What made me decide to do a detox?
Well, lately nutrition fascinates me. Okay, like everyone right now I suppose. Okay. And also I came back from Thanksgiving as chubby as the turkey we obliterated.
So, as a general rule, I try to stay true to my French nutrition principles. Eat a little bit of everything, in moderation. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
Flexible, basically. But flexibility can go overboard often, especially when you are, uh, how should I put this. Me. And a glass of wine turns into three, a square of chocolate turns into twelve, a small coffee becomes a Venti, and that’s how, in a few days, it’s easy to get into a bad habit.
Moderation requires a lot of persistence, and patience with yourself.
So I wanted to see how it would feel to eat super healthy, super balanced meals for a few days. I wanted to know if maybe the reason I’d put on a few pounds wasn’t the quality but the quantity of what I was eating?
I thought of Sakara.
They have a five-day cleanse that’s super healthy, there’s no juicing (impossible for me, I tried a juice cleanse a few years ago and only lasted about three hours, I felt like my stomach was turning circles), but with real organic, gluten-free, vegan food – it’s very balanced and the meals are delivered to you at home, breakfast included, which is a dream for a lazy girl like me.
That’s all it took to convince me. I went for it.
Sunday night, my delivery arrived. I couldn’t wait to begin. Ok, so…
I work from home.
I open my breakfast, and the critic in me starts flaring up.
Is all this plastic really necessary? Hmm… I make myself a green tea, because I imagine if you’re doing a detox, coffee and alcohol probably aren’t on the menu. The program is a bit lacking in instructions*, actually. But that’s okay because…
The breakfast is delicious and pretty decadent – it’s a muffin with nut butter and fresh fruit, full of nutrients (each menu is detailed on the box and explains with humor the nutrients you’re going to absorb and why they’re so good for you) and, even though it’s not a lot of food, I’m not hungry at all anymore after I devour it.
Around 10am, I wonder about having a snack. I usually have a little snack around 11am and again around 4pm…otherwise I’m starving by the time I have my next meal and end up overeating. But there’s no snack.
I imagine that’s part of the “reset” idea (that’s what Sakara calls it actually, not a detox, it’s a reset and I like that because that’s exactly how I was looking at this) so I stick with it and don’t have a snack.
Lunch time comes and I devour it while Chris looks on sadly: “So I guess I’ll be flying solo this week for meals?” – Ah… Yeah, doing a detox (sorry, a reset) is kind of selfish, I guess.
He also says: “Whoa! Are you going to be able to eat all that?” YEAH IT’S TRUE the lunch is copious, no need to say anything, just let me eat please. Two big vegan wraps on a bed of salad (kale, arugula, spinach, this type of nutritious trio) with a delicious dressing.
I decide to save one of the wraps for an afternoon snack, and I have to say I’m very happy when 4:00 comes around. Because if I don’t have a snack at 4:00, I turn into the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and I’d be capable of eating the table if there’s nothing else in sight. Which is something I’m going to have to figure out if I want to survive the rest of the week. Otherwise, too bad, I’ll eat at 5:00pm just like hens (or turkeys?) do.
For dinner, I had salad with avocado and veggies, and yeah, no dessert, pffff you guys, obviously. Each meal is a unique dish. I also have a water in the morning and a water at night, and as much as I love the rose flavored water in the morning, I quickly decided to skip the evening one. Not my kind of taste!
At the end of the first day, I’m super happy. It’s really tasty, it’s really practical, I never feel hungry, and I feel so virtuous I hear angels singing around me. I don’t look in the mirror, but I’m SURE I’ve got the satisfied smile and rosy cheeks of one of these yoga girls who can do a handstand.
I can’t wait for the next day.
I’m on a photoshoot.
I have my breakfast – each day, the breakfast is delicious (and I love the variety – when I make breakfast, it’s always the same deal – muesli or avocado toast or avocado toast or muesli?) but as for the quantity, it’s weird. Some days it’s almost too much, other days I still feel hungry. I wonder if it depends on my appetite which depends on my activity level which depends on… Ah, so many questions so early in the day!
