Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cleanse Complete

It has been about 1 1/2 weeks since I finished my cleanse. I've struggled with how to put my thoughts and results into words.

Let's start with my habits before the cleanse. I try to cook food from scratch. I can count the number of times I eat out each month on one hand. I don't have any major (or minor, really) health problems. I'm not trying to brag. I do plenty that I shouldn't. My point is that I don't feel like I saw dramatic results, but I didn't really have dramatic potential. Here's what I did see:
  • I lost 5 pounds (I lost another 2 the couple weeks before the cleanse when I gave up dairy so I'm going with 7 altogether).
  • My muffin top is not gone, but it is definitely smaller. Perhaps closer to a mini-muffin than the jumbo it resembled previously.
  • I don't know how to best articulate this, but when I breathe it feels "clean," like there's nothing obstructing my passageways.
  • One of my little blemishes started flaking away. It's still there, but barely. I have another spot on my nose that has been flaking for at least 6 months and I was planning to have the dermatologist look at it. The spot is still there, but the flaking was gone until this morning when it reappeared.
  • My varicose veins, located in an unmentionable area are not gone, but I haven't had any flare-ups (which previously happened when I ran).
My expectations were that I would feel really tired & bad week 1 and possibly week 2. Week 3, I was supposed to feel like a million bucks. The reality: Day 1 I felt horrible. The rest of that week I was mostly exhausted and didn't have much energy, a sure sign that my body was working and healing. Week 2 I didn't feel bad and I started regaining my energy. Week 3: did I feel like a million bucks? I'd say it was more like I felt like myself again, but that's where I wonder if this is because I didn't have the potential to see these astonishing results.  

Perhaps the biggest reminder for me is that everything we put into our bodies contains good and bad effects. I mostly think of the nutrients. We've gotten so accustomed to the nutrition labels that are sorely lacking that we forget (or we don't know) the wonderful nutrients they do contain and aren't listed. I feel like I'm putting wonderful vitamins and nutrients into my body with every bite! During the cleanse, I was sometimes surprised by the basic-ness of the ingredients that were aimed at keeping me nourished. I also sometimes feel like "why bother" with the foods that I know to be bad. I'm definitely not craving them.

Since the cleanse and moving forward, here are some of the steps I am taking:

  • I'm having a shake every morning for breakfast (liquid meals speed up your digestion process and allow the body more time to focus on healing or staying in balance).
  • Wednesday night is liquid dinner night.
  • Monday night is fish night (we were not eating enough fish previously). 
  • I'm trying to ensure I eat some sort of green leafy vegetable everyday.
  • No dairy.
  • Not much gluten.
  • Organic when possible, trying to avoid the "dirty dozen" unless they are organic.
  • Avoiding the 2 top genetically modified foods (soy and corn) unless they are organic (non-GMO).
  • No eating after dinner, which is normally finished by 6 (8PM has been a long-standing rule for me).
You may recall that I LOVE sweet tea! I had 2-3 glasses everyday. I made it myself so I know exactly how much sugar is in it and that makes me feel better about it. I was really looking forward to my first glass, but I forgot to make it that morning. I forgot again the second day. By day three I decided maybe I don't really need it. So, I have been sweet-tea free since the cleanse started, but I'm not promising anything.

During the cleanse, I also realized how little (or how much) I really do need to eat. Previously I felt like there wasn't much opportunity for me to cut-back in the food department. I didn't want my metabolism to slow down. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't lose weight no matter how hard I worked out. Truth is, I was eating more than I should. Exercise helps, but for me, I need to watch what and how much I eat. The cleanse really helped me get in tune with the amount I require. 

Dr. Junger recommends you do what you can to help your body along the way, but strive for a 3-week cleanse once a year. Right now I'm not sure I will do it again. If I can keep up with my new steps indefinitely, I probably won't. But like many things, I imagine life will catch up to me and I'll fall into some of my old habits. If so, the cleanse may be the only way for me to get back into eating the way and the amount that I should. I will keep you posted!

It is also worth noting that so far I have kept off the 7 total pounds!

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