Cleansing, or Back on the Wagon Part Deux

August 9, 2012 at 10:04 am Leave a comment

In addition to getting back into my routine of morning runs and evening yoga these past few days, I started another project this week that I have done before. The Cleanse. Now, I know there are a lot of cleanses out there and I am not doing the lemon juice/cayenne pepper thing or the master cleanse. Are those the same things? I don’t even know. Anyway.

The Cleanse (and I capitalize it because it is, like, A Thing for me) that I’m doing is based on fortified smoothies, whole, unprocessed foods and a regimented eating schedule. It is designed to detox your body in 28 days to get you to a clean slate so you can test for food allergies afterwards, to help you form new relationships with food, and to level out your metabolism. Oh and you also lose weight and look and feel amazing once you’re done. You can learn more about it or even enroll in your own virtual program here.  The Cambiati Cleanse is proprietary so I won’t get into too much detail but here the basic principles:

  1. No gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol for 28 days.
  2. Start the day with a 32 oz berry smoothie fortified with high quality, plant-based fiber, protein, and a greens supplement (a heavy concentration of veggies in powder form). They look like varying shades of mud but actually taste pretty good if you do it right.
  3. NO SNACKING. At all. Ever.
  4. You can only eat every 4-6 hours. So if you have your shake at 8 am, you can’t eat your lunch until at least 12. If you have lunch at 12 you can then have dinner between 4 and 6 pm. And NO SNACKING. EVER!
  5. Drink herbal teas or infuse water with electrolytes in between meals to curb cravings.
  6. You can eat all the veggies you want, but there is a list of high carb plants that you can only eat in small portions (like sweet potatoes). Other proteins, carbs, and fats have specific serving sizes depending on your gender and weight loss goals.
  7. You can eat berries and green apples in smaller portions but all other fruits are only allowed in recovery shakes because of the high sugar content.
  8. Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed, or no later than 7pm if you can help it.
  9. Make a recovery shake every time you workout–this is where you get to eat bananas and all the other off-limit fruit.
  10. Oh and drink a sh**ton of water. Drink water all the time, all day long. Hungry? Drink more water. Bored? Drink more water? Feel like your stomach is caving in on itself from lack of nutrition in the last three hours? (hint: it’s not) Drink more water.

Those are the general rules, and I’m probably forgetting something, but there is a lot more detail and the progression of the cleanse is such that you increase the number of smoothies you have and decrease the number of meals. In week 3 there is a 4 day streak where you only have smoothies for every meal. For the non breakfast smoothies you can throw in spinach, kale, etc. Those four days are hard.  At the end lettuce never tasted so good. The general sensation of food in your mouth is amazing. I did The Cleanse last February with a friend and at one point we went to Whole Foods to hit up the hot food/salad bar and both were so amazed by hot, delicious food we couldn’t even talk while we were eating.

The Cleanse is hard. Can you tell the NO SNACKING rule is the hardest for me? It’s hard. It got a little easier as the weeks progressed, but it was way harder than I thought it would be. I had visions of cheese raining down on me, for about a week. I’m not even kidding. But it was worth it. I lost 12 pounds and 4 inches around my waist. I felt great, my skin looked amazeballs and I was proud of my accomplishments.

Then, slowly, or not so slowly, I slid back into old habits–cheese (sweet, sweet, dear friend cheese), bread, wine, bread, fried stuff, bread, wine, etc. I did a mini-cleanse in May and now I’m jumping back on the wagon to try to recover from travelling and a summer of not-the-best habits. I’ve kept 7 of the 12 pounds and 2 of the 4 inches off since the first Cleanse, but have just been yo-yoing with the other 5 pounds since, as I mentioned yesterday, I keep taking two steps forward and one step back. In the end, I’d like to lose about 15 pounds and another 4 inches to be able to wear some of my old clothes that I’ve been holding onto for about 2 years now.

I’m on Day 3 of The Cleanse so far and each day is a little easier and I already feel so much better. But still, that NO SNACKING rule is so.fn.hard. According to the scale I’m down that pesky 5 pounds, but I’m supposed to only weigh once a week so I’ll see where I stand on Monday. I count that 5 lbs as water weight and what I like to call my “gluten baby.” I don’t think I’m severely allergic to gluten but it definitely makes me feel better to stay off it. I feel less puffy pretty quickly and my skin improves quickly as well. My energy level is also up already and I’m starting to get that clean energy burn that feels pretty awesome, as opposed to, you know, food comas and generally feeling awful and guilty about my meal choices.

Tomorrow I’ll take a picture of my morning smoothie to make you all jealous. Stay tuned.

What other types of cleanses are out there? What do you put in your smoothies?

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Entry filed under: Food, Motivation. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Back on the wagon Day 4 Breakfast Shake

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