I've been putting off doing a cleanse FOREVER and once I had Cooper I thought there was NO WAY I could be a mom and cleanse because it just didn't seem possible! How the heck would I manage?? Where would I get the energy to chase around an active toddler? I seriously NEED to eat and drink coffee in order to function. Or so I thought...
What turned me off on cleansing was the annoyance of having to buy ultra specific/pricey/exotic foods and the idea of spending lots of time prepping meals. How do you make 3 different juices, poached fish, steamed vegetables and white miso soup for your work day? Who can do that in the morning? When I saw Joy's review of her cleansing experience, I decided to give the BluePrintCleanse a try. It's a 3 day juice-only cleanse where you simply drink 5 different juices throughout the day and then you end the day with a tasty cashew milk. Everything was labeled, convenient and easy to follow. Instructions were emailed, juices were sent and I was in it to win it! I'm proud to say that I made it through and it was MUCH easier than I imagined.
Come take a look!
To begin the cleanse, you have to pre-cleanse. This means you spend three days eating fruits & vegetables while reducing your caffeine intake.
Here's my last meal. A salad of tomatoes, red onions & avocados with lemon juice. Goodbye FOOD!
You can't drink coffee while you're cleansing. If you're a big coffee drinker like me, it's good to wean yourself off before you start the cleanse. It helps prevent massive headaches during the cleanse. I actually quit cold turkey and it wasn't as bad as I thought.
Oh. There's also no alcohol allowed. Sad face.
You have to cut out meat & dairy while pre-cleansing as well as drastically reduce the amount of carbs you eat. Drinking water is key and staying away from processed foods is a MUST!
My juices arrived at the beginning of day three of the pre-cleanse so I decided to start a day early. They were overnighted from NYC! Here's three days of juices ready to be placed in my fridge. I dove right in.
My shipment came with a little cooler/travel bag so I could easily take my juices to work.
Cooper was fascinated by the juices. He liked keeping track of the number I was drinking. #3 is a green juice! I'm no stranger to green juice; I love them! There's an apple in there to help sweeten the deal.
Here's #2- Pineapple Apple Mint. It's so pleasant & refreshing! I loved it. I was so hooked on it that I made my own version while post-cleansing. I'll share that with you soon.
Juice# 5 meant dinner time! This is what I made for Casey & Cooper...Sigh. It's weird not eating.
Cashew milk OBSESSION!
My 3 day experience went something like this:
DAY ONE: I enjoyed tasting the different juices. Green was good. Pineapple Apple Mint was awesome. The Cayenne Lemonade was spicy but gave me a big pick-me-up in the afternoon. I noticed that I felt lost during lunch time at work. What do I do with my time if I can't eat? What do I look forward to? I took a walk and drank a juice. I'm not gonna lie, it was bit tough by the end of the day. I had a lot of food cravings. I wanted to chew on something. I made a big mistake and looked at a few cookbooks. ACK! I realized a few things that day. I realized how much "blind" eating I do. I went to spread almond butter on a piece of bread for Cooper and caught myself about to lick the almond butter off the spoon. I didn't do it, but I was conscious of a pesky habit I have. Doh! By the end of the day I had a headache and had a tough time getting to bed which I found interesting. I thought that I would fall asleep instantly because I didn't have any coffee. Weird! I kept reminding myself that it was just two more days...
DAY TWO: I woke up feeling FANTASTIC ! My skin was tighter and my stomach was flatter. I didn't feel bloated! Do I always feel bloated? It was nice not having to make coffee in the morning and spend time preparing food for myself. I just had some herbal tea and started drinking my juice. There was a spring in my step and I felt like I could tackle anything that was on my TO-DO list. Nothing seemed to stress me out and it made me wonder if food contributes to my stress? Does it make me feel worse? Hmmm. I also had supersonic smelling powers. I could smell EVERYTHING. So weird! This day I was able to really connect with Cooper and get tons of stuff done around the house. I felt awesome.
