Spring Cleaning

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.

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6 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning

  1. Juice cleanses are so good for you! Watch… Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead…on Netflix instant watch and it breaks down the science and obviousness of it all. I have only done cleanses a day at a time and I try and watch what I eat but I think I may do this soon. I LOVE spinach in smoothies, much better than Kale, they are both good for your though so you can’t go wrong with either one!

  2. I feel the same way about green tea! It’s just way too bitter or something. My next goal is to eat healthier. As in, right now. My biggest excuse is how time consuming it is to cook everything healthy, and I don’t enjoy cooking that much.

  3. Pingback: Et Tu, Kale? | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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