I am five days into this 21-day cleanse, and it feels like a month. I might bail early. Why does it have to be 21-days anyways? By bail I do not mean go on a binge or go back to eating animals, but I mean have a glass of wine and a little chocolate. Restrictions are not for me, I don’t think they’re good for the soul. Want a little chocolate? Have some!
Overall, I feel good. I think I must be pretty ‘clean already’, because I do not feel an earth-shattering change. My jeans are a little looser, digestion is marginally better and I am sleeping well (except for waking up to pee during the night from drinking so much water.) The food part is easy since I did not have to make any diet changes. I have just been bumping up the ratio of raw to cooked food as much as possible. I feel totally satisfied and energized with the food I am eating. I did not have any cravings for lattes, just chocolate, especially in the evening. I had a headache all day long during day 3, which is very rare for me, I get maybe 3 headaches a year.
Sunday included a full day of liquid nutrition only so I nourished with smoothies, tea, kombucha and fresh juice. For dinner, solid foods were ‘allowed’ if that was what my body wanted. I started my dinner with a raw carrot ginger soup, and craved a little more, so I had a bit of the family’s dinner – gluten free pasta with mushroom and green peppers, hit the spot perfectly. I was nervous to exist all day on fluids, and surprisingly it was effortless. I did not feel hungry or or lightheaded, and had an active day with good energy. There may be a juice cleanse in my future when I feel I need a pick-me-up – it was kinda nice, and dare I say, fun?
Some cleanses have you taking a possibly useless or even dangerous concoction of pills, herbs and unnecessary supplements, and standing on your head and spinning around three times. There is no magic, this cleanse is centered around the pharmacy in the produce section – food, the stuff you buy at the farmers market or produce section.
- warm lemon water with a pinch of cayenne in the morning to wake up my digestion
- tons of water
- green smoothies filled with all kinds of raw goodies – broccoli stems, sunflower sprouts, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, kale, dinosaur kale, romaine, kiwi, banana, pears, apples, coconut oil, hemp and plant-based protein
- beet and carrot juice, green juice
- raw organic kombucha
- herbal teas like green tea, licorice, dandelion root, orange spice and peppermint
- raw carrot ‘noodles’ with basil pesto
- tomato soup with wild rice and marinated mushrooms
- kale salads with quinoa, pumpkin seeds
- quinoa pasta with red pepper, tomato and green pepper sauce
- roasted squash with red curry
- ‘barefoot’ bowls‘ of many varieties – black or wild rice with radish, turnip, beans, cilantro, lime, avocado, hot sauce or quinoa with raw broccoli, carrots, sprouts and pesto
- rice cakes or apples with nut butter or homemade lemon-garlic hummus
- Friday and Saturday night I had a small bit of raw chocolate, it definitely hit the spot and got me through the weekend
- gym 3-4 times a week doing something different and challenging every time – from cross-fit style training, flipping tractor tires, body weight exercises, high intensity interval training, pumping iron and throwing medicine balls around (this part is a lot of fun)
- walking at least 45 minutes a day – which includes my walk to work and walking the dogs, so this is not really ‘extra’, but still movement nonetheless
- meditating at least 15 minutes a day
- deep breaths (sounds like a no-brainer, but actually remembering to do it is the hard part)
- less screen time
To be completely honest I think a shorter cleanse, and a raw or juice cleanse might suit me best. Twenty-one days does not sound long in theory but when you see it on the calender, and then you live it, it feels like a long time.
I would recommend this cleanse for anyone who is thinking of going gluten, dairy or meat free to see how they feel. Then maintaining a similar diet for life, it is very easy to maintain as a lifestyle. When I replaced meat, dairy and wheat with more plants, I felt a significant change within days.
Living simply with an unfussy lifestyle and outlook on life is my core belief, a long cleanse feels like trying to put a round peg in a square hole. I will likely move on by week’s end. I am not going to beat myself up about it, or consider it a failure because I learned some new habits. I will talk a little more about what I will take with me in my next post.
Have you completed a cleanse? How long was it? What did you miss the most?