Losing Weight To Run Better: The Clean Program

Been on this Clean Program by Dr. Alejandro Junger. He calls it a detox. But he also refers to it as an “elimination diet”, as in eliminating all that stuff that made your ass too fat to run. Figured I’d try it. I can do anything for 21 days right? I think I’ve said this before and failed miserably. But not this time!! (mostly)

Today is Day 20 of the 21 day plan and I’m still hanging in there. I lost 16 lbs and feel better. I would have lost more if I hadn’t cheated with vegan chocolate chip cookies one day and cheese another day. Yeah, I cheated. And it immediately stalled the weight loss. Pretty sure I could have lost a solid 20 lbs if I hadn’t. But I’m still happy with the results. And even the cheating illustrated what moments of weakness can do to your body and your plans.

The concept is to do 2 shakes a day, morning and night, and then a regular meal at lunch. No dairy, no gluten, no coffee (…after day 14 I regarded the “no coffee” as a guideline rather than a firm rule), no alcohol, no red meat, no corn, no oatmeal, no soy, no tomatoes, no strawberries, no oranges, no bananas, no nightshade vegetables, no peanuts…. this list goes on but these are the ones pretty prominent in my usual diet. So that vegan cookie was verbotten. The cheese? Right out.

But damn if I didn’t feel better after making these switches. I lost weight and felt a total mood overhaul. Best of all, I started running again. If this detox did nothing else but that, it would be worth the $22 I paid for the book. It took maybe 14 days into the program until I felt like running. Since then I’ve done a couple 3 milers, a 4 mile and a couple of spin classes. Surprisingly I don’t feel like I don’t have enough fuel either. Before, on other diet plans, I felt ravenous after runs and depleted even before the run started. This has been pretty amazing. And, true to Dr. Junger’s claim, I’m not itching to go back to my old ways. This feels good. Might as well keep going.

Example of daily menu:

Morning – almond milk, blueberries, rice protein, flax, fiber  OR  kale, green apple, rice protein, lemon, flax

Lunch – roasted cauliflower with olive oil and mustard sauce, grilled chicken

Dinner – almond milk, blueberries, rice protein, flax, fiber

Not saying it’s been easy. For the record, I’m not far enough into recovery that I can easily hang out in the same room as someone eating a cream cheese english muffin. But every day it’s getting easier. And yes, I’ve added coffee, even though it’s a no-no. Look, I’m working full time, going to school full time and have two kids under 3. The coffee stays.

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