Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cleanse: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We did it! We cleansed for TWO FULL WEEKS! We'll be taking it an extra day or two to use up what we have, but right now I'm celebrating reaching our 2 week goal and feeling like a couple of BADASSES for doing so!

As a reminder, this is what the basis of our cleanse was:

There is so much involved behind the scenes (internally) when cleansing and there are hundreds of cleanses out there. Juice cleanses, the Master Cleanse, fasting, smoothie cleanses, fruit and vegetable cleanses, etc. There are tons of products on the market right now too. Here's a pic I snapped at Sprouts the other day of all the cleansing/detox items to choose from:

I believe there are good kits you can buy and one or two of these supplements would be helpful, but to me,  a real cleanse is a lifestyle cleanse through diet and nutrition first. If you get a kit and are taking 8 or 10 pills a day, you're spending all that time digesting and processing capsules and new herbal substances. If you remove all of that and focus on foods that can and will do that work themselves, your body will be digesting only things that are assisting the process. I've done both and for me, food and drink, herbal teas to gently assist, and a few key supplements are all you need to succeed and feel gooood!

Here's where things get real, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Although, I think I'll end with the good! If you feel uncomfortable right now, maybe you shouldn't be reading my blog... Still here? Ok then heres how it went.

The bad:

  • Being tired. Really tired at times.
  • Being hungry. Really hungry at times. Or even hangry (Hungry + Angry) but to be fair, that was probably the PMS talking. At times I felt I heard my cravings say "Feed me, bitch or I'll never go away!" I didn't give in and they went away. 
  • Breakouts
  • Feeling cranky
  • A headache or two
  • Feeling achy, especially after working out (I don't recommend hard workouts and cleansing, you can do more harm than good)
  • This is a lot of work. I spend hours each day prepping and cooking food. And cleaning the damn kitchen over and over again. 

The ugly:

  • Cleansing at home all weekend with your spouse while PMS'ing? Yeah, we should do that! Said No. One. EVERRR! I never noticed how much wine can tame the beast until it was forbidden. Terrible timing...
  • Geof ate too much flax oil one day... (for those who may not be familiar, flax oil is a great source of Omegas for the hair, to lubricate dry skin, the eyes, and joints, and keeps the digestive tract running smoothly. Sometimes too smoothly)
  • I went from jog-walking 4+ miles per day on the treadmill to slowly walking 1 or 2. The treadmill is not my cleanse friend. I feel light headed. Small weights, the balance ball, and yoga have all been great to keep moving though! Those feel so good.
  • My period came with a vengeance! TMI? Then don't read my blog. Usually I eat a steak and some chocolate and feel better. Instead I curl up with another mug of hot tea and scowl at the slices of frozen banana that are my supposed choco-substitute. Oh, and despite flushing my system with fluids I got super bloated and looked 3 months pregnant. UGH, makes me want to scream! And cry!

The good:

  • Energy levels are naturally lower in the dark months of winter and I think a cleanse is a perfect way to honor that part of the cycle. Normally we demand ourselves to push on through the holidays and New Year, starting off with a BANG and tons of motivation and energy... yet, we mostly feel used up and beat. Spring is coming and then we can spring forward with vibrancy and new energy but for now, it's about rest and renewing.
  • The goals we set are being achieved! We are definitely flushing our systems and feeling it. We had a cheat glass of wine and felt the effects pretty quickly. This tells me our livers are functioning much better than before, processing quicker and are hopefully cleaned up and healthier!
  • Overall, we have more energy. It's a new energy too, no coffee here! 
  • Sleeeep! We have gotten a lot more sleep these past two weeks. We take calcium and magnesium before bed, it's a natural relaxant and have chamomile tea in the evenings
  • My skin is brighter, clearer, and healthier looking (as far as winter skin goes)
  • We both have lost some weight. I forgot to get him to check his weight when we started but Geof is currently 185 lbs and he's normally an easy 195-200lbs! After the cleanse he's working on putting on more muscle. I was down 3 lbs at 7 days but then I got my period and yeah, I'm not getting on the scale again until that is over. 
  • Achieving a RESET on our diet: Geof was struggling with making healthful food choices and I realized I had absent mindedly shared too many Asher snacks throughout the day. This cleanse really helped put our diet under the microscope to figure out where weaknesses are!
  • We're incorporating a few things into our lifestyle, such as limiting processed foods, red meat, sugar and salt, and we are increasing our water intake. We'd also like to drink the cran/lemon/acv detox drink a few times a week because we both really love it.
  • We are keeping our pantry divided into 'real food' and 'processed/packaged' foods so while they won't be off limit, we will be 100% aware when we are choosing the less healthy options throughout the day. 
  • We have been overall very relaxed, calm, and peaceful even. Cleansing is a good time to reflect and give yourself a break, all while doing yourself a favor and becoming a healthier and brighter person! 
  • I'm glad we did this but my willpower has been wavering. I'm looking forward to my cooking being open to whatever I feel like I need and want at that time (with some salt)!! I can't wait to have a cup of coffee in bed this weekend. I can't wait to go to a heated yoga class and to put some miles on the treadmill! 
And on that note, goodbye cleanse! It has been real. It has even been fun. But it has not been real fun. 


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