21 September 2011

Mission Complete: The Cleanse of 2011

Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Here's the deal

When I visited home over the summer,
my friend looked so healthy, so glowing
and so much smaller (dropped 10 lbs)

I had to ask, 'What's your secret?'

'The Clean cleanse', she replied

'oh...Darn it!...', I thought,
grasping for a different explanation

Knowing an annual detoxification has been part of many cultures,
I was 'on board' with a cleanse as a way to be kind to my body

But about 15 years ago I did a dreadful cleanse
Just vegetable broth with supplements, 
leaving me weak, shaky, grumpy, & just generally horrible
I quit in 5 days with no remorse and a trail of thankful coworkers in my wake

So you can understand why I hesitated to do another cleanse

But the curiousness got the better of me,
put its tendrils in my mind,
so I surrendered and bought the book
Clean by Dr Junger

{ Plus I needed a kick in the pants to start eating healthy after the summer }

Endorsed by Gwenyth Paltrow, Outside Magazine, & other famous ones,
the book contained reasonable, sound advice

Try to eat organically
Eat more fruits, veggies, fish, and nuts
{ Doable }

But then, oh no, no...

Processed sugar

This made my dairy-loving body hide under the sheets
with a pillow over my head
yelling 'Noooo!'
at about the time I was due to pour that glass of wine
at the end of a long day

Let's face it, there is never a good 21 day period to put your culinary life on hold

But like an explorer, I grabbed three suckers friends for this food expedition
And they seem to agree with my assessment of the cleanse too:

What I feared would be almost a month of fun-free food,
actually was a 21 day opportunity to figure out how to eat in a new way
with the help of the delicious recipes in the back of the book,
packed with flavor
{ garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon }

One of the most important things to say
is I was never hungry
or grumpy
( well at times, sure, but not due to the cleanse )

I felt so nutritionally fed,
I rarely craved the foods I was to avoid

It was actually easy-peasy
( a little more complicated when away from home )

Now I confess I did have a few meals of 'vacay'
An oreo-and-beer day with a friend {super naughty}
A pizza and beer day with family 
But let's just call that part of the experiment :)

The way I felt the next day ( bloated, awful )
got me to jump right back on the cleanse

Smoothie for breakfast
Real meal for lunch
Smoothie or soup for dinner
Snack on nuts and berries when hungry

The idea is to have liquid meals for dinner and breakfast
so your body can detoxify while you sleep

So here's a peek of what I've taken from it

  • Water is tasty and quenching with lemon in it
  • Breakfast smoothies are now a morning routine, forever
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect smoothie consistency is avocado
  • Quinoa tabbouleh and lemon marinaded kale are new favs
  • Dates, currents, coconut, flaxseed, almond milk, and miso are new additions to the grocery list

Although my kids were not on the cleanse, 
I sneaked in wheat & dairy alternatives when I could
- coconut milk drizzled in their porridge & rice noodles with tamari sauce-

How do I feel?
A lot lighter and certainly healthier
 We all lost weight ( I lost six lbs ) - that's always happy

Most of all, I learned a heaping handful of new scrumptious recipes
 that gave my body a rest from the things I typically consume
( and we were already eating organically and very 'Whole Foodsy' before the cleanse )

I'm totally hooked
and will continue to eat 'clean'
for breakfast and lunch
( back to solid meal dinners with the family again )

Now let's get all personal here
How do you know if you're the perfect candidate?

Look at your poo, my friends
According to the book, it should be daily, odorless,
and the consistency and color of peanut butter
Gross, I know
And yes, I went there :)

Would I recommend eating 'clean'? Absolutely

P.S. 'Clean' also sells supplements and shakes, which feels gimmicky to me. I would not recommend using these, as one would miss how to make the smoothies and soups, which for me was the most worthwhile part. I followed the book, not the website :)

Note: I received nothing from 'Clean' for this post
- all photos by me -


little macaroon. said...

Colour and consistency of peanut butter?! Whoa there, that's news.

Well done, sounds like you did it just right - your own way, with supportive friends and the occasional cheat day.

Belle said...

I've always wanted to do a cleanse. My only hang up is caffeine. I freely admit that I am addicted. I will get a headache, possibly a migraine, if I don't have any before 10 am. I've tried several times to cut it out of my diet and it has always left me writhing in agony. Even when I was pregnant I drank a small cup in the morning heavily watered down with milk. Maybe I could keep my coffee if I washed it down with two huge glasses of water?

Congratulations on your successful cleanse, though! I must say that you have inspired me to maybe give one a try.

TexaGermaNadian said...

Very cool! I did a variation of this cleanse and felt so good after it was done. Don't know if I am ready to give up coffee again, haha, but good for you. Love the little tips you give too!

Ola said...

hard to obey for me, but maybe someday...:)

Belinda @ Wild Acre said...


What i want to know is did you have loads more energy, that would swing it for me! I mean, tangibly more wide awake first thing in the morning, and no energy dip in the afternoon? Would love to know, cos either I need more energy or about 4 more hours in each day! xx

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I am recent convert to smoothies!! I love 'em! So I can quite see why you've kept those on...but no dairy? I'm not sure I could have made it!!!

Well done for sticking at it - and the fact that you've kept some aspect on in your diet shows there's something to be said for this way of eating!


flowers on my table said...

