clean eating

I'll Try That Week! #1: The "Monday Reset" Cleanse from bBar in Del Mar

Mondays drag. Most of us ate too much, drank too much. No matter what, you always just feel like you did too much of nothing (or not the right thing) and an over abundance of something

Last week, I told you about my experiment in eliminating meat and limiting dairy... a decision that was challenged this weekend with a 6 hour rugby tournament (where I worked the burger/hot dog food stand) and our traditional "Avant Family St. Patty's Day Corned Beef Extravaganza." If there was ever a week to start off with a cleanse, it would have been this one. 

Here in San Diego, we have a new bar in town. But it's a good one - a place where the only thing that may hurt if you frequent it is your wallet. bBar is the official "Ultimate Juice, Superfood, and Vitality Bar" located off Via de la Valle in Del Mar (across from the Flower Hill Mall, by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf). It's a place to pick up a yummy smoothie, a variety of the Beaming juices, a fabulous salad or a raw protein bite. I feel healthier just walking in the door. 

While I've never been one to even attempt a cleanse, last month I did the bBar's new Monday Reset - a one day juice and salad cleanse that aims to start your week off on the right track. I know what you are thinking - how can one day do any good? Well, according to Lisa Odenweller, CEO of Beaming, it can actually do a lot of good. 

One of the best ways to reduce inflammation and alkalize your body is to take one day a week where you give your digestion a break and get off the foods (and drinks) that wreak havoc on your body (dairy, wheat/gluten, sugar, alcohol), allowing your body to reset and thrive.  Just one day of drinking mostly juice and a salad or other plant based foods/drinks will give your body what it needs to start the week right while setting good habits for the week.   Our Monday Reset Cleanse is designed with this goal in mind and is a great sampler of 4 of our favorite juices that gives great variety while also including our delicious freshly made sprouted almond milk, our beaming plant protein blend, a Beaming Superfood Bite (which tastes almost too good to be good for you!!) and one of our signature salads or raw dishes.  We make it as simple as possible by making it delicious and healthy so that you don't feel deprived but are instead rejuvenated and inspired.  
And she was right about the bite and almond milk - they were like candy! So, of course I had to ask about the nutritional breakdown of what I was consuming that day. I mean, aren't almonds fattening? 
We believe in keeping things low glycemic which is especially important when drinking juice all day and when cleansing.  We offer cleansing programs that are extremely balanced by making sure that the juices & smoothies on our cleanses are low in fruit sugar and high in vegetables -- this helps to prevent insulin crashes and optimize your metabolism.  Most of our diets are already filled with too much sugar (even too much fruit sugar isn't good for us) so we believe the more green the better.  Even our most popular green juices (Beaming Zing and Fennel Love) have less than 1/4 apple in them which is considerably less than most juices on the market.  While it will almost always taste better with more fruit, we believe in limiting the fruit because we know its better for you.


Coming from the girl that "does not do cleanses" - I really enjoyed this one. First, it was only 24 hours. Second, you got a super yummy salad for dinner that helped me to push through the end. I will admit, I got a little light-headed around 4:00ish, but I also think I ate my protein bite too early. Most of the juices were delicious, there were two of them that were not ones I would routinely drink. I was going to work out in the morning, but didn't, and I'm glad I was unable to in the end - it may have pushed me too far that day. 

In the end I was happy that I powered through. And funny enough, I woke up on Tuesday morning and considered driving down and getting all the same juices and trying for a second day. I'm still not sure I could do a 4-day, but after my positive experience with the Monday Reset, I won't rule it out. 


*disclosure: bBar provided me with the "Monday Reset" for review purposes. Opinions are my own. 

Experiments in Happiness: "Meatless In San Diego"

Last week I talked a bit about my vision board, Happiness Bootcamp, and finding my theme for the year. Today, I'm going to tell you about a pretty substantial life change that I made around one of my theme words, ENERGY.

While for me, "energy" has a few different meanings (surrounding myself in the positive, not being tired all the time, having the mindset to be able to be a good parent and wife, etc) I realized the first step is to make a change to impact the physical part of this theme. Basically, I need to not always be exhausted. Since physical energy levels affect so much of your happiness, I decided to tackle that first. And since energy comes from our food sources, that's where I started. And?

I stopped eating meat.

I know that current diet fads are more about more meat and no grains, and that cutting out meat is not very vogue at the moment, but that is the direction I took. I don't really have a gluten allergy but I do have other health issues, mainly high blood-pressure and a history of heart disease and diverticulitis in my family, that made me weary of eating a high meat diet. After talking with my Doctor, she suggested going to more of a vegan platform, but we both felt that to be a bit extreme for me to launch into. So she challenged me to eat less meat and cut back my dairy intake. We had a follow-up appointment in four weeks, so I gave myself a month to see if I could do it, and if it made a difference in how I felt. 

That was six weeks ago. Six bacon, steak, chicken and pork-free weeks ago.

Additionally, it was also 12lbs ago. 

It became a challenge to me to see how long I could go, and I just did it. While there have been moments (of PMS) that I have wanted to swing through the Carl's Jr drive-thru and shove a bacon cheese burger in my mouth, for the most part it hasn't been that hard. Since it's a diet thing and not an "animal" thing, I am still eating fish and having the occasional egg.

But contrary to popular belief, I'm not just sitting around eating pasta and grilled cheese sandwhiches. In fact, since I'm limiting dairy, I haven't had a stand alone piece of cheese in 6 weeks either. Yes, I've had cheese sprinkled on things or lightly added into a dish, but I have not sat down and gotten personal with a wedge of brie or a loaf of cheddar in over a month. 

So, how do I FEEL? 

Actually, I feel good. I'm not bloated anymore and no longer have that "too full" feeling after eating dinner. While I'm still tired a lot, I know it's not from what I'm consuming. What I am consuming is a lot of greens and "clean food"; Kale, arugula, beans and fruit have become a go-to for me. I'm having raw almonds and avocado and some whole grains like brown rice, quinoa and farrow. I've been so bored of food that it's actually been a nice change-up for me. Having to go outside my comfort zone for food, I've discovered a few things that I really like that I hadn't thought of eating before. 

I'm not sure this is a permanent change for me, but the funny thing is that I don't think I'll go back to chicken.. I do miss a good steak, and I'm sure this summer I will need to break down and eat carnitas at some point. But right now I'm almost afraid to. My digestive system has adjusted, and I fear what a burger may do to it. 

An interesting side note is that it's caused me to start cooking more and experimenting in the kitchen. Tonight I made a toasted quinoa and kale salad, the other day I used "hemp hearts" on a salad (que college drug paraphernalia joke). I've never paid attention to the vegetarian area of restaurants menus before, and I'm kinda digging this change up in my diet. 

Experiment Outcome: So far, so good. But I can't guarantee I won't be swayed by a good 'ole Santa Maria tri-tip sandwich in the future.