IMG_0381.JPG

Hey, hi.

I'm so glad you're here. Welcome to the space where I document all things health & wellness oriented in my life: recipes, eateries, thoughts, inspirations and more.

4-Day, Food-Based Cleanse

4-Day, Food-Based Cleanse

Never have I ever been to Seattle, Washington (But I'm dying to go).

Never have I ever read an entire book in one day (is this something I should have done by now?)

Never have I ever been on a blind date (Tinder doesn't count).

Never have I ever done a juice or food-based cleanse (BUT I'M BOUT TO #LETSGITIT).

On a serious note, I have shied away from cleanses for the past couple of years because I didn't think they were healthy for my emotional state. However, now that I know that food is healing and energizing, I am so excited to do the following cleanse because I'm still treating my body with compassion in the midst of cleansing. In fact, I'm doing my body a service.

This 4-day, food-based cleanse is directed by Alisa Vita, author of WomanCode. The purpose is to reset your pathways of elimination (your body's natural-detoxification process through your liver, digestive tract, skin and lymphatic system), stabilize your blood sugar, minimize internal stress and recalibrate your endocrine system for optimal performance.

Each day has four areas of focus: a meal plan, focus on digestion (improving eating experience), short activity to enhance your learning process throughout the cleanse, and a clean sweep (releasing the old and welcoming the new in your physical environment and body). 

In order to hold myself accountable and also to educate you guys on how the cleanse affects someone physically, mentally and emotionally, I'm going to document the 4 days via this post. I'm doing this because as I learn more about how to optimize hormone health I'm discovering that short cleanses every now and then can help your body reset and get back on the track to wellness (especially after a long weekend with family, friends and great food like I've just had). With this being said, cheers to my first-ever cleanse!

Day 1
*I woke up and made a mug of hot lemon water with 2 tsp of my fiber supplement; then I got back in bed to do my Five Minute Journal*

Breakfast
1 1/2 cups chopped organic green apples, blackberries, strawberries, pears and blueberries
1 Tablespoon flax meal and fresh lemon juice sprinkled over fruit
1 Chlorella tablet (500 mg)

Lunch
4 oz baked wild-caught salmon (olive oil + salt/pepper; bake at 450 degrees (F) for 12-15 minutes)
1/4 cup edamame pasta 
1 1/2 cup organic spinach topped with sliced carrots, watermelon radish and cucumber
dressing: olive oil + apple cider vinegar

*feeling a bit low-energy*

Snack (optional)
1 Suja Power Greens Juice

Dinner
*Homemade Quick Veggie Soup*
Sauté: 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup onion and 1/4 cup chopped carrots in pan with 2 Tbs olive oil for 3 minutes
Add: 2 cups organic chicken broth and 2 cups water
2 sticks bok choy
1/4 small head of cabbage, chopped
cilantro and parsley to taste
salt + pepper
Simmer about 30 minutes, or until all veggies have become soft

Focus on Digestion, Activity, and Clean Sweep
I was encouraged today to eat in quiet environments where I could focus on my food and my body could devote its energy to digesting the food and absorbing the nutrients. I also was asked to journal for 10 minutes about what I wanted out of this cleanse, and then to find one thing in my room that I could get rid of--making space for new things in my life and letting go of the old.

Day 2
*I woke up with a bit of a headache. I made a mug of hot lemon water with 2 tsp of my fiber supplement; then I sat at my desk and did my Five Minute Journal*

Breakfast
1 1/2 cups chopped organic green apples and strawberries
1 Tablespoon flax meal and fresh lemon juice sprinkled over fruit
1 Chlorella tablet (500 mg)

Lunch
4 oz baked wild-caught salmon (olive oil + salt/pepper; bake at 450 degrees (F) for 12-15 minutes)
1/4 cup quinoa
2 cups organic spinach topped with sliced carrots, watermelon radish, avocado, sprouts and cucumber
dressing: olive oil + apple cider vinegar

Snack (optional)
1 Master Brew Kombucha, Raspberry Lemon

Dinner
2 cups Quick Veggie Soup (recipe from Day 1 dinner)

Focus on Digestion, Activity, and Clean Sweep
Today, I was encouraged to increase my chewing at lunch to 15 bites per chew, or 30 if I was well practiced. When we chew, we produce a lot of saliva, and it's okay to swallow our saliva before swallowing our food right away. Chewing mindfully helps us focus on how the food feels going through our body. I was also asked to spend some time journaling about the things that feel nurturing to me, and my challenge at the end of the day was to go through a kitchen cupboard, cabinet, or set of shelves (I chose my pantry) and discard anything that has MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, and that is old. Instead, I need to replace these items with good-quality sea salt, pepper, and organic non-irradiated herbs and spices. 

