How to Survive (Thrive) a 3 Week Cleanse – Week 1
The conversation went like this…Me: I’m tired, M: I’m fat. Me: You’re not fat, maybe we’re both a little fluffy. M: Fine, I’m fluffy. Me: Would you be open to doing some sort of detox? M: <silence with raised eyebrow>.
Fast forward to day 8 of our three week cleanse. We are on the wagon meaning, a lot of no’s. No booze, caffeine, dairy (including eggs), gluten, refined sugar, soy, tomatoes, corn or canola oil. Our goal is to get back into balance, to reduce inflammation and hit the reset button after weeks, months really, of eating out and enjoying the holidays. I confess I was a bit shocked I got M to agree to this, but immensely grateful because doing a longer cleanse is so much easier when the entire household is on board!
In essence, it’s 3 weeks of clean eating – fish, poultry, greens, veggies, fruit and grain like quinoa and brown rice. Everything should be pure, whole and organic. We are rewarding ourselves with an umbrella drink vacation somewhere when we’re done – bikini bod incentive is always key…more on that in a future post.
Overall, we are feeling pretty good! The first few days are definitely the toughest. I had a minor headache above my eyebrows for the first three days. M’s lasted 4 days. But once you settle in, it’s really not too bad. The key to surviving (and thriving) a longer cleanse is preparation. Here are the things that saved me on week 1:
- Make sure your fridge + pantry is stocked at all times w/ foods/ingredients you can eat
- Bust out the slow cooker (crock pot) – it’ll be your new best friend
- Prep and cook a few meals ahead of time on Sat and Sun
- Make extra of everything for leftovers to mix/match for lunch + dinner
- Have meal plans and recipes at your disposal (I printed out grocery lists and bookmarked recipes)
- If you’re a bread freak like me, find a good gluten free bread. It’s a game changer
- Plan exercise that is more low impact – Pilates is perfect since I’m laying down while I tone!
Being prepared was the single best thing we did. My girlfriend, Christa, has an incredible business call the Whole Journey. She was a superstar and emailed me grocery lists with recipes to get me started. Her recipes are awesome, easy to make and you can find them here. Another great resource is Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain. I have her Green Turkey Chili simmering in the crockpot as I type. As mentioned above, the slow cooker is key! I threw a whole chicken (rubbed with some spices) in with a cup of onions in the other day before work and turned it on low. By the time I got home from work, it was done and delicious!
Yes, you’re going to be at the grocery store a lot and yes, organic, clean food can seem a touch pricey, but think of all the money you’re saving by not eating out and drinking! Now as we roll into week 2, we are figuring out the system. We have smoothies (thank you Nutribullet RX!) for breakfast most mornings, but this morning was avocado toast drizzled w/olive oil and Himalayan sea salt – tasted amazing (can I just eat this for 3 weeks???). We’ve also been making fresh squeezed juices (and infused water), salad dressings and soups. For the week, I found an awesome, simple recipe from the Free People blog for overnight oats. It’s so easy and satisfies the sweet tooth. We just leave out the brown sugar. See here for the recipe.
Organic India’s Tulsi Tea tastes yummy in the am and pm – I add a tsp of raw honey at night to head off any after dinner sweet cravings. Brown rice tortillas and Baron’s hot sauce have also been a lifesavers. Since you have to prep almost everything yourself, spices are key. It’s hard not to be bored so we’re trying to get creative – salmon, stir fry, etc. The hot sauce has been a lifesaver. We cook the tortillas w/black beans, avocado, leftover chicken and hot sauce. It doesn’t replace tomatoes, cheese and sour cream, but we can hang with it for three weeks. Another key to success is reading labels!!! You wouldn’t believe how much stuff has Canola oil and soy in it. Hidden sugar is everywhere too. Yes, I am that neurotic girl right now, sorry. But if I’m going to do it, let’s do it right. We’re going to delve into Thai stir-frys this week. (Hooray, you can have coconut milk!)
What we haven’t done yet…venture out to a restaurant. Supposedly, we can go to sushi and get protein rolls, sushi w/brown rice and sashimi. But we’re not sure we are strong enough yet. Will it be sad to not have beer and soy sauce? Go ahead and judge, but we’re waiting till next weekend. During the week with work, you’re busy so it’s not too bad. We both struggled yesterday. I went to Pilates, M ran and surfed. We met back at the house and felt restless. This would be the time we sit out in our backyard, have a beer and talk about where we are going out to eat. Not today. Our little text exchange pretty much sums up the melancholy…
On the bright side, we did go for a beach walk. And caught a killer sunset. Then went for a raging night at the grocery store where M’s morale was restored when we found chips he could eat!!!
So it’s a process. Overall, I think we’re doing good. We haven’t noticed crazy health changes yet, but I know my skin is better and my skinny jeans are a touch more comfortable. Stay tuned for next week’s episode in cleansing where M and I attempt to attend our dear friend’s wedding. The price to pay when M declares he has to be done with his cleanse by Super Bowl Sunday. Message me if you have any questions! I’m happy to share grocery lists. If you have a good recipe…please please please send it along!♥