EarlierI posted that this would be the year I start off right with a healthy, detoxed body. I would channel Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec and trade the tyranny of pasta for turkey burgers, watercress and sweaty sessions at the gym.
I use the word detox loosely though, meaning that I’m not looking to torture myself with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne, but rather use a somewhat strict diet to shake my body and behavior out of bad habits. My weapon of choice would be the Dr. Perricone Metabolic Makeover Diet Plan which I am happy to say I followed to the letter, eating nothing but this for ten long days:
- A protein shake for breakfast and lunch made with 1/3 cup of mixed berries puree, 1 teaspoon of organic virgin coconut, 6 ounces of liquid egg whites and chased with one packet of the Metabolic Formula supplement at each meal.
- Dinner featured 6 oz of Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon, 2 oz of cooked lentils, 1 cup of streamed broccoli and a watercress salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. For dessert, another packet of the Metabolic Formula supplement.
But did it work, was it worth it? I’ll share my experience and let you decide for yourself.
Pre Diet Prep
Getting my hands on the Perricone MD Metabolic Formula supplements was as easy as walking into a Sephora. On the other hand, finding all the groceries sent me on an unexpected treasure hunt. Organic watercress was out of season and the Wild Alaskan Sockeye salmon was surprisingly hard to find. After hitting 5 grocery stores, and parting with a little over $300, I was set. Perricone recommends buying the salmon and berries at online grocer Vital Choice which I learned about afterwards.
Making the shake is a pain. I purée my thawed out mixed berries, carefully stir in my 6 oz. of liquid egg whites, but gagged when I noticed the coconut oil re-hardened into what looked like little bits of Crisco floaters in the shake. Wincing, I take my first gulp and immediately realize that raspberries and strawberries are a terrible idea. The tiny seeds don’t pulverize enough in my blender, leaving them stuck between my teeth. All that aside, drinking raw liquid egg whites isn’t as gross as thought it would be.
It’s about 5PM. I’m not hungry and have a lot of energy (supplements maybe?). Dinner is downright delicious. I turn my salmon/lentil/watercress/broccoli combo into one giant salad sprinkled with the lemon and olive oil.
I can do this!
I wake up cranky with a raging headache. I don’t have a fever, but notice I’ve got a slight case of the chills with some muscle aches. On top of which, my elimination results in a vibrant green floater with a pungent bouquet of what I guess are…my toxins? I’m fascinated. After a few minutes of Google searching, I attribute this to detox symptoms and take an Epsom salt bath to relax to muscles.
Still, I’m surprised at how sated I am drinking only liquid egg whites.
Until dinner when I eat a 10 oz piece of salmon.
And now it gets hard. I’m convinced that the only thing I’ve lost so far are IQ points. I put Preparation H on my toothbrush and sprinkle my son’s French Toast with cumin instead of cinnamon.
Keeping the hunger at bay is getting harder, so I eat an entire head of broccoli at dinner. This doesn’t stop my husband from whipping out Salmon Fishing on the Yemen, with the cocky arrogance of a guy who thinks he’s on the fast track to action. On paper this should work, unless of course you’ve been eating salmon for three straight days and aren’t allowed a drop of wine.
But during the movie, I find myself getting increasingly nauseous. Was it the treacley love story? The word salmon mentioned every 5 minutes? Or the lack of chemistry between Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor?
No. It was my stomach, rebelling against this diet. Around 10PM, the cleanest, pink and green vomit I’ve ever seen spews from my mouth. It looked like I ate Lily Pulitzer. Thinking the worst was over, I tried to sleep but couldn’t stop my brain from racing and dozing off into vividly strange dreams.
My God, what was in these supplements…peyote? And just how toxic was I? At 1AM, I vomit again. And again at 4AM. I’m feeling vulnerable and officially freaked out about what I had done to myself.
I’m alive, but determined to find out the cause behind my ills. I didn’t have a fever, and my food was from the same batch so I wasn’t convinced this was food poisoning. This was definitely a reaction to something.
More research continued to point to detox symptoms that can occur around day 3 or 4; headache, chills, lack of focus and occasional vomiting. But most of the detox diets were more stringent than mine, and had some pretty strong herbal “teas” involved.
But the supplements in the Perricone MD Metabolic Formula seemed relatively tame. There was Evening Primrose Oil, Omega 3, CLA, a multi-vitamin, and an “energy booster” with L-Carnitine furmate, DMAE, Acetyl L-cartinine HCI and L-Tyrosine. I learned DMAE could cause insomnia and nausea, but aside from one woman having stomach issues, couldn’t find anything but glowing reviews about the Perricone supplements. And it seemed no one but me was on this darned diet.
I tried to contact Perricone about my diet, but the 1-800 number was only for sales of more supplements and their Facebook seemed inactive over the weekend, so I sent an SOS by email.
Still, it seemed the worst was over and I felt better than I had since starting the diet. My headaches subsided; I could spell my name again and frankly didn’t experience any cravings. I decided to power thru, but opted to take only two of the supplement packets instead of three. Maybe it was Stockholm syndrome.
I get a note back from a very concerned brand manager at Perricone MD. She offers to send me a new box of supplements, but I demur telling her I’m feeling better. She tells me she’s never heard of anyone getting so sick or tripping from the supplements, but validates that detoxing can be hard on the body in the first few days. Other than that, she tells me the “Perriconistas” tend to love the Metabolic Makeover diet.
Salvation for me comes in the form of chia seeds and this video on how to perfect the damn shake. After poking around on-line it seems a lot of the “Perriconistas” add chia to their shakes to give it more bulk. It saves my life and takes the edge off my bitchy hunger. Word of warning: do not use more than one tablespoon of chia or else you’ll have enough gas to rocket to the moon. The magic trick to the shake is using only blueberries and adding a little stevia and cinnamon. Of course I find all this out half way thru.
Lionel, my hairdresser is in town for his once monthly visit to NYC so I’m hoping a hair cut will perk me up. I raise the idea of doing something a little different, like trying out an Anne Hathaway Les Mis style pixie. Lionel pauses as if he’s about to choke up a hair ball, then gently asks if things are alright at home. I say things are fine, I’m just detoxing. He fluffs the back of my hair with his hands, leans in close and whispers, “non et non”.
What was I thinking?
After powering thru the first half of the diet, I find myself adjusted and actually feeling pretty good. I’m back at work after my week-long holiday break and can slide comfortably back into my fat pants. A baby step. My skin looks amazingly dewy, and while my jaw line isn’t quote as chiseled and sharp as I would like, my eyes are beautifully deflated and look huge.
And now the question you’re all asking yourselves. How much weight did I lose?
Drum roll please…..
No, there’s no typo. I lost less than two pounds of what is probably water weight. But you know, I’m not at all disappointed I did the Perricone Metabolic Makeover. It served as a Karmic reminder that there is no easy path to getting into shape, and at the root of it is long-term behavior change. That fact that I was able to drink liquid egg whites for 10 days tells me I can do anything if I set my mind to it. And I actually liked the shake so much, I’ve added it into my breakfast rotation.
I doubt I’ll do another detox for 10 days again, but I may be tempted to try Perricone’s 3 Day Facelift diet. This week, I’m heading back to Weight Watchers and re-committing to the gym to get rid of my holiday muffin top.
Until then, I’m enjoying a sandwich for lunch today.