Congratulations Laura on shedding the pounds, but more importantly on giving up comfort food at this time of year. I am deeply impressed. I have done similar things on various occasions and it is very worthwhile. I do always slip back into my coffee drinking, scone eating naughty ways though! Many thanks for your visit, I enjoyed your comments, love Linda x

Barbara said...

Congratulations on doing it and on your new commitment to eat cleaner. I just don't know if I could give up my bread and carbs.

Beth said...

Well done Laura. It sounds like a bit of a challenge to me and I would have to train my taste buds to like some of the foods and to give up coffee...hmm, not sure about that one!
You obviously got some benefits from it though.

lisaroyhandbags said...

Congrats on sticking to it so well! It really is something I should do - I did something similar a few years ago and have slowly gotten back to bad habits of carbs and sugar (if bread didn't exist, my life would be much easier). Smoothies were a regular thing and I loved them - how did they fall by the wayside...?

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

I haven't done a cleanse, but I committed to eating healthier in May of 2010. I lost 35 lbs. Now whenever I do veer from my plan, eating naughty foods, I can't wait to go back to my "new" way. Didn't know that about poo, but makes total sense. Congrats to you for a successful cleanse!

MNUKGIRL said...

Great post! So glad I was one of your "suckers"! :) I lost 7lbs and maintained the last week of the cleanse, because I wasn't as loyal to the plan as Laura was! :) Definitely felt LESS PUFFY! Love it!

Julie Knudson said...

Well done my friend! What a fantastic accomplishment. I did a small cleanse and kept it up for about 4 months, then, whoops...back into those naughty habits. You are inspiring me to give this one a try. And can I just say, as always, your pics are fabulous. :)

Zosia said...

Congratulations on sticking to it and getting such a great result!

Patricia said...

I am very interested in this - I will have to get the book and try it. But tell me - when you ate your one meal per day - what type of foods did you eat ? And was it hard at dinnertime with your family eating 'food' and you drinking a smoothie. How did you give up sugar ?? I have so many questions !! ps I enjoy your blog so much - it's wonderful with great pics....

dkmart said...

Bless your heart...you are a VERY brave girl! No processed sugar? No dairy, no caffeine? Wow, I am totally impressed. Good for you! It's making me reconsider the huge bag of Candy Corn I have in my candy drawer, in the kitchen. Yes, I have a drawer JUST for candy. Hmmmm...I'll have think about it, while I'm shoving a handful of M & M's down my throat...
Congratulations, Miss Laura! Keep us updated.

Erin S. said...

I have been waiting to hear your update about your cleanse. Great job. Sounds much more reasonable than a juice fast I did a few years ago. Although it was only a 4-day one. Still. I am inspired--at least to buy the book and mull it over :).


Thanks for an informative and inspirational post . . . until the end. :-)


Valerie@chateaualamode.typepad.com said...

Well you defintely have me thinking. I do like the idea of making more smoothies. I need to eat healtier for sure.

Happy Homemaker UK said...

To answer a few questions:

-CAFFEINE: You can have green tea instead of coffee, if you hanker from something warm in the morning. It does have some caffeine in it, plus antioxidants :)

-LUNCH: was something like chicken/rice/veggies or tuna salad. A real meal.

-DINNER: It was difficult for me to coordinate making my meals with the rest of the family's, so I usually sat at the dinner table with nothing - for either I had already eaten mine or hadn't made it yet. That's just due to my lack of organization :)

Pet said...

I find that healthy food is in general very tasty too: fruits, vegetables, cereals. But after an oreo-and-beer party, oh that must be naughty, I'm not surprised you went back to the "nice" staff :-)

Magali @ The Little White House said...

I think having to eat according to a diet (any kind) turns anyone into a creative cook... There are many things I'm not allowed to eat (there's a flaw in my digestive system...) and after a few years of complaining, I've invented some recipes so that I can keep cooking, something I really enjoy. I hope you'll keep your good habits. The quinoa taboule is a recipe you should share!

Pink Princess said...

Bravo Laura! I've never done a fast because I can't bear to give up coffee and carbs. But you've shared some great tips and I might look into the book too! Thanks for sharing.

Jill said...

Sounds like a good idea, but could I cope without that end of day glass of wine, although I have started on a more healthy eating plan, veg casseroles fresh fruit and yoghurt for breakfast and it does seem to work.
Heres to a healthier you and me!
Jill x

Sarah Gibbs @ Finishing Touch Interiors said...

I need to get my hands on this book with a holiday in october & a bikini to squeeze into this may be essential!!!
I am hosting a give away over on my page pop on over for a visit

Elizabeth Gilmore said...

Oh man, I want to do this cleanse - but like you I find it hard to give up cheese. Maybe reading the book will help motivate me to go through with it.


Privet and Holly said...

I am SO proud of
you for sticking
with this for the
duration, Laura!
I went to a cooking
class, "Cooking Clean"
last week and bought
the book "Clean Start,"
so I'm most definitely
on the same page as
you {except NOT as clean,
you lucky girl}! I also
discovered fresh kale
salad...yum. Post some
recipes, please!
xx Suzanne

Hines-Sight said...

Glad that it went well for you. It really sounds challenging.

Pom Pom said...

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing! Good for you!
Funny about the poo. Makes sense!

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

You certainly make it sound good. Much better for you for sure!