My First Cleanse – Day 3

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…’s Four.



My first cleanse – Day 2

We continue my sister’s series of her first cleanse, using a “Five Day Flush Gut Cleanse” developed by Dr. Junger, presented by Dr. Oz.
Doug salad

Day two:  We’re off work. Nothing to do all day but think about all the food we can’t eat.  huh, maybe not the greatest idea?  SO we decide to keep busy.  We drink our Green Coco Shake, which we both preferred to the Grasshopper shake the day before.  Then we decided to do a little yard work.  We got a little obsessive and stayed outside working until lunch.  We had really worked up an appetite, so thank goodness we got to look forward to a hardy, hot… salad?  Yeah, green salad with almonds (which made the dish), black olives (yum), and a s dressing of….wait.  No dressing?  That’s right, a dry, raw salad for lunch, or “rabbit food” as my husband non-lovingly called it.  But the salads were HUGE (I doubled the recipe unsure if it was for 1 or 2 people) and somehow satisfied us enough to go back outside and keep working until it was time to pick up the kids from school.  We actually made an entire herb garden that day.  Complete with double stacked railroad ties, and organic soil with organic mulch on top.  It was beautiful and in the past, my husband and I enjoyed nothing more than sitting on our porch after work like this and enjoying a beer….Hmm…I mean carrot sticks.  Today, we enjoy carrot sticks.  And there it is again: that 5:00 inner clock ringing for a beer or glass of wine.  The evening of Day 2 had me so tempted to cheat with a beer, that I began to visualize all the ice cream and bacon I couldn’t eat so that I wouldn’t think about all the wine and beer I couldn’t drink.  And you know?  It worked.  Probably not the kind of visualization exercise my sister had in mind when she was offering supportive ideas to get me through the cravings, but still, it worked.  I loved the text my sister sent me asking if I wanted to try some “distractive breathing” and I texted back with, “NO!  I want to try some distractive drinking!”  Ah, it’s important to laugh when you’re in hell.  My reward at the end of the day was an amazing chicken coconut soup, that was perfect, “except noodles would have really made this,” according to my husband.  We both had to laugh at the truth of that statement because it applied to just about everything we had eaten.  But we did it, and that takes us to Day Three.

800 arrows note:  Day three is typically the hardest, it’s when detox symptoms are likely to begin, stay tuned to see how my sister and her amazing husband do once the “cleansing” part of the cleanse begins.


My first cleanse – Intro. and Day 1

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). 

Jen blend

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….

Doctor. Doctor.

I just finished a 5 day cleanse endorsed by not 1 but 2 doctors! Dr. Oz partnered with Dr. Junger and put several mini cleanses together for a range of needs, be it vegan, gut cleanse, or an all liquid number, these doctors have got you covered. My sister joined me in this experiment and I’m crossing my fingers she’ll do a recap of her experience for you lovely readers.
Personally, I’m a fan! I picked up so new do’s and don’ts from this go round of playing with my food.

Turkey Tacos for Day 1

Turkey Tacos for Day 1

Lesson 1:  Following new recipes makes my head hurt and is frustrating.  Make that 3 unfamiliar recipes/day and I’m downright cranky.  Next time I know to plan accordingly, double up the first two days so if you experience detoxing symptoms day 3 (which is typical), you’re not also fighting with another new recipe.

image via Dr. Oz

image via Dr. Oz

Lesson 2:  If something sounds terrible to you – skip it. This meal plan called for a “cucumber bisque”, that totally had my inner-three year old making a “that’s disgusting face”.  I found a substitute that had me happily consuming all the appropriate veggies.

The have and have not's for the cleanse

The have and have not’s for the cleanse

Lesson 3:  Put together a little “emergency food kit” as Dr. Hyman calls it.  A packette of nut butter, an approved bar, hard boiled egg, water, a piece of fruit.  With only 5 days in this cleanse, you want every moment to count!  Life happens and you’re well planned lunch gets wiped due to a sick kid or traffic or whatever unexpected curve life throws your way.  If you have your emergency kit, you’re much more likely to stay on the plan and away from the drive-thru line.

Here’s to happy, healthy eating for 1 day, 5 days or for your life.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes – Week 2

With the burden of detox week 1 behind us, we’re beginning to reap some benefits of the “Clean” lifestyle.    Skin irritations are clearing up, sleep has turned into an amazingly perfect experience for one of us, energy has bumped up and evened out for one of us, eliminations (we are talking poop people) have become as described in the book for one of us, a pound or two have fallen off.  These things are nice to experience but what’s better is there’s a sense of freedom that comes with this program – like you can drop the chains of cravings and junk food.  You don’t have to be a slave to mood swings (which I now see have loads to do with what I’m eating).

So does that mean I’m “healed”?  Will it be a life without pasta and cheese or bananas, strawberries and yogurt or bread – warm, flaky, lovely bread?  Probably not, possibly not?  Let’s just see where the three weeks takes us, baby steps, right?  Right now I’m very happy writing with my warm cup of ginger tea  instead of my old friend jo, so that’s some major change!

But at this point a lot of folks, my husband and I included, start talking about making these “Clean” changes for good (or at least 80% of the time).  That calls for research – gotta build up the recipe folder and get inspired, here are some links that if not completely “Clean” things could be easily modified.

Dr. Oz tried “Clean” and put together a whole manual of recipes and menu plans, some of these are repeated in the book but some are new, especially at the end!

My New Roots continues to be a resource I go back to again and again, her “winter abundance bowl” is on my list for this week.

Dr. Frank Lipman just blogged a week’s worth of Detox friendly meals.  I plan to finally attack the Nori Roll, except I’m giving up on the roll, it’s too intimidating for some reason, my roll will look oddly similar to a rice bowl.

Heidi Swanson, is new on my radar but I’ve read about her on Rip+Tan, Dishing Up the Dirt, Valleybrink Road and Pamela Salzman – her online journal 101 cookbooks has me very interested and her book “Super Natural Every Day” looks like a work of art and I love the title.

That should tide us all over for awhile, happy gathering.