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Final Thoughts: Surprises on the Clean Program

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If you’ve been following my most recent posts, you know that I went on the clean program, a cleanse that allows for snacking and one solid meal at lunch in addition to two smoothie meals. The first time I did the clean program, I was only able to do it for two weeks since I was going away to Puerto Rico. This time, I decided to try it for a full three weeks when I started to see some old skin conditions flare up. By the second week, I felt good. I had lost some unwanted belly fat and my skin definitely cleared up. It also wasn’t difficult for me to follow, because it was fun to experiment with new recipes and smoothies.

 

However, once the third week came, I was over it. Although I was getting more than enough calories, I was bored drinking smoothies all the time, and snacked even when I wasn’t hungry because I wanted something different. I didn’t see any further progress in my body and towards the end I actually started to feel some legit problems with my digestion. I ended up stopping after the 19th day. Yes—I lamed out! But I’m not one to kick myself about my eating choices. I will eat a certain way until it doesn’t feel good anymore. I’m not a fan of self-torture!

 

Would I do the cleanse again? Probably. I most likely wouldn’t do it for three weeks, but I would certainly stick with it until my body disagrees. My skin improved and I gained a deeper understanding of the foods to which my body is sensitive, so I definitely reaped some benefits. For example, once I began to reintroduce certain prohibited foods, I learned that my body is sensitive to oatmeal, grapes, and bananas—so now I know that I should only eat those foods in moderation.

 

However, I would change a few things. First, I would make sure I have enough time to relax. During the third week, I had a 15-page paper due, along with a tax quiz, which made it difficult to get enough sleep and let my body adjust. Second, I would use Natural Calm magnesium powder more often than Swiss Kriss herbal laxatives, as I started to become dependent on Swiss Kriss (Natural Calm, on the other hand, is non habit-forming, and you can increase the dosage as much as you need to). Finally, I would plan ahead in order to make sure I consume a greater variety of smoothies and soups—so as not to become deficient in any nutrients.

 

So there’s my update.  A bit anticlimactic I suppose, since I was hoping for some more drastic changes. But you live and you learn, and I’m more than happy with my results. Hope you can learn from my mistakes!

 

Getting Started on the Clean Program

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In my last post, I mentioned that I was starting the Clean Program, a cleanse developed by Dr. Alejandro Junger. I hope that you are thinking of trying it out, as it’s the only cleanse I have found that works and is doable! I recommend getting the book if you plan on doing it, as my explanation does not do it justice. I’m on my second week now, and I feel my body really getting rid of all the junk. I’m feeling OK though!  I’m certainly feeling some detox symptoms—whiteness on my tongue in the mornings, itchy skin, lots of sneezing—but I know this will make the 3rd and final week so much better—when the body starts repairing itself.

 

Eliminate:

Oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, bananas, strawberries, grapes, corn, creamed vegetables, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes), Dairy, Red meat (other than wild game and lamb), shellfish, and raw meat/fish, All Refined Sugar and Sweeteners (coconut nectar and stevia is OK), caffeine, alcohol, peanuts, soy, gluten, canola oil, and vegetable oil. The idea of the diet is to get rid of highly inflammatory and acidic foods, so that excess mucus in the body will be expelled and your body can heal itself.

 

Rules:

Liquid meals (homemade smoothies/juices/soups of your choice from the list of approved foods) will be for breakfast and dinner, so that your body has the time from your dinner to your lunch of the next day to cleanse.

Allow for twelve hours between your first and last meal. So if you have dinner at 7PM, your breakfast is at 7AM.

Make sure you are POOPING. Otherwise you will poison yourself with your own toxins. Put flax in your smoothies if you are having problems. If you are really having issues, try Natural Calm–a magnesium supplement that aids muscle movement and is non habit-forming.

Drink lots of water. You should have to pee every hour.

 

 

Supplement:

antibacterial: garlic, olive leaf, or oil of oregano to kill the bad stuff

probiotics to rebuild gut flora (I like metagenics or Udos 8)

liver support, such as NAC or milk thistle

 

 

Other:

SLEEP. The cleanse does not work properly if you are not getting enough sleep. Junger recommends to try and get 7 hours a night.

Light exercise is important. If you are going to do heavy exercise, you can have a third smoothie.

 

Tips for Success:

enroll a friend! It keeps you accountable and provides a recipe-sharing buddy. I’ve already gotten two on board. :)

Do a “pre-cleanse” where you eat three meals, but none on the list above.

Get lots of sleep! If it’s late and you’re hungry, just go to sleep. It will help the process and shut down your temptation to eat.

 

Good luck and stay tuned for updates! :)