life too much and Weds was May 1st so it seemed like a great time to start. Step one: go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy stuff.20130506-062905.jpgThose of you who might be interested in trying this plan will want to know that overall it cost me about $63. And I obviously didn’t finish the whole can of flax-seed or the whole half-gallon of almond milk, so I have some leftovers to keep using. And this was all nine meals for those three days, plus vitamins, so it works out to about $7 a meal. Which is expensive, especially for breakfast, but reasonable in my mind to try for three days. So the deal is that you drink a green tea each morning (I did not add Stevia as recommended). Then you have three different smoothies for each meal, but then repeat them for each of the three days. I made some minor modifications, which I’ll describe below, but for the most part they were edible and actually kinda good!20130506-062936.jpgThe above smoothie is breakfast, which was probably my favorite. It was also the only one that didn’t use kale. I don’t love kale. The green stuff is spinach, then raspberries and a banana drive the flavor, with some almond butter, lemon juice, and flax-seed mixed in. This one was probably my favorite and I will continue to blend and drink it for breakfasts in the future. I didn’t make any changes to it as the days went on, which I also took as a good sign. I also enjoyed the green tea, although I microwaved it to help infuse the flavors faster and thus had warm-ish tea on my morning commute. Eh. Just left me feeling really thirsty by the time I got to work.20130506-062948.jpgAbove is the lunch smoothie, fully blended. On the last day. This one took some tweaking on my part to get it to drinkable. The first day I made it as listed and it was super chunky and thick and green and gross. I made it through about 1/6 of it before calling it off. Day two was better but I mistakenly threw in the pineapple core so again it was weird and chunky. Friday I finally got it down to drinkable, but it was still REALLY filling and I couldn’t finish it. The edits I made were using half as much kale, only two stalks of celery, and only half the cucumber. This cut down on the big chunky pieces, which allowed the rest to blend nicely. It also let the pineapple come through a little more to help the flavor. My least favorite and one I will probably never make again. Sorry Dr. Oz, I’m sure it’s healthy but it’s just not happening.20130506-062916.jpgThe picture above is everything I took with me to work for the day. From the left: extra water to drink in between meals (with cucumber for flavor!), breakfast smoothie, lunch smoothie, morning tea. Do you see why I was going to the bathroom all day every day? Anyway, to comment on the dinner smoothie as well, it was okay. I didn’t modify it too much other than cutting back on the kale a little. I liked it, especially the blueberries and mango, and I’d probably alternate it for breakfast with the actual breakfast smoothie.

Below is the printed sheet for what I did, but you can also just Google “Dr. Oz Three-Day Detox” and it will come up. Oh, and I didn’t do the detox baths. I don’t do baths and it seemed frivolous, but if that’s your thing, go for it! I also definitely did NOT make my favorite smoothie again for a snack. If you’re a guy, you might need to, if you’re a female who eats an average amount of food, you absolutely won’t need or want it.20130506-062927.jpgSo what did I get out of this plan? Well for starters, I lost just over six pounds in three days. Now some was water weight and I’ve gained about 1.5 pounds back already. But still that’s a 4.5 pound loss? More importantly, I did feel healthier or cleaner or whatever you want to call it. I know this isn’t sustainable and I hope to just incorporate what I learned into my daily routine. I learned I really like almond milk! And I still hate coconut water. I prefer spinach over kale, but will actually throw spinach into my smoothies from now on without worrying about texture or flavor.  I also learned what flax-seeds are and how to use them to help my digestive system.

Overall, I liked this plan because I knew exactly what I was consuming. It wasn’t some gross mystery powder you just swirled into water and drank all day. And it was only three days. I can stick with almost anything for three days. So I’m glad I tried it and would suggest it to someone more interested in health than weight-loss. If you check it out, feel free to comment and let us know how it goes!

**Update: I did this same detox in August 2014 and wrote a review about how it went the second time around. Check it out here!**

Stir-fry and Salmon Times Two

Week four of Japanese cooking class and we got a little fancy. Our sensei split the class into two groups and had us each cook a different recipe. I was in Team Beef Teriyaki with six others while the other half made Oyakodon.

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This was a dish similar to the Katsudon we made last week. It’s called Oyakodon which means parent-child dish because chicken and eggs are used, lol. The cooking dish is above, the green being spinach. The pinkish food on the right of the bowl below is “fish cake” so kind of like a fish meat sausage. Weird texture but not a terrible taste!

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But our side made our own teriyaki sauce which was very good, a little garlicky for me but good. Then we stripped and cooked the beef and served over a bowl of rice. It was really good and tender, but not anything too special. Our pot is below!

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This week for Thursday night dinner I filleted a salmon on the grill. I seasoned it with lemon and a little olive oil and rosemary. The rosemary was from our bush in the backyard, can’t get fresher than that! And I was just proud of myself for not burning the house down with the grill 🙂 The other salmon was baked in the oven and stuffed with a crabmeat concoction. This was a Costco special, but really tasty as well! Images are below, enjoy!

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