By the end of this holiday season, I swear I couldn’t go a few hours without craving a piece of fudge, a sugar cookie, or peppermint bark. So, you know what time it is!
I’ve tried a handful of detox/cleanse programs, but I keep coming back to the same one that I first tried when I was 17 years old: The Cabbage Soup Diet. Sometimes called the Sacred Heart Diet, because it was born of out of the Sacred Heart Memorial Hospital for heart patients to get clean before a surgery, this detox is legit.
Each day, you eat cabbage soup. You start out eating 2-3 bowls a day and by the end, you’re barely able to choke down 1 bowl a day. Additionally, each day you get different types of foods to accompany the soup – ranging from bananas and milk on one day, to brown rice and veggies on another. Seems crazy, but it WORKS.
I debated whether or not to even post that I’m doing this because detoxes seem to cause so much controversy. It seems that it’s okay to tell people that they are being unhealthy if they are eating lots of organic, fresh vegetables and fruit on a cleanse, but of course never okay if you were to say that to someone eating their third meal of pizza for the week. People hear the word “cleanse” and immediately assume the worst!
You can read how the 7-day detox works here, but these are my personal beliefs for why The Cabbage Soup Diet is the ideal cleanse for swimmers:
- You get REAL food (as opposed to just liquids) and lots of it, which us swimmers need as we burn through thousands of calories in the pool every week
- You don’t go hungry because this cleanse is jam-packed full of fiber
- There is variety. Yes, the soup gets old really fast, but everyday you get new food items to eat alongside the soup. Yesterday was all fruit, today is all vegetables, and I cannot wait till bananas and milk on Thursday!
- Towards the end of the diet, you get protein. This is the part of the cleanse that raises the eyebrows of other cleansers, but after doing 1,000 Pull in the pool, you NEED that animal-based protein!
- It’s all-natural. No weird chemicals to sprinkle on top of your food. No shakes with obscure ingredients. Mostly, just lots and lots and lots of fresh produce
After one week of this, I feel better, have more energy, my skin gets clearer, and all my sugar cravings are gone. And of course, another benefit is that you lose the extra pounds you sneaked on during the holidays. The nay-sayers will tell you that’s just water weight, but I typically lose more weight AFTER the cabbage soup diet because all of my bad cravings are gone. And I typically keep it off year-round till Halloween hits, followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the cycle repeats again. Le sigh. ;-)
What detox/cleanse program works best for you?