I’ve been told that fall is a great time to cleanse and detox your body. I’m not sure if this is actually true, but apparently the changing of the seasons can encourage detoxification because your body is already going through the transition to a new season. Sounds kind of silly, but at the time I heard it, it made sense and I’ve remembered it ever since.
So, today I’m starting a 21 day cleanse.
I’m choosing to do this cleanse for a few reasons, but mainly because lately I haven’t been feeling too great. Not feeling good about what I’m eating, about myself and my body, about my living situation in New York, just overall not good. From what I know about diet and the food we put into our body, I know that a lot the issues I’m experiencing, could very well by stemming from what I’ve been eating.
How has my diet changed recently?
When I first went gluten-free three years ago, I focused more on whole foods. Granted, I did buy packaged pretzels and crackers from the grocery store, but pretty much everything I ate was good for me. I didn’t eat many sweets (maybe a piece of chocolate here and there) and definitely didn’t eat any baked goods – including bread. My diet focused on fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. And I lost over 10 pounds in the process.
Then I started to get more comfortable with my gluten-free lifestyle. I started experimenting with baking. Cookies, muffins, breads, cupcakes started to become a regular part in my diet again. I still limited my intake of refined cane sugar, but sugar is sugar and when you’re eating baked goods everyday (that are made with honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar), you’ve got to expect that you’re going to have to work a little hard to keep those pounds off. I didn’t do that.
Slowly but surely, those pesky pounds started to creep back on. Now, here I am, three years later and almost back at my pre-gluten-free weight (maybe a few pounds lighter). I’m feeling sluggish and overall kind of lousy. I’ve always been a healthy eater, but I just knew that what I really needed was to push a little reset button and get back to the basics.
Which is precisely why I’m starting a cleanse. The cleanse I’m doing is a 21 day program, called the Clean Program, and it consists of a structured meal plan and a very particular include/exclude food list. The whole premise of the cleanse is to not only promote detoxification in the body, but to heal the gut in the process. This is actually the second time I’m doing this cleanse, and I’m really excited to see the results. Last time it was amazing.
What the cleanse looks like:
My day starts with a liquid meal (a smoothie) then a large, healthy lunch (usually some sort of quinoa salad, a protein and greens), then a liquid meal at night (usually a pureed soup or another smoothie/juice). I need to leave a 12 hour window between my last and first meal of the day as this really let’s my digestive system rest and do the work it needs to do. I’m trying to buy as much as I can organic, to reduce the amounts of chemicals I’m putting into my body.
- Veggies (including squash)
- Gluten-free grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, brown rice)
- Wild Game (no thanks!)
- Cold-water, wild caught fish
- Beans & legumes
- Nuts & seeds
- Cold-pressed oils
- Natural sweeteners: coconut sugar, coconut nectar, dates, stevia
- Spices (including unsweetened cocoa powder)
- Citrus (except lemon & lime)
- Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant)
- Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, etc. (anything that contains gluten)
- Oats (even if they’re gluten-free)
- Potatoes (including yams)
- White Rice
- Red Meat
- Warm-water fish (tilapia for example)
- Raw seafood
- Natural sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, agave, brown rice syrup
- Expeller pressed oils (canola, palm, etc.)
The exclusion list seems much longer than the inclusion list, but don’t let that throw you off. There are so many amazing meals you can make from this list. In fact, many of the recipes on this site are allowed on Clean.
In addition to these foods, the Clean Program also encourages that you take a few supplements to help clean up the gut and keep things moving in your body. This is what I’m taking / doing on a daily basis in addition to the food portion (I’ll link to the exact supplements below):
- Probiotic (at least 15 billion active cultures)
- Digestive Enzyme
- Oil of Oregano (helps the gut)
- Vitamin D
- Omega 3 Fish Oil
- Hot water with lemon
- Skin brushing
Overall, I’m really excited for the next 21 days. I have high hopes and I’ll be sharing my progress along the way. Make sure to check in on Facebook & Instagram for more daily updates, but I’ll be sharing new Clean recipes over the next three weeks as well – both for the liquid portion as well as the whole-food meals. I’ll also be sharing a before and after picture once the 21 days are up.
My goals for the next 21 days:
- Lose a little of the extra weight I’ve put on recently
- Daily yoga practice (I like 30 minute videos online)
- Three daily walks (as much for the puppy as for me)
- At least 60 oz of water per day
- Get more “regular” in my digestion
- Increased energy
- Get a colonic (scary!!)
- Reduced dark circles under my eyes (last time mine were almost completely gone)
- A full 8 hours of sleep every night
- Less TV watching
If any of you are interested in learning more about the Clean Program, you can either purchase the book or purchase the cleanse on the website. I am doing the book version because I like to be able to eat what I want and not have to eat their shakes, but if you’re feeling like you would want everything just laid out for you, then the cleanse from the website might be a good choice for you.
Wish me luck!!
**Please note, some of the links in the post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase the products through these links, I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for the support!**