Cleanse Wrap-Up & Takeaways

Happy Wednesday, readers! As I announced in my last post, today I am starting my transition off the cleanse. Because I eat a mostly clean diet in general, the biggest change will be incorporating solid foods back into my nighttime meal. I will also add a few of the “no” foods that I don’t have a sensitivity to, like bananas, oats and sweet potatoes. And of course, I’ll get back to making (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free) sweet treats! Many of my indulgent desserts are technically “clean” but I try to avoid all of that stuff while on the cleanse since one of my goals on the detox is to remind myself that I don’t need sweet stuff….I just happen to like it a whole real lot. ;)

I wanted to share with you some of my reflections about my (3rd) experience on the cleanse, since, as usual, I had some revelations.

* You’ll always remember your first time…..

Cleansing. You’ll always remember your first time cleansing.  As for the second and third round, sure they’ll do some good stuff, but it’s not going to be the sort of life-changing experience that accompanies your first time. Well, at least this was the case for me. And I actually think this is a really good thing….My body is not being drastically altered because it doesn’t have a ton of bad garbage to get rid of, like it did the first time.

Before my first cleanse I was straight-up addicted to sugar and bread. There’s no two ways around it. I had bread almost every night with dinner and could eat giant pieces of sugary cake without batting an eyelash. I was the girl who was silent when every one else would put their fork down half-way through a dessert saying something was “too rich” or “too sweet”….Instead of agreeing, I’d ask for seconds. Now—-although I still have a healthy appetite for sweet treats—-I would die if I indulged in things that were made with refined sugar the way I used to. And bread? I watch Mike eat multiple slices of my former-favorite seed bread from our co-op and don’t even miss it. I can count on one hand how many pieces of bread I’ve had since my first cleanse. And whatever small amounts of processed food I was buying before the first cleanse, I stopped.

So, really, this time my body was getting rid of a couple weeks worth of holiday indulgences, rather than years and years of processed food, sugar and gluten. Not so dramatic. Which leaves me feeling….fine. Good, even. Just not mind-blowingly amazing like the first round.

* I love food because I love sharing the experience of a meal with other people.

This was a really happy realization. Sometimes those of us who are in love with food may worry that this is an unhealthy object of affection. But I realized that what I like most about eating delicious meals is when I get to share that with people. I love cooking fabulous dinners for friends, or even just for Mike and I for dinner. On the cleanse, your big meal of the day is lunch, which I usually eat working in front of the computer, or quickly in the office. Although some of my lunch meals were DELICIOUS, I got a lot less pleasure out of them. In fact, you may recall, I started to dread them. Big, extravagant meals for….just me? No fun.

I look forward to being able to cook at night again; to be able to hear that simultaneous “Mmmm!” Mike and I both give when we bite into something either I or we created to share that night. And as luck would have it, I get to host dinner for two friends tomorrow, and will be making yummy party food for many friends on Saturday! “Love people. Cook them tasty food.”

* I love exercise because it makes me feel good, not because I think it will get me skinny.

Cleansing means you have to take a break from intense exercise. For someone like me, I resist this advice as long as possible, but there will come a point on the cleanse when your body simply won’t be capable of doing what it does when you’re eating more. I’ve lost weight every time I’ve done the cleanse (not as much on this one due to weird period stuff), but I still miss working out like crazy. This too is a comforting realization for those of us who love exercise, and sometimes worry we love it for the wrong reasons. Turns out, I just really really really love getting my ass kicked by Jillian, or Zuzana, or Amanda. I was able to start back into my routine more during this last week, but it will still take a couple days to get my strength up back to where it was.

That being said, this was a great time for lots of yoga! And lots of yoga is a beautiful thing. :)

* It is always worth it.

Even though I had some mixed results this time around, I know I will keep coming back to this program to recharge my body. I believe fully in the science behind the Clean program, but more than that, I believe in my body and how it feels. And my body—with the exception of a few bumps along the road—really likes it!

Thanks for joining me throughout the cleanse. It’s been fun to get comments, questions and feedback from all of you!

I’ll be back to my more traditional posts, which, of course, will still be mostly “clean,” just with a few more treats added in here and there. :)

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