What I learned from the Cleanse

Oh Sweet Sweet Cuppa Joe.

Oh Sweet Sweet Cuppa Joe.

I fully intended on writing this on Sunday night, the last official evening of the 21 day cleanse but here we are on Wednesday and I’m just sitting down to reflect!  The cleanse was a great challenge.  I found myself in many situations where the temptation to indulge in a cup of coffee or a bottle…I mean glass of red wine… was very strong.  Even Sunday, the last day of the cleanse I found myself justifying why it would be okay if I just had a cup of coffee on my drive home from the beach.  But, I made it!  21 days without coffee, wine, oil, refined sugars, refined grains, or added salt.

Here are some of the things I learned/noticed:

  • During the first week I lost about 4 pounds.  4 pounds of which I gained over the holidays and was mostly inflammation from all the wine and sugar I consumed. bleh.  That’s gross.  I was glad to see it go.


  • After that my weight stayed pretty much steady, hovering between 123 and 125.  I found that annoying.  My normal running weight is between 118 and 125 and I know that my annoyance came from a place that maybe isn’t completely healthy.  In Asia, I was about 10 pounds lighter and I think I (sub)consciously believe I should be that thin.  This is a belief I need to challenge.


  • I really really like coffee and wine and salt. BUT, I’m not dependent on any of them.  I didn’t have withdrawal headaches and I didn’t have trouble sleeping or calming down in the evening without wine.  I did feel a bit sad though to not have it and my first cup of coffee on Monday morning felt AAAAAMAZING. Seriously, I was on cloud nine buzzing through my morning.


  • I had to eat ALOT to feel satisfied.  I kept thinking I would get used to the lack of salt and oil.  I guess I did to some degree but the lack of salt was pretty annoying to me for most of the 3 weeks.  It did teach me though that I do not need as much salt.  I learned today in one of the lectures for the Plant Based Nutrition course I’m taking that we do not actually need to add any sodium to our diets, even if we are completely plant based.  We’ll get enough sodium.  However, most of the sodium that Americans eat is not from salting their foods but rather in the packaged foods they consume.  Fortunately, we eat very little processed food!  I’m hoping to blog more on this topic (and really food labels in general) soon.


  • While I’m not swearing off oils and salt for good, I am much more aware of their use.  I will not use oil as regularly.


  • I think I need a larger whole grain rich snack in the afternoon so I’m not famished at dinner time.  Typically, I try to keep my snacks to things like fruit and veggies and occasional nuts, but I think eating a bowl of brown rice, quinoa, oats or something of the sort with some veggies might help me not feel like eating the entire refrigerator for dinner!


  • Eating clean is obviously a priority for me.  I am opposed to consuming animals and their products for a long list of reasons  including many health reasons.  While I know there are benefits to not consuming alcohol, coffee, sugar, oil, and salt, I’m willing to allow for small amounts of them in my diet.  I usually  try to make the best choices possible when it comes to these things.


  • The cleanse helped me re-establish some habits that had slipped a little–like drinking lemon water, tea, and doing morning yoga.  It helped me put an end to the holiday sugar and wine over gluttony.  Instead of eating olives by the handful, it make me more aware of how many of these extras I was consuming in my salad and I started the habit of just chopping a few up and mixing them in really well.

On Monday, aside from drinking about a cup and a half of coffee in the morning, most of my day was pretty much the same until evening when I had a drink.  And then 2 more. eek.  I ended up going out with some friends (a rare occasion for me) and then we I got home, all our housemates/friends and their boyfriends/girlfriends were there.  It was such a nice vibe and I had to share a glass of wine with my friends! So I drank too much, especially after giving my body such a cleaning!  Woooweee.  It hit me.  Everyone went to bed by 10 (we are getting old) and I was up.  I stayed up and ate!  I swear I had like half a jar of peanut butter and a giant bowl of oats along with a few leftovers in the fridge.  I went to bed at midnight feeling physically and emotionally yucky.  And then I woke up at 4 AM, wide awake still feeling physically and emotionally ill.  So what did I do?  I got up and started doing the good work.  I made some lemon water with cayenne.  I made some tea.  I did yoga in the living room and saw everyone off to work, starting with Danny at 4:30, then Josh, then Tasha, then Casey.  I allowed myself some coffee in hopes to loosen my tight tummy.  I drank a giant green smoothie once my stomach began feeling okay again.

This blue eyed drool monster is so full of life.  He's lalalalalalalaloping and scooting all over the place.  Reminding me that LOVE is the answer.

This blue eyed drool monster is so full of life. He’s lalalalalalalaloping and scooting all over the place. Reminding me that LOVE is the answer.

The rest of the day was so gassy but after a long walk with a good friend at a my favorite park, I was feeling much better.  By the time I got to yoga in the evening, other than gassing the heck out the the yoga session, I felt okay. Recovered.  Lesson learned?  Eh.  For now. I gave myself grace and laughed about it with a friend.  This morning, I stayed in bed an extra 30 minutes after my alarm clock–an act of love for myself knowing that I had only had 4 hours of sleep the previous night and would need the rest.  Also thinking about how next week my new nanny job starts and we’ll be out the door at 6:40 every morning!

Well–that about does it.  Time for bed!


One thought on “What I learned from the Cleanse

  1. Julie

    Congratulations ya little food ninja you! That was no easy feat but yet you did it. The 20’s are definitely about finding one’s own balance in life and you are doing it.

    Big Hugs!


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