Have you ever been out for a run when nature decided to call? There’s some science behind why that happens, as well as a few things you can do to help avoid running into that problem in the future.
Adjua Fisher at Philladelphia Magazine spoke with Dr. Christine Meyer to find out why running seems to make our bowels decide to evacuate. It all comes down to two things: serious runners tend to have a higher gastrointestinal motility (things move through faster), and when you run, your body releases hormones that increase the sensitivity of your intestinal lining (which makes your gut become more easily irritable). Meyer suggests a change in your pre-run diet can help you avoid any problems. Go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and vegetables) and protein (poultry, seafood, and some dairy) instead of simple carbs and fatty foods that are high on the glycemic index. It’s also a good idea to try and take care of business before you go running, so drink some hot liquids to get things moving. You can learn more at the link below.
With the party season approaching, Rebecca Anne Milford decided a pre-Christmas cleanse was in order, and so tested out the Alkaline Balance Cleanse diet from Nosh Detox.
We all know that Christmas is a time prone to overindulgence. And quite rightly so – there aren’t many other occasions where it’s okay to eat reheated Pigs in Blankets for breakfast, or snack on mince pies three times a day. But it’s also the season of parties and glitz and dancing under mistletoe, so naturally one wants to look their best. Therefore it made sense that a November Health Kick was in order to set me up for the coming festivities.
The Nosh ABC cleanse couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d been on a late holiday where I completely allowed myself free reign – meaning that I ate all the food, and, despite taking my running shoes, saw them languish in my bag in favour of flip-flops. So I was feeling a little lumpy, a little uninspired, and more than a little anxious about the fact I already had some occasions penciled into my diary where I wanted to wear nice dresses. What’s more, no one is thrilled to get up and go for a run in the morning when the skies are grey and it’s drizzling.
The answer? To call upon Nosh Detox. I’d already tried their juice plan and enjoyed the rebalancing, rejuvenating properties. But this time I didn’t just want to give my digestive system a spring-clean, I wanted to actually loose a few pounds, so when I clicked onto their website and saw the ABC Diet then it immediately appealed.
As Easy As ABC
ABC stands for Alkaline Balance and Cleanse, and is a 6-day programme based on the Viva Mayr diet. The plan promises to help you loose weight and cleanse your system through a combination of juices and foods delivered to your door – I would be saying goodbye to my pot-belly in 6 days (good riddance!), improve my digestive health, and loose up to 3 to 4 pounds. All this through an intake of nutritious food, with no huger pangs.
My diet revolved around two days of eating three raw main meals with two snacks (mostly gluten free, organic produce), then three days of liquid during the day (soups and smoothies) with a balanced meal in the evening, and then a final two days of the raw diet. Everything was delivered throughout the week for maximum easy.
So, how did I find it?
Here’s a few sample extracts of the diary I kept…
My food delivery arrived last night – packaged neatly into bags and made lovingly for me, all with market fresh ingredients! Everything is in handy, labelled vacuum packages with menus included. Today is my raw day 1 and I start with a Gluten free porridge. It’s delicious! It must have been soaked overnight, and the currants burst with sweet little pops. Best of all, there is a creaminess that makes it feel completely luxurious. I need to find out how to make this. And cold porridge? I’m now a fan! I accompany this with lemon and hot water – a little trick I learned from the Nosh juice cleanse.
For lunch I have a hearty, greenery packed lentil salad with huge chunks of avocado, and I find that by snack time I don’t feel hungry. Still, soon as I have a bite I find I’m actually ravenous, so the golden chunks of chicken fill me well.
By dinner time, I’m really looking forward to my meal, not least because the food has genuinely been so tasty thus far. I almost have to double take when I see the menu. Pasta? On a diet?? Surely I’m supposed to have blended lettuce leaves instead? But no, I sensible portion of spaghetti stir fry with prawns is gently heated in water. It’s delicious, and the good thing is I can’t sneak back to the pan for more. I’m really hoping the diet continues like this, because there have been absolutely no cravings so far.
