My Clean Eat Week with EATbyalex

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Being passionate about wellbeing, I am always curious to try new products and services that are designed to support holistic health.

I like testing them for myself first, seeing what works and finding opportunities to share what I’ve learnt with my clients and community.

With that in mind, I recently participated in a meaningful experience I’d love to share with you. 

I first connected with Alex, the founder of EATbyalex for a drink at The Juicery 21 in Zurich. As she was telling me the story behind why she set up her business, her passion for healthy, delicious food was obvious.

Like me, she developed her career within the corporate world, so understands the struggle to routinely look after ourselves with tasty, nourishing food when balancing a busy schedule. Her business is a solution to that. She creates a complete eating experience through offering nutritious, ready-to-eat meals for an entire working week. Having previously tried (and loved) Sakara, a popular nutrition delivery programme in New York, I was so excited to try EATbyAlex in my home town.

As well as her food programme, Alex also hosts the Clean Eat Week, which layers in early morning yoga sessions to create the power combination: nutrition and exercise. With the options of choosing Lean or Strong, I went for the latter, as my main motivation for signing up was for cleansing not weight loss.

So, what happened? Below I share how the week unfolded…

Day 1: Monday 

We start bright and early with yoga at 6.30 am. Corina at Yotree opens the week by introducing the concept of koshas, which are the 5 ‘bodies’ or ‘layers of self’ in the yogic tradition. These are physical; energetic; emotional; intellectual/mental; and intuitive/spiritual. We will work on a different one each day, starting with Annamaya Kosha, which is physical matter and the experience of our physical body. This includes food, and it’s the kosher layer that sustains all the others.

After the yoga session we are given our food package which includes all the meals for the entire day. Everything looked tasty, and simply not having to plan and organise my food was a great treat in itself.

Excited, I open my food bag. As I realise that today’s breakfast is only a smoothie, I do get a bit disappointed. I am a big fan of breakfasts. In the old days before health was a priority for me, I used to rush out to work in the morning without taking a bite of anything. One of the first things I introduced in my nutrition journey was breakfast. The benefits for me were so obvious right away that I even changed my whole morning routine to ensure I have enough time for cooking something warm.

While Alex’s breakfast drink is extremely delicious and it makes me happy, the rebel in me can’t help but boil an egg for an accompaniment. It seems I am not yet ready to give them up! However, in the spirit of being a ‘good student’ and having a beginner’s mind, I vow to commit fully to the week ahead, which is an organic, plant-based, gluten-free diet.

In the evening I get down to self care. The more you support your body during a cleanse, the more effective it will be. The skin is our largest organ, and hence very important for eliminating toxins. Dry brushing exfoliates dead skin cells, increases blood circulation and activates the lymphatic system. Here’s a video of how to do it. Afterwards I take an epsom salt bath for additional benefits. This feels like the best way to end the first day of any cleanse.

 

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Day 2: Tuesday

Today I want to tell you about dinner. Alex suggests heating it up, instead of eating it cold. This is what I recommend to my clients too, as raw food in the evening is harder for the body to digest. 

To give the delicious food the attention it deserves, it’s nice to serve it on a nice plate and light a candle. I always find that if the setting is beautiful and serene, you eat slower, chew and digest better.

The meal was fulfilling, but later in the evening some cravings emerge. I love dark chocolate, and when I’m not on a cleanse or detox it’s my go-to treat. Being prepared, I didn’t keep any in my cupboards. This is my most powerful habit: treating my kitchen as a sanctuary. If we stock it with foods and drinks that support our intentions and overall wellbeing, we are more likely to overcome temptations with ease.

I decide to acknowledge my cravings and not give in. With a ginger tea, I cuddle up on my sofa and open the book ‘Clarity Cleanse’ by Habib Sadeghi to learn about cleansing our emotions and mind.

Day 3: Wednesday 

This morning’s yoga was quite gentle to support the first signs of detoxification. Alex had warned us that the second day would be the toughest one. To align with the challenge we are facing in our cleanse journey, today we focus on Manonmaya Kosha. This is the emotional body, and we complete various breathing techniques that help us to relax our mind and body. 

The temptation of my day comes in the late morning when I visit a conference. As I enter the main hall, the familiar smell of coffee is very seductive. While I am not strictly against coffee, I do encourage moderate consumption. On a cleanse however, cutting it out is key. This is because it affects your metabolism, and so prevents your body from fully benefiting from what you’re trying to do. Herbal tea and still water become your best friends.

Day 4: Thursday 

On my way to the 6.30 am yoga session, an immense feeling of pride washes over me. I am proud of prioritising my health, and proud of making these early morning sessions, knowing that although tough, afterwards I feel amazing.

Today’s dinner was salad with millet. It tasted delicious, but at the same time the small portion challenged me. For the first time this week I think about completely cooking myself a separate meal to address my hunger. With one day to go, I choose to challenge myself and resist the temptation.

Day 5: Friday

Today is dedicated to the Anandamaya Kosha, the intuitive/spiritual self. Through this self we can access the wisdom and depth of our soul and the Divine. For me, health conversation without discussing the spiritual self is missing a key ingredient. I am exciting to delve into this practice.

After the physical yoga exercises, we sit for 10 minutes and follow a guided meditation that leads us to calmness and the alignment of our body, breathing, and mind.

My key takeaways!

For me it was a great experience for several reasons. Firstly, it confirmed my suspicion that an entirely plant-based diet can be delicious for 5 days in a row; and probably even for a lifetime. Secondly, cleansing in this was an incredible support to my body in a phase of my life full of change. Finally, I discovered that I actually love cooking and taking care of my nutrition myself. While it was a welcome break to not worry about grocery shopping and food preparation for the period of the cleanse, by the end of the experience I felt a surge of inspiration to get back in the driver’s seat and choose what to but, cook and eat. This was something I hadn’t expected. 

Here’s why I think you should give the Clean Eat Week a go:

It’s great to regularly bring something new into your diet, whether that be something supercharged and sophisticated, or a humble new vegetable. Over time we become very attached to what we eat, which means our overall diets can become a tad stagnant. Diversifying our nutritional intake is great, and it’s fun to shake things up once in a while – both for our taste buds and to gain new ideas about what to create in the kitchen.

It’s also important to give your body a bit of break every now and then to heal and recover. It’s great practice to pick a few weeks spread out across the year where you only eat clean and super healthy foods. Alex’s package can certainly help you with that. 

It has been such a worthwhile and energising experience, which I think is perfect for people who want to implement a cleanse or kick-start a longer-term nutrition and lifestyle change. Particularly those who feel overwhelmed about where to start or when busy lifestyles put ease and simplicity are high on the checklist. Just keep in mind that a one or two week cleanse will not sort out all your health and weight issues in one go. Changing habits is a marathon. It can certainly done with the right amount of focus and patience. Once you achieved your goal, it feels amazing! Kick-starting this journey with EATbyAlex is a great idea.

I will certainly be doing this again in spring, I know my body will thank me for it!


(Note: I am not an affiliate of EATbyAlex. This is an honest review and exploration of my experience as a consumer of the Clean Eat Week programme.)

Heidi Hauer1 Comment