After the holidays, La Jolla Dad and I were tired from entertaining and being entertained. We decided to try the Whole Living Action Plan for 3 days (because it involves eating food), in lieu of a juice cleanse. I was curious to see if healthy, good food eaten properly could compare to the quick and dirty results of a juice cleanse. Week 1 of the Whole Living Action plan has similar ingredients to the juices I am used to drinking during a cleanse: fruits, vegetables and nuts. So, we gave it a go.

Why just 3 days? It’s honestly the most I can tolerate, mentally and schedule wise. I am not a good dieter. The recipes we used can be found via Whole Living magazine or my Pinterest board.

What Is The Whole Living Action Plan?

The Whole Living Action Plan is a 28 day mind and body detox designed to put you back in touch with your hunger. The six things you need to omit entirely are processed food or beverages, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine (not even green tea is allowed – I asked), and alcohol. The first week recipes include plant based fats (nuts, seeds and oils), vegetables and fruits. During the second week, you may add back in seafood, beans and lentils and organic soy. Week three allows gluten-free grains and eggs while week four, you are back to healthy routine. Whole Living assigns 50 recipes to help participants get the job done without feeling deprived.

Some Simple Changes I Made

I do not have a juicer, so opted for smoothies in the morning. I also, usually, work out quite a bit so I probably ate more food than other people participating in the Action Plan. Because my husband was also participating, I used a little variety. For instance, on the first day, we ate the cauliflower snack and butternut squash soup together for dinner instead of just the soup. I also doubled or tripled the soup recipes so we’d have enough for lunch the next day. Cooking each meal is pretty time consuming, so it’s nice to have extra on hand if you’re running low on time. In fact, next time, I’ll likely make both soups in advance and freeze. I also did not feel like I had enough energy to run or attend boot camp, but gentle yoga would have been OK.

My 4-year-old liked the soups, cauliflower, trail mix, poached apples and not much else. I made her separate meals, which wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Again, the recipes are here but here is the order in which we used them.

Day 1 Recipes

Breakfast: Green Smoothie
Snack: Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix
Lunch: Kale Slaw with Red Cabbage and Carrots

Snack: Kale Chips
Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup and Roasted Cauliflower

On this day, I was tired and fell asleep at 8:30pm, which is totally unheard of.

Day 2 Recipes

Breakfast: Carrot Mango Smoothie

Tip: I poured my husband and I a full glass of smoothie. I added yogurt and a bit of maple syrup to the remainder and served it to La Jolla Girl. She thought it was great.

Snack: Cranberry-Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix. I found this snack to almost completely kill any hunger pangs.
Lunch: Leftover Butternut Squash Soup with a little bit of Kale Coleslaw on the side.
Snack: Minty Pea Dip.
Dinner:  Roasted Garlic and Beet Soup and Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes. I used our homegrown lemon thyme in the soup. My husband declared it restaurant quality and asked me to add it into our normal routine. I loved the avocado though!

Tip: Be careful not to put too much soup in the blender, otherwise the steam will blow the top off. Yep, this happened to me. Beets flew everywhere. Try half full at the most.

Day 3

Breakfast: Carrot Mango Smoothie, since it was such a hit the first time.
Snack: A very small fruit plate, as I had a breakfast meeting and needed to order something off a menu.
Lunch: Beet Soup and Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomato.
Snack: Poached Apples with Cinnamon and Walnuts. This one was a huge hit with my daughter.
Dinner: Steamed Broccoli and Squash with Tahini Sauce

This was so good that I ate it again the next day. I have never, ever thought to put squash in a salad.

Whole Living Action Plan End Result

I felt exactly as I did after a 3-day juice cleanse. I do not make a habit of weighing myself, but I would guess that I lost about 3 lbs. My pants fit better and I could tell an inch or so was gone in my waist. My husband lost a few pounds and said that he never felt deprived. I wasn’t hungry either. I saw a cake in the window of a bakery and had a moment of woe, but it wasn’t crazy.

And, the bonus is that I’ve incorporated some of these recipes into our routine, as well as other recipes from weeks 2-3. I have to give Whole Living magazine props for creating a great program and I would encourage you to try it. I can only imagine how I’d feel after 28 days of this. This is a great way to reset your mind and eating habits by eating delicious food!

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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