Nourish & Glow 21 Day Program Week 1

So it was that wake-up call I needed when Marlien mailed me to introduce me to her Yoga Retreat, and so that’s how I found out about her Nourish & Glow 21 Day Program. Having moved countries, cold weather, lots of travel, Easter, my Birthday etc – I felt like my diet & health were slowly, sliding downhill. Having enjoyed the low carb, high fat diet – I thought Marlien’s approach would be interesting to try and compare. Although I find that the low carb diet works for me (When you’re not drinking champagne & eating Easter bunnies), one can get stuck in a rut of the same recipes, ingredients etc – and I felt like a complete “reboot” as Marlien calls it, is what I needed too!

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Week 1: 

Every morning I start the day with hot/warm water and lemon, then 20 minutes later I can have my coffee. I was most relieved to hear I could keep the coffee! However, I had to cut the dairy – and so I’m now embracing unsweetened almond milk and already pretty used to the new flavour.

My breakfast has been a green smoothie and has surprisingly kept me full until lunch. Lunches and dinners have been hearty, tasty and I’ve been enjoying trying some new recipes. All the meals have been really easy to prep & cook! From a fragrant thai fish red curry to salmon, roast chicken and crunchy salads. I’ve certainly never felt deprived!

The first two days I was pretty grumpy however- I break it down to possibly the introduction of sugar (i.e. fruit and I was by mistake buying almond milk that has sugar in it, instead of the unsweetened one)  Also, no wine!! Haha! I also felt rather bloated after the lentil dhal soup, again, my body not used to the carbs. I also felt rather week and tired.

But by day 3/4 I had started sleeping on a MUCH deeper level. My mood was incredibly positive and my mind clear. I’ve also cut back from 3 coffees to 2/day. (My coffee intake increased after the birth of Harry!) On my Saturday morning run, I felt the strongest I’ve felt in a while! For me, I think cutting out dairy & alcohol is the game changer! (Boo but yay!) I am allowed one cheat meal per week (still no dairy or unprocessed carbs though)  and so I didn’t cheat on my meal, but I did have 2 glasses of wine and a cappuccino with milk (naughty, but I was in a pub!) I was awake all night! PAIN! Getting enough sleep is another game changer. When one is not rested one gets hungrier, moodier and me, well just plane nasty!

So I’m excited to see how I feel after week 2. I’ve been given a new smoothie to try this week, the Post Practice Protein Smoothie which is DELICIOUS! Here are 3 smoothie recipes from Marlien for you to try. I’ll be back next week with a progress report! Happy week ahead x

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Post-Practice Protein Smoothie: (All smoothies are gluten, grain & dairy free vegan and paleo friendly).

1 cup of almond milk

1 ripe banana

8 raw almonds, soaked overnight

8 raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight

2 tbsp hemp seeds, soaked overnight

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp raw honey

Add all the ingredients to the blender jug, and then simply blend until you have a smooth texture. Remember that your nuts and seeds need to be soaked overnight to get a smooth texture.

Health benefits:

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, manganese, zinc and calcium. I recommend soaking almonds overnight before use as this deactivates the enzyme-inhibiting compound found in their skin.

Cashews are high in magnesium, a mineral which most people are deficient in due to large-scale farming. Magnesium is involved in over 200 functions in our bodies. Cashews also contain vitamin E, copper, iron and selenium.

Bananas are high in potassium. An excellent prebiotic (food for good bacteria), they are also rich in folic acid and other antioxidants.

Raw, unprocessed honey has powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. It is one of nature’s true healing gifts to us. Raw, locally produced (from your area) honey can help relieve allergies and makes an excellent natural cough mixture if prepared properly on low heat with lemon rind and juice.

Enzyme & Vitamin A Smoothie:

Serves 1 large smoothie or 2 small smoothies

1/3 cup of fresh pineapple

1/3 cup of papaya

1/3 cup of mango

¼ cup of hemp seeds

Add all the ingredients to a blender jug and simply blend until you have a smooth texture.

Health benefits:

Enzymes are essential for good health as they assist in energy production, absorption of oxygen, fighting infections and healing wounds, reducing inflammation, getting nutrients into your cells, breaking down fats in the body, proper regulation of hormones and carrying toxins out of the body. Papaya and pineapple are both especially rich in enzymes.

Glow Smoothie:

1 cup of baby spinach OR kale, washed & dried

1 small avocado, peeled

1 small banana, peeled

1 kiwi, peeled

50ml of water

1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder (optional)

Health Benefits:

The avocado provides good fats and will give you sustained energy throughout the morning; Avocados are also rich in vitamin E, folic acid and antioxidants.

The leafy greens in this smoothie promote glowing health with huge amounts of Phytonutrients, fibre, vitamin A, C, K as well as folic acid and potassium.

 For more recipes, check out Marlien’s Blog Here!

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