Two girls with drastically different diets walk into a cleanse and ... well, the punch line at the point was still TBD. When assistant beauty editor, Dianna Mazzone, and I discovered Euphebe and the company's 28 Day Reboot, we eagerly decided to tackle it together. While we hold pretty opposing everyday dietary habits—I avoid processed foods like Dianna avoids her kitchen—we both had goals in mind we thought the reboot could help us reach. I wanted to reign in my wild binge-filled weekends and Dianna wanted to reign in the Seamless orders. So, we signed up.
The program touts itself as a "28 day real food reboot for your body and mind that will make you look and feel better" and is based on medical research that shows what we eat defines what we crave and how we look and feel as a whole. The rules fall in line with a standard dietary overhaul: no refined grains, no sugar, no soda, and, of course, stick to the food plan.
The plan includes 28 days of meals (six lunches and six dinners) delivered to you weekly for four weeks. In addition to those meals made of highly nutritious, whole ingredients, the plan offers weekly breakfast suggestions and salad recipes to supplement the food you're receiving. Oh yeah, and you get completely personal coaching and guidance through the duration of the program via text message and phone calls, and actually even after you've completed it.
So, as you can probably tell from me writing this, we survived! And it was actually maybe the least restrictive, delicious (for the most part) diet overhaul we've ever done. Read on for our insights from our 28 days rebooting and try it for yourself. Code INSTYLE will get you 5% off your Reboot purchase.
What is your normal, everyday eating like?
DM: Probably the opposite of whatever Gwyneth Paltrow would eat. I'm miserable at cooking, so I've become a Seamless addict. (I justify this with the fact that I live alone at this stage in my life, so ordering out isn't so outrageous, financially.) But the problem lies in the dishes I order, and the portion sizes that get delivered to my door. Because how can you not finish a plate of penne à la vodka?
LD: I keep it pretty clean and try to avoid processed food as much as possible. I eat a mostly plant-based diet, tons of vegetables, and what some might consider an inordinate amount of eggs. A typical day usually consists of some fruit and peanut butter for breakfast, a salad with chicken or avocado for lunch, and a massive bowl of broccoli and a mix of eggs and egg whites for dinner.
What were you hoping to get out of the cleanse?
DM: I'd been feeling really sluggish, and suspected my diet was to blame. Sure, I could have started incorporating little fixes here and there, but I'm someone who goes hard or goes home: I needed a serious kick in the pants to jumpstart my transition to healthier eating.
LD: For as healthy as I generally eat during the week, I can occasionally over do it on the weekends with the carbs, sweets, and alcohol. So then I spend the rest of the week detoxing from my weekend binges just to do it again once Saturday rolls around. I was hoping to break some of my bad weekend habits, as well as seriously cut sugar during the week (I make regular stops at our office’s M&M dispenser).
What were your biggest concern about starting the cleanse?
DM: That I'd hate the food. I'm not a picky eater per se, but I look to food as means of comfort. (Not the healthiest relationship, I know.) Knowing some of my favorites (pizza, or anything with cheese, really) would be no-nos was a scary thought.
LD: I was terrified of that first week cleanse feeling that so many sugar-detoxes had left me with before. You know the one: headaches, mind fog, chills, cold sweats ... okay, that’s an exaggeration. But the first week of any cleanse program can be brutal. Fortunately, I actually didn’t feel any of the lag I sometimes do on more deprivational cleanses.
What was you favorite meal(s)?
DM: The black bean pasta was so delicious that as soon as I put down my fork, I immediately ordered some on Amazon Pantry so I'd be stocked up after the program ended.
LD: Oh my gosh the very first meal on our plan was a chickpea seasonal salad that I could’ve eaten by the mixing bowlful. It was so good. And week two’s Mediterranean falafel with tabbouleh made for the best lunch one day.
What were some of the biggest struggles while on the cleanse?
DM: The cleanse grants you six lunches and six dinners per week, so it was the weekends when I really struggled, especially because that's when I do most of my dining out with friends. I knew I was serious about the program when, at brunch, I looked beyond my usual eggs Benedict and opted for an egg-white frittata. Silly, I know, but it was a moment of checking myself and *actually* following through on making a healthier choice.
LD: I'm a sugar fiend, so avoiding the office M&M machine was not easy. But my biggest struggle was the weekends. As healthy as I keep it during the week, I lose it on the weekends and go heavy on the take out, carbs, and vino. It was challenging to try to maintain my regular social life without the usual food and drink options.
Did you cheat at all?
DM: Erm, yes. Especially towards the end, when I knew I'd no longer have the luxury of getting Euphebe-approved food delivered to me, I began re-incorporating some of my favorites into my diet. But I was so much more aware of the fact that eating, say, a slice of pizza was a treat, not the norm. That's something that never would have entered my mind pre-cleanse.
LD: Like I said, avoiding the office M&Ms machine was not easy. But I only cheated once or twice ... I swear.
How do you feel now?
DM: I feel more energized, especially in the mornings. I doesn't hurt that I lost seven pounds throughout the process, too. But the mental change was the most profound: I now see food as fuel. Why would I compromise the strength of my body by eating processed foods?
LD: The biggest thing I noticed was that I feel significantly less bloated. I'm plagued with a pretty challenging digestive system so I typically feel every ounce of not-good-for-me foods I ingest. That was great. I also felt more energized and like any mind fog I can suffer from alleviated.