As I come off the “cleanse high”, I needed to write in words how it went & what I experienced. But first, let’s back the train up to why I even did this & a bit more about the cleanse/detox, itself.
Cleansing is one of those things I had more recently come to realize I wanted to do [at least once a year], but hadn’t fully committed to it. I had tried two other times without success [due to whatever reasoning; lack of time, tools, etc.]. But this past week, I knew I had to do it. It was finally my time & it was going to happen because I set the intention & got to work.
I planned out my 7 days of juices, smoothies, snacks & dinners. I put together the [MASSIVE] grocery list. I set out to the grocery story & filled over 3 baskets worth of fresh produce. I pre-measured out the ingredients for juices & smoothies for up to 2 days in advance [I didn’t want to go much further than that to keep things fresh].
I knew the timing of the cleanse was finally perfect because I needed that shift. There’s been some resistance building in me for some time & the cleanse totally opened up the whole experience – body, mind & soul.
Not only did it do my bod SO good – I literally felt like it was BEST I’ve ever ate & I think I already eat pretty darn healthy – but it really tested me on so many levels. When your body is working its hardest to detox itself & become renewed, you are raw! You are ALL in & taking on whatever experience shows up. It’s a transformational experience I wish upon you, for sure. 😉
Before we get into reviewing the week, I just want to go over what this cleanse entailed:
- juices until noon – as many as you want [I did between 2-3 each day]
- smoothie OR soup for lunch [I alternated, but mainly did smoothies]
- reg, plant-based dinner [this was easy for me seeing as I’m already plant-based]
- afternoon snack: dairy-free yogurt, apples + nut butter, raw crackers, hummus, raw “cheeze” dip, veggies
- No consumption of: caffeine, processed soy [think: tofu, which is more processed than miso or tempeh], wheat, dairy, added sugars and…alcohol [waaaaaahhhhhh!]
- 2 fasted state cardio days
- 3 nights for epsom salt baths
I felt pretty confident that the formula for the cleanse wouldn’t be all that hard to follow – it had food in the evening [the only way I would EVER do a cleanse] and the juice & smoothie list looked pretty good. I was more worried about the wine part & being a cranky person to my fam more than anything else!
So now that you know what I was getting myself into, let’s actually go and review it.
Started the day with 30-mins of fasted state cardio – 3 miles on the tready.
I was worried about this day. I didn’t know how my body would react to juices until noon [especially with running], but honestly, it breezed by SO quickly. I actually had to hurry up to get finished my juices by that time! And the smoothie at lunch was THE BOMB [pina colada] to help fill me up. I went on biz calls in the afternoon & sipped on a full-fat coconut milk turmeric latte + some green rooibos tea + snacked on some crackers before making din. Finished the night with a curried quinoa dish with stir-fried veggies. I made sure to eat a big din so I wouldn’t wake up feeling hungry. Before bed I totally could feel the hunger starting in my stomach, but luckily not enough to interfere with getting to sleep. Day 1 in my opinion was a success. No headaches. No major hunger because I kept myself pretty busy!
Surprisingly I didn’t wake up starving. I loved that I didn’t really have any negative effects from Day 1 & was interested to see what happened today. Got to juicing up my morning juices [the best part about this is that my daughter LOVED to help!] & yet again, was still sipping on them as noon approached. Today I opted to have a little bit of soup I prepared [tempeh & veg miso] + a smoothie [swiss chard + mango + banana]. I did the same turmeric latte & then in late afternoon had a dairy-free blueberry yogurt to take the end of the hunger that was slowly coming.
The eating/drinking part was another breezy day, but emotionally was a diff story. I was ALL over the place. I knew the cleanse was bringing something up for me as a parent. #momshame was in FULL force & really felt like I wasn’t connecting with Nia on a level I should be. It also didn’t help that she was having an off day with a stuffy nose + was tired. It really brought up the urge for me needing space. I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom with her for almost 4 years [minus going to school part-time for the first little bit] & something in me really jumped forward to say, hey it’s time for a change! It was a tough day emotionally & it probably had to do with my body running on less energy & more easily irritated. This was the toughest day of the cleanse by far & I cried far more than I ever imagined I would!
