Last week I finished up my first try at a cleansing diet. I love trying new things and using myself as a guinea pig, especially when it comes to seeing how different things affect me physically. I learned quite a bit about cleanses within the last few weeks, and plenty about myself as well!
Wait, What’s a ‘Cleanse’?
A cleanse can mean a few different things to many people. Basically, it is just eating foods (fruits and veggies) or drinking liquid/juices that are very easy for the body to digest. This gives the digestive system a break and allows it to clear itself of any toxin build-up that might be lurking around.
My Cleanse Routine
On Day 1, I stocked up on all the fruits and veggies I could possibly find. I get bored easily, so I wanted as much variety as possible. Since fruits and veggies digest more easily, they also digest more quickly. So, I was eating pretty often and quite a bit of volume each time I ate. (I ate 1.5 lbs of raw carrots in one sitting.)
I started with fruit in the morning for breakfast and a mid-morning snack. For lunch, I had as large of a salad (spinach + tomatoes + berries + olive oil) as I could possibly fit on my plate. On Day 4, I added an avocado to my salad. I had definitely been feeling run down from not getting enough calories, but I didn’t realize how much so until I added avocado to the mix. This definitely helped!
For dinner on Day 1, I made a huge crock pot full of Coconut Curry Kale and Sweet Potato Soup. This lasted me the entire 5 days, though I quickly got sick of eating it every night. I also had another salad first. The latter few days, I didn’t have soup. (Again, bored.) I just had a salad and as many sweet potato fries (baked with olive oil and salt) as I could fit on my plate.
I also used a lot of essential oil to help aid the detox process. I especially used Lemon essential oil. I also used lemons in my water and on my salad as dressing a few times.
1. It’s OK to cheat!!!
This truly was just a quasi-cleanse since I allowed myself 1 cheat per day. This made it mentally easier for me to stick with eating well throughout the day regardless of how hungry I felt. I knew I would have a ‘reward’ at the end of the day, which helped me get through my first time trying a cleanse. This might have stunted the results I saw, but it ultimately helped me stick with it more than I would have otherwise.
2. My daily eating habits have much room for improvement
For so long I have been thinking to myself “I don’t eat fast food, I only eat whole-grains, and I stay within the calorie limits for each day. What else can I possibly do?!?!”
Well, now I know. And I also know that eating mostly fruits and veggies is not only feasible, but I will actually feel tons better when I do!
3. Don’t try to buy food for the entire cleanse
In my first trip to the grocery, I bought tons of produce. I knew that I would be hungry and eating constantly, but I didn’t realize that I actually bought more than I could possibly consume before it went bad. At the most, buy enough produce for 3 days.
4. The rumors are true
While I couldn’t find much consensus on the web about what exactly a ‘cleanse’ was or any exact ‘plan’ for it, there was plenty of reports on the benefits of doing a cleanse. I definitely did have more energy, both physical and mental. I also had higher mental clarity and focus. It definitely helped me break out of the winter hibernation ‘funk’ that I typically settle into by the time Spring rolls around.