Join the Sunset Fresh Foods Challenge!

January 3, 2013 | By | Comments (14)

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After months of holiday treats, meals, and drinks, we here at Sunset are ready to eat fresh. Starting Sunday, Jan. 6, join recipe editor Amy Machnak for 7 days of eating nothing but the West’s fresh, nutritious foods—lots of citrus, greens, almonds, and, for the ambitious, no processed sugar, booze or (gulp) caffeine. 

Amy will chronicle her experiences here each day and post Sunset-tested recipes (pineapple-banana smoothies, spiced lentils with caramelized onions and spinach) so delicious, you’ll want to turn to them even after the week is over. Today, a few tips from her on getting started.


When a health-nut friend first suggested I try a dietary cleanse several years ago, one word immediately came to mind: Starvation. But she promised I’d feel amazing afterward, so I was curious. I talked to people I trust, like my family doctor*, my acupuncturist, and my yoga teacher, and found that doing a cleanse doesn’t mean living on water and crackers for a week. And, even here in the juice-fast-crazed West, it doesn’t have to mean drinking nothing but strange liquids that act like a Roto-Rooter on your insides. Instead, it’s a simple chance to eat clean.

And why not? We live in the West, where we’re lucky to have access to fresh foods year-round. Here at Sunset, eating those fresh, whole foods is a way of life—and of course they must taste good.

So, the goal: To set aside the junk food for a week and eat simple, healthy foods that are easier for the body to digest. This way, its energy can go toward revitalizing and rejuvenating the working parts—rather than breaking down a bacon-cheeseburger with fries. Think of it as a mini vacation for the digestive system, a chance to nurture your body in a compassionate way.

After a few timid tests and trials, I now approach this reset week with earnest and omit sugar, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, meat, and dairy (I do allow some eggs and Greek-style yogurt). So what’s left? All the West’s best fruits and vegetables—even in the dead of winter—plus legumes, seeds, and nuts. During the week, I eat as much as I want of these (snacks are highly advised, as long as they’re simple and healthy).

It might seem extreme if you’ve never done it before, but I’m a seasoned pro at this point and find that this works well for me—and I do feel fantastic afterward. You’ll need to listen to what your body needs to find out what works best for you.

START SLOW

For first-timers, I recommend easing into the process by eliminating just one ingredient (sugar or wheat, for example.). You’ll quickly notice how much of that item you eat normally and it will give you a chance to make a healthier choice at mealtime. See how you feel, then experiment with other foods.

HYDRATE

Drink lots and lots of water (herbal tea is okay, too). The point is to flush out the yucky stuff that’s just hanging out in your system. Water is the main way that happens, so drink up.

CHILL OUT

Don’t plan any big physical activities this week; relax, rest, and rejuvenate. Take naps, sleep in, and read a good book. If you need to exercise, take a walk or try a restorative yoga class; you’ll be surprised how quickly you tire. Think of this time as a gift (rather than torture) to yourself. We run full speed all the time, only taking a break when we fall ill and our body forces us to recuperate. Spend a week taking care of you from the inside out.

GETTING RESTARTED

Most likely, you’ll feel great when your week is up, but remember to go slow when reintroducing your regular diet. No big steaks with blue cheese the first couple of days. And alcohol (if you’ve abstained) will hit you quicker, so be careful after that first glass of Chardonnay.

TOMORROW:   Check back for Amy’s guide to getting stocked up for the weekincluding a list of pantry staples and some basic recipes. 


* Before making any major dietary changes, we recommend you check with your doctor, especially if you have serious health concerns.

COMMENTS

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  2. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 7 – Westphoria | Just another Time Inc. WP.com VIP Development site

    […] Just tuning in? Catch up on Amy’s 7-day fresh-food cleanse here.  […]

    June 12, 2013 at 9:28 am
  3. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 7 – Sunset | Just another Time Inc. WP.com VIP Development site

    […] Just tuning in? Catch up on Amy’s 7-day fresh-food cleanse here.  […]

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  5. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 7 – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] Just tuning in? Catch up on Amy’s 7-day fresh-food cleanse here.  […]

    January 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm
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    […] when I first said that part of doing a cleanse is listening to your body? Well, mine spoke very loudly to me this […]

    January 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm
  7. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 4 – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] If you think you can’t possibly go to the bathroom anymore, well, remember when we started all this? I said drink lots and lots of water, because it’s the vehicle we use to move out all the […]

    January 9, 2013 at 6:30 pm
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    […] tuning in? Learn about the challenge here and get the menu plan and grocery […]

    January 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm
  9. Penny

    I’m surprised by the fact that your saying rest will be needed, “you will be surprised at how quickly you will tire”??? I think it should be the opposite by eating fresh, no??? I basically eat like this all the time and find that I have much MORE energy when I do…..I’m only sluggish if I introduce back in things like processed sugars/fructose, gluten, caffeine and alcohol….

    January 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm
  10. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 2 – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] tuning in? Learn about the challenge here and get the menu plan and grocery […]

    January 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm
  11. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Day 1 – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] about the challenge here and get the menu plan and grocery list […]

    January 6, 2013 at 5:00 am
  12. Sunset Fresh Food Challenge: Stocking Up – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset

    […] one of Sunset‘s Fresh Food Challenge starts tomorrow! Curious to learn more? Check out Amy’s intro, or read on to get the plan for the […]

    January 5, 2013 at 11:40 am
  13. Gaby

    I’m so in!! This is going to be fun. I’m just polishing up a 5 day juice cleanse… so fresh eating will be the perfect next step!

    January 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm
  14. Eileen Kleinschmidt

    I’m in!

    January 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

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