I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. Andrew and I officially finished our cleanse Saturday night! While you guys were out having romantic candle-lit dinners, we were drinking smoothies in our pajamas and watching Obvious Child (good movie).
We hit the gym Sunday morning, and each spent the rest of the day working on various projects. Andrew is almost done building his nephew’s toy chest. It’s always exciting when the branding iron comes out.
We had so much fun dreaming up our first post-cleanse meal. We knew we wanted pizza, so we made a reservation for Sunday night at South End, a pizza/wine bar that I’m sure I’ve mentioned before. As soon as we sat down, our waitress approached and asked us if we were red or white wine drinkers. We said white, and she proceeded to bring out three bottles for us to try. This exact same thing happened last time we at at South End. Great way to start a meal.
Monday was low-key, and a dramatic departure from our cleanse diet. We had french toast for breakfast, leftover pizza for dinner, and more than a couple homemade cookies.
The desire to bake something sweet had been building all week, and it was manifested in a batch of these classic chocolate chip cookies.
So about that cleanse…
We made it! Seven days of no bread, cheese, chocolate or wine. Did I mention that we made it? Because we did. We made it.
It all started with Andrew and I looking for a way to detox after the treat-filled holidays and a boozy January. We committed to daily meals consisting of a smoothie for breakfast, clean whole foods for lunch, and a second smoothie for dinner. All forms of sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine and alcohol were prohibited. Strict… but doable.
Rather than launch into a full word salad of how it went, I’m going to use a Q&A format to address some questions that have come up over the past week. I’ll share Andrew’s answers as well, because naturally our experiences were somewhat different.
If you have any additional questions, for Andrew or I, please leave them in the comments below, and we’d be happy to address them.
Q: What cravings did you have? And what foods did you miss the most?
Amy – Cravings, for me, weren’t terrible, but I did miss the morning ritual of coffee. I also missed cheese as an accent in some of the dishes that we had for lunch. And Friday night, I was willing to quit the cleanse for a glass of wine… but it was really nice waking up Saturday morning actually excited about going to the gym.
Andrew – I definitely had sugar cravings. I also missed bread in general, like with pizza or just having a sandwich. I realized that bread is a big part of my daily life.
Q: What was the hardest thing about the cleanse for you?
Amy – Almost everyday after lunch, around 3 or 4, my brain started to think about snacks, whether I was hungry or not! A couple of the days, I gave in and had some almonds or an apple with almond butter, and ended up feeling too full after. The days that I ignored or was too busy to pay attention to the snack cravings, I ended up feeling completely fine an hour later.
I also had some trouble remembering I was on a cleanse. I almost stopped at Starbucks one of the days, and when a neighbor invited me over for a glass of wine, I almost goofed again. Her 2 year-old actually did trick me into taking a bite of her multi-grain cracker. I realized mid-chew that I had broken the rules, but it was too late. The damage was done.
Andrew – Avoiding all of the Tagalongs at work was the hardest part for me. The week before, there were a bunch of girl scout cookies around the office, but at least no Tagalongs. The week of the cleanse, Tagalongs were everywhere.
Q: Are there any cleanse habits you plan to continue?
Amy – I’ll definitely try to keep sugar to a minimum, but zero sugar isn’t realistic. We both liked how quick and easy the dinner smoothies were; we felt like we had so much more night to enjoy. On nights when we hit the gym after work, we may schedule smoothies for dinner.
Andrew – I’d like to keep the after-dinner tea tradition going. And I may try adding some almond butter to my morning smoothies from now on, to see if I can make it to lunch without a mid-morning snack.
Q: Would you do the Magic Cleanse again?
Amy – Yes, I would. I think it would be good to do leading up to a big event or trip (or wedding). By the end of the week, I really did feel great. I kept commenting on how weird it was at the end of the day to feel full but like I could still go be active. And it was also nice to lose a few pounds (Andrew and I both did), though that had never been a goal throughout the cleanse.
Andrew – Yes… I’d be willing to do it again to reset after a vacation or road trip or something where we had been eating out a lot.
Q: What would you change/do differently next time?
Amy – I’m not naturally hungry right when I wake up, and drinking a smoothie right away just made me hungry for lunch earlier than I would have been otherwise. Next time, I would add a glass of warm lemon water to my morning routine, and wait to have the breakfast smoothie until I was hungry for it. Shifting the meal schedule a little later would also help shorten the otherwise 6 hour gap between lunch and dinner.
Andrew – I’d choose more salads for lunch with added protein, rather than reheating leftovers. And I’d want to make sure we put enough almond butter in the smoothies to make them really filling.
. . . . . .
Overall, Andrew and I had a really positive cleanse experience. We both agreed that the cleanse itself wasn’t hugely different from the way we eat normally; we were just having our biggest meals for lunch rather than dinner and taking a couple extra supplements.
The toxic foods we avoided (sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol) are all things we try to limit anyway, but are hard to eliminate 100%. During the cleanse, it was interesting to feel the difference between minimal sugar and zero sugar, minimal dairy and zero dairy, etc. It was an experiment and a learning experience, and ultimately, a success.
Thursday, I’ll be posting our full meal plan from the cleanse week, as well as some modification suggestions, based on what we learned this time around, for anyone interested in trying out the Magic Cleanse in the future.
Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for reading 🙂
Question: Have you ever done a cleanse? If so, was it a positive experience? Would you do it again?