I started a 21-day cleanse program on April 1, and I've made it through 11 days. I have NEVER attempted anything like this in my life, so it really has been quite an adventure.
As a confessed food addict and compulsive overeater, the idea of giving up sugar, table salt, white flour, dairy, caffeine,all processed foods and all animal proteins at the same time was slightly overwhelming! Still, I really wanted to do this - for the health benefits, for sure...but also because I think I needed to prove to myself that I could do it!
Now that I've passed the half-way mark, I felt like it was a good time to share some of the lessons I've learned, and why I heartily recommend the program to anyone!!
1. DOING IT WITH FRIENDS! Absolute best idea ever is to do something like this with at least 1 friend, and if you can, with a small group. Sharing experiences, struggles, feelings, and victories REALLY helps. There are aspects of doing a cleanse that are challenging, and I think it's vital that you have both the accountability and the friendship support to have the best outcome from a cleanse.
2. FRUITS & VEGGIES...and LOTS of 'em!!
Seriously, you think our 5 fruits & veggies goal on Spark is wonderful? Well, you would love this! I have eaten and really enjoyed all kinds of veggies that I had never been willing to even taste in the past. During week 1, you still have some animal protein, so breakfast was 2 scrambled eggs, steamed spinach and a piece of whole wheat toast. NEVER in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd LOVE steamed spinach for breakfast! It is off the charts delicious with scrambled eggs!
3. TIME...purchasing all new and fresh foods and spices than I've ever had in my kitchen took some time....sitting down to read and understand all the recipes took some time. Chopping up veggies, and sometimes fruit, has taken time. So, if you ever do a program like this, and even if you don't, but just decide to begin making FRESH food to eat, it will take some time.
HAS IT BEEN WORTH THE TIME?
Yes, a million times, YES! I can thank Spark People and my friends here for helping me to really believe that I am WORTH the time. YOU are worth the time!
The #1 benefit for me...so far...I WAKE UP every morning feeling rested and ready to jump out of bed. This is nothing short of miraculous for me! I have been a chronic oversleeper/snooze button slug for YEARS! I have been waking up before my alarm goes off...like, my eyes just pop open, and I want to get up. I'm not sure how this is possible, but I've heard many other people that did this Cleanse report the same thing, so something about getting rid of the toxins and junk food and eating all fresh food is doing the trick.
I am learning that I can do this! I can buy fresh foods, prepare it, and love the taste of what I'm eating. I am satisfied - beyond satisfied.
I have had NO CRAVINGS for sugar, junk food, soda, coffee, meat, or anything else that isn't on the plan. Again, I have been flabbergasted by this! How is it possible?? I don't know, but I am grateful!
Weight loss -- yes, that is part of it. I have lost 7 pounds thru the first 11 days. More importantly, I have lost inches in my waist and hips. The most exciting 'scores' for me will be when I have my lab work done the week after I finish. It's time for my annual physical, and I will be comparing last year's numbers to what I see this time. I expect BIG changes for the good in my cholesterol and other numbers.
Emotional health -- I haven't felt so energetic in a long time -- I just feel GOOD!. Plus, I feel calm...even when I am physically hungry. I don't get that "cranky" feeling that came between meals...the craving for something to eat. I don't know how to explain it, but it is very different. And, like I said before, I feel so much more confident in myself, and what I'm capable of doing!
I'm doing the Cleanse with a group of friends, including my BFF MichCleary. You should jump over and read her Cleanse blogs if you haven't already seen them! We're both having a great experience with it!!
That's it I guess -- I just felt like I had to share, so thanks for taking time to read!!