When I first heard the words “21 day cleanse” my automatic response was NO WAY.
After a few weeks and much convincing I warmed up to the idea of a 3 week cleanse.
Sounds kind of crazy, doesn’t it?
For the past few years I’ve been doing a 5 day juice cleanse. It was quick and painful. The juice concoction was making me gag by the end of the 5 days. And drinking juice-no solid food-for 5 days wasn’t cutting it. I needed a change.
I don’t cleanse to lose weight. I do it because it feels great. Not only does the cleanse clear out your colon, but it helps clear your mind and every other part of your body.
How the 21-Day Cleanse Works
The plan was to eliminate caffeine, sugar, alcohol, gluten, nuts, processed food, artificial everything and other possible allergens from my diet for 21 days. Doesn’t leave much left to eat!
My husband and few friends were in.
We decided to loosely follow Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program (affiliate link). I say loosely because we didn’t end up using any of the supplements that came with the kit. Instead we ate fresh, organic fruits and vegetables throughout.
For the first 11 days we ate an unlimited amount of vegetables (used organic whenever possible). Our vegetable intake was supposed to be twice the amount of fruit intake. We also added a cup of lentils or quinoa each day for protein and we were allowed 4-7 teaspoons high-quality oils.
No soda, no GMOs, no sugar, no fast food, no processed or refined foods, no coffee, no grains. No fun. You get the idea.
On day 11 we added in additional protein. Lean meat and fish, preferably organic. The meat servings were around the size and thickness of your palm. No deli meat, no cured or smoked meats, no grilling.
Tips to Cleanse
- Find a buddy. Cleansing with another person makes the process much better, especially if you live with that person.
- Mentally prepare. Cleansing is a mental challenge. Set your mind to it and stick to it.
- Shop for food ahead of time. We planned out our meals in advance, something I’m not used to doing.
- Cook in bulk. This was a lifesaver. We would make large pots of vegetable soup that would last for the week.
- Keep a journal. Throughout the cleanse there are ups and downs both physically and emotionally. Take the time to document your experiences to learn from them.
How I Felt During the Cleanse
Amazing. I absolutely loved this cleanse. As an aside, I’m generally a pretty clean eater so cutting out a lot of the processed foods wasn’t difficult. My challenge was eliminating nuts, pretzels and chocolate, all of which I plan to reintroduce very soon!
One fabulous side effect of the cleanse for me was no PMS. And I mean nothing.
After the Cleanse
It’s time to reintroduce foods back into your system. Standard process suggests that you reintroduce foods one group at a time to see how you feel from each. You can also assess whether or not you have a food allergy or intolerance as the food is reintroduced.
Are you ready to try a cleanse or do you think I’m crazy? Would love to hear your thoughts!
I am not a physician. Please check with your physician before doing a cleanse and to guide you through the process.
photo credit: Jeroen Pots via photopin cc