OK, I have to take a moment and boast a bit, sorry, I know it is bad manners, but I have to. I am now nicely rounding off day 16 of my cleanse and I have stuck to it about 99% of the time. The missing 1% is when I have had to use regular milk instead of almond milk when I am out for a tea…but other than that, I’ve somehow said “no” to some of my favourite things. And I just finished up Family Day weekend, where my mother is an amazing cook & my Dad’s collection of wine has established a firm place in my heart. Those 3 days may have been the hardest of all so far!
This post is a brief follow-up to my last one, as promised. Other than the obvious bragging above, I wanted to describe some of my experiences and my overall take on the cleanse (www.cleanprogram.com). It goes without saying that it is much easier to do this on your own, where you can chuck all the tempting foods in the trash or freezer (or just eat them all up the weekend before…this may or may not have happened…) and stay on course with your cleanse-friendly grocery list. And sometimes the coffee cravings are more than any one human should have to withstand, but overall, I am most certainly happy I have chosen to do this.
First off, the cravings actually weren’t as bad as I had thought. And it seems that my love of coffee in the morning is actually more of a habit than a physiological need. My energy levels are actually WAY better not having coffee, and I don’t get my mid-afternoon slump like I used to. I think my adrenal glands are giving me an internal high-5 from the break they’ve gotten from the jet fuel. And not having a baked good, or anything containing white sugar really was only hard when my Mom put dessert out the other night and I watched my nephew gobble up his portion gleefully. I almost had to leave the table.
That being said, stevia has saved my life when it comes to my tea. It is a natural sweeter derived from plants which is low-glycemic and doesn’t have any calories. 1 small packet equals the sweetness of 2 teaspoons of sugar, so a little goes a long way. The organic brand I have been using is “Wholesome Sweeteners” and was purchased at a local health food store. Stevia has come quite far since it was first introduced, but if you are interested in trying it in your coffee, get a sample first before you buy a whole box of the stuff. I have heard that it alters the taste, and not in a good way.
As per my subject line, I never thought it was possible to eat this many vegetables…and I am someone that tries to eat them as often as I can! My foodie friends gave me the knowing side-eye when I told them excitedly about cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” as they had already used this trick before, but for me it was huge! I have never been a fan of the spud, basically because it is so dry that it sucks all the moisture out of your throat on its way down. The only time potatoes are tasty is when they’re smothered in all things bad, so I rarely eat them. But when cauliflower is steamed, thrown in a blender with a bit of coconut oil and seasoning, it runs a fairly close second! An awesome recipe that I have made a number of times is this one is called the Dr. Oz Shepherd’s Pie:
And speaking of a blender, mine has been used in the last 2 weeks more than it has in the 7 or 8 years I have owned it. It is looking like it is going to stay in service because I have become addicted to my everything-but-the-kitchen-sink smoothies I have for breakfast*. You can pack SO much nutrition into a yummy drink it’s mind-blowing, and it is a VERY easy way to get the elusive a.m. protein needed to keep your energy and blood sugar-levels even all day. I’m sold. (*the cleanse states you should do a smoothie for breaky and dinner, but I have chosen to eat “real” food at dinner, b/c I know I’ll miss chewing ).
This weekend everyone asked how much longer I was going to keep this up, and I would like to say until the end of the month in full-fledged cleanse mode. But I would love to stick with some of its key principles for the long-term. Other than the first week, my energy levels have been great, and my body feels lighter (and I don’t mean in terms of losing weight). I also feel less, um, flemmy (sorry), and my digestion has been fairly awesome! Check mark in the “I’d like: all the above” box please and thanks!
The cleanse suggests you reintroduce the food groups you have been abstaining from slowly (i.e. dairy, gluten, etc.), one at a time, to determine how your body reacts to them in isolation. I also plan on doing this, as it appears that the science nerd in me enjoys doing mini experiments on myself from time to time. But, by the looks of it, this one is going really, really well!