Cleansing...detoxing...dieting...juicing...fasting...souping...how many ways can we come up with to rid the body of toxins, extra weight, breakouts, and alllll our problems. Cleansing and detoxing, specifically, have a polarizing effect on the wellness community. Our bodies do have very effective detoxing systems, which is the argument of the detox naysayers. Unfortunately, modern toxins from food, the environment, lack of sleep, and newfound levels of stress can potentially give our systems a run for their money. I'm generally a promoter of balance over intense regimens when it comes to health. However, I'm also endlessly curious about these health hacks, like cleanses. I've tried so many of them - juice cleanses, smoothie cleanses, Whole 30, and my first love - The Clean Program.
Now, this is not my first round with Clean. This will mark my fourth, to be exact. The Clean Program was actually one of the very first books I read that really lit my passion for health on fire. When I had been at my instagram photography for about a year, I reached out to them and they hired me as a recipe developer. It was a surreal moment to be hired by a brand that helped spark my passion.
When you convince me to give up wine and cheese four times, by choice, it means there is some sort of magic happening. (For the record no one needs to see me on a juice cleanse ever again). I want to give a little play by play of my experience in case you're thinking about it, or (yay!) starting your cleanse with us today!
I started the Clean Program Cleanse a few days early because I knew I'd have to end before the rest of the group. I'm heading to Seattle for an annual girls trip and I'm pretty sure they'd pry my mouth open and pour the wine in themselves even if I mustered the willpower to do this thing during our trip. Here's how things are going, and a little advice...
The first few days on the cleanse weren't the best because I was pretty much lounging around the house still recovering from whatever flu-plague hit everyone in LA this week. The lack of movement and regaining my appetite for the first time in a week meant my portions at lunch were a little too ambitious. I also didn't drink a breakfast smoothie the first two days, which is my biggest lesson from cleansing in the past - eat all of the meals even if you don't feel like another smoothie! Regardless of the imperfection, I was eating way more leafy greens, berries, quality protein, and sprouted grains which I am pretty sure helped knock this sickness out faster.
Today, January 8th - Day 4
Today is the first "real" day of the cleanse. Plus it's a Monday which gives me that extra oomph to dive into this thing with added enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I didn't get the greatest night's sleep. I typically stay away from coffee regardless, because of what it does to my anxiety levels, but for most I know this can be one of the harder things about the cleanse. Having your coffee taken away can make you want to crawl right back in back or quit this thing before it even starts. Resist the urge to throw your mug across the room, dramaqueen, here are some good alternatives to coffee that can help replace the energy boost and the toasty ritual. I personally do matcha on or off the cleanse.
Finally my tips and personal goals headed into week one:
- Move, gently, all day erryday. I'm not talking about a HIIT session that kicks your ass. I'm talking yoga, pilates, walking, even light jogging. I find it gets everything flowing and the added boost to my circulation just feels good. The more I move the less I obsess over what I can't eat too, so added bonus!
- Eat all the meals. If I skip my morning smoothie I'm starving at dinner and throw a mental temper-tantrum that I can't eat something solid. You also miss out on a healthy dose of important nutrients and your body may do just fine, but we're doing this to feel better than just fine.
- Skip the grazing. Sometimes, I'll reach for a handful of an "approved" food between meals. I'll justify with how active I am, or that the food is approved, but I personally get the most from this program when I don't snack. One of the benefits of this cleanse is rebuilding your gut and improving digestion. Giving your digestive system a well-deserved rest will help you accomplish that.
- Track every little habit! I do well with spread sheets, and I've created a little google doc to help track my progress:
That's it for week one - keeping things simple. Send me your thoughts and questions! It's not to late to hop on board today or tomorrow.