As promised, I’m back to give an update on how the first week of my three week intensive cleanse went. I guess the first point is that I survived! Yay, me! Apart from 5 cherry tomatoes, I was 100% perfect! Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.
So, what did I notice in this first week…
1. My worst sugar cravings happened on the first day
Yes, I had them all week. Cravings for sugar, fried foods, dairy and pastries. I persevered with only minimal amounts of whining, but that first evening was the hardest part of all. Suddenly at around 8 p.m. it’s like my body woke up and was like, “Hey, uh, I didn’t get any sugar today…hello? HELLO!!!!! FEED ME SUGAR NOW!!!” Or, maybe it was my brain saying it, I’m not sure but I definitely knew it was being said! I even had dreams of gorging myself on cakes and cookies that night, the whole time racked with guilt over what I was eating.
2. Water, water and more water
I drink a lot of water, but after a few days it was like my body was reset from always hungry to always thirsty. I’ve often read that we get our signals crossed on this and I feel like this particular cleanse is uncrossing those wires because I can’t get enough water, my body is constantly telling me to drink more. Not too long ago I could go hours without a sip, now I need that water bottle next to me at all times and I regret when I go somewhere without one.
3. The first week is EXPENSIVE!
Yes, in the long run I will be saving loads of money because I won’t be going out to eat…at all, but I had to purchase many ingredients that aren’t a normal part of my pantry in order to have healthy options for the length of the cleanse. If anyone is thinking of doing the Alejandro Junger “Clean” cleanse and use his cookbook “Clean Eats”, I would say make sure that you have an extra $150 budgeted for that first shop, because you are going to need it! Of course, after that it is much less expensive and will cost you your usual budget, plus a wee bit more if you aren’t accustomed to buying organic.
I was pretty tired the first couple of days, but I’m gradually finding that I wake up more easily in the morning, provided I got a good night’s sleep. For a long time, I’ve been one of those people who can get that solid 8 hours of sleep and still wake up tired. This week, when I got a solid night’s sleep of 7 hours or more, I woke up more refreshed than usual. I won’t say I sprung out of bed like a bad Viagra commercial, but there was more alertness and dare I say…more pep, than I would usually have.
Those have been my biggest observations so far, though definitely not the changes I’m feeling. My moods have been fluctuating, as well as my bathroom habits, but we’ll get to those.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in yourself the first week of a major dietary shift? Did they disappear after some time or did they stay with you the whole time ?
It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write a blog. Big changes in my life, mostly having to do with my work situation and living situation. No apologies though, I did what I had to do and unfortunately that included skipping out on blogs for some time. But I’m baaaaaaaack! You may commence with the applause! 😉
We’re a few days in to May and a lot of people have been, or will soon be doing some spring cleaning of their homes. The sad truth however, is that most people won’t be taking care of the most important home of all…their bodies! I know I’ve been neglecting mine lately, allowing stress to overpower me and I’ve created a toxic state for myself. Well, no more! Today is the first day of an intense three week cleanse program for me. It also happens to be the first time in my life that I’ve been looking forward to a cleanse!
Lately, I’ve been feeling sluggish and although it’s spring and I want to be outside, I’ve been so tired I haven’t been out nearly as much as I should be. Knowing what I know about the importance of vitamin D, it’s a vicious circle! Part of this also has to do with some liver pain I’ve been experiencing. When you don’t have liver’s sidekick Cap-i-tan Gall Bladder, it’s easy for this organ to get overwhelmed. So, I’ve dusted off a book that I’ve had for some time in order to help me. “Clean” by Alejandro Junger
I’ve tried to do this cleanse before, which consists of clean eating, removal of many common allergen foods, juicing morning and evening, with a solid lunch…but I wasn’t motivated, or prepared. This time, I am so ready! Using recipes from Junger’s cookbook “Clean Eats” and a few of my old standbys, I’ve created a 10 day meal plan, right down to the snacks. “But I thought you said it was a 3 week cleanse?” I hear some of you say…I know, I know, I just wanted to test a few new recipes first and then I will create the last 11 days of the meal plans.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to do a cleanse as intense as the “Clean” cleanse, but committing to something as simple as eating clean for 7, 14 or 21 days can really help your body out. Not to mention prepare you for bathing suit season! Wink!
So, if that appeals to you but you don’t want to go out and buy a book to read to do it, here are a few tips to spring clean your body.
1. Drink Water…a TON of it!
Water is so important to your body for so many reasons. If you aren’t drinking enough you are making your body work harder than it has to. Part of my initial Year of the Detox was increased water consumption and I haven’t looked back! Unless you have a medical condition, drinking too much water will not be a problem.
2. Eat Clean
What does that mean, eat clean? Basically removal of any processed foods from your diet and anything that you already know your body has trouble digesting. My mom knows she can’t handle cheese, but she sometimes indulges and has rigorous, porcelain consequences. Just don’t do it. You can resist it for a few weeks. Also, try to eat organic as much as your budget allows.
To give you a short list, you’ll want to avoid:
– red meat
This list is very, verrrrrry basic. If you look at any cleanse book in your local bookstore or library, you’ll see that often the list is much more extensive.
3. Make a Plan
As I said, I made a plan and I’m sure that making a plan contributes to better completion rates of a cleanse. When you have your meals planned and your grocery lists written, you’re more likely to succeed and less likely to cheat!
4. Get Moving!
You might feel a little off at the beginning of a cleanse, maybe even flu-like or weak, but as soon as you feel able, get moving! Exercise is a very important part of health, even during a cleanse.
5. Recruit Your Health Team
Who is going to help you through this cleanse? Who will keep you accountable? I’ll show you who is on my team, and you may want to consider speaking to a naturopathic or family doctor before you embark on your cleanse, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.
My husband – Chef Extraordinaire, Partner and Accountability Watch Dog
Adele Stratton – Nutritional Advisor and Integrational Manual Therapist at Phoenix Rising Healing Centre
Andrea Portillo – Personal Trainer and Kick-Ass Motivator at Visualize Fitness
Freyja – Walk Companion, Wiggle Expert and Actual Puppy Dog…there’s nothing more motivating to go outdoors than those sad, sweet eyes staring at you until you cave!
6. Take Some Supplements
With the help of your nutritional advisor, whoever that may be, make a list of supplements to help your body through the cleanse and cover anything lacking in your diet during the cleanse. I, for example, will have to up my B12 intake as I am removing red meats. You might also want to consider taking fibre and a good probiotic. If you’re interested in a more intense cleanse, look at taking an herbal cleansing kit, but talk to your doctor first.
So, with all that in mind, take a few days to plan your cleanse. Come back, let me know which cleanse you are choosing to do, if any. Do you have any great clean eating recipes you’d like to share? I’m all ears!