I am very excited to turn 800arrows over to my sister for the next few days while she generously recounts her very first cleanse experience. She’s funny, honest, detailed – if you were ever curious about how it feels the first time you do a cleanse, I highly recommend following the story for the next few days. Here’s my sister…..
As a newbie to any kind of cleanse, my sister and 800 arrows bloggess invited me to document my experience following the Dr. Junger’s 5-Day Gut Flush Cleanse-for the “bloated-middle body type”. Having never organized my thoughts enough to write more than the occasional sarcastic comment on facebook, I saw this invitation as both an honor and, like the cleanse, a challenge, so here we go.
First a little something about myself, I’m almost 41 years old, and have been married for several years to a very brave fellow who agreed to participate in the cleanse with me. The closest my husband ever came to a cleanse was going camping with friends, forgetting water and having to live off of a keg of beer for 3 days. So, you get the picture. We are pretty average in height and weight, but I found it extremely difficult to lose weight after both of my pregnancies. Especially the second, maybe because I was 37 and weight didn’t melt off like it used to. It was actually the shake recipes on this blog as well as talking to my sister, that helped me finally get down to my pre-pregnancy weight 3 years after our youngest was born. Our family has been eating healthier these past few years, but far from perfectly. We still love the beers, ice creams, brownies, bacons, and cheeses, and we indulge in them all regularly. At the same time, we make a conscious effort to include fresh fruits and veggies in almost every meal of the day.
So, I don’t know why this cleanse called out to me when others had not. Maybe the five day goal seemed less intimidating. Also some of the recipes looked pretty tempting at a glance. And how could anyone resist the lovely sentiment of “Gut Flush”? I mean really, doesn’t that sound a little gross, but kind of intriguing at the same time? So, I caught the bug and started to prepare.
The Prep: In preparation I asked my sister, husband, and one of my healthier co-workers to do this with me. Everyone agreed. That was pretty much all the preparation I did. The week before the cleanse my husband and I ate at a food truck in Austin that dumps bacon and maple glaze on a fresh donut. That same week I sent my husband out for Dairy Queen Blizzards after dinner because I felt like doomsday was approaching and that I had to suck down all the delicious food I could before the torture began.
The Cleanse: My husband and I, by some amazing stroke of luck, only work Monday-Thursday this year, so I timed the cleanse to begin on Thursday and to end on Monday. Some of our friends thought it was idiotic to “ruin” a weekend, and I see their point. My thinking was that I’d rather be hungry and grouchy at home than at work. The menu is also pretty work intensive with lots of chopping and preparing of vegetables, so I wanted free days for cooking. This schedule really worked out for us especially since both my husband and I hit an energy wall on day three which was a Saturday so we felt perfectly fine sitting around and doing nothing that day (except cooking the meals of course).
Day one: I wasn’t prepared for this. I honestly and stupidly thought that Day one would be a piece of cake. I thought that the pure adrenaline and novelty of beginning this program would carry me through this day. That was true through my first breakfast shake, and leaving for work at 7:30am feeling like an accomplished saint. It ended at 9:30am when my stomach was audibly growling and by 10:30am when I thought I was going to faint from hunger at work. Here’s when my co-worker mentioned the approved snacks. “Snacks you say?” I whimpered from my fetal position on the floor (I may be exaggerating a little). But yes, there were snacks! Why didn’t I notice this before you ask? Please refer to my stellar preparation which consisted of eating junk food and glancing at the recipes. But oh, now I reread the fine print, and I can have some almonds and berries! Ok, that got me through until lunch, and lunch was delicious! I made the lamb tacos the night before so that my husband and I would have them at work. I did arrange mine more like a salad because I had a department meeting during lunch, and the tacos looked messy, so I figured a bowl and a fork was a bit more dignified than wearing lamb filling on my shirt. The rest of the workday went smoothly with my filling lunch in my belly and then came 5:00pm. Apparently I have an internal clock that tells my hand to reach for a glass of wine at 5:00pm. Anyone else? I am not a heavy drinker, but I AM a nightly drinker (I guess that would be heavy to many people) and enjoy my glass of wine with dinner. I didn’t realize how much I enjoy it until I just didn’t allow myself to have it. Again, I wasn’t prepared for this to be so tough on day one. I didn’t drink at all for my pregnancies, and I never found it a sacrifice, but I was growing precious babies at that time. This time I had no such mission, just a self made challenge and apparently that was not enough to make it easy. But I made it. I made it and I ate my sparse green salad for dinner (Forgoing the yucky looking cucumber soup recipe, my sister found a great alternative salad with asparagus, wilted greens, and a poached egg). Still, I went to bed feeling unsatisfied and well, just hungry. I was curious to see about Day two.
I know you all are probably curious about Day 2 as well, stay tuned….