In the beginning of this year, I would not have considered myself a vegan nor a vegetarian. I was eating just “normal”. But l always liked to experiment with food. I use to read about nutrition and then directly try new things out to see if they work and if there are impacts on my body and my well-being. Lately, I’m obsessed with reading about alkaline nutrition, detoxing and trying out vegan recipes. I always admired how much time vegans dedicate in avoiding “bad food“ and finding new delicious combinations of “good food”. This was actually one of the reasons why I always said that I could never be a vegan. Just too time consuming. But then, things changed. I felt like doing something good to my body after last years Christmas season. I’m sure you know this feeling of guilt when you just ate and drank too much and then feel unhealthy and slightly disgusted about yourself. So that’s the moment when you’re open to all different kinds of clean eating and sports guides and you desperately look for that magical plan to feel all healthy and comfy again.
So this year I wanted to try something new, something radical and effective. In anticipation of the post-xmas crisis, I got myself two books. One was called ‘Basenfasten’ by Sabine Wacker and is like an alkaline fasting guide and the other one was ‘vegan for beginners’. Super inspired I decided to start what I call the ‘three weeks alkaline detox’.
What is it that you can’t eat?
Or rather, what are you actually allowed to eat? Basically, my nutrition excluded all kinds of animal products (milk, eggs, butter, cheese, meat, fish), pasta & co., rice & co., bread, corn, chickpeas, beans, soy, alcohol, vinegar, additives, honey, nuts & co. and no sugar except for fruit sugar. Also, I could not have coffee or caffeine, not even decaf. Poor me. I have to admit, my choice of foods and drinks was pretty limited. Of course this kind of alkaline fasting detox is much harder than a ‘simple’ vegan diet. I sometimes wished I could just eat like a vegan. When I would say this to my friends they would just roll their eyes, it seemed crazy to them because for them, a vegan diet was already hard. But it made me realize at the same time that the vegan diet is not as though as I always thought, compared with the nutritional rules I was following at that time. So basically, what I was allowed to eat was: all veggies, preferably organic, all fruits including dried fruits, olives, olive oil, seeds, sprouts, almonds and potatoes. Yay, great right?
So, how did I survive?
First and most important, I made sure that I never felt hungry. I ate when I felt like I needed food and tried to listen to my body. I started to always prepare my lunch and sometimes even dinner the day before. I always had a meal of good food in my fridge, ready to be eaten. Like this, I was sure that even if I got home late after work, I just had to warm it up and no risk of eating forbidden stuff. I used to cook a lot of veggies all in one pan, then split them in half and make different sauces to spice them up and make two completely different dishes. Variety is key, otherwise you risk to get super bored and eventually start to have cravings for the forbidden food. So I would for example cook zucchini, leek, eggplant and peppers and add to half of it coconut milk and curry, and to the other half tomato sauce and basil. This was very time saving and essential to not get bored of all the veggies. I will upload some of the recipes on the blog so you can have an idea. And then, there was avocado. It is just the perfect snack or ingredient to literally everything. I would eat avocado every single day of my detox. It’s just too good not to be eaten. My favorite way of eating it is just by simply cutting the upper part, and then with some salt and lime, spoon it out like a yoghurt. Or prepare it as a creamy guacamole dip for veggies and potatoes. I came up with a lot of new recipes and snack ideas. I really had to because otherwise I would have to stop eating at all. So, some combinations I did were really yummy, others were not really satisfactory…at all. But that is how it goes and you learn from the errors. If you would like to read more about my meal plans and healthy snacking ideas wait for my next post and I’ll write down all the details.
Give it a try and you will realize it is not as hard as it seems. A bit of organization and creativity in cooking and you’re all set. What gave me a lot of motivation was that good feeling of taking care of my body. It’s like a cleansing from the inside. First it’s hard, but the longer you go, the prouder you are of yourself. Already this makes you feel great. And second, you only eat unprocessed clean food, the same food that our ancestors hundreds of years ago already used to eat. No additives, no preserving agents, no sweeteners. Itsn’t that kind of cool? It gives you that feeling of bringing your body in balance with nature as it is supposed to be. All the veggies and fruits, no regrets in eating bad stuff, no overeating or binging, and then that excitement of discovering new food and actually liking them. It’s also interesting to go to the health food store (Reformhaus) and discover all the different ingredients and things they have there. Half of the stuff they sell I didn’t even know and much less did I know what to do with them. But then you ask the personnel, you Google nutritional information and recipes, and then you simply try those things out. I developed my love for almond milk with maca powder and flax seeds. I never had those things before. Neither did I know spirulina, chia seeds, hemp protein, matcha, alkaline powder, carob and all the other things they sell. But as emergency makes you creative, you develop new recipes and eating habits and it forces you to be more conscious about what you eat and buy. So, what were the impacts on my body? I definitely lost some weight. I can’t say how much I lost during those 3 detox weeks because I never step on a scale. But when I put on my tight pants and they were not tight anymore, that was definitely a good proof. Other than this, I just felt great about my body.