Sorry for the delay, without further adieu back to my sister generously sharing her experience on the 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse brought to you by Dr. Junger:
Day Three: Oh hold on, rewind. 11:00pm…one hour before Day Three and I wake up to use the bathroom. There’s a lot of waking up to use the bathroom during this cleanse because you are supposed to guzzle water from morning until night. So I wake up, and my first thought was, “Oh, I drank too much wine.” Then waking up a little more, no I didn’t, so what’s with the headache, the nausea, the dizziness? Starvation perhaps? I shrug it off and go back to bed. Awaken on Day three to…blah. No energy, headache continues, nauseated, and well….let’s just say that the “Gut Flush” part of the cleanse seemed to live up to it’s name that morning. My husband, who had reported less energy since we began, did not share my symptoms. He just noted that he slept 12 hours the night before. His typical amount of sleep is 6 hours a night. Still, I slug out of bed to make the Vanilla almond shake, which I don’t remember very well. I wasn’t feeling awesome, and it was probably fine. Not great or terrible enough to remember. Then I sat on the couch and watched HGTV until I begrudgingly stood up again to cook the Thai chicken salad, which revived me quite a bit. Fantastically good. After lunch my husband and I took a break, got a sitter and went to a movie. This is really only noteworthy because the smell of the popcorn almost killed me. I wasn’t prepared for that olfactory siren song, but I scooted past the concession and was able to focus on Divergent, or I think I did. If you were to ask me what happened in the movie, I think I’d say, “Four was hot, and I was hungry.” So, focus was not there on Day Three. Neither was energy, but we got home and made our roasted vegetable soup, and it was meh. Not my favorite, and despite huge portions, not very satisfying, but better than raw greens so I took it. What I also eagerly took was information from my sister that I was allowed a small bite of 70% cocoa dark chocolate to treat my headache. Truthfully, my headache had resolved after dinner, but I still broke off two nickel sized pieces of chocolate for my husband and I, handed him his portion, and told him, “We have headaches.” He laughed and said, “I love you.” Hopefully this made up for being snappy with him earlier in the day. Yeah, I was really irritable on day three.
800 arrows note: I’m no doctor, nutritionist, registered dietician, etc. so depending on your goals for a five day cleanse, the dark chocolate trick for a headache may or may not be a good choice for you. When cleansing taking something like Advil isn’t ideal, but if you’ve tried water, walks, acupressure (you know the hand squeeze thing), etc., a small portion of chocolate (good quality, 70% dark or higher) is a fun thing to try and on day 3 of a cleanse it’s a good mood booster as well!
P.S. 800 arrows agrees with my sister’s synopsis of “Divergent”, I’d like to add the music and costumes were also enjoyable, but mainly…..it’s Four.
It’s the last day of week 2 of our winter cleanse and things are good, very good. Skin looks bright, pants feel loose, energy is stable and peaceful, elimination is regular and happy, we’re finding a groove with this thing after a some what rocky start. The weather continues to roller coaster from sunny 70’s to gray, windy 30’s which would typically have me pulling my hair out, but instead I’m contentedly choosing between salad or soup. That’s the hidden gift in this food experiment – it’s really only partly about the food, the rest is the neon sign that eating certain things have very definite effects. Eating these fresh, whole foods as well as eating a bit more moderately, has created a breeding ground for “peaceful, easy feelings”. It’s created a quiet defense for our normally sensitive digestion and weightless armor for eczema and other skin issues. My thought process feels less forced, listening seems a little easier – okay I’m going to stop because I don’t want this to sound like if you can find the right foods to eat that all your issues will magically disappear. But I will say it feels a bit like a key to unlocking a different kind of existence, in our case, it’s a better existence.
Other than eating from the prescribed list of “Clean”, here are a few other things we did to aid in our detox/cleanse during week 2.
