Just over two weeks ago I posted on Instagram that I would be participating in a 15 day cleanse program through our doctor’s office. If you know me at all, you know this is not my sort of thing, BUT for a while now I have been tired, A LOT, no matter how long I sleep at night, I never felt rested in the morning. I’ve also become accustomed to headaches. Mostly mild just annoying ones, but occasionally some migraine level ones. Brandon has been telling me for some time that it likely has to do with what I’m eating. For the record, I’ve known he was correct, no need for an “I told you so” dance, but I LOVE sweets and I have a really hard time saying no to them. Brandon and I are very picky about the food we have in our house, where it comes from, organic, etc. It’s not the foods we cook or keep in our house that are the problem for me, it’s my snacking that is. When something is left in the office break-room or I have the opportunity to eat a second or third cookie because someone has decided they don’t want theirs – Oooooo! Me! Me! Me! Pick me!
I have known something needed to change. I’m not stupid, but to just give something up cold turkey with no end in sight is hard. I’ve tried it a couple of times and it seems those days are always when a coworker picked up donuts for the office. What I liked about this cleanse was there was almost zero guess work, everything was very straightforward as far as what was and wasn’t allowed, and it had a definitive start and end date. My original hope for myself was to see a difference in how my body felt when eliminating certain things out of my diet and that leading to changes in my everyday habits.
The cleanse was through Biotics Research. It was the NutriClear Plus 15-day metabolic cleanse program (in case you’re interested). You drank a shake and had a small packet of supplements twice a day as meal replacers, had a normal third meal (of foods from the approved food list), and could snack ALL you wanted (on foods from the approved list). On the approved list was all the fresh or frozen veggies and fruits you wanted, along with organic and hormone free chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef as well as a few more options in that category (no pork). There were also some starches, breads and cereals, pretty much any raw nuts, but no coffee. This cleanse provides the “optimal nutrients necessary to support the body’s natural two-phase detoxification process, allowing toxins to clear safely so you can start feeling great again.” There’s no dairy, gluten, or sugar allowed. It’s also not a cleanse where you starve yourself, you can eat as much as you want, it’s just a limited list of items you can have.
Let’s start with, I didn’t make it the full 15 days. I know, I’m kind of disappointed in myself as well, BUT I did learn some really valuable things even though I didn’t make it all the way and I’m hopeful that my original goal was still accomplished.
Day 1 was THE WORST! Not long after the first shake, I felt like I had the flu. I had a throbbing headache, couldn’t concentrate, I felt nauseous, and my whole body hurt. I truly almost gave up then but could not have been more proud of myself for pushing through. That night, when we got home from work, I was zero help with Romney Ann or dinner. Thank God for Brandon, who, even while he was feeling bad, was a trooper and fixed dinner for all of us. After dinner, I asked Brandon if I could go to bed. It was 7:30! I went to bed and was asleep within 30 minutes at least! Morning of Day 2 wasn’t great, but as I got closer to lunch, I started to feel better. And from then on, it was nearly smooth sailing.
I can’t really point to one reason in particular as to why I didn’t complete the 15 days, but even though I didn’t, I genuinely do feel that I learned a lot, or at least was reminded of a lot, and got to see the results of making positive changes and sticking with it (if only for a few days). Makes me wonder what more I would’ve learned had I completed the 15 days.
The top three things I learned/slash was reminded of:
Water is so important! I already knew this. Honestly, we all know this, but the follow through is often lacking for me. I almost always have my water bottle with me, so from the outside it seems like I’m very hydrated, but that’s not the case. I don’t always make it a priority. But with this cleanse they kept emphasizing water as a way to combat possible side effects, and I took that so seriously. I didn’t want my headaches to get any worse than they already were. I couldn’t believe how much water I was drinking. I made it a priority, I set goals of how much I needed to drink each day, and I followed through with it, very much motivated by not making the side effects worse.
Plan your snacks. Like I said, snacking is my downfall. I bring lunch to work most of the time, but then graze the breakroom if I get hungry between meals. I also eat when I’m bored and have this weird mind thing to certain kinds of work where I just like having a handful of something to pop into my mouth to munch on. But, I couldn’t do that with the cleanse. I had to plan out and pack all my snacks too and it made a huge difference. Brandon and I are pretty good about meal planning for our dinners, but now I am planning out not only my lunches but also my snacks so that I have an alternative to the unhealthy ones that may be available.
It’s all about the food! Again, I know this. I shouldn’t need to be told or shown this for sure. I’ve even written blogs on this – it’s one of the reasons why we got into farming and wanting to raise food for others. We truly eat really well most of the time, I just have a horrible habit of over indulging when it comes to sugar. That first day of no sugar was crazy hard, but now I’ve realized, even in that short amount of time, I don’t need it. And truly, when I eat it, it makes me feel terrible. Our meal prep for the cleanse was super easy – we already eat tons of great meat, fresh fruit and veggies, but it was making sure that I didn’t fill the time in between with the stuff that is all processed and NOT REAL FOOD!
Again, take this all with a grain of salt. I didn’t finish. I bailed. But, I will say, that even from the last day I did the cleanse till now, I have seen a difference in my habits (which was the original goal). I am trying to remember to keep drinking water, to plan my snacks and to eat real food. I may still grab a piece of RA’s valentine’s candy, but I will only grab one, not five. Everyone is different and everyone’s body is different. We all react differently to foods and we all have our own triggers. I really encourage you to find yours and figure out what would work for you! Because since beginning the cleanse till now, with just a few small changes, I wake up well rested in the morning, I think I’m more productive and alert, and for me this is so huge! I love the energy I have and can tell I’m more excited to play with RA at night, rather than wishing she was ready for bed just because I could fall asleep. I’m ok with just the one cookie, instead of 5. I’ve been trying for a while to change these habits. I’m not at all sure why this cleanse seemed like the right fit for me at this time, but if you’re trying to make changes, don’t give up, you’ve just got to find the right fit for you! Good luck!