19 lbs.

March 12, 2009
The Hudson Reporter
By Christopher M. Halleron

I lost 19 lbs.

I did the Standard Process Purification Program and I lost 19 lbs. in three weeks.

A few weeks back I met with nutritionist Inna Topiler at Complete Nutrition and Wellness, 80 Park Ave. in Hoboken, to discuss their detox/cleansing program. With a lull in festivities between the Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day, I figured there was no better time to take it easy and give the ol’ pipes a cleaning.

The Standard Process Purification Program is a 21-day “gentle” cleanse, “gentle” meaning it doesn’t demand you keep yourself within 20 feet of a toilet bowl at all times. Without getting too graphic, I will simply say there were no… ahem… urgency emergencies on this program. When they say “gentle” they mean “gentle,” and that’s all I’m going to say on that issue.

In order to carry out the cleanse there were certain dietary restrictions – make that MAJOR dietary restrictions. No nicotine was no problem, as I quit smoking three years ago. No red meat, no cured meat – fair enough. No caffeine, no worries. No booze, surprisingly easy, despite what any regular reader of this column might think. No bread, however, possibly one of the most difficult undertakings of my adult life.

Think about it – no bagels, no sandwiches, no pizza, no pasta. In a town with some of the best bakeries, delis and Italian joints in the world, this becomes quite a temptation.

But my diet had some room for creativity. Grilled chicken and fish were alright, along with brown rice, lentils and this crazy vegetarian staple called quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) which looks and tastes like a cross between pastina and sprouts. Cook it all in organic chicken broth and fresh spices and you’re off to the races. Fill in the gaps with fruits and veggies, and you soon realize just how easy it is to eat healthy.

In the time it takes me to put my shoes on, walk down to the burger joint, order the burgers, pick ‘em up and walk home, I could have made a healthy, delicious grilled salmon with diced scallion on a bed of lentils with a salad. In the time it takes for a pizza delivery, I could cook up grilled chicken with cilantro with brown rice and fresh peppers. And when you start looking at the healthier alternative as the easier alternative, that’s when you begin to see the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Oh, did I mention I lost 19 lbs.? That’s all well and good, but in my mind it was a mere side-effect considering the overall improvements. I felt better, had more energy, and believe it or not seemed a bit less irritable. I slept regularly and woke up feeling refreshed. It’s a good feeling, and one that I miss already.

After one weekend off the wagon and on the booze and cheeseburgers, I’m ready to go back. It’s more than a 21-day cleanse, it’s a window into a better way of life. Sure, it’s nice to grab a pint every now and then. Of course I’d love to enjoy the odd bagel. And a pizza sure would be a nice treat. So henceforth I’ll look at my daily bread as luxury rather than a staple.

Yeah, I lost 19 lbs, but more importantly I gained a new perspective. Three weeks of healthy living does not wipe clean decades of overindulgence.

Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Hudson Current and websites in the New York Metro area. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at c_halleron@yahoo.com.

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