Yoga – if you know me, you know yoga is not my favorite thing, it’s not even on my top 50 list, but I received an invitation to a class with friends and the social draw (with no food distractions) was enough to get me there. Yoga, particularly twisting poses are recommended while detoxing, kind of like a nice squeeze for your insides to release any bad guys they might be holding on to.
The verdict: I’m making it a regular weekly thing for awhile, I found the social aspect very pleasant and the yoga moderately so 🙂
Infrared Sauna – now, I know I posted not long ago about not needing to shell out money for extras during your detox but with a bathroom under renovation – read no HOT baths, and freezing temps outside, my body wasn’t getting much of a chance to sweat. Sweating is another huge way our bodies eliminate toxins so a good sweat is recommended. I found an amazing place in town for a good price and off we went.
The verdict: I’m going back Friday 🙂 I loved it!! I did feel really tired in the evening though, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this if you have plans at night, unless you regularly do Bikram yoga or something.
Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement – Magnesium is kind of an unsung hero in the supplement world, people may know it can help if you are backed up, but it can also help calm you if frazzled or help you sleep or improve circulation to cold fingers and toes.
The verdict: It definitely fulfilled the unclogging portion but I was after sleep and circulation help. My sleep is good, but I’m waking about 2 hours earlier than I’m used to. I’m going to try again and break up the dose to morning and night to see if I can get away without it effecting my elimination. Whole Foods offered small packs to try so I’m glad I didn’t buy the regular size, but I plan to keep experimenting with the packs.
Stay tuned for week 3, we are planning a big finish.
Our Clean cleanse has come to a close, and as I wrote earlier, I’ve been a bit concerned about our next steps. During the last week of the cleanse I had two dinners out and wasn’t able, nor did I make myself follow the rules of the cleanse to the “T”. I felt immediate differences after ingesting the “contraband” foods – bloating, gas, indigestion, irritability, even a nightmare. So, I continued marinating on how great I’ve been feeling while eating the foods prescribed on the cleanse and while thinking these thoughts, I mindlessly start typing to check out some of my blog regulars and here’s what they had to offer me:
Zen Habits – “A Guide to Eating a Plant Based Diet”
D Moms Blog- “Achieving Work Life Balance (Sort Of) with The Gem’s Kale and Quinoa Salad“, an article about how one lunch filled with green goodness made a marked beneficial change in this woman’s day.
I am not kidding, three seemingly unrelated blogs/websites ALL expounding on the benefits of eating a “clean diet”. Pffff. I get it universe, I get it, I don’t need any more messages from the Internet telling me that this way of eating can be more than an experiment.
After much discussion, my husband and I have decided not to live by any rules or standards or labels other than our own. Our daily meals may look vegan or raw but that doesn’t mean you’ll never see grilled fish on our table again. We are leading with health first and foremost but there will certainly be sprinkles of alcohol, sugary sweets, potato chips, etc. during the long and healthy life we are setting ourselves up for!
The details on the cleanse results:
1. Weight loss – I’m not a scale girl but going by my clothes, I dropped at least a dress size, possibly a dress size an a half. And remember weight loss was NOT a goal, I was packing in the calories.
2. Energy surge – The energy I experienced from day 3 through the end to day 21 was incredible! No afternoon dips, no groggy mornings, a steady flow all day that thankfully released me in time for bed. I did notice a decrease in the amount of sleep needed the last week (about 6-7 hours, vs. my typical 8-9)
3. Glow-y soft skin and bright eyes – “Did you change your make-up?”, “Did you get a facial?”, “You look so shiny and happy”, these are actual comments directed my way from unpaid individuals.
4. Clarity of mind and overall feeling of lightness – Life seemed easier, removing some of the distractions that I now know food causes in my life was a completely unexpected insight and benefit.
We will certainly be repeating this experience, maybe in 6 months, maybe a year….I’ll let you know!
P.S. Here’s the recipe for the “Beeting Beauty” pictured at top:
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 lemon (peel removed)
Feed everything through a juicer.
P.P.S. I only name my FAVORITE drink creations….. just thought you should know.
