Left: me at 118. Right: me now. 

Left: me at 118. Right: me now. 

my story:

Disclaimer: I did not do this detox to lose weight, but rather to feel healthier. You may think I looked fine in the before photo, and you are entitled to your opinion! But the outside doesn't quite tell the whole story.

1) The weight gain

Like many, I gained quite a lot of weight during my first semester at college.  I wasn't accustomed to having access to all-you-can-eat dining halls for every meal, and definitely took full advantage. At my worst I was eating waffles with soft serve for breakfast, three huge plates of pasta and pizza for dinner and bringing ziplocs to sneak cookies out!! When I wasn't gorging myself on dining hall food, I ate out with friends and washed everything down with sugary bubble tea, soda, and copious amounts of alcohol over the weekends.

The weight slowly creeped on but since I never weighed myself, I just continued to stuff myself with excess calories in the form of candy bars, pizza, and 2am wings.  During an emotional weigh-in at the end of the semester I tipped the scales at 132 lbs...which I realize is a healthy weight for my height (i'm 5'5) but considering I was 120 lbs before college, 

I HAD PUT ON 12 POUNDS IN  FOUR MONTHS!!  

In other words, I was gaining nearly a pound a week!!! 

2) The dieting

Enter furious dieting. Naturally. I googled things like "how to lose weight fast" and "does water fasting work". I even considered taking dangerous weight loss supplements but thankfully decided against it.

Because I wanted instant results, I rolled my eyes at the advice to "eat healthy and exercise" and instead decided to starve myself.  I kept up a diet of candy and sandwiches for a semester and grew accustomed to the sound of my stomach grumbling in class. It was embarrassing, but at least I was losing weight. I ended my freshman year at 123 lbs. 

Annnnd I gave up my health and my social life to do that. I lost my period, my once luscious hair was falling out (I was scared to brush my hair), I was constantly irritated because I was so hungry, and I turned down invitations to dinner. I got sick easily because my body's immune system was so weak, and my declining health negatively affected my academics. 

I knew something had to change, but I didn't know how. I knew I had to eat more, but I didn't want to gain weight. Again, I resorted to google and tried all kinds of different diets - vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, low carb, high carb...etc. When had food become so darn complicated? How did normal people eat? I was at a total loss.

3) making a change.

At this time, I was home for summer and my parents stepped in. They were concerned about how much I complained and cried about my weight, and begged me to just eat what they cooked. I, being the stubborn kid who thought she knew better, reluctantly gave in after yet another month of dieting. 

Guess what? It worked like a charm. 

My parents didn't count calories, measure cooking oil, or eat much sugar at all. Meals consisted of lots of veggies like cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots, with rice or noodles and some protein, and oatmeal or eggs for breakfast. They rarely ate out, and got most of their produce at the farmer's market. And their weight had been stable for the last 40 years...truly remarkable for a yo-yo dieter like me.  I worked on undoing all the damage I put my body through by eating nutritious and filling meals, and began to appreciate whole food again. I designed and tested recipes, and the winners eventually found a place in the 10 Day Detox.  

My programs are based on this "back to basics" philosophy. The secret to looking good and feeling healthy isn't following a specific diet, tea, or supplement. It's not about following the same meal plan everyday, because food should be enjoyed. But it's also not about eating whatever you want, especially if what you want is processed junk. It's about eating enough of the right foods, which is easy if you retrain your taste buds and make it a habit! That's what my ebooks are designed to do. To me, the word "detox" means physically taking a break from sugary, overly processed foods as well as mentally relieving your mind from food-related stress. 

I want to help you reach your goals the right way, the first time around. And the only way to do that is to make a lifestyle change...that means learning how to cook some super easy meals, feeding your body nourishing and filling food, and getting into a mindset where food is a source of fuel and happiness, not stress.

4) progress, not perfection

I'm still a work in progress, but I'm happy to say that I feel so much better. I eat as much as I want of the right foods and have never looked better. I love food, but it does not control me. I've let go of all the food rules I had established in my mind, and now focus on making my mental and physical health the priority

And it feels so good. Do you know how good overnight oats or a kale and sweet potato salad (the harvest salad in the 10 Day Detox) can taste? Pretty.darn.fantastic, and honestly way better than candy. Most surprising of all, I rarely have snack attacks anymore! I used to graze on snacks all day long, but ever since I started feeding my body healthy, nourishing, filling food, I don't really get hungry in between meals anymore. This is HUGE for me because I am the biggest snacker ever (I used to bring a backpack full of snacks with me to the movies)!  

Weight: I currently hover between 112-115 pounds, depending on how much pasta I had for dinner! For reference, I'm 5'5. I know many people are against weighing themselves, but I think weight is a fine measurement tool as long as you are looking at other markers of health as well. I am genetically rather petite - my mom is actually the same size as me! Weight loss will happen naturally if you have the weight to lose, and have transitioned from eating a Standard American Diet to feeding your body healthy foods. However, weight loss should not be the main purpose of this detox! Remember, you are eating to nourish your body and reset your taste buds. 

Skin: I have a pretty solid acne prevention routine so no huge improvements pimple-wise. However, I do feel my skin has gotten more hydrated and plump! It's only been a month so I can't say definitively if I have developed that coveted "glow" yet, but hopefully soon!

Energy: Waking up and getting out of bed is still as hard as always, but after I get up I feel refreshed, like I got a quality night's sleep...you know what I mean? I used to wake up after a 10-hour snooze and still feel tired, but not anymore! Plus, I go to sleep dreaming about what I'm gonna eat the next day and waking up means time for breakfast (;

5) what i learned

Eating healthy is much simpler than most people believe. However, simple does not mean easy. It's not easy to give up control and believe in your body, it's not easy to pass on a plate of fries your friends are sharing, it's not easy to plan and cook your meals ahead of time (if you pack meals for class/work), and it's certainly not easy giving up old habits. (Although I think it will be easy-ish since all the recipes in this detox are so delicious!!!) But if you're sick and tired of going down the wrong path, make a change. Take the plunge -  it's only 10 days, but will have lasting positive effects on your health. 

Focus. Eyes on the prize! 

I want everyone to look and feel their best without destroying their body In the process like I almost did.

And I'm always here for you if you have questions or just want to talk! Shoot me an email at { jenlivegreenhealthy@gmail.com } anytime, I'd love to chat (: