My Slim-Down, Get-Glowing Detox
Forget juice cleanses. This eat-as-much-as-you-want diet promises weight loss and clear skin. But did it work?
Contributing to my recent weight gain is perhaps the fact that my kitchen is currently under construction. After starting demolition about a month ago, complications (read: termite damage) arose and the renovation has been put on hold for at least another two months. What's a girl who can't eat in to do? Eat out. Here's what a typical day looks like:
Breakfast: Coffee. That's it. I'm usually not hungry in the morning.
Lunch: I zap a frozen meal in the microwave. My go-to is Amy's Kitchen, known for being the healthiest of the frozen food options -- which is probably like being the smartest idiot, but it's quick and sort of tasty, and the "dairy and gluten-free" claims make me feel smart about my choices.
Afternoon Snack: Around 3 p.m., I start rooting around the office kitchen for a pick-me-up. I usually decide on a red Tootsie Pop to satisfy my sugar craving. And sometimes a handful of these delicious peanut-butter-filled pretzels they keep in there. (Yes, they're as amazing as they sound.) And occasionally a handful of trail mix. You know, for the fiber. (And the M&Ms. Mainly the M&Ms).
Dinner: After getting home and looking into the cold, dark cavern that is currently my kitchen, I usually walk down the street to the local pizza joint, where I order an overpriced vegetable pizza, or to the vegan Thai restaurant, where I order grilled dumplings and yellow vegetable curry with tofu. Since no dinner is complete without sweets, occasionally I get a fro-yo.
All this eating out is adding up. Even though I'm a vegetarian (and perhaps, as Dr. Chutkan suggests, because I'm a vegetarian and it's hard to find filling options), I find myself choosing carbs and cheese that will give me quick energy over pretty much anything else (like, you know, vegetables.) While I'm far from obese, I don't feel right in my slightly flabby skin. I'm afraid to even try on my "skinny" jeans when my normal stretchy ones feel like they're bulging at the seams.
What's more, I've noticed my skin has been worse than usual. While I don't have all-over acne, I have been dealing with some nasty bumps that seem to coincide with my recent transition into professional restaurant patron. These guys aren't like normal, surface acne, but rather deep cysts that spend weeks brewing under my skin before rising to the surface as a red and angry mess, intent on ruining my complexion (and life). This kind of acne is completely new to me, and I'm not sure if the acne is a result of hormones (since it seems to come back at the same time every month) or the increase in pizza in my life, but I know I want it gone. When Chutkan tells me that her patients with GI diseases often have rosacea, acne, and/or eczema that clears up once they switch their diet, a light bulb goes off in my head. I'm crossing my fingers that these breakouts are food related and mourning my all-cheese diet at the same time. Honestly though, there is no better motivation for cleaning up my diet than the promise of glowing, clear skin.
SEE NEXT PAGE: So ... Why Am I Going on a Gut Diet?