I am now more than half-way through the four-week Clean program.
How do I feel?
I feel … wait for it … clean.
Honestly, I feel pretty phenomenal.
The biggest changes that I have noticed are (i) my level of energy is extremely high; and (ii) I have a clarity of thought that I don’t always experience. Both of which together have made me one very productive person in the last few weeks. In the past week, I have started to sleep better as well – longer and more deeply.
At the same time as I am going through Clean, I have embarked on the 60 day challenge in Bikram yoga. For the past several years, I have struggled with an issue in my left leg/hip area and I became determined to remedy it in 2013. On the advice of my chiropractor, I have given up running for 60 days. I also felt that some of the moves in power yoga were aggravating the injury, so I am taking a break from that as well.
So, consider that in addition to being on the cleanse, I am doing 90 minutes of yoga at 105 degrees once a day, and STILL feel full of energy. I expected that I might feel more light-headed at yoga while on the lower caloric intake of the cleanse, but I have not.
As I mentioned in my prior post, we started with one week of the Elimination Diet, and then went into the three-week cleanse portion. During the three-week period, breakfasts and dinners consist of liquids. You can eat a full lunch from the Elimination Diet foods.
The cleanse period did take some adjusting. I faced an almost panic the first few nights as to what I was going to
eat drink. I now have a refrigerator and freezer full of single serving containers of broccoli soup, cauliflower soup and bean soup.
Dinner is now a no-brainer.
Is it satisfying? Eh … the short answer is not always, but I have gotten much more used to it. I really enjoy having a lighter dinner. I remember the days of going to bed on an overly full stomach and feeling miserable. I believe that also affected the quality of my sleep. During Clean, I go to bed (and wake up) feeling lean.
Over the past several weeks, my approach to food has changed. I look at it more as something that fuels my body and will last, as opposed to something that will really taste good. I am much more conscious of getting the variety of fruits, vegetables and proteins that I need.
I have gotten used to more subtle tastes. I think if I ate something like nacho cheese Doritos now, it would overwhelm me. Through the additives and chemicals that manufacturers have added to so many food products, I think we have all gotten used to such intense tastes – and that is not how food is in its natural state (for the most part). I feel like Clean has reset my taste expectations.
What has been the hardest part for me? Probably the weekends. So much of our social life revolves around going out to dinner, which we have not done during Clean. I don’t want to be tempted – and, probably more than anything, I would miss the glass of wine.
I have eaten lunch out several times. We are so fortunate that through the connections of Savannah Power Yoga, several local restaurants are offering Clean items on their menu. This has made lunch meetings possible. I have also gone to lunch at another restaurant in town and asked for a big salad, with no dressing, and a scoop of hummus on top. A little barren looking, but it did the trick in terms of satisfying me and lasting through the afternoon.
My husband has had a harder time, and doesn’t feel quite the benefits that I have felt. But it is not over yet. He very much misses coffee, and also laments not being able to have (chewable) food for dinner.
We will be done with our Clean journey a week from this Wednesday. Oddly enough, I am a bit sad about it coming to an end. And then I remind myself that it doesn’t really have to end.
There are aspects of Clean that I will incorporate permanently into my life.
Protein smoothies are now my breakfast of choice.
I will remain conscious about maintaining a twelve hour window between dinner and breakfast, to aid the digestive and detoxification process.
I enjoy the structure of a larger meal at lunch and a light and easy dinner. I like taking the emphasis off of eating – what we are having, when, how much to make, do we have the ingredients, etc.
After the three-week cleanse period, we are instructed to slowly introduce foods back into our diet, to see how our body reacts to them. I am very interested to see how this process goes.
I know that there are items that I will leave out of my diet – such as caffeine. For me, much of the morning coffee routine was to hold a cup of something warm. I have found that decaf green tea fills that need in me (in my husband, not so much).
I also have a feeling that dairy will not make its way back into my diet. Almond milk has become my favorite smoothie additive. I thought I would miss cheese, but I have not. I have added nutritional yeast to some of my soups, and that has satisfied my desire for a cheese-like taste.
All in all, it has been an extremely informative and positive experience.
I will be doing Clean again.
My husband … probably not.