After the low comes the high, am I right?? I knew today would be different than the first two because I had planned to be out all morning, where as with Day 1 & 2, I stayed pretty low key – especially in the morn when I had all the juices to drink. Today was library day though, so I prepped my 3 juices [with my little sidekick’s help], drank one, then brought one with me as we headed out the door for story time at the library. Mistake #1 was not bringing my third juice with me. Library time is at 10:15am, but then we play at the park afterwards & I also had to run to the local grocery store to restock on some organic produce [like romaine, ginger & a few other things] for future juices. While at the park, I KNEW I needed my third juice which was sitting contently back home in my fridge – would have done that differently had I thought better. So by the time we got done our morning activities & headed home, it was almost 12:30pm. I got my smoothie blended up while the hubby & Nia ate lunch.
Luckily by this day my body was really kicking into a good gear. I had amazing energy & felt REALLY good this day – despite the minor mess up with the juices in the morn. I prepped a turmeric latte for the afternooon again & also made one for my hubby, hopped on a biz call mid-afternoon & then it was time to make dinner. I prepped some buddha bowls [which hail from the Made With Love cookbook/Lettuce Love Cafe in Burlington, ON] & finished the night sipping tea but totally cheated by eating some tbsp of nut butter after the point we were supposed to stop eating for the day. No regrets 😉
I woke up & definitely by this day could feel the hunger starting upon wake-up, BUT before I got into the juicing routine, I decided to do a 30-min fasted state run on the treadmill again. I watched the Lewis Howes & Gabby Bernstein interview for a second time [watched it the night before too!] because it’s just SO good & I love her [JUST chatted about this in my Essential Glow community]! Got finished my run then got up to some juicing. After getting one juice in me I started going into clean-mode in the home & really tidied it up before getting ready for the day.
I juiced 3 drinks out like normal, but the third juice wasn’t exactly my fave, so I drank 2 that morning, which definitely wasn’t enough but I was still riding a sweet energy high that it didn’t really matter. The rest of the afternoon cruised by & then for dinner since I didn’t plan accordingly for what I was originally going to make that night [black bean shroom burgs], I subbed in the next day’s dinner which was tempeh chili. This was quite delicious & then it was chill time with the hubby.
This day I woke up, got my 3 juices done then got ready to head out for a tea date with my friend who was also doing the cleanse [but she was a few days behind due to traveling]. So my Day 5 was her Day 2! We met up for some herbal tea at Starbucks & caught up cause it had been a while. I actually brought juice #2 with me so I could sip on it while my tea cooled. During our tea date, I was definitely starting to feel a little tired & run down – not too sure why.
I got home just in time for my hubby to head out to work – he had made a frozen pizza for him & Nia to eat & I got to work making my soup for lunch [carrot apple ginger soup]. The plan was for me to make the soup for them & a smoothie for me, but by this point I was SO hungry that I ate the soup as my lunch & scrapped the smoothie idea [which was supposed to be green mango ginger banana blend]. I was pretty tired for the rest of the afternoon, so I lazed around until finally Nia went down for a nap [I was already half asleep haha] because I just couldn’t muster up anymore energy to go anything.
I woke super quickly because Nia had a golf lesson & we literally had five minutes to get up, get ready & get out the door otherwise we were going to be late. I didn’t set my alarm before going to sleep because I thought we would be up in time – whoops! We somehow made it on time. I managed to bring some Amy’s crackers with me to snack on while I drove there, but definitely needed more. After her golf lesson, I stopped by the grocery store because I was going to get the few things I needed to make black bean burgs but couldn’t find ingredients up to my standards [for those of you that are in the south – I was shopping at Publix & it just doesn’t have as big a selection of good items as I like!]. So I literally grabbed some guac that was on BOGO + some frozen Amy’s dinners for Tyler & Nia. This was not a good move on my part because my dinner was pretty much guac & crackers + picking at Nia’s leftover dinner, which might have not been completely compliant with the cleanse. This was not a solid day especially since I was starting to fade.
I experienced a little bit of head tension this day & I think it was due to lack of calories catching up with me. I kept peppermint near by & applied it to my temples a few times.
Woke up pretty tired but headed to the kitchen to make juices before heading out for the morn. I drank my first juice before we left the house, then brought my second with me [today was just 2 juices]. Tyler was working this morning so Nia & I went to the farmer’s market with a friend & his daughter. My second juice was way too tart for me [had too much citrus in it], that I ended up having a few sips & leaving it there. Same scenario as Wednesday was happening over again – noon was approaching, I was getting hungry & needed to get home to make my smoothie!
