A Cleanse and a Can-Do Attitude!

Photo courtesy of Kari Sullivan.

Photo courtesy of Kari Sullivan.

In the spring of this year I decided to get off caffeine because I’d been wanting to do a full cleanse for a long time. I knew that eliminating caffeine was going to be tough, because I tried fasting once and not getting my morning coffee sent me into a downward spiral of migraines and nausea. That was the last time I tried something like that! I knew that I needed to go slowly and be gentle with myself since my system reacts to violently to not having caffeine. Truly and completely addicted, I was!

Overcoming caffeine

This was the first hurdle to overcome before I could go on a detox cleanse. I took two months to do it, lessening the amount of coffee by about a half cup every few days or week. I’d go through days of having a mild headache and a tiny bit of nausea, and I’d have to take a Tylenol sometimes, but nothing worse than that. It just took me two months!

I’d still have a cup of caffeinated green tea in the mornings because I was sleepy! And the caffeine woke me up, even if it was just a small amount. Therefore, technically, I was not completely caffeine free, though I didn’t have terrible withdrawals.

Planning the cleanse

One day while browsing around on Amazon, I noticed a book called The 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse, by JJ Smith. It said I could lose up to 15 pounds in 10 days! Well, that would be nice, but a detox and more energy were even more important. I bought a copy for my Kindle right away and began planning when I’d do it.

Summer’s busy, with taking little vacations here and there and taking Aidan to his Thai school every day, and I so I wanted to time it so we were in town doing normal activities. I decided to do it starting August 6th and end on Friday, August 15th.

The cleanse and detox consists of consuming three smoothies per day and snacking on fresh raw vegetables, or some apples, a handful of nuts and seeds or a hard-boiled egg, should you get really hungry. Drink lots of water and detox or herbal teas.

The first few days

As cautioned in the book, JJ Smith warns that the first few days of detoxing all the nasties out of your system, you’re going to feel a bit crappy and tired. And I certainly did. I did not work out, and I had a mild headache on days two and three. Days three through five I was experiencing a bit of nausea all day long. It was unpleasant, but doable.

The days seemed long and it was kind of a pain to keep asking my husband what he wanted for dinner for himself and Aidan so I could buy groceries. I tended to isolate myself during mealtimes so I would not feel bad about not eating. It’s such a social thing!

Then at the Thai school every day at lunch there is a huge buffet of beautiful food all laid out for us after the monks have had their midday meal. I had to sit there and have my smoothie. I kept myself away, though I told everybody what I was doing.

The last few days

Boy did I become intimately aware of food! Especially how much I missed a hot meal. My sense of smell became more sensitive, as I’d walk through the produce section of the store the bananas smelled so good! I knew when I’d be hungry and how much I needed to snack on to curb my tummy’s rumblings. I pined for my decaf coffee; I was dreaming of my first cup on Saturday morning.

Did I weigh myself? No. Not during the cleanse. I decided to wait until after the cleanse so I would not feel too elated, or disappointed, for that matter. I felt very energetic all day long, though. The absence of sugar certainly helped. The cravings eased quite a lot. But I was getting tired of eating plain salad with no dressing. That’s the raw veggies I snacked on, I just made a salad.  The last two days I did take a few extra bites of rice, I was just hungry! And I felt like I could eat huge amounts of food, but I made it a point to eat correctly after the cleanse so as not to shock my body.

Overall impressions

Would I do this again? Yes, I would. I will do this cleanse twice a year: January (after the holidays!) and June (to kick off summer!). And how much weight did  lose? I lost six pounds. I’m also not that overweight, and while I would have rejoiced at more weight coming off, I’m happy at the end result.

Despite facing a number of social situations and tempting food, I stayed true to myself and stayed the course. I feel like I can do anything! Commitment to a cause or a lifestyle change is something I have had challenges with in the past, but I have proven to myself that I can do this, and I will do it even better next time, now that I know what it’s all about.

Have you ever done a cleanse or a detox? Which one did you do and what was your experience with it?


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