I take my lunch with me and I know a day like this is going to be a real test. Photoshoots are the worst for nutrition: there are moments of stress (primal reaction: EAT!!!) and boredom (primal reaction: EAT!!!), you’re not in your typical environment (primal reaction: EAT!!!), and most importantly they are usually catered with delicious food (primal reaction: EAT!!!) that’s just waiting for my hand to grab a banana-chia-something-healthy-whatever and shove it in my mouth before my brain has the time to say STTTTTOPPPPP, IT’S GLUTEN-FREE BUT IT’S 2000 CALORIES NOOOOO!!!
I resist the sublime granola they serve for breakfast, the beautiful morning muffins, and the overflowing cheese plate at lunch, and I open my salad (I’m starting to get used to the fact that my life is now based on salad and I’m going to forever be transforming myself into a salad), which makes my team jealous. Yep, I admit, the catering looks great but my salad is incredible, and stylish: I even get to eat flowers!
I’m pretty thrilled, especially since I usually end up leaving photoshoots half depressed because I couldn’t resist the call of the 4:00 cookies.
It shows me that a little organization can really help at complicated times like photoshoots – and that probably applies to traveling too, for example.
And yeah, okay, so what – you might look a little smug sitting in the corner with your health food, but pffff, who doesn’t want to have glowing skin and look as self-fulfilled as Gwyneth on the cover of It’s All Good? Hmm? Hmm?
Okay, enough bragging. When I get home, I’m starving. Eat-the-table-and-take-down-the-first-person-who-says-a-word-to-me hungry. I decide to eat dinner early, and when I open my salad, I feel slightly bummed. It’s cold outside, and what I really want is a good hot, comforting soup – a food hug, basically.
Oh! Hey, I think I have a delicious soup in the fridge. Hahaha! This is the first time I cheat on my detox, but since it’s a veggie soup, it doesn’t count, RIGHT?
I have meetings, I spend the day out.
I feel pretty good and my digestion is, how to say it without really saying it – fantastic. Like freeway traffic at 4 in the morning. Flowing perfectly!
But is it possible to feel healthy and exhausted at the same time? After 3pm, all I want to do is go home and get under the covers. I go through the rest of my appointments feeling deeply tired, I cancel a party (in any case, a detox week, sorry reset, isn’t really a good time for socializing), and I throw on my pajamas.
The day before, SURPRISE GIFT! I got a little pouch of chocolate granola in addition to one of my meals. When I discovered the little pouch, I was worse than my dog Lulu when I give her a bone: my eyes turned circles, I rolled around on the ground in happiness and did three backwards somersaults before taking my granola to a little corner of the room and disappearing for two hours. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but I totally devoured it.
For me, food has always been a synonym for comfort when I feel empty or lacking in energy or love, so, bam, take that chocolate granola.
Apparently detoxes tend to do that. As your toxins leave, blocked emotions can come up and I know you’re snickering over there at my woowooness, but I believe 100% in the connection between our bodies and minds. MY DETOX (sorry, reset) is working!
Sometimes you even feel like crying. I wouldn’t go that far, but it’s true that after my last appointment of the day, which was particularly difficult, I did get tears in my eyes, and I made a super important professional decision that I’ll tell you about soon.
The day goes by as if I were wrapped in cotton – I fall asleep and can’t wait for Chris to come home and hold me in his arms.
Appointment + working from home + meeting a friend.
It’s -12 degrees outside and I’m not exaggerating. I’m starting to get used to eating super healthy and honestly, I feel really great. I feel like my stomach is calm and happy. Do you know the feeling of having a happy tummy or am I just going crazy with all my new age nonsense? This morning my breakfast came with a delicious coconut milk. And I start to cheat a little bit on the program – a few nuts for a morning snack, for example.
When I meet my friend toward the end of the afternoon, and she puts a few pieces of chocolate in front of me, I can’t resist – but I don’t feel guilty for a second. I’m pretty happy that my “week” (ok right, it’s only five days) is almost over.
I feel like I’ve spent a week in someone else’s wardrobe. I love their clothes, but after a while, I don’t feel like myself anymore, even though after this experience, I’d be thrilled to borrow some of her shoes and a few of her ideas! (Pheeeew, that’s quite the analogy, no worries if you didn’t follow.)
In general, the meals are good, balanced, and plentiful without making you feel stuffed, but that night, I feel like my salad is kind of an afterthought more than anything: a few pieces of squash, half an avocado and green salad, which I could have done myself and most of all, it’s really not salad season. I repeat, it’s -12 outside!
