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What the heck is "Interval Sparking?"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

About a week ago I shared with you information about the diet cleanse I was following.

The cleanse was essentially a structured regimen of whole and nutritious 99% vegan foods (a small amount of butter was ok, and butter is not vegan)-- but no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no processed foods, no fast food--NADA.

I lost 4 lbs on the one week cleanse and was ecstatic! I also felt GREAT physically and mentally.

It made me wonder how I might integrate the cleanse into my weekly life--and not just limit it to a 2-3 time of year cleansing exercie. That is when "interval sparking" was born.

Anyone who reads the fitness blogs and articles at SPARKPEOPLE knows that interval training is highly recommended. The little bursts of intense activity--nestled among regular activity--seems to turn up volume with exercise.

I wondered if interval "eating" might work too. And came up with "interval sparking."

How does "interval sparking" work?

I integrate the cleanse's diet restrictions into a small portion of my weekly SPARKPEOPLE days. For example, this week I did 3 days Cleanse/4 days regular SPARKPEOPLE nutrition plan.

I lost another 1.4 lbs--and feel GREAT and completely satisfied when it comes to food.

My success with this tells me that eating healthy, nutritious whole foods--and not the store bought packaged and prcoessed junk--is what my body needs for weightloss.

My challenge, though, is I LIKE to eat out, and I realize I often depend on packaged/processed foods like yogurt, breakfast cereals, cheese, bread, tortillas, etc.

I also realized when I tracked my food on the cleanse that when I eat "pure" I naturally eat fewer calories--for me that was about 1500 a day.

Is the cleanse a breeze to do?

Not for me at first.

1. When I started the cleanse for the first time I was miserable for the first few days as my body went through sugar/caffeine withdrawal and released toxins. After that I felt like a million bucks (so the misery was worth it!)

2. It is very difficult to be on the cleanse and eat out--so you are constantly doing food prep/cooking/clean up. It can be a lot more work. But, I think the extra effort is worth it for me.

3. The cleanse forced me to be more creative in my food prep/cooking. Why? Plain old streamed vegetables and salad don't satisfy me. I liked exploring with new and different vegan recipes--but it was more work and took more time.

I am aiming to do "interval sparking" every week-- doing at least 1 and up to 4 days of "interval sparking" for the next few weeks to see how it goes.

I'll keep you posted. Until then, KEEP SPARKING!
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