If you know me (or have come across any of my social media accounts) you know that I by no means lead a healthy lifestyle. I love chicken fingers, lying on my couch for a good Netflix session and finishing every single day with sugar, because life is about treating yourself.
Clearly, I am not the dieting type. I have attempted juice cleanses and quit promptly after the first sip, tried raw diets and stopped on the second bite, and laughed when people suggest that I become "gym buddies" with them. But whenever bikini season rolls around, I get as self-conscious as the next girl about kicking my butt into gear. So, when Elle Macpherson, the supermodel affectionately known throughout her career as "The Body," introduced her wellness brand — and her bikini body reboot plan — to a bunch of beauty editors a month ago, I actually took it to heart. I figured if this is what a smoking hot woman does to stay in shape (which is basically her job) it must work.
Plus, the plan didn't seem too hard at first glance, which was an obvious bonus in my book. The four-week reboot slowly gets more intense as the weeks go on, essentially easing you (and your body) into the diet. The product line, WelleCo, is based on the theory that our bodies need to have a balanced pH to function properly; if they are too acidic, we are more likely to get sick or feel run down.
With this philosophy in mind, Macpherson teamed up with nutritionist Dr. Simone Laubscher, PHD, and created Alkalising Greens and Nourishing Protein mix to help all of us busy folk still maintain healthy lifestyles. The greens are packed with vitamins and are meant to help your body maintain its pH balance. The nourishing protein is chocolate flavored to help with those sweet cravings, and is filled with fiber, B vitamins and digestive enzymes to boost metabolism.
Getting Down to Business
With my stock of healthy powders, I embarked on my quest. For the first week, I was tasked with drinking the Alkalising Greens each morning and cutting out refined carbs after 5 p.m. I also had to up my water intake to at least two liters of water a day, and considering my liquids generally consisted of a venti Starbucks and a Diet Coke, this was already looking to be a challenge.
To be perfectly honest, I thought I would hate the green drink (as I've already mentioned, I'm not a juice cleanse fan), but it is sweetened with xylitol and steviol. I'm assuming that might be a turnoff for many, but I greatly appreciated it, as the slight sweetening helped me to get it down pretty easily. I took Macpherson's tips to heart, and made sure to mix with ice-cold water in a giant bottle, waiting for the powder to fully dissolve before drinking.
The hardest thing that week was my initial cut-off of carbs in the evenings. What was I going to snack on? I'm not one to cook — but who does in NYC? A typical night for me consists of coming home from a work event and boiling pasta on the stove. Apparently, pasta is a carb, and I could no longer eat it. So, instead of waiting for week two for this step, I took the easy way out and started making smoothies for dinner with the Nourishing Protein (which was delicious, by the way), because cooking chicken or fish seemed out of the question. Normal, functioning human beings could clearly cook dinner sans carbs for week one.
Due to this, going on to week two didn't make much of a difference to my lifestyle, since you're supposed to just build on the first week of your Alkalising Greens by adding the Nourishing Protein as a substitute to one meal a day. Since I was lazy and had already done that, I just continued on with my life. I should say, though, that my smoothies started getting boring here, so I mixed them up with a bit of additional peanut butter and frozen fruits — I've never used a blender more in my life. One thing I did find was that smoothies didn't fill me up for dinner; I'm not on a model diet on a regular basis, and I needed more sustenance. I began eating hummus and veggies to supplement my smoothie dinner in order to feel full before bed.
For week three, you're just adding in a cayenne pepper lemonade throughout the day to help boost your metabolism. By the way, I couldn't have been more thankful for being a freelancer at this time, because this entire "reboot" makes you pee 15,000 times a day.
Suddenly, I had made it to the point in the diet that I had been dreading the entire time: In week four, you're supposed to cut out all sugar, dairy and starchy carbs, as well as increase your green veggies. While before I couldn't eat my carbs after 5 p.m., I was still obviously eating them at lunch. Now, I couldn't eat anything at all that I loved so dearly — I found myself wandering the grocery store aisles having no idea what I was going to subsist on day to day. Finally, I ended up buying eggs, veggies, and a ton of pickles, but almost cried when I realized I couldn't also get a bottle of Diet Coke.
The Finish Line
Not surprisingly, even after four weeks, I do not have Elle Macpherson's body. But, this reboot was a huge change for me — and I admittedly did it at a "beginner" level. I didn't workout consistently (surprise, surprise) and cheated from time to time when friends were in town for dinner. There are definitely ways to make the plan more intense, or to eat healthier the entire way through, in order to see more drastic results.
Even with a few mishaps along the way, I definitely noticed less water weight (shockingly, since I felt like I was drinking the entire city's supply each day) and a slimmer appearance overall by the end. But, my biggest reward was feeling healthier overall — which I credit to the Alkalising Greens and protein, as well as the huge boost in hydration. Plus, I had finally figured out how to be happy about adding vegetables (and fruit!) into my diet — even cooking them — like the full-grown adult that I am.
The biggest reward from this reboot was the fact that it taught me how to use my kitchen again, something that I will forever be grateful for. Perhaps it was truly my "adulting" reboot?