COUPLE'S THERAPY WITH THE DETOX BOX
Doing things in pairs is usually a lot more fun and memorable than doing something by yourself. Take my wife, Liz, and I. We play on a coed indoor soccer team on Monday nights, try to do as many activities as we can together, and the trips that we've had the most fun on have been with each other. So the other day, as we were walking out of ClubSport, we saw The Detox Box on a shelf and decided to give it a go as a sort of couple's nutritional therapy, if you will.
What piqued our interest in the weeklong Detox Box program was the possible benefits — improved mood and energy, boosted metabolism, and weight loss — but we were also wary of the side effects that could result during the process, like feeling hangry (hungry + angry) and depleted. With a trip to Las Vegas coming up, we figured we would take our chances — you know, a little detox before a little intox …
DETOX PREP DAY
We felt that to really succeed at this detox, we had to prepare, prepare, and prepare. We each opened our Detox Box as soon as we got home and read the instructions to see what we were getting into. With some of our favorite foods — Mexican queso fresco, flour tortillas, and pizza — not on the detox-approved list, we figured that the easiest way to go about this was to plan an entire week of dinners and snacks (The Detox Box requires that you drink two smoothies, have one meal for either lunch or dinner, and to snack as needed).
Once our list was full of the healthiest stuff on Earth, we set off to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, both conveniently near our home. Buying completely organic fruits, veggies, poultry, and fish, we quickly realized, can be inconveniently expensive. As soon as we got back home, we washed, chopped, and prepped fruits and veggies for snacks and separated all of our ingredients for dinner to make life easier during the week. Having everything prepped for the next seven days felt nice and made the detox seem less daunting.
We decided to document our experiences separately from this point forward due to our individual dietary needs. The Detox Box is designed to be flexible enough so that active individuals can meet their caloric needs. Because we're both pretty active, we focused primarily and how satisfied and energetic we felt throughout the day, including our workouts.
I usually start my day with coffee and a bagel, and I'm usually hungry again within an hour. Today, though, I started my day with a shake and it kept me full. I had a second shake for lunch, which, along with a surprisingly delicious snack of raw veggies and hummus, gave me the energy I needed for the rest of the day. I played soccer that evening and felt good on the field. My energy level held up and I scored a couple of times. It wasn't until after my game that I felt tired and hungry.
While the detox permits one cup of organic coffee sweetened with stevia, I decided to just cut it out completely. I'm not sure if it was the lack of caffeine or the lack of sleep from the night before (it was probably both), but I felt tired the entire day. At 6-foot-2 and 194 pounds, the shakes didn't exactly fill me up, so I snacked frequently throughout the day and felt like dinner couldn't come soon enough. I felt a little more sluggish during my soccer game that evening, but again, that was probably just a consequence of not getting enough sleep the night before.
The shakes are super convenient. I had one during my morning commute and, because I have a short lunch break at work, it was easier to have a shake than a full lunch. I started to feel tired and hungry toward the end of my day, but I snacked on veggies during my commute home and that gave me a boost. I do miss my morning cup of coffee and some of my favorite foods, though.
Today was my second day without coffee and I actually don't miss it at all. I still felt hungry after my morning and noon shakes, and my snacks of fruits and veggies didn't do the trick either. I felt a little better energy-wise, but I'm not sure if that's because I got a little more sleep or if it was because the detox is working. I skipped my workout today because I'm recovering from a torn left quad and it felt sore after last night's game.
It's been three days without coffee and I finally started to feel like I don't really need it in the morning and I've noticed a change in both my mood and energy levels, which have been consistently good over the past few mornings. I did feel tired and hungry on my way home, but I snacked on almonds and grapes on my commute and that held me off until dinner. Speaking of dinner, we squeezed it in before heading off to a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game. My husband and I will usually have a snack and a beer at the game, and while it was tempting, we stayed strong and stuck to water.
The morning and noon shakes actually kept me full and I credit that to the handful of almonds I added to my recipe. I was so full that I actually didn't really need snacks to keep hunger at bay, but I still snacked just to make sure I had enough fuel during my workout. I went to ClubSport at noon and did some bodyweight strength training and my energy level felt good throughout. My wife and I ate dinner early because we had a San Jose Earthquakes game to get to, and as much as I wanted a beer at the stadium, I settled for water. I was really hungry by the time we got home, so I hit the fridge for some veggies, by far the healthiest midnight snack I've ever had.
