As a food writer and admitted sugar junkie, I've taken advantage of the rich foods made available to me this holiday season. But with the holiday season drawing to a close, January and February become a natural time for change. To usher in the end of my holiday gluttony and welcome simplicity in my lifestyle and eating habits, cleansing is in order.
Here are three diet-cleansing programs facilitated locally to help set the body, mind and spirit right.
After watching the movie Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, downtown Tacoma resident Patricia Lecy-Davis decided the New Year was as good a time as any to do a juice cleanse, saying, "I'm ready to get healthier." Luckily her husband is Thane Davis, owner of the juice bar Smooth & Juicey. He agreed and is offering a seven-day cleanse opportunity to the public to bring in the New Year.
Davis reports having more energy and better digestion after adding juices to his diet - exactly what a body needs after months of filling up on cakes, steaks and cheese logs. Vegetable and fruit blends of micronutrients, fresh fruit, greens (like kale and spinach) and fresh ginger replace whole food meals; you're ingesting natural sugars and healthy carbohydrates in liquid form. The seven-day cleanse offered at Smooth & Juicey will follow a program from the book Juicing for Life.
When asked what happens when I really want a bacon cheeseburger in the middle of detoxing, Davis says I can drop in and someone will talk me down. Referring to the juice cleanse as a great "re-start," Davis thinks balancing juicing with healthy eating is the best way to go, and that a raw food diet is a good compliment. "I wouldn't do all liquid all the time. I need to chew on something," he says.
Sign-up for the seven-day juice cleanse at Smooth & Juicey on or before Jan. 2. Also, purchase a six-drink punch card for the price of five drinks and get an extra free drink.
Want something to sink your teeth into? ameRAWcan Bistro presents "Eat to Live Raw," a 30-Day challenge beginning Jan. 18 that will shake up your ideas about cooking and food.
A recent collaboration between Darrin London, owner of ameRAWcan Bistro, and holistic primary care physician Dr. Roman Krupa has resulted in a new raw food book filled with bistro recipes and information on healthy weight loss through changes in eating habits. "We do the food part. Dr. Krupa does the scientific part," says London.
During four classes, "Eat to Live Raw" will present Dr. Krupa lecturing on achieving healthy eating habits as a consistent lifestyle and not a temporary diet.
"People will get a lot of support. They'll come in each week, get to see how to make stuff, and ask questions," says London.
London, ameRAWcan Bistro's Chef Paco and Krupa will demonstrate how to prepare raw meals like zucchini fettuccine Alfredo, marinara and snacks along with chocolate avocado pudding and other desserts each week.
"We'll try out recipes from the book. It'll kind of be like dinner and a show," says London.
"Eat to Live Raw" participants will get 50-percent off 10 bistro juices throughout the challenge. The 30-Day raw food challenge is $199. Register at ameRAWcan Bistro.
Crossfit Tacoma and Tacoma Strength and Conditioning offer a 30-day clean eating challenge beginning Feb. 1 that roughly follows a Paleo diet of lean meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables - basically uncultivated and unprocessed foods similar to what Paleo man would have eaten. Forget about pasta, bread, risotto, ice cream and cheese. Embrace buffalo, almonds, sweet potato and broccoli. Before and after pictures and measurements are taken.
"Weight loss is tangible, but increased overall health and a lifestyle adjustment are the main focuses," says Tacoma Strength co-owner Leon Aldrich.
Exercise is strongly encouraged. Participants post thoughts on their challenge progress (cravings, mood swings, energy levels, etc.), feedback and recipes in an online forum monitored by registered dietician Lynn Severy. The cost is $20, with sign ups available until Jan. 27 at Crossfit Tacoma or Tacoma Strength & Conditioning.
[Smooth & Juicey, 1122 Market St., Tacoma, 253.365.6706]
[ameRAWcan Bistro, 745 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.327.1962]
[Tacoma Strength and Conditioning, 3113 Pine St., Tacoma, 253.235.3210]
[Crossfit Tacoma, 411 Fawcett, Tacoma, 253.310.1940]