We are finishing up week 2 of our Clean Cleanse (woo hoo) and it just keeps getting better. I could extol the benefits of this experience for paragraphs but you can go to the website and read through hundreds of stories like mine and my husband’s going on about bright eyes, clear minds, boundless energy, slimmer hips and a peaceful heart. So, here a couple of details, tips maybe, to acknowledge that like most good things, this experience also has it’s challenges.
1. Just want to clarify my husband and I are not doing “Clean” through the pre-packaged program they sell on the website. We are following the whole program based on the book, so $5.98 from the used book store makes this information accessible to most people. That said, having a juicer and a high-powered blender (my choices are Breville and Vita-Mix) do make this process a whole lot easier!
2. Defining your hunger and confronting the ugly truth – People have different goals when doing a cleanse, loosing weight wasn’t on my list so when I make my morning shake it is anything but low-calorie. I’m talking half an avocado, almond butter, walnuts, cashews….and sometimes that’s all together in one shake. SO, a few hours after ingesting said shake I know I’m not “hungry” but my body is craving something and sending signals that seem a lot like hunger. Identifying that I’d been using food as a distraction or a comfort has made me face the truth that I need some additional stimulation in my life. I need to “grow my garden” as a wise friend once told me. This is easier said than done of course when parenting and lack of “free” time are the facts of my foreseeable future.
3. Eating raw garlic and taking tablespoons of olive oil is hard and unpleasant. ‘Nough said there.
4. What goes in must come out…..right? I, but not my husband, have experienced some traffic jams with the end of the digestion process – please don’t make me spell it out, I’m not that brave. But my whole reason for doing this is to get the bad stuff out and that fact that that wasn’t happening as smoothly and effortlessly as I expected has been a challenge.
5. Fast-forwarding to the finish line – We still have a week to go with this cleanse and I already find myself thinking, “I don’t want to loose this good feeling, what are we going to do when we are eating ‘normally’ again”. Have I learned nothing?! My job right now is to stay present in the process and to focus on getting the most out of this for my body to heal and restore itself……this too, I find difficult.
For more Do’s and Don’ts this is the Clean Food list:
Week 1 into our cleanse and holy cow I feel so clean and so happy! Like dancing on the ceiling happy…and light, I feel light. This summer I wrote about my tendency to overindulge, especially in sweets and fats….I don’t think I was really overeating my salads if you know what I mean. An intervention was in order, so my husband and I broke out the Clean cleanse. We’ve done it before but this round we’re really following all the “extras” laid out in the book including daily meditation, banishing snacks whenever possible, dry brushing, and a nightly dose of olive oil to just name a few. The basics are for 21 days we do two liquid meals, one at breakfast and one for dinner, lunch is a meal from their list of acceptable foods with the idea being as raw as possible and as organic as possible.
Changing up our food has already yielded huge benefits, we are sleeping better, my husband is so glow-y with his bright eyes – he looks 5 years younger, he says I too am sporting a youthful glow, I’ve mentioned the spike in happiness we are both experiencing – all of these things are wonderful BUT they are not my favorite part of my experience so far.
My favorite part is identifying that food and eating out had become a sort of hobby!
“Let’s grab a bite, have some coffee/tea, take the kids for an ice cream, etc., etc.”
So, during these three weeks (and I’m hoping for longer) we will get out and DO something instead of go out and EAT something. One caveat, the “detox date”, my husband and I went out for a green juice at one of the few NEW juicing places that have opened after dropping the kids at school. $15 bucks for two green drinks – DAMN, thank goodness it counts as breakfast. But it was a really nice break from cleaning the juicer.
Not completely unlike traveling, this cleanse experience has changed up our daily routine, offering some awesome insights.
I should mention that neither my favorite part of the experience, nor all the benefits we are outwardly experiencing thus far are the point of our cleanse. We are giving our bodies a break so they can clean themselves up and heal as needed……also to break my crack, I mean SUGAR addiction. Has to be said, just in one week, I feel like the spell has been broken on that front!