The morning shake is still keeping my energy up. I hadn't realized how sluggish my usual breakfast made me feel. Between the shakes and healthy snacks, I really do feel more energized. Motivation to work out is hard to come by after a long day at work and a lengthy commute, but these last few days have really inspired me to work out despite how much I really just want to go home and slide into comfy clothes. This clean eating thing is really having a positive trickle-down effect in other areas.
I think my body is adjusting to the shakes because they kept me full again. I finally started to reap some of the benefits of the detox; I felt more alert and energetic throughout the day. As a matter of fact, I felt so good that I worked out at noon and then played with my men's indoor soccer team at 10:30pm, and I felt light, strong, and with more than enough energy to last both times. No midnight veggie snack this time.
My energy levels are still consistently good, so I decided to kick up the intensity in my afternoon workout. Not once did I run out of fuel, so I'd say the best part of the detox thus far is how good I feel during physical activity. The smoothies are still keeping me full and the snacks help keep me satisfied throughout the day.
I'm a little tired of having two shakes per day, especially the breakfast one. I would say the hardest part of the detox thus far is it seems like you're just eating the same thing every day. I just want solid food! At least I do get to experiment with the snacks I eat and the dinners my wife and I make. As for my workout, I went to the club at noon and definitely felt low on energy, but that's likely due to still feeling tired from my soccer game the night before.
The hardest part about this detox is being able to enjoy my favorite comfort food! After a stressful week at work, I was craving pizza and wine this weekend. Luckily, doing this cleanse with my husband helped keep me focused because I know we're both going through the same thing. I did feel a little more tired than I had felt during the week, so it was nice to have a day off to just recharge.
I was so bummed out that we couldn't eat out while watching the Golden State Warriors playoff game! Besides that, I felt the same way I have the last couple of days: Full from the morning shake, full from the noon shake, and starving in the afternoon just before dinner. I didn't work out because I felt my body needed the rest, so my energy level was pretty consistent throughout the day.
DAY 7 — END OF THE DETOX
Sunday wasn't much different than Saturday, sadly. The dinners we've made throughout the week have been delicious, but I'm still craving comfort food. It was warm out, so my husband and I decided to go get an iced coffee from a nearby coffee shop … and then we realized it was off limits because it didn't fall into the detox guidelines. Instead, we sat down and planned our meals for the week ahead.
Sunday-not-so-fun-day! The weather was gorgeous and all I wanted was a cold beer or glass of wine, but those are obviously off limits (at least for another day). If it weren't for the fact that I'm doing this with my wife, I would've broken the rules of this detox two days in. I had a swim lesson in the morning and woke up too late to make a smoothie, so I went to my lesson with an empty stomach. I hurried home after and chugged my shake, but it wasn't enough to fill me up. I snacked like crazy throughout the day and inhaled dinner, and even then I still felt hungry.
DETOX WEEK CONCLUSIONS
I think that The Detox Box program shed some light on my eating habits and, more than anything, introduced concepts that I'll continue to apply. I felt like I had more energy and definitely ate a lot healthier than probably ever. It was eye-opening to see how the food I eat drastically affects my mood and energy level. From here on out, I intend to continue to meal plan, eat more balanced meals, incorporate healthier foods and snacks, and avoid carbs so that I don't feel as heavy and sluggish during my workouts.
I would do The Detox Box program again in the future. It wasn't difficult at all to follow and I feel it's a great way to help your body get rid of all the bad stuff and wipe the slate clean. The added support of doing the detox with someone else definitely makes it easier, but now that I know what it consists of, I think I could do it on my own.
I have mixed feelings about the detox. On one hand, I didn't really feel more alert or energetic than usual, though that could've been because I'm terrible about getting a good night's sleep. On the other hand, though my intention wasn't to lose weight, I did drop three pounds. My real goal was to prove to myself that I could eat much cleaner without feeling like I lacked energy throughout the day and especially during my workouts, and I do feel like I accomplished that.
It was great doing this alongside my wife for the added support and motivation, and I'll incorporate healthier eating habits as well as the meal planning aspect of The Detox Box moving forward. With that as my take-away from this experience, I'm not so sure I'd try the detox again in the future just because I think that I could clean up my diet with some simple tweaks.