In the latest installment of our client spotlight series, we take a peek into the detox week of Leslie Campisi, long-time client, CMO of Anthemis - a fintech VC and venture builder - editor of Hacking Finance, and on-the-side yogi and wellness coach. Here Leslie shares a bit on her background, the biggest triggers to eating unhealthy, and how she maintains her health with the occasional whole food cleanse from Provenance.
Why detox? Because it reminds me what I really need, and what my body doesn’t miss when it’s gone.
My first experience with food restrictions dates back about ten years. My then-boyfriend and I decided to experiment with a two-week anti-inflammatory diet. I felt so good that I kept some of the restrictions for awhile but didn’t have the guts to commit to healthier eating on an ongoing basis.
Fast forward to today, and I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for four years and have been caffeine free for one! (I’m also a part-time yoga instructor and wellness coach, which I never could have imagined all those years ago.) However, I still often dip into periods of indulgence and need a reset.
My biggest trigger? Business trips. They’re a deadly combination of airplane (and airport) food, hotel minibars, room service, and lots of eating out. If you’ve ever woken up in a strange bed next to an empty bag of potato chips, or had an extra glass of wine just to fall asleep and adjust to the time zone, maybe you can relate.
July was a killer month for me. I traveled to London and Geneva for work, worked remotely from a friend’s place in Ann Arbor for a week, and then took a surf trip to Costa Rica, all back to back. I knew when August came around and I was finally at home with my dog that my fridge would be empty, and I’d need to bring my body back to reality.
I’ve completed the 5- and 7-day detoxes at Provenance a few times since they rolled out the updated program last summer. It almost seems wrong to call them a “detox” -- the food is as delicious as Provenance’s everyday meals. And there are some things you can only get with the detox, like the amazing breakfast shakes and chia frescas.
Last week I embarked on a fresh 5-day detox to nudge my eating habits back on track. Here’s how it all went down.
The first Provenance Detox introduced me to the idea of drinking hot water with lemon instead of coffee. It might sound crazy, but it really works. The ritual of boiling water, preparing a drink, and sipping it slowly is a larger part of the “morning coffee” routine than you might imagine. That said, if you use the Provenance Detox week to give up coffee, it’s going to color your whole experience, so choose wisely.
Anyway, my hot water with lemon and usual vitamins, supplemented by the Metagenics pack included in the detox, got me through to the office, where I had my Cacao Maca Detox Shake around 9:30am. (Can’t resist the cacao! Always drink it first.)
Back up: I wasn’t actually at my office, because our AC has been out for three weeks (!), but crashing our founder’s apartment in Tribeca with a few other folks from the team, who only teased me a little when I took pictures of my food.
Lunch on detox day one comes early. For me, around 11:30am. The Berry Snap Pea Salad with Mint Lime Dressing was everything I wanted -- juicy, crunchy, tangy, and sweet. I had an interview with a candidate we’re thinking of hiring at the Soho Grand at 2pm and happily ordered mint tea to tide me over to my afternoon Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca.
By 7pm, I had eaten dinner at home and was preparing for a lazy evening and early bedtime. The Wild Mushroom Tsukune with Broccoli and Bamboo Rice dinner was my favorite meal of the day, simple and filling. Yes, I could have put the tray in the oven, but 45 seconds in the microwave, and it was perfect.
Day two is when the self-congratulatory smugness about being on a detox wears off, and you realize: I’m on a detox…for four more days.
I zipped off to the new members’ breakfast at Chief for 9am thinking I’d regret saving my Turmeric Reishi Detox Shake for later but didn’t. A great selection of herbal tea was on hand, and the room was buzzing. I felt great and had no problems staying away from the omelet bar.
I chugged the shake at 11, which pushed out my desire for lunch to about 1pm. When done, I headed back to my real office to see if the AC was working -- nope! -- and then headed home for an afternoon of calls.
I had been carrying my Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca around all day. It was warm when I got home, so I poured it over a giant ice cube I usually save for whiskey and sipped it through a reusable straw.
I couldn’t wait to dig in to the Jackfruit Carnitas Lettuce Cups with Cilantro Lime Jicama Rice dinner and tucked myself into bed again on the early side. (I try to avoid evening plans during the detox; eliminates the temptation to cheat and keeps me focused on staying in the zone.)
Woke up feeling really energized and got deep into email while still in my PJ’s. When this happens, I usually decide to work from home, either all day, or just for the morning, so I can maximize my productivity.
It was surprisingly easy to manage the detox from my apartment since the fridge and shelves were empty from being away! No temptation, and a minimum of stress triggers (like schlepping around in the heat and the tiny annoyances of coworkers and other humans) meant not only did I get a lot of work done, but my brain didn’t wander off into treat-land looking for a fix.
Lunch on day three was a delicious and light but not-very-filling Chilled Honeydew Fennel Soup with Seeded Crisps, so I bumped up my Pomegranate Lime Chia Fresca time and ate dinner around 5:30.
Loved the Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Majik Dressing! It’s so weird and perfect with the celery sticks.
Woke up with a ton of optimism and got online early to finish some work in advance of a 9:30 meeting. Had my Vanilla Lucuma Detox Shake while noodling over a PowerPoint at home and hit send.
Made it to the office and found everyone working quietly with the windows open and lights off. It was a low humidity day...perfect even without the AC. Thursday nights I got to the gym, so I tried to eat lunch a little later, closer to 1pm, to keep some gas in the tank. The Curry Tahini Kale Bowl was fabulous. I ate it too quickly to even take a snap.
Had a meeting in Flatiron, then headed to the gym and ran home to eat dinner (another hit, the Adzuki Stir Fry with Ginger Scallion Sauce and Green Tea Schichimi) and meet someone in the neighborhood for a drink. Reader, I had one luxurious glass of rosé, and I do not regret it.
Friday! My entire team worked from home, so it was another quiet one punctuated by calls, emails, and dog whines.
The Beetroot Detox Shake is my second fave (cacao will forever be numero uno), so I was happy to have it for breakfast to close out the week.
Seriously, not sure what else to say about this day -- it was a rather boring Friday in August, as they should be, I guess.
Lunch was the beautiful Roasted Nectarine and Zucchini Salad with Honey Almond Vinaigrette, which, since I was at home, I served up on a real plate.
Honestly, part of what makes the detox so easy is how beautiful all the food looks. I never feel deprived; instead, I feel like I’m indulging in a gorgeous meal, homemade with love. Which is was the Provenance Detox *really* is, if you ask me.
The Chimichurri Chorizo Tempeh with Rosemary-Roasted Tomatoes and Turnips dinner was surprisingly smoky and sausage-y, a delightful way to wrap a week of eating right.
However, I officially ended the detox by staying in bed all day Saturday reading the third of Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels....no regrets. I’m off to Greenlight Bookstore in a few minutes to buy the fourth.
What else can I tell you about the Provenance Detox? If you’re already a fairly healthy eater, go for it. It’ll give you the reset you’re looking for. If you’re new to mindful eating, ease your way in by ordering some regular Provenance Meals. And you can always reach out to the team for advice.
In fact, I failed to mention Sarah’s supportive emails that arrive in your inbox throughout detox week -- a huge asset for someone wondering how they’re supposed to feel during the process. She and the rest of the Provenance team are always there, pre-, during, and post-detox, to answer your questions. So if you’re still curious, give them a shout.
Leslie Campisi is the CMO of Anthemis, a fintech VC and venture builder, and the editor of Hacking Finance. She’s also a yoga instructor and wellness coach to the startup ecosystem. Leslie lives in Fort Greene with her Formosan Mountain Dog, George.