Pork Free Post: No More Cleanse = Pork (Yay!)

27 Jun

Finally, the end of my 21-day Clean cleanse journey has come. No more having to explain why I’m not drinking wine, or why I can’t have green peppers with my fajitas, or why I can’t have a s’more after dinner. Nope, I’m free to make whatever food decisions I want.

I learned so much about myself over the past 3 weeks, it is crazy. Noticeable changes:

— Much more energy. Instead of being exhausted at the end of a day and plopping on the couch before dinner, I want to go out and play tennis.

— Sleeping better. I now am asleep within 30 minutes of hitting the pillow, as opposed to possibly laying there an hour or more. I also sleep through the night uninterrupted, and if I do get woken up, I go back to sleep immediately. Result is waking up feeling less tired and more refreshed.

— Better moods. I’m more happy on a regular basis – just in a good mood all the time. I think this is because I feel better physically.

— WAY less bloat. Noticeable in my face and neck, as well as in my tummy area. My clothes feel more loose and I feel lighter.

— Softer skin on my face, and a healthy “glow”. This was a remark made by my husband after the first week.

— Noticeably reduced needs/cravings for various foods. Coffee will not be a part of my regular day – don’t miss it at all. Sweets aren’t anything I feel like I just have to have. I think desserts now will consist of fruit or cheese. Big deal for me! Sorry new gluten-free bakery down the street – I won’t be visiting you as much anymore.

— Increased alertness and better memory. I’m not forgetting the simple things like I used to – I guess I’m less absent minded than before.

— Lost about 6 lbs. This was a welcome bonus.

— Fewer headaches. I would suffer from headaches almost everyday. While yes, I had some headaches from the cleanse, they are less frequent and not as intense as before.

— Less hunger. I definitely identified boredom eating. Thankfully I can nip that one in the bud. Now, if I could only find a job that wasn’t making me so bored……

I will not lie – I did  miss wine. It was hard but I managed to resist even a sip over the last 3 weeks, even while we had company. Another side effect of this cleanse that is highly valued – increased willpower. Towards the end it wasn’t that hard to say no, because I knew I was doing this to better myself and that, frankly, I wouldn’t feel like crap the next day. It was nice to not have the congestion and headache that can come along with too much red wine.  I will note here that the first day off the cleanse I may have overindulged on wine. I needed to celebrate.

I had to give up a lot of stuff, namely certain meats. While I will still be enjoying all these things, they will be enjoyed in moderation. Pork shoulder recipes will be reappearing very soon, but may not be appearing as often. I will, however, add more non-pork recipes as I continue on with experimenting with the cleanse’s “Elimination Diet”. It is piquing my interesting in something so opposite of pork – vegan and raw food. No, I’m not going to be sprouting nuts and other random crunchy things like that, but I may be eating less dairy and meat products to balance things out. I’m emphasizing balance now in my food-related life

My first non-cleanse meal Saturday night wasn’t a total bust, but it was kinda borderline. You see, I’m supposed to reintroduce things one at a time and see how my body reacts. I opted for a three prong approach: organic grass-fed and hormone/antibiotic-free steak,  some wines, and a bit of Cowgirl Creamery’s Lamb Chopper cheese (sheep’s milk cheese). I don’t know if it is my mental state or if Whole Foods had a bad batch of meat, but the steak was not what I was envisioning. Normally, you can’t go wrong, but it was tough and not very good. Total fail, and an utter disappointment. I can’t wait though for the pork chops I bought – I may cry if those are bad too, as it might be a symptom of me not having these delicious things for 3 weeks. God, I hope that isn’t the case.

I can’t express how much I’d recommend this program to someone. It was no doubt very difficult at first to wrap my head around soup for dinner or no stinky cheeses, but in the end, I actually really liked what I was feeling. I will definitely be doing this again at least once per year, as well as mini versions periodically when I feel like I may have gone back to bad habits.  My daily routine will be permanently changed for the better.

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