First a little background of how I've been eating lately. My youngest daughter is 10 months old now, and being so incredibly busy working two jobs while parenting four children, my eating habits have certainly gone down the drain over the past year. Most of the time I eat whatever is the easiest thing to grab. So for breakfast I'll usually eat the sugary cereals my children enjoy. For lunch I often grab some form of bread and cheese since it's easy and quick to grab and eat while I continue working. In the late afternoon and early evening I usually eat healthier foods because I cook them for my family and for one of my jobs (an after school day care with a hot meal). But I am often exhausted from nursing my daughter through the day and night. Yes, she still nurses a lot, even though she also loves to eat. The regular stresses of life also often overwhelm me, such as financial pressure, and constantly keeping up with the laundry and mess of the house. So as a result of the stress I find myself often overeating in the evenings and then eating a treat after the kids go to bed. Can any of you relate to this? I'm guessing I'm not alone in my habits of emotional eating.
So, to sort of "reset my button", I did a 3-day cleanse early this week. It's a cleanse that is recommended to do over a weekend, but for me the best schedule was Sunday through Tuesday. I really do feel like the cleanse has helped me a lot.
• I am not craving junk.
• I feel more connected to my body and able to follow its hunger cues.
• I am actually craving freshly made juices, which were part of the cleanse, and fruits and vegetables in general.
• I also feel much better able to cope with my stresses.
• I have more energy and I feel more well rested in the morning.
I think that's because my body doesn't have to work so hard to process all the food and junk I may have eaten the night before.
I'm not doing the cleanse anymore, but I have tried to extend some aspects of the cleanse and to keep eating clean and for the rest of the week. I'm loving my green smoothies in the morning once again and I'm also enjoying fresh juices daily. My family is also enjoying all the fun drinks, even when they're green.
I will not go into great detail of the cleanse. But I will give you an overview of it.
The first day is basically a water fast. The fast is ended in the evening with fresh fruits, so it's not the entire day and it's not really considered a fast. The water fast helps you get in touch with what is considered "real hunger". It also greatly improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, making it more effective. The water flushes out sodium and greatly reduces blood pressure. After the water fast fruits and vegetables taste amazingly delicious. The fast makes the transition to a low salt and oil-free cleanse much easier.
The second day consists of fresh vegetables juices. Ideally you should have a juicer for this, but buying fresh juice from a juice bar is also an option. The second day is supposed to be the hardest day, but for me it was the easiest. The juices tasted amazing and felt sustaining.
The third day includes green smoothies in addition to the juices. That evening the cleanse is concluded with delicious steamed vegetables.
Because of the demanding nature of my life I wasn't able to follow the cleanse to the T. But I do think I did a fairly good job, and I did what I needed to in order to keep up with my life. One of the best parts of the cleanse, which I was not able to do at all, was to get lots of sleep and to lie down or sit as much as possible. It is supposed to be a resting cleanse. Frederic Patenaude, who created the cleanse program, writes about sleep bingeing and the benefits of doing this every once in a while. Another aspect he recommends is a couple of different herbal teas to drink throughout the cleanse. Again, I was not able to do this part either.
I really did appreciate the guidance of the program, even thought I did not follow it to the T. It provided me with a clear schedule, a detailed (simple) shopping list and recipes, as well as what to expect with each day, both emotionally and physically. The guidance really helped me plan ahead for the cleanse. Because of my busy lifestyle, I would not have been able to pull off such a cleanse without the planning and preparing. That being said, it is a very simple cleanse that I think most people can do and benefit from.
If you are interested in the cleanse I'll provide the link to Frederic Patenaude's program through Renegade Health here.
If you have any comments or questions for me feel free to respond below. I'm happy to give you more information about how I tweaked the cleanse to better fit my crazy and demanding lifestyle.
I also bless you to feel connected to your body and your own guidance about what, when, and how to eat.
If you do try the cleanse I would love to hear how it goes for you. Lots of love, Rachel Sacks.