If you have been reading for a while you know that once or twice a year I do a cleanse.
I have addressed some of the issues about cleansing HERE and HERE, in addition to several other posts about what I eat and how it’s going. If you use the search feature on the right side of the screen you can search “cleanse” and see all the previous posts.
A quick rundown though, for any new readers, or anyone who is too lazy (like me) to go read the old posts. Ha!
I use the Supreme Cleanse by Gaia. (I get nothing from Amazon or Gaia if you click through that link, I just wanted to make it easy for you to find.) The Supreme Cleanse by Gaia is a two-week, 100% natural, herb based gentle detoxification system. It has changed, for the better, since I first used it several years ago. Originally it was much more complicated, but Gaia has updated it so now there is just two steps: a fiber drink in the morning and three liver cleanse pills in the evening. It also used to be a full 14 days, but now it is 12. Easy!
Of course, part of the cleansing process is taking the pills, but the other part is cleaning up the diet, eliminating the junk, and the body then detoxifies. If you are skeptical (I totally was) about the need for the body to “detox” let me assure you that every single time I do this cleanse I experience the symptoms of detoxification. Headaches for the first couple of days, a general feeling of lethargy for the first couple days, and a few bouts of just feeling poorly. Also, if you are considering this, or any other cleanse, be aware that you will need to use the restroom more frequently.
The reason I choose the Supreme Cleanse is 1) it was recommended to me by a naturopath physician, and 2) it is gentle. Many cleanses out there are crazy restrictive (cayenne, lemon juice and maple syrup anyone??) and others are so intense that you cannot leave the house for fear of needing to go poo with significant urgency. The Supreme Cleanse isn’t like that. Yes, you will have to “go” more, but not like you are sick and have to run to the bathroom.
Okay, so that’s the low down, recap. What can you eat?? This is the main question.
FOOD! Real food!
Fish, veggies, fruits, grains (excluding wheat), beans, water, green tea, etc.
Stuff to avoid includes all the stuff we should try to minimize in our diets anyway: sugar, salts, fats (caveat-fat is good for you if it’s the right kind, but are limited on the cleanse), dairy, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, etc.
Of course, you can be more or less lenient with your food choices. Some people will add eggs and chicken into their diet, I have always used olive oil throughout the cleanse, although I use it more sparingly.
So I started the cleanse last week, I’m now on day 6. I have been more lenient with my food choices this time than I have been in the past, and I can totally tell. Normally, I lose about 6-8 pounds during the two weeks that I am cleansing. This time, I have lost a tiny bit of weight, but nothing significant. It is interesting that just a few different things (chicken primarily, but also nut butter) may be making such an impact.
What does this mean to me? Well, as much as I would really like to lose a few pounds, the reality of life is that right now these minor adjustments are making my life a lot easier. I feel like I am still following the intent of the cleanse, have been incorporating tons (AND TONS) of veggies and fruits and whole grains into my diet and that is part of the point for me. I do these cleanses once or twice a year to help me steer my eating back into a healthier direction. It isn’t that my eating is totally unhealthy, but I do like to have wine and I have my coffee with horrible-for-you creamer (seriously, what is up with the creamer being so filled with chemicals and junk??), and doing a cleanse helps give me the extra boost to lay off that stuff for a while.
Usually the effects of the cleanse last quite a while, too, meaning that my eating tends to continue on a “more” healthy trajectory for a period of time after I’m done cleansing.
Anyway, day 6, half way there, and I’ll give you a recap at the end!
Have you ever done a cleanse? What kind? Did you have good results?