After 5 days on the Gut Flush Cleanse by Dr. Junger, my sister provides the final verdict:
The weigh in: Energy! That was VERY apparent. Also feeling pretty darn happy on days four and five. Physically I lost 4 pounds, and I noticed that my face seemed brighter. My skin was rosier. The puff under my eyes when I wake up was gone. I also noticed that the allergies I’ve had that usually block one or the other nostril at night had disappeared, and therefore better sleep. Yes the sleep. I slept like the dead (except when getting up to pee) and I had some weird and vivid dreams. I’m not sure if this was cleanse related but it was unusual so maybe. My husband was convinced that he’d gained weight and the scale confirmed it on Day three, but by day five he said that weight was gone plus another two pounds. And maybe it was my imagination but his waist looked slimmer. My co-worker suffered none of the blah that I did at any point, but she eats consistently healthy, without the curbs and breaks I take. She did tell me that her pants that were previously too tight for her were now fitting loosely and she was thrilled.
The Aftermath: I’m on day two of my non-cleanse, it’s 7:17 and I haven’t had my glass of wine. I want to feel full of energy at work tomorrow like I did on days four and five, so I’m abstaining for now. Can’t say there won’t be a glass in my hand this weekend though. I’m finishing up leftovers from the cleanse, but I must admit I sprinkled a little grated cheddar and sea salt on the vegetable frittata tonight, and it was better. So, I’m not going hard-core anymore, but I’m inspired to stick with Dr. Junger’s general guidelines for now because I really loved how it made me feel…at the end anyway. “The first three days are the hardest.” That’s what a few friends who had completed different cleanses had warned us, and they were absolutely correct.
The Questions: If I were to give feedback to Dr. Junger or to Dr. Oz who posted this cleanse on his website I would request that portion amounts be included in the recipe. Some recipes made LOADS and could feed four, and others were rather anemic for even one person. I would also prefer that the recipes clarified between canned coconut milk and the refrigerated coconut milk that comes in the carton. I assumed when it called for “full fat” it meant canned, and when it asked for “unsweetened” it meant the carton, but some recipes said neither. It just said, “coconut milk”, so there was some guess work. The importance of strictly following the recipes versus going by the general do’s and don’ts was not exactly explained. For example, sweet potatoes were on the “Eat these foods” list, but they were not listed as a possible snack, and they were not in any of the recipes, so I didn’t eat any, even though I love them and would have welcomed one. I wondered if the timing of the meals was crucial as well. It seemed like the recipes started with a lot of fat on the first two days, then the fat tapered down quite a bit. Was this coincidence or a progressive meal plan tailored to allow your body to cleanse itself more effectively? I followed the recipe schedule as strictly as I realistically could, only rearranging a meal due to work, and I’m curious now if that was even important. Still all in all, it was a little five-day adventure, and I feel pretty darn accomplished for having graduated alive and well. Who knows, next year maybe I’ll try the Whole 30, but between now and then, there will be wine, there will be ice cream, and there will be donuts piled with maple glaze and bacon.
800 arrow note: Dr. Junger recently released two new books, “Clean Gut” and a new cookbook, “Clean Eats” (proceeds go to charities supporting children’s nutritional health). Some of the above questions could be clarified in those resources. Another option for learning more about this cleanse is to contact a member of the Clean Team on Dr. Junger’s website.
HUGE thank you to my sister for sharing her cleanse experience with all the 800 arrows readers.