DAY THREE: I was TOTALLY into it. I felt light! I actually found myself looking forward to night time so I could get my hands on that cashew milk! I was also battling feelings of being scared to eat again because my body was clean. I mean, I wanted to eat food but what would I eat first? What would it be like? Would I like it? I couldn't believe I made it 5 days without coffee and I was nervous to try it again but curious to see how my body handled it. By the end of this day I felt like I could actually do a couple more days of juicing. CRAZY. I never would have predicted that. I felt incredibly proud.
After Day Three, I spent three days post-cleansing. This meant I slowly introduced food back into my system. You can't go full throttle or you'll get incredibly sick. I ate nothing but fruits and vegetables for the first two days and then slowly worked certain things back into my diet. I had pineapple for breakfast the first morning and was blown away at how vibrant and sweet it was. I was more aware of the texture with each bite and paid close attention to chewing it instead of inhaling it.
We went on a hike soon after and I felt a bit queasy. I think it was my body trying to process the pineapple!
This was my first "big" meal after the cleanse. I had an arugula salad with corn, chopped red pepper avocado & lemon juice. It hit the spot after our hike!
At work on Monday I ate a HUGE salad with sweet potato, apples, red pepper & arugula. It really filled me up!
I'm on day four of post cleansing right now and I still feel FANTASTIC. My skin is clear and I have a lot of energy. I also lost 7lbs! I've been wanting to lose some weight in the past few months but just couldn't get motivated. This experience has given me a jump start to live a healthier/cleaner life. Feeling lighter is good motivation to keep it up.
What I learned on this cleanse:
- I do a lot of blind eating (eating while making a meal & while I'm clearing off Cooper's plate of things he didn't eat)
- I had a very unhealthy addiction to coffee. It was always the FIRST thing I put in my body in the morning and I thought it help fuel my day. What I didn't realize until I introduced it back into my life today is that it keeps me on edge and makes me jittery. Sure a coffee buzz is exciting and somehow it makes me more productive. But what's the point of drinking coffee if my tolerance is so high? I couldn't even get a buzz when I was a full time coffee drinker! I also realized that it didn't make my stomach feel very good so I counteracted that by eating carbs & comfort food. This always gets me into trouble because I don't eat enough vegetables & fruits as a result. Boo.
- I eat when I'm bored. Food is something that fills the gap in my day. I look forward to it and I spend all my free time making stuff for my website. I found other ways to occupy my time during the day. When I think about how much time I spend in the kitchen or eating throughout the day it boggles my mind that I get other stuff done.
- I don't drink enough liquids on a daily basis. I already knew this, but when I drank lots of water in between drinking juices, I noticed that I went to the bathroom more. This helped flush toxins out of my system. At work, it forced me to get up from my desk at the office and "take a break." I normally hold off going to the bathroom until the last possible second and then I get up and finally walk to the bathroom. Why should I deny myself a break? I'm getting exercise and clearing my head in the process.
- I definitely CAN do a cleanse and be a parent! It did not get in the way of parenting & caring for Cooper. It actually made my life easier because I didn't have to sort out my meal situation. I was at home with him on Day 2 of the cleanse and we had the most fun together we've had in a long time because I was present and not distracted. I didn't have to clean up the huge mess I would have made in the kitchen and didn't have to run out to the grocery store to get food.
So there you have it! That's what my cleanse experience was like. I believe it is really important to give your stomach a break. It's like leaving your car running and never turning off the engine! When you introduce things back into your system, you are able to see the positive and negative effects it has on your body both mentally & physically. When do you ever get a chance to do that? A cleanse has the power to change your life and the way you think about food. You should try it! It's a great challenge to give yourself.
If you're curious about this particular cleanse, check out BluePrintCleanse website. I did their FOUNDATION cleanse and I highly recommend it. I know it seems expensive, but it's a luxury that's totally worth it. It's your health after all! If you want to do it on your own, you just need a juicer and their The 3-Day Cleanse book. The recipes look fantastic and I can't wait to try them out when I do my next cleanse this Fall. I think you'll also like their writing style & enthusiasm. It's light-hearted and funny!
I'm glad I put it on my list of things to do before my birthday because I don't think I would have done it if I hadn't!
#14. Do a Cleanse=DONE!
Have you cleansed? Did you love it? I want to hear about it!