Clean and Lean Review

lean and cleanIt’s been two weeks of the clean and lean programme – so am I converted? Or ready to quit?

I have to say that overall the two weeks has been pretty challenging. I only managed Mon-Fri for two weeks as I found it impossible to carry on the cleanse during weekends visiting friends. If I had turned up to a friend’s BBQ with a head of brocolli and some mineral water I’m not sure it would not have gone down well…

That being said, I stuck to the cleanse completely midweek and didn’t cheat once. Usually if I am attempting some sort of cleanse or eating programme I cheat a little bit. A biscuit here, a glass of wine there…but I completely stuck to this programme as I was really interested to see the results.

The first week was interesting as all of the recipes were completely new to me. The hardest part of the first week (and second week too) was the preparation that was needed to prepare each dish. Eating healthily doesn’t always have to take up too much time but this particular programme did require a lot of attention to detail. Every morning required some sort of cooking from scratch – pancakes, eggs and quinoa porridge are just a few of the recipes I experimented with. Whilst this wasn’t too difficult, you also had to prepare lunch for the day which usually consisted of a grilled piece of meat and salad. It doesn’t sound too hard does it? But I think it’s the extra detail that goes into the recipes that takes up the time. There was A LOT of chopping red onions, making garnishes, marinating and making sauces that a simple salad could take up to half an hour or more to prepare. But each recipe was bursting with flavour and I really enjoyed trying them out. The hardest part of week one was trying not to snack in the evening. I was into a routine of snacking on something after dinner and although usually I make a snack from scratch (like these cacao and nut bites) the cleanse obviously didn’t call for any extras. But once I got into the new routine I found it manageable. Week two was slightly easier as I was more familiar with the recipes. I did a big shop on the Sunday and did some food prep to start the week off but I still found I was in the kitchen most evenings for a long time – cooking dinner and prepping the next day’s lunch straight after. But during week two I really started to enjoy the new routine and found it much easier to stick to the programme.

All in all the stats were pretty promising too. I lost five pounds during the 10 days and didn’t really feel like I was restricting myself too much. All of the meals could be bulked up with extra vegetables and salad so I never felt like I was eating pigeon food. Disappointingly I didn’t feel more energised – there might have been a slight improvement in the mornings but I certainly wasn’t as energetic as I hoped I would be. But 10 days worth of eating ‘superfoods’ probably isn’t enough to make drastic changes to energy levels – I’m certain if I carried on I would start to feel less lethargic.

Overall this cleanse was really interesting. The recipes were fun to learn, I experimented with a lot of flavours, learned more about nutrition in general and I think it’s helped me to create a healthy snacking routine. Instead of grazing all day long I’m going to stick to the small mid-morning and small afternoon snack pattern this programme has taught me. Overall I’m happy I tried it and will definitely be continuing some of the lean and clean aspects, although I am certainly not going to be cutting out my treats for good anytime soon…

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