Since starting this programme I haven’t woken up hungry once – a phenomenon that many serial dieters will be amazed by. There’s nothing worse than starting the day with a cavernous stomach, knowing that you have to subsist on celery sticks until evening. And my stomach has already shrunk, since I’ve cut out refined carbs and sugars – I notice my jeans fit better and my tummy is definitely flatter – hurrah! This is encouragement if ever there was. And one huge difference is the definition in my face. I know a large part of this will be the lack of alcohol – cut out the booze and you beat the bloat.
Today is the first day of my Liquid Menu, and brightly coloured bottles are lined up in the fridge. I begin my morning with hot water and lemon as well as a tasty mango juice. It’s bright, sunny and brings a hint of the exotic to me on this grey morning.
But by snack time I’m really craving a croissant. This is the hardest day so far, and the weather makes me want stodgy treats like toast dripping in butter, or warm scones. Doubtless if I was left to my on devices I’d crack, but that’s what is so good about the deliveries – the food is on hand and there’s no reason for me to fail. I sip on my second juice of the day and stay determined. Then, when lunch time arrives, the Red Pepper, Carrot and Ginger soup is very welcome. It’s warming, hearty, and exactly what I need.
I can tell the juice side of things is going to do wonders for my body but still – I’m relieved when it’s dinner time and I can eat grilled chicken with vegetables. I don’t even have craving for chocolate afterwards – which is a first!
Today is the last day of the liquid menu – it’s been a little tough, but by now nothing will stop me (particularly since I know a healthy breakfast is coming tomorrow!). Actually, it’s made a lot easier knowing there’s a meal at the end of the day. For many, this will be the perfect balance – juices and soups in the day, perfect for popping into bags or taking to work – and then a meal ready for you when you get home. Today I’m having Thai Curry, and just the knowledge that a nutritious meal is waiting (that I don’t have to cook!) not only spurs me on but ensures there’s no chance of falling back on a takeaway. It’s like having my own private chef looking out for my diet. And yesterday I needed my meals delivered to a different location, which was no problem at all – the Nosh team were 100% accommodating.
It’s the last day! This morning I eat my favourite breakfast of the lot – some chickpea pancakes. I’m actually really sad to be finishing the ABC Diet, which is the opposite of what I’d usually feel (i.e. planning the very first thing I’ll be eating the next morning!). I want to carry on this good work, since the difference I’ve seen in my body is seriously amazing. I can usually eat healthy for about three or four days but then crack with wine or pizza – this is one of the first times a while week has gone by of clean eating. I’ve also been able to head to the gym – on some diets one doesn’t have the energy, but I had so much of this one. I’m already planning next week and how I can incorporate soups, juices and clean eating into my lifestyle.
When I began the diet I was 8st 10lbs, and upon finishing I was 8.5lb, so I had lost 5 pounds – and it showed! I was slimmer, less bloated, my face and skin were radiant, and, well, the only way I can put it was I felt like I was in my own body again, rather than wearing a slightly chunky suit of myself.
I was never hungry, and the food was seriously delicious (I need the recipe for the thai curry and the pancakes!). Anyone who is put off by the idea of juicing, then this is 100% the diet for you. And although some days are mainly liquid, the soups are hearty and nourishing and perfect for cold weather. In fact, it’s taught me a lot about how I’m gong to eat throughout the winter months, and given me so many ideas. Essentially, this is what makes Nosh so brilliant – they’re a diet to truly believe in, not some faddy routine that makes you pile the pounds back on. It’s an education as well as an eating plan.
But the weight loss, although amazing, was only the start of it. I can’t recommend this ABC diet enough for its boost to overall mentality. The plan did more than help me shed a few pounds – it got my confidence back. We’ve all had those times where we’ve taken a hiatus from the gym, got a bit squashier, and then dreaded going back. During the diet I felt healthier inside and so actually wanted to get onto the treadmill – and it felt amazing.
For a diet to reboot your system – both physically and mentally – I really can’t recommend the ABC Cleanse enough. Trust me – you’ll be raring to get into that glitzy dress for the festive season, and have such a good attitude for 2016.
Rebecca Anne Milford is Editor in Chief of Business of Everything Magazine, and is both a keen traveller and dedicated foodie. However, combined with this passion for delicious meals (and cocktails…and wine…) she also likes to look after herself and knows the importance of health. Join her on Twitter @Rebecca_anne_m for more insight into her attempts at moderation, and determination to only have cake for breakfast every now and then…