#21: First time trying a cleanse!


....What? Me? I don’t need to cleanse...

...I eat healthy… enough...

...I bathe nearly every day and I certainly don’t have the time for a cleanse...  

...I don’t have a juicer and I certainly can't imagine cleaning a juicer...

...I won’t get all of the vitamins and minerals I need to survive...

...I might wither away and die if I don’t chew for any extended period of time...

...Ain’t nobody got money for that...

...Yeah, I won’t do a cleanse. Glad I thought that through.

So that was my train of thought around cleanses. I had some friends that would do juice cleanses and the first thought that would come to my mind was “DAYUM that’s extreme”. Simultaneously I would be thinking, I wonder how that feels… It must feel pretty nice to give your body a quick reset and purge what has been accumulating from a bad choice here, less than great choice there… A lot of people that I respect very highly around health and nutrition recommend and do cleanses… Why don’t I do one?

I’ll tell you why.

  1. I like to chew
  2. I don’t have a juicer/don’t want to pay for the quantity of juice I am sure that I would imbibe
  3. I am embarrassed to tell people that I am on a cleanse. Must mean I did something really terribly naughty to need it.

Well, a handful of weeks ago, an amazingly inspirational friend, Lisa Drennan, started a group called Buddha Belly. The idea behind it is to bring mindfulness back to our eating, something that I struggle with often. I love food. And I love doing things. So I try to combine those two things most of the time so that I am always doing two things I love! Two is better than one, right? WRONG. When I am “doing things” i.e; working on the computer, talking on the phone, putting away laundry, cooking, reading, etc. and trying to eat at the same time, I wind up not chewing, most likely overeating if I haven’t portioned it out, and not really savoring or enjoying what I just had the pleasure of consuming.

When Lisa came to me with a smoothie cleanse, I was nervous. I read the recipes and thought, this looks really good! I already drink 1 smoothie per day and the ingredients aren’t anything crazy exotic or impossible to do on a budget. It somewhat calmed all of my 3 major “why I won’t do a cleanse” reasons, so I gave it a try.

5 things that I discovered while doing this cleanse…

#1: Chewing is pretty great.

And even though I say that, I don’t do it thoroughly enough very often. With the smoothies, I shockingly didn’t miss chewing as much as I would’ve thought. My body felt pretty amazing and clean. Like it was running on fuel that took no energy to burn. Imagine if I chewed my normal meals more thoroughly!? Think I could get that same, clean energy feeling then if I always chewed all of my whole foods? I think yes. *Note to self: Chew.

#2: The cleanse was relatively inexpensive.

Especially if you are already a keeper of different superfoods like chia, flax, and hemp, all you need is some fresh produce. If you are not a keeper of those superfoods, I would say don’t worry about it. Maybe opt for 1 and try it out in all of the recipes. Maybe don’t buy any and just use the fresh fruits and veggies! Maybe check out what that superfood is most known for and look for another whole food with similar macro nutrient properties. For example, chia seeds have a lot of protein and omega 3’s. What about adding some lentils to your smoothie for some protein and maybe a bit of avocado to the other one for some omega 3’s?

#3: It doesn’t have to be scary.

For me, smoothies for 3 days seemed extreme, but palatable. Maybe for you it is more plausible to do a soda cleanse (no soda for a handful of days) or maybe an added sugar cleanse where the only sugar you get for x days is from fruits. Or maybe you follow one of Lisa’s whole food cleanses. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to be scary. You can mix, match, swap, etc. For instance, when I went to the store raspberries were hellah expensive. Guess what!? Organic blackberries were half the price! The recipe called for raspberries but I “rebelled” and got black berries. Guess what again?! It was no big deal. The cleanse gods will not smite you for making a relatively equivalent swap.

#4: My main fear around the whole thing was very social.

No doubt. I really had to “plan” this cleanse. Make sure that I had no dinner plans or lunch plans or any fun happy hours or events where there might be beer or maybe FREE beer. When I did have plans I found myself coming to terms with the fact that it made me uncomfortable to tell people what I was doing because I didn’t want them to think I was extreme, really needed it, or one of those high-maintenance dieters (quick observation: I worried about people thinking of me what I thought of myself as someone embarking on a cleanse). However, this cleanse really allowed me to come into my power around my health choices. It was oddly the same type of internal battle I went through when I first went plant-based. Interestingly, when you are into what you are doing and really believe in it other people will also or you will have enough courage in your conviction that it doesn’t’ shake you when you get a nay-sayer. When people saw my smoothies there were a few “wow, that’s cool” ’s and a few “ew, that’s green” ’s. I remained confident in my choice that what I was doing was best for my body.

#5: Eating became a whole new thing during those 3 days.

It was very oddly, beautifully peaceful. There was no emotional attachment to eating. I didn’t eat when I was bored or tired or in the mood. I didn’t scarf it down while I was trying to do a million things at once. I just felt like I was about to be taking nutrients into my body and that was what those 3 parts of the day were about. I still looked forward to meal time but for different reasons. I often know what my body needs, but my mind often craves something else. These 3 days allowed me to be completely free of that. And a cleanse is not always without its cravings. because while I found myself craving Indian food, it wasn’t part of the 3 days that I was using to nourish my body. So I never had to deal with decision fatigue because it wasn’t even part of the cleanse. The Oreo didn’t have it’s same hold over me because I am on a cleanse. Write it off. Simple.

There you have it folks. I write this to encourage you to try your own form of a cleanse! Whatever that may be. I especially invite you to try one of Lisa’s. They are particularly amazing, approachable, and fun. They are meant to be guides and inspirations for how you want to approach your own detox, so go ahead, give it a try and if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!