After the market, we ended up going to my fave vegan place right near the market called Press’d. I bought Nia a soup + chia pudding & definitely had a few bites of her soup, so I could make it home! After lunch, we actually hit up Target to get a few things & then we were back. Lunch was a creamsicle smoothie & although I had heard it was delicious, it wasn’t for me [also add in some greens that’s why it’s not orange in the above pic 😉 ]. It ended up being too pulpy but I later learned from my friend doing the cleanse with me that she put the orange in fresh…I froze mine pre-smoothie. So next time I know what to do! I drank about 2/3 of that then passed the rest off to Tyler when he was home from work.
I actually prepped dinner by busting out the crockpot & putting it in there [lentil sloppy joes]. I had this idea that while dinner cooked, we would head to the outlets to take a look around, so that’s what we did. We brought some guac + crackers to snack on & got home shortly after 7pm to dinner ready. I was totally jealous that Nia got to eat hers with a bun – I was ready to steal it! Post-dinner I had a few scoops of nut butter, then we called it a night.
The final day had arrived & I was feeling better! I got to juicing my final two juices & was sipping on the first one as I got ready & as we drove out to meet friends at the pumpkin patch. I also had made a detoxifying turmeric & ginger tea which was nice to sip on while we did the wagon ride & walked around. I went to the car mid-morn to grab my second juice because I was feeling faintish. This help a bit but as nooon approached, I told Tyler we had to get going because I needed to go home & have lunch.
Today’s smoothie was a little intense – full head of romaine goes into it plus a TON of other ingredients. It made 1.5L of smoothie, so I tried to take back 1L, but only got about 2/3rd through it before throwing in the towel & snacking. I turned to some straight nut butter [cashew + pecan] just to get some cals in me.
My hubby had a late afternoon snack with Nia & then took her golfing. I hung around, did some work, ate some crackers & then put on a podcast while I made dinner: big vegan bowls. A ton of fresh veggies [purple cabbage, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, onions] + roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa & then I made some hummus to top it off with. I actually ate dinner alone because my fam wasn’t home yet but the time it was made. So I got the kitchen cleaned up & then they were home. Was definitely surreal to be eating my last meal of cleanse week. Hubby & I watched a show after Nia was asleep & I snacked on an apple with nut butter while hubby ate ice cream in front of me!!
And that, my friends, was a wrap!!
What I learned from a week of cleansing:
- I totally know that my body is dependent on a certain amount of calories. The calories were already much lower each day with cleansing [naturally], but on the days I didn’t get in as much juice or the smaller meals when I was eating, they caught up with me in the future. I was pretty well prepared for this thing, but obviously not enough!
- Preparing is KEY! I had everything in baggies up to 2 days in advance so when I woke up, all I had to do was pull the baggies out of the fridge based on the juices for that day & get to juicing. This made cleansing a BREEZE because I didn’t need to think about anything.
- Preparing is key but also a pain in the ass. I spent SO much time in my kitchen last week. Not entirely a bad thing, but I have my daughter & I think that’s why emotionally I was not together on Day 2. That was the first morning I start prepping more juices for two days in advance after my initial prep & I was in the kitchen for at least 2 hours.
- Get the right amount of sleep. I totally followed this because I already don’t do well with less than 8 hours of sleep, but while your body is preserving energy, more is needed, so I tried to be good with this.
- You will definitely feel lighter, have an increase in energy & wonder why you didn’t do it sooner 😉
All in all, super impressed with cleansing. My body didn’t go through the classic signs of detoxing as much as normal because I already eat plant-based & a pretty clean diet. I was expecting major headaches around 2-3 days, but nothing. Just near the end when I knew I was lower on calories & that went away as soon as I snacked.
But the most important question…
WOULD I DO IT AGAIN?!?!??!
I most definitely would! I obviously didn’t include every little detail of the cleanse week here otherwise we would have been here all day, but many factors went into the cleanse [supplements, skin care routine, oil pulling, tongue scraping, soaking nuts…] which made for a lot of fun trying to do it all, but that part was equally as exhausting so I would most likely do this 1-2x a year. Plus, it’s not cheap. You have to purchase A LOT of produce & plan the hell out of it!! I guess the point is that nothing good really does come easy, so it’s what you make of it & I made it a beneficial experience to my bod, but also to setting myself up well, so I’m proud of that — and that’s why I would do it over again!