Cleanses have been trendy for quite a while now. They can be anything from a juice fast (no food, only juices) to clean eating (no processed food). You can do it yourself, or you can follow a company's instructions. They usually last 3 days or longer. While I've been fascinated by cleanses, I've never actually done one. Fortunately for you, my friend Walter Frye did his second cleanse this summer and blogs about his experience below.
People go on cleanses since they believe they are giving their body "a break" from digesting and allowing it to focus energy on ridding itself of toxins and healing itself. The medical establishment believes that cleanses are unnecessary since your body is built to cleanse and detoxify itself (through your liver, intestines, etc). If the idea of a cleanse interests you, and you want to re-set your attitude toward food, you may want to try a cleanse. MindfulEats does not endorse cleansing, but since different things work for different people, you may want to try it. Just research it first.
So, without further ado, here is Walter's experience:
When I was asked to journal my experience on the 3-day Organic Avenue juice cleanse, I was starving. It was day 3, which was by far the hardest.
I decided to do a cleanse because I wanted to rid my body of all the toxins I've poured in, in the form of gallons of diet coke, fried food, and my other vices. Who am I kidding? I did it to kickstart my summer body and get rid of the last layer of fat stopping me from ab definition. I must say, to that end, this was a success and even though it was very challenging at times, I'd do it again.
For me, the first two days weren't so bad, except for the 2-hour meeting that someone decided to bring freshly baked chocolate chips cookies to -- pure torture. I'll admit, many of the juices were downright gross, but I'd hold my nose, gulp, and feel relatively sated for while.
It's the morning after, and I think the worst part may not be over. I've heard the body takes a while to readjust to food, and the rumblings currently in my stomach give me reason to believe this is true. I'm not so worried about that because I think there will be continued benefit as my appetite is reduced and the idea of eating a french fry or having a soda (usually my idea of a good time) is completely unappealing. We'll see how long that lasts...
What to do - Research Cleanses if Interested
- Identify your goals. Some commonly stated goals for cleansing are to increase energy, eat more cleanly, jumpstart a change in your diet, etc.
- Research. There are many different types of cleanses out there - figure out which ones make the most sense. Talk to people that have done it, look at different companies, read some books. As your doctor. Some cleanses are the Master Cleanse, Clean, Blueprint.
- If you are still interested, cleanse. Follow the program that you've identified as being the best for you. You can do it yourself and create your own juices/food, which is cheaper (and you know exactly what went into it) or order from a program, which is more convenient. Here's a post on juicing yourself. Let us know how you're experience went!
What I ate: 1 large latte, 1 plum, 1 cantalope, Japanese rice crackers, vegetable stir-fry + Violet Mountain sicky rice, 10 almonds, 5 cheese and crackers, Hawthorne Valley yogurt + strawberries + ground flaxseeds, whole wheat spaghetti + bolognese sauce, 2 tablespoons chocolate ice cream, 45 oz water
Exercise: jogged 4 miles