Day 3 
*I woke up and made a mug of hot lemon water with 2 tsp of my fiber supplement; then I sat at my desk and did my Five Minute Journal*

Breakfast
1 1/2 cups chopped organic pear, green apple, blueberries and blackberries
1 Tablespoon flax meal and fresh lemon juice sprinkled over fruit
1 Chlorella tablet (500 mg)

Lunch
Bowl of chopped veggies with sea salt: carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, 1/2 avocado
1 1/2 cups Quick Veggie Soup

Snack (optional)
1 Suja Probiotic & Greens Juice

Dinner
2 cups Quick Veggie Soup

Focus on Digestion, Activity, and Clean Sweep
The focus on digestion for today was recognizing that I wasn't having any animal protein, and to really enjoy and savor each bite of food during meals--breathing and taking time before I ate to appreciate what I would be eating. During this cleanse, it is recommended that you take exercising easy, and it's normal that you may feel tired. The best thing you can do during this time is to stay hydrated and not go too hard during workouts--save that for post-cleanse. I was encouraged to journal about the things in life that mean a lot to me and then create a list of people who give me energy when I interact with them, support me as I deal with stress in my life, and support me being the best me; and then I was asked to show each of those people how much they mean to me via something creative, not monetary. The clean sweep challenge involved looking through bathroom and household cleaning products and throwing away toxic ones. However, because I live with 9 other girls right now, I decided to reframe the challenge around my bath & body products. I replaced my shampoo and body wash with organic, all-natural products (see the shop page for some of my favorites). 

Day 4 (last day!)
I woke up in a bit of a rush this morning and didn't get to take the time to relax and enjoy my Five Minute Journal and hot lemon water together. However, I did wake up and immediately drink 10oz of room-temperature water, and now I am getting to my Five Minute Journal (although 3 hours late). 

Breakfast
1 1/2 cups chopped organic pear, green apple, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries
1 Tablespoon flax meal sprinkled over fruit (I couldn't find my sliced lemon in my fridge to save my life...where did I put it?!)
1/2 avocado
1 Chlorella tablet (500 mg)

Lunch
1 cup organic kale, chopped
1 cup organic broccoli rabe, chopped
topped with 4 oz baked wild-caught salmon, sliced watermelon radishes, cucumber and onion
dressing: olive oil + apple cider vinegar

Snack (optional)
8 oz Green Tea

Dinner
Buddha Bowl from Bon Bon

Today I was asked to continue chewing S-L-O-W-L-Y, remembering to breath and be present while eating. Womancode also shared a parable that aligned with the importance of taking time to think about your dreams and hopes for the future. "What is the wildest and most special thing that could happen for you in the next twelve months? Don't be practical." (I love it!!) The clean sweep challenge was focused on my digestion. This cleanse was helping to decongest my liver, but it's also important to think about bowel health, because this is where many old toxins and residues are actually processed out of your body once the liver has released them. Increasing water intake to 16oz when waking and drinking your body weight/2 in ounces throughout the day is vital for optimal hydration. Also, trying a fiber drink and taking a probiotic daily can help ensure healthy flora levels. At the end of the day, it was time to celebrate with a self-nurturing practice. So I made some tea, climbed in bed, worked on my blog and read my book with my favorite candle lit at my bedside.

UPDATE: I found the lemon!!! It was sitting underneath my kitchen sink next to my dishwasher pods......am I ok?!?

Results and Final Thoughts
Throughout the 4 days, I found that I was pretty tired in the afternoons. Taking the time to think about why I was tired made a difference in the way that I approached solutions, though. I found that my body wasn't tired necessarily because of hunger, but because I either hadn't been drinking enough water or hadn't finished the protein portion of my meal during lunch. Therefore, if I hit an afternoon slump, I finished my lunch leftovers or drank Kombucha/Suja to give me a healthy kick through the rest of the afternoon until dinner. At night, I wasn't experiencing the usual cravings that I normally do, but I was very tired and also a bit lightheaded when I was up a bit later two of the four nights.

I really found value in the clean sweep challenges and digestion focuses. Eating slowly and mindfully helped me recognize when my body was actually full. Also, although it has been a habit of mine for a while, immediately waking up and making a hot cup of lemon water this week was something that I really looked forward to. I could feel my digestive tract engaging as I drank the hot lemon water, and I genuinely saw a difference by the third day in how my body was digesting the foods I was eating. However, I was still experiencing some digestive issues and am really trying to pay attention to what it is exactly that is triggering my symptoms. (I'm planning on doing the elimination diet soon to figure out what my body tolerates and doesn't, and I'll definitely blog about it!)

One thing I really missed during the 4 days was my morning caffeine. I usually make a green tea or matcha latte with almond milk and cinnamon in the morning for myself, but this week I only drank hot lemon water. I was super excited Friday morning to wake up and enjoy my latte after my water intake. Another thing I'd like to mention is that working out this week was a bit more difficult than usual. I signed up for two cycling classes, but I took them very easy and didn't reach the typical mile marker that I usually do. On the other two days, I went for 20-minute runs. I jogged easy and enjoyed the exercise, rather than going hard.

Ultimately, this week I learned that it is possible to experience the health benefits of a cleanse without feeling deprived or irritable. I felt lighter and energized every morning, and I also looked forward to my daily challenges and focuses. I would encourage any woman who wants to experiment with a detoxifying cleanse to try this one. If you follow the directions, you will see a change in how your body utilizes the nutrients that you feed it, and how it eliminates toxins efficiently. 

**More information about the cleanse and the optimal experience can be found in the book itself. I have just paraphrased the cleanse and also documented my experience. In WomanCode, there is so much more information available!**

xo, Rae

Paleo Carrot Cake

Paleo Carrot Cake

What Anxiety Isn't

What Anxiety Isn't

0