Do512 underwent an office makeover. We’re not talking new paper towel holders in the bathroom or fancy floor tiles. Nope. We’re talking about the staff’s diet. Thanks to the Love Cleanse and their new mini dietary reset program, EmpowerU, we took on a 14-day commitment to consume no alcohol, no bread, no sugar, no processed food, no smokes, no caffeine and assorted other toxins. Yep. We did it! Now we’re done and here’s our older and wiser selves with our personal reset testimonials.
The EmpowerU program was exactly what I needed at this time in my life, and has been a tremendously positive experience for me. I would enthusiastically recommend the the Love Cleanse programs to anyone who is ready to either make major life changes, jump start a weight loss program, or just detox from a big blowout week like SXSW. Having just turned 40, I made a promise to myself and to my family that I would start taking better care of myself and trying to live a healthier life. Between work and having two toddlers at home, my health has not been a priority in years, and I’ve grown quite comfortable in my bad habits. While I try to cook healthy meals for the family at home, I still end up eating out way too often, eating late, drinking too much, and not getting enough sleep. I was terrified of having to let go of all my self-indulgent pleasures even temprarily, but I was committed to kick starting a weight loss and general health program, and the 14-day EmpowerU program was the perfect solution for me. I had no idea how I would survive without beer, red meat, caffeine, dairy, and processed sugar. But other than some initial cravings for beer, burgers and Mexican food, it really has not been that difficult. After 13 days of the program, I am feeling better than I have in years. I am eating far better than I ever have in my life with minimal cravings (other than beer, that’s my weakness), exercising every day, and sleeping better than I have in years. I’m more productive at work, have more energy to play with my kids at night, and my overall mood has significantly improved. I have lost almost 15lbs and my pant’s aren’t fitting anymore, and my wife can’t believe what she is witnessing. I have a blood test tomorrow morning, and I anticipate a major drop in my cholesterol triglycerides. both of which are high (I’ll report back with the results). And while I still have a way to go to get to my goals, I am confident that I am on the right path and have started the momentum I needed to get there. I have learned to be much more aware of what I put into my body and how I react to certain foods, and how to create balance. I have learned how to make some delicious and healthy meals with whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies. Most importantly, I have begun to think about my diet and fitness as permanent life changes, and I fully intend to incorporate many of these dietary changes into my family’s daily life at home.
Having Kim Love as my personal mentor, coach, and head cheerleader, is was what really set the experience apart for me. She communicated with me every day either in person, by phone or email, walking in detail through my daily evaluations and making daily tweaks to my diet based on my cravings, weight loss patterns, hunger level, and mood.
Her knowledge, attentiveness, encouragement, and helpful feeback is a big part of what made me want to stick with it and succeed. I am extremely grateful for Kim for helping start me on a path to what I believe will be a healthier, happier and longer life.
I’ve never been inclined to try any sort of diet or cleanse. I rarely am motivated to eat especially healthy, exercise or cut back on my vices (drinking, loud music, tacos…). So when this Love Cleanse was originally proposed, under the condition I would have to go without alcohol or eat cheese for 2 weeks, I immediately rejected it on the grounds that it was preposterous. I then decided to take it on as an attempt to test my will power and discipline, to see if it even existed. I figured I should do something about that perpetual lingering hangover, lack of sleep, and that dirty feeling that comes with eating late-night.
With teas, supplements and superfood drinks to think about, the first day or two, I found myself being uber aware and questioning my every move– Am I allowed to take a nap right now? Am I missing something? This in itself was a big change for me, as I’m not the most cautious or self aware. I do what I want, when I want. But The Love Cleanse makes it easy to stay on track with daily consultations, a restaurant eating guide, and cookbook with a variety of ways to eat the approved foods. Yep, you can eat. That’s the You can eat as much as you want. And the craziest thing is I’ve stopped craving those things that are bad for me that were once my vices… like breakfast tacos and queso. I never would’ve thought it possible. They let me keep my loud music habit.
I’ve learned that it is possible to have fun without a cocktail in your hand every night. I haven’t tried that in years. And it is possible to feel satisfied without eating meat, fried foods and desserts. I’ve been loosing weight and I’ve yet to exercise. I actually feel healthier and I have noticeably more energy and focus. A friend I hadn’t seen in months recently commented that I ‘look healthy’ without knowing I was on a cleanse. No one has ever told me that in my life. I’d highly recommend doing this with another person to help hold each other accountable and make sure no one’s cheating. I’m so glad I decided to take this on; it was the perfect ass-kicking to set me up for a healthy lifestyle.
First let’s talk about how I managed to get a college degree. 1. exorbitant amounts of coffee 2. exorbitant amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper 3. a good ‘ol American Spirit & Zigenbock at the usual place. Ok bad habits established…and go!
Love Cleanse Day 1: I found myself in the line for the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf out of pure habit forgetting that for the first morning since probably my pre-teens I wouldn’t be starting my day with coffee. Ho baby…look out world.
Needless to say, I’ve always aspired to being ultimately healthy and love to indulge in yoga, running and some nice baby carrots. I also, however, love those ‘lil carrot fellas to swim in Ranch dressing and if you put fried pickles in front of me I will smile, probably kiss you, and then willingly eat them. I was a little nervous to start the EmpowerU program mainly because of the lifestyle I currently lead. While some nights I go home and put my Martha Stewart apron on to whip up some organic, vegetarian fabulousness in my own kitchen, others would be spent eating worse than a 19-year-old X-box addicted college freshman with pizza and beer galore!
