So much for regular journaling... For those who are interested I've got some more thoughts on this cleanse to date, as well as some more information about the cleanse in general as I've had a few emails and comments requesting more info. Again, as this will tend to get a bit rambly I'm putting it all past the link there.
ww.dirtyolive.netDay 2 was really much like Day 1, which isn't too surprising as the cleanse days are exactly the same in terms of what you are doing. That said, I really haven't experienced the days this way in the past, typically finding Day 2 to be a bit of a slog especially if I'm doing the cleanse while working. This time, while I did have a bit of a trying work day I never found myself thinking that eating any differently would really solve all my problems. Well except that one time that I thought that a date square would really make the afternoon nicer, but that was a passing thought. I even suprised myself by how much energy and mental energy I had. Martin and I ended up spending the evening at Ikea doing some kitchen reno recon, which would usually require that I be in pretty top form but even in my cleansey state I managed to be clear and concise in the very overcrowded kitchen planning area when we finally got our time with one of the friendly Ikea staff people, and for some reason I found decision making at Ikea much easier than usual. More on our kitchen plans in another post.
Before I move onto Day 3, which was already yesterday, I'll give you a bit more information about this cleanse. Of the many, many cleanses out there it is the only one I've ever done so I can't speak for any others. I have in the past tried to guide myself on a cleanse that was of my own design and that wasn't too successful, but it was many years ago now and I'm not sure I really knew what I was doing. This cleanse, which is guided by my naturopath, is a juice cleanse. You spend the first few days getting ready to have a period where you only drink fresh vegetable juices and broths. Typically that juice period is 3 days long, this time I'm doing a shortened one day juice period, primarily because with having taken a few weeks off this fall to go on holidays I wasn't able to carve out enough time at work where I felt I would be comfortable being on juice only days. Those days I never really crave food in all consuming ways, and I often have a reasonable level of energy (as you'll see in my description below), but I also tire out easily and am not convinced that I am at my best as a decision maker, and since I'm a project and client manager I'm really best not to work on those days. I think that was really one of the lessons I learned on the last cleanse I did, namely that I need to give myself more of a break. But, I'm getting very ramblely, so let's get specific:
- Days 1 and 2 are days when you eat only fresh fruits (and some fruits like melons are to be avoided). Typically my rule for the fruits (and this is really quite self imposed) is that I try to primarily eat local fruits, so if I were in Costa Rica that would mean tropical fruits, but here in Vancouver it means lots of apples and pears. You can also eat fresh salads with a dressing made of lemon juice, organic cold pressed olive oil and fresh herbs. And you can eat roasted veggies or steamed veggies seasoned again with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs. I always put a lot of lemon juice on the roasted veggies in particular as lemon juice can lower the GI (glucose index) rating of foods with a lot of sugar in them, and roasting veggies often releases a lot of sugar.
- Days 3 through 5, or my case this time just day 3 are juice days during which you simply drink freshly juiced veggie juices (fresh ginger can be added for flavour). The veggie juices should be a combination of water based veggies like cucumbers or celery, minerals like beets, spinach or parsley and sugars like carrots or apples (the only fruit that is allowed). My personal favorite is beet, carrot, celery, parsley and ginger. Yum. You can also drink some simply prepared broths one of which is much like a salt-less stock and the other is a puree made from steamed zucchini, green beans, celery and fresh parsley. You puree those ingredients in their steaming water once they are very soft. On these days you start the morning with a garlic/lemon cocktail made by blending one clove of fresh garlic with the juice of one lemon and 3 tbsp of olive oil. That is a bit of a nasty way to wake up, but it's over quickly.
- For the next two days at a minimum, but it really is best to try to stretch these out as much as possible, you go through a process of reintroducing foods. For breakfast you eat one type of fruit (where as fruit salads on days 1 and 2 are fine), again I've usually chosen apples or pears though I learned quickly that apples on an empty stomach are a bit hard to digest so if possible choose pears. For lunch you eat a big green salad with the same type of dressing as before. And on the first day for dinner you can eat steamed or roasted veggies with one grain (not wheat). Grains like brown rice (not white), millet, quinoa, bulgher, barley or buckwheat are all fine. On the next day you do the same but you can add in a small portion of a simply prepared protein, choosing from a boiled egg, tofu, lamb or fish and again organic is important. Once you are done this protein introduction day you can in theory jump right back into salt, bread and the rest of it, but I typically try to take it easy and eat a "clean" diet for a few more days. Ideally I wait a week before introducing dairy and try to avoid any and all processed foods.
- Throughout this cleanse you take two tinctures three times a day. One is a liver tincture and the other is for your bowels. You can also drink as much of the following herbal teas as you like: fennel, mint, dandelion, comfrey leaf, ginger root or fenugreek. You should also drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
As I mentioned Day 3 was yesterday for me. It was a more physical day than I might typically plan, but I had made a prior commitment to do a flamenco practice without thinking about it being a cleanse day, and I really wanted to get in a gentle yoga class. I have found that if I can tolerate it I actually do well exercising quite a bit during my juice days -- even if it is just a long walk -- as it feels good to physically tire yourself given that your mind is certainly operating a bit of a meandering pace. That said, I did get in a nap between yoga and dance practice and after one hour of dance practice I was totally wiped, where as typically I'm fine for much longer.
Day 3 is almost always the day when I start to have random food cravings that I always find a bit strange. Strange only because they are rarely cravings for things that I normally eat and yet they'll pop up unbidden in my head seemingly from out of nowhere. Yesterday morning it was carrot cake. I was momentarily overcome with the idea of a moist, spicy cake filled with raisins and nuts.... yummy. I quickly scoured my cookbooks for a few recipes and marked them to make sometime next week if the craving is still around. By afternoon it was quiche. Quiche is something I do eat semi regularly, though I don't often cook it. I think when I'm done all this, I'll make some small 6" pastry shells so we can have quiches easily during the week this winter. At dinner time it was garlic. In pretty much any form other than raw with lemon in the morning... I wanted that savoury garlicly undertone of sauces and lentil stews. Those are things I do typically eat, so that wasn't so surprising. Other than those cravings the day went by fairly smoothly.
The one strange thing I've experienced with this cleanse is a lot of anxiety dreams. Anxiety dreams aren't particularly unusual for me, but I've had them every night on this cleanse which is getting a bit tiresome. I'm not sure if the best solution would be to feel more anxious during the day (as I'm not really) or what but I'd very much like that part to go away. The only bothersome physical side effect has been a tiny but oh so annoying canker sore inside my lower lip, which is almost certainly a result of a pH shift and will likely clear up as soon as I go back to salt.
So that's it so far. Today is my grain day. Still not sure what I'll have, but I've finished my pot of mint/fennel tea and I think I'm about ready for a pear or two. Nummy.