My Week of Eating Pretty

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.—Hippocrates

Last week I came home around 10 to nosh on a leftover piece of pizza and the last 1/4 remaining in my tub of non-dairy Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter & Cookies ice cream. As I stood in the kitchen eating my exhaustion, I scrolled through Facebook and stumbled upon a friend’s invitation to join a group cleanse. I looked down at the now empty tub as my belly began to ache and sent her a text, “I’m in!”

You may recall the not-so-successful 10-day cleanse I tried in January. I was determined to do better since I’ve been semi-successful at cutting back on sugar this year. With Tim away on a bike trip, I figured I’d be living on green smoothies and cold cereal with almond milk anyway, so why not nix the wheat chex and add in salads instead?

The 7-day cleanse started last Sunday and ends today. Basically it’s no animal products, no caffeine, no alcohol, no gluten, no added sugar, no processed foods—hello, plants! Plus skin brushing, journaling, baths, exercise, and 12-hour fasting from dinner to breakfast (ex. last meal by 8pm, breakfast after 8am).

The photos above show my week’s colorful buffet: green salads, green smoothies, warm water with ground flaxseed and lemon, kale chips with nutritional yeast, brown rice with broccoli and Bragg’s liquid aminos.

My main indulgence has been an entire tub of Crazy Richard’s all-natural (only peanuts) chunky peanut butter eaten by the spoonful and often smothered over apples. Honestly, probably not allowed, but I ignored that one. My cheats have been a few dried apricots and a tiny bag of pretzels leftover from a recent Southwest flight.

For the past two years I’ve suffered from chronic headaches and semi-regular migraines. Today I realized I hadn’t reached for an Advil all week and definitely not those hardcore migraine pills that kill the headache and create a ripple effect of other issues.

I’ve dealt with eczema since I was a little girl and while it comes in waves, I’m usually treating some irritation. This week I noticed the tiny spots on my wrist and calf had cleared up without the use of my steroid ointment.

I’ve definitely felt lighter and cleaner, too. All in my mind? Maybe, but I’ll take it.

Oh, and other than a dinner date at Fig & Olive with a girlfriend (I had a salad), I only purchased food out once—a $3 miso soup. Typically I get tons of food at various spots like Sweetgreen, Starbucks, and Teaism. Instead I hit the grocery store twice and had plenty of fresh produce to sustain me.

I’ll complete the cleanse tonight with a salad or smoothie and probably reward myself with a Trader Joe’s mini croissant (or two) for breakfast.

The book Eat Pretty in the top image also served as inspiration for this cleanse. Over the past few months I kept eyeing it in bookstores and specialty shops, so I picked up my own copy. I’m loving the reminder to let wholesome foods be the tool for an inner and outer glow and to nourish from the inside out.

While we know this, it can be hard to remember when tempted by that not-so-healthy treat. As we feed our souls, may we choose to eat pretty . . . with occasional indulgences, of course. Bisous.

10 comments

  1. Laura T says:

    YAY Kimberly!! I am so proud of you for sticking with this cleanse and for how you are feeling now. I truly believe that food is medicine, and that we should all treat our bodies like a temple. I notice such major changes in my mood, skin, health, and energy levels when I nourish my body with tons of colorful fruit and veggies and stick to minimally processed foods! I started eating mostly vegan for the environment, but I have stuck with it for the transformative positive changes it has made in my life and health!! Cheers and can’t wait to see you soon in the woods!!!
    xoxoxoxo,
    Laura

    • Kimberly Wilson says:

      Thanks, Laura! I’m pretty proud of myself, too. This is my first successful cleanse and it’s fun to see the results. Kudos to you and your journey. Yes, can’t wait to reconnect in the woods next weekend! x

  2. Kelly tobin says:

    Hello! I was SO honored to lead this group cleanse with you and our group, Kimberly! You did SO great! I am doing some edits to my website (www.kellytobinofferings.com) and in the meantime if people want to contact me and do a group cleanse please reach out at kellyjtobin@yahoo.com as I definitely plan to lead one January 1. And if you have a group of 3 or more ready to go— I will do a private group! Great work, again Kimberly! <3

  3. Carolyn says:

    Food looks gorgeous! My eczema is triggered by stress, dairy and sugar for sure. I’ve started tracking, and even one bite of cupcake can lead to a major outbreak on my neck/face the next day! Tres sad but good to know.

  4. Amanda Moon says:

    Have you tried going gluten free entirely? I know that will be hard to be both vegan and GF, but I did a week-long retreat (with food provided) that was vegan except for chicken 1 meal and entirely GF. When I came back, I had a turkey sandwich and was extremely ill. I thought it was the deli meat. It took a whole year for me to cut out gluten again, and within a week had a dramatic improvement in energy. In the four years since cutting gluten, I can count the number of migraines I’ve had on one hand, and all were linked with “cheating.” Just some really unsolicited advice 🙂 The best GF croissants I’ve been able to find in the country are at Rise Bakery in Adams-Morgan. If you want to try it out 🙂

    Also, do you have a link to the cleanse you did? I’d love to check it out! I had surgery a few weeks ago and have not been eating the best food. I could use a little fall reset.

    • Kimberly Wilson says:

      Amanda, I haven’t tried going GF entirely although I guess the cleanse proved it helped! I’ve heard about Rise Bakery and need to check it out, thanks for the recommendation. Vegan and GF *and* sugar-free definitely seems to be ideal, with a few indulgences thrown in from time to time. Good to know about your migraine shift from it, too. Thanks for sharing. They’re brutal. I did the cleanse with Kelly Tobin and she commented here, too, so feel free to reach out to her. She’s super encouraging and it was a small, intimate group experience. x

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