Cleansing = No Pork (Boooooo)

3 Jun

It is June 3rd and we have what seems to finally be Spring weather (meaning, when the snow falls it mostly melts rather than sticking around forever). We have survived 7 months of awful Winter, including snow over the entire Memorial Day holiday. I could have sworn it was February 28th, not May 28th. Ugh, but we made it through.

With the new season comes the infamous Spring cleaning. Not just cleaning and organizing of the home (which my wonderful husband has spent a lot of time doing), but also of the body and the mind. In keeping with this, I am in desperate need of a cleanse. Besides all the heavy comfort foods we ingested to get through the most dismal 7 months ever, the last 2 weeks have been particularly hard for me. I was “glutened” at a conference in San Francisco, then had the most painful bout of non-food related heartburn ever that lasted 5 days and resulted in prescription meds. I’m pretty sure at this point my body was telling me something – feeling you are getting stabbed through the heart every time you swallow can’t be good. Oh, and let’s not forget the mental state of mind that comes along with 7 too many months of snow. SAD, seasonal affective disorder, exists – I’m living, breathing proof.

The idea of the cleanse was put into my head a while ago, but brought up again last week by Christian. I think we both just feel gross. A friend of his recently completed a rigorous cleanse, at the end of which he lost 22 pounds (which is nuts because even with water weight, I can’t imagine how he had that much to get rid of). Neither Christian or I need to lose that much, but if a few extra lbs go away, we definitely won’t be upset. What this is really about is just feeling good – I’m tired, puffy and all around feel worn down. Our friend, and others who have done the cleanse, say they end up with an amazing sense of smell, much better concentration and clarity, and generally more energy.  I want to feel and look refreshed when we finally have good weather so I can run around and have fun. I guess I’m hoping it is sort of like a time machine and transports me back to when I was 10 years old, running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day.

So after much research, I’ll be doing the Clean cleanse by Dr. Junger. It has received a lot of press lately, mostly by Gwyneth Paltrow, but it is also the one completed by our friend. The cleanse is a 21-day detox program, which at face value seems impossible for someone who enjoys eating. But, it really is quite easy, so easy in fact that I questioned whether or not I was understanding it properly. Basically, you have a fruit and/or veggie based shake in the morning, a big lunch (it is really your dinner), and then a shake or soup for dinner. Seemed like not enough food, until I heard that you can snack throughout the day (except after dinner), as long as it was on the approved list (same goes for the lunch meal ingredients). This approved list really just cuts out inflammatory and potentially allergenic foods – think gluten and wheat, nightshades (potatoes, eggplant, etc), sugars, dairy, alcohol, etc.  Meat is on the list, thankfully, but unfortunately pork is not. Travesty! Weird that lamb, duck and other game is okay, but whatever, I trust this guy knows what he’s doing.

From the photolog, Satan's Laundromat

The way I see it, this cleanse does two important things:

  • First, it rids your body of toxins and eliminates/reduces cravings of foods that aren’t that great for you. When the cleanse is done, you don’t have to stop eating the “unapproved” foods forever, just in moderation. When you start reintroducing them to your diet, you’re supposed to be able to identify what might be a “trigger” food, so you know what not to eat too much.
  • Second, and for me really important, the timing of meals aids with digestion. It is really what I call the European Plan – eat your large meal in the day when you actually need the energy, and a lighter meal at night when you are mostly at rest. This schedule not only gives you fewer calories when you don’t need it, but it is easier for your body to digest while sleeping and resting. That leads to less heartburn, indigestion, etc.

Because we have some company coming in 14-days, I’m going to be forced to do an abbreviated version. I’ll be doing the official Clean cleanse for those two weeks, and am going to then move on to what Dr. Junger calls the “Mini Cleanse” format, where you have the shake for breakfast but then two meals (of course, with ingredients from the approved list) at lunch and dinner. It just doesn’t seem that difficult to me, with one caveat – I will drink wine when we have company. I’m sorry, but there is no compromise there. But, if it is only for Friday and Saturday nights, I don’t think it will kill the whole cleanse (or, at least that is what I’m hoping).

I’ve planned my first week of meals, which was pretty fun. In order to show Christian it won’t be all that bad, I’m going to be roasting some fish on Saturday for lunch, and lamb chops on Sunday. Sounds like the most awesome cleanse ever, if you ask me.

I am going to check in every week, posting about my progress and putting down my menus – I’ll be curious to go back and see how it went once I’m done. Wish me luck!

Some resources on the Clean cleanse below…….

GOOP (Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter):

Article and good details on the Clean cleanse

GOOP’s 7-Day Abbreviated Cleanse Plan

Clean Cleanse website:

Lots of info on the cleanse plan

Support forum with recipes, etc.

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