Be on the lookout for locusts, because I, who have never met a burger I didn’t like, have spent the past 3 days doing a “Detox Cleanse.” (Rest assured that this post will not address colonics or bodily functions – no need to turn away. It wasn’t that intense of a cleanse. And if it was, I wouldn’t discuss those details anyway.)
I have been feeling like crap for over a month now. Got sick twice and didn’t really do a good job of kicking the bug either time. I am sure that some of it is the time of year and the weather – this happens a lot around here in February/March – but it felt like more than a case of seasonal blahs. I just haven’t felt like myself, and it was really bothering me.
Two separate people (one being Colby) recommended doing a cleanse, so I figured I would give it a shot. I always kinda thought cleanses were for Other People. New Age-y People. Celebrities. Health & Fitness Nuts. People who don’t list pizza, burgers & nachos among their favorite foods. Not that there is anything wrong with cleanses. Just something that I never thought I would try. Which goes to show you how crummy I felt heading into this.
I chose to do a 3-day smoothie cleanse – basically, 4 smoothies a day, plus green tea and water. Each smoothie included fruits, vegetables and some kind of fat/protein. The smoothies (some better than others) were surprisingly filling, and I don’t think I felt hungry more than once or twice – momentarily – during the 3 days. I also took a break from working out while on the cleanse, so maybe my caloric needs weren’t as great. Or maybe it was all the extra almond butter I threw into my smoothies. Whatever the reason, I never really felt hungry or deprived.
As for the results, I call it a success. I don’t know where our scale is, so I have no idea whether I lost weight (although I’m pretty sure I did – probably mostly water weight – given how my clothes feel), but that wasn’t my goal anyway. I do feel lighter. Not necessarily in a weight-way, but definitely less sluggish. Cleaner. Some people report crazy-energy and amazing clarity. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I think that is because I was expecting something along the lines of the Second Coming of Christ in that department. Easy to disappoint there.
I was never tired during the day, and I usually have a period where I crash in the afternoon (and formerly, grabbed something caffeinated to keep going). Now that I’m off caffeine, hopefully that PM crash will stay away. And given the fact that I ate only blended foods for 3 days, maybe the energy I have had is kind of amazing. It did make me stop and think about how some of the foods I reach for are like anti-fuel, and really sap energy more than they create it. I also woke up every morning feeling refreshed and without a morning “headache” or grogginess.
The best part of the cleanse was that my stomach did not hurt at all during the 3 days. I am sensitive to a bunch of foods, and often have an upset stomach. I’m obviously not sensitive to kale and its friends, because my stomach has not felt this calm in years.
I also learned/realized/noticed the following:
1. My blender is not powerful enough to pulverize kale. I may be picking it out of my teeth for days.
2. I really don’t like green tea. Do people really like it, or do they just pretend to because it is so good for you?
3. I didn’t miss chewing, or bread and snacks, as much as I expected. With the bread and snacks, I think it really is a craving, and once you are off it for a few days, the cravings subside and you don’t miss it.
4. Drinking cold, cold smoothies on chilly, snowy days is really unpleasant.
5. I normally eat a lot of carbs when I’m bored or tired. Since that wasn’t an option for me during the cleanse, I just found something else to do. Good to remember for the future.
6. I really should stay away from caffeine. I usually drink half-caf , and the withdrawal headaches were still really difficult. Fortunately, I stopped caffeine on Friday and didn’t start the cleanse until Tuesday, so the headaches had subsided by then. Weekend was rough, though.
7. I LOVE almond butter.
8. I do have time to prepare a healthy lunch and snacks during the week. If I could find the time these past 3 days to make a crappy-tasting lunch smoothie full of things that need to be washed, measured, squeezed & chopped, I can make a decent salad or soup for lunch going forward. No more PB&J’s. I am not 7.
9. Spinach is a great addition to a smoothie – unlike the kale, it really blended in and I never noticed it was in there. I’m usually not a big smoothie person, but when I do make them, I’m definitely including spinach.
10. I need to make sure I take my rest days from working out, and really stretch and rest. My muscles feel less sore than they have in months? Years?
I’d definitely call it a worthwhile 3 days. I do feel like I hit “reset” on my body. I feel really good and I hopefully cleaned out some bad habits. That said, it sure was lovely to greet this snowy morning with a cup of hot (decaf) coffee.