The first couple of days were a little bit overwhelming due to the sheer change in mindset, grocery list contents and fighting off daily habits that I wasn’t even really aware that I had. Come day 3 though, I feel like I caught my stride and started to look forward to the teas that came with our Love Cleanse kit the most.
With the daily tracking advice Kim and her crew offer, they monitor your cravings, energy and happiness levels and generally were able to rush to aid if my energy was tanking too fast. Once week one was up, I lost the craving for my nightly “big kid” beverage, woke up in the mornings fairly chipper without caffeine and my inner Italian learned to survive without pasta and bread! I’ve lost weight, feel better, and can honestly say that because of participating in this program I have decided from here on out to completely eliminate artificial sweeteners (Diet DP!), processed food and smokarooskies from my diet forever and ever.
Trust me. I’m shocked too.
I’ve always been sort of a serial detoxer. I like trying out all the different programs and seeing how they make me feel. This makes me sound really healthy right? Wrong. Instead of living a healthy lifestyle all of the time, I more reserve that for the couple times a year I feel like it. I wreck myself during weeks like SXSW, and during weeks not like SXSW where I work all night, go to shows five times a week, and just generally drink way too much and pay little attention to what I’m eating. Then I’ll feel guilty and unhealthy, so I’ll detox until I feel good, then do it all over again. It’s exactly like when you have a moral hangover after getting way too drunk – you vow to never drink again. Then 3 days later you’re at a bar sipping on vodka.
Not to be one of those “busy snobs” or anything…but I’m freaking busy. I’d rather work straight through all three meals than think about what healthy food I’m going to prepare myself for lunch. That thought just bores me. So I don’t think about it. If someone at the office is eating hummus and pita chips, well hell, I’ll eat hummus and pita chips too. Same with breakfast tacos, frozen bags of vegetables, you name it. I’ll then “work party” til midnight with Jimmy, and we’ll cash at least a bottle or two of wine (apiece) at the office. It’s when our best work comes out. I definitely have mastered the ability to successfully function like that. But, despite my best efforts at halting time, I’m getting older and becoming more aware of my health and how what I’m doing now will effect it. It freaks me out. I used to be a health nut, almost to a fault. I’d read book after book on food theories, eating locally, how food choices can cure just about anything, how I was going to die if I drank milk, etc. But I got this damn job with Do512 and that all changed. I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years and am not a total mess by any means, I just drink too much and eat more because I have to than because I love it. But really, how many nutrients are in a bag of pita chips, or in my favorite food of all, Frank’s Hot Sauce?
Getting started with EmpowerU stressed me out to no end. I am not used to having to eat at certain times, thinking about what times of the day I should eat fruit or grains, drinking tea five times a day, getting juices, and on and on. It was all so unnatural for me. Having to continually refocus my energy from work, to food, to work – it felt like more work than it was worth.
Obviously you know that the Do512 office did this together, and that made a world of difference for me. I would strongly encourage anyone embarking on this program to consider doing it as a group. If you don’t have group, you will still have daily input from Kim and her team. It feels a little infomercially to say, but the daily emails from Erin, and the visits to the office from Kim, really made this program work so well for me. It was encouraging talking to people who live and breathe this lifestyle effortlessly. They helped me quickly get over my frustrations with spending so much time thinking about eating, and I was able to transition into a space where I didn’t have to think about the program all the time, I just had to set aside a small amount of “me time” each day (like 30 minutes) to think and plan.
Once I got over the initial over-analysis of whether I was following the rules, and the fear of doing something wrong and totally getting busted, I started to think about the process in an entirely different way. And it no longer felt hard, it felt natural. Say it’s 10:30 and I think to myself “Kristin, you are hungry.” I would then think, “That’s weird, I just ate at 9:30.” and then magically I knew that whatever I ate at 9:30 was not what my body wanted. I didn’t think it was possible to be so in tune to my body. It’s now already become second nature.
We ended the program two days ago. I went to Weezer and I had ONE vodka and soda. I just didn’t want more. That in and of itself, is like a miracle. I totally now get that people can be addicted to feeling good. Knowing how great I’d felt the past two weeks was suddenly more important than tossing back a few drinks. When I’m staring down that bottle of wine, or those breakfast tacos, I so far don’t even want them. And that is exactly what I wanted from this experience. A way to change my bad habits in a reasonable way, without having to alter my lifestyle. I don’t have to think as much about what I’m going to eat, because I’ve taught my body to instinctively know what it needs. Sure, I’m totally going to eat that breakfast taco, and drink that delicious bottle of wine. Just not very often, because I’d rather feel like I do right now, then how I’ll feel after consuming all of my vices.
To wrap this up, I will honestly say that this program FAR exceeds anything else that I’ve done, because it’s sustainable. You get constant support and feedback, you get to eat, and you learn what your body needs. I cannot speak highly enough about Kim Love and her team. She is such a pleasure to work with and so motivational just by her very nature. I kind of want to have her around the office all the time. I’m sure she would just love that idea.
If you’re ready to get cracking on your own dietary reset, Kim and her crew can get you going. We highly suggest it as a way to test yourself and get your summer started off feeling better than ever. Trust us, if we can do it…anyone can do it!