At the Studio!
I spend the day in the studio with my team. My favorite day of the week, like every week, and it’s also the day when there are tons of delicious snacks everywhere, especially during the holiday season. Plus, I’m hungry. I decide to say YES to lunch with Delphine, my friend and agent, because the social animal that I am is tired of eating in a corner by myself. So I eat my lunch before meeting up with her, then I order a roasted eggplant (I mean, it’s two slices, basically)(for those of you who know it, we’re at Café Mogador)(besides, Delphine and I always meet at the healthiest restaurants in New York since we’re textbook healthy girls on top of our gluten-freeization game)…yep. That afternoon, I can’t resist a little piece of chocolate sent with love by Dries Van Noten.
Who could resist chocolate from Dries Van Noten (no seriously my chocolate obsession is reaching a critical level and I think I’m going to have to open a Chocoholics Anonymous where I won’t be anonymous at all) I ask you?
As for the evening…argh, the evening. That evening, I have plans with a friend to go see Louis CK at Madison Square Garden. When she arrives at our seats with two glasses of champagne and two vodka sodas (yeah, my friend takes humor VERY seriously) I don’t have the courage to say no. And when she insists on taking me to a Korean restaurant to catch up, all I can say is YES OF COURSE I WAS DOING A DETOX THIS WEEK BUT HONESTLY AT THIS HOUR IT MIGHT AS WELL BE TOMORROW ANYWAY!!!
So I treat myself and honestly, it’s not too far off my Sakara detox, except it’s not vegan. Veggies, seaweed, grilled meats, it’s delicious, noisy and the best way to celebrate the end of my detox. Right?
And now…the results!!!
And the answers to all your questions!!!
1) Why does the detox not come with instructions?
Because I didn’t receive the booklet that usually comes with the first delivery. I don’t know what happened, and I’m still waiting for it, but after speaking with Danielle, one of the founders, I learned the principles I had come up with were correct:
· No coffee or tea – coffee and teas are inflammatory, so this is an opportunity to give your body a break.
· No snacking. The theory is that three meals, if they are well balanced, should be enough, and it gives your digestive system a chance to rest. For me, as a table-eater, it’s very difficult, I have to admit.
· Lots of water, of course.
2) What did I learn?
Lots of things.
· First of all, I learned I wasn’t eating enough vegetables, even though I thought I was eating tons. I’ve changed a lot since. I always try to start my meals with a salad and I balance my days very differently. That changes EVERYTHING in terms of the traffic at 4:00 in the morning, if you see what I mean.
· Next, I learned I needed to give more attention to my breakfasts, which were really too boring before my reset. Now I’m learning lots of quick and easy recipes, like I’m making my own chia pudding which I eat with a passionate look on my face and with a halo and angels singing all around me. I’ve got other healthy recipes for lazy people if you want, but I’m sure you can find better ones elsewhere, because no one is as lazy as me.
· I also learned that being organized helps you be more mindful of what you eat when you know there will be lots of temptations, like at a photoshoot or while traveling. I’m going to try to bring my own food now and I’ll be best friends with the healthy girls on the plane instead of the ones getting drunk on champagne who start out laughing and end up telling you their life story while crying. My life will become perfect and boring, but I’ll have glowing skin and perfectly flowing digestion.
3) How did I feel?
Pretty good, even though I thought it was weird taking on eating habits so different from my own. I realized how much I like hot meals, how important snacks are to me, and lots of other little things that will help me eat better.
4) Did I lose weight?
Yes! I lost the weight I’d gained at Thanksgiving, about five pounds. I immediately gained it back though, during the crazy week when everyone is going to end-of-year parties and dinners. Tsk tsk, you don’t do a reset to lose weight though, ladies.
5) And what about all the plastic?
So I called Danielle, one of the founders of Sakara, to ask her if there might be a more environmentally friendly option, and she explained that they started out delivering their meals in biodegradable cardboard, but when they took a closer look, plastic turned out to be easier to recycle. As for delivering the food in glass containers that you could return later, she said they had looked into it with another company who did that, and it turned out to be so complicated the company had to shut down. I thought her explanation was clear and honest, even though I’m obviously not explaining it all as well as she did.
Translated by Andrea Perdue