Have you ever heard of organic juice detoxing? Last week, Jonathan and I did a five day juice/fruit/veggie based detox. Some might call it a cleanse. Some might call it crazy. I’m here to say that we survived, and to give you the full scoop on how it went in case you might ever find yourself interested in doing one.
To clear up any assumptions–we did not do this to lose weight. While my tummy could most certainly use some tightening, I’m doing a little workout routine to fight the flab before Hawaii.
Most of you know that Jonathan had a lot of nasty chemicals poured into this body this last year and at the end of treatment we asked his doctor how to help get his body back to proper function. His doctor said that Western medicine does not have an answer to that question. “Eat more mushrooms,” he guessed with a smile.
My friend Natalie has raved about a juice detox she’s done with a midtown Sacramento company called Integrative Wellness. When the holistic wellness center offered a Living Social deal in June, we decided to give it a try. I think both of us felt a little bit uneasy about the idea of a cleanse that required us to put odd powder drinks or vitamins into our body, or that required us to not eat for a week. This detox was different. I’ll explain.
First, Brandy at Integrative Wellness tested Jonathan’s body to make sure he was strong enough to do that detox. I won’t even try to explain the odd tests we watch her perform on the massage table in her office, but at the end of them she confirmed Jonathan’s intolerance for lactose/milk and suggested he has a small gluten sensitivity. She told us that the idea of her five day detox is to cut out all food items that could be causing the body to work improperly. (These items range from meats, gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, and sugar.) Let your body have a break from them, she said, and instead pour in lots of nutrients in the form of fruits and vegetables. By drinking lots of water and exercising, the body will flush out some of the toxins it stored.
Her program seemed basic enough, and lacked some of the extreme measures we were both not willing to try. Neither of us wanted to be chained to a toilet for a week. She promised we wouldn’t be.
The great part about working with Brandy is that she actually makes two juices and smoothie for her clients each day of the detox. We’d show up every morning around 8:00am, pick up the drinks, and set out for our day. She also gave us a booklet with recipes for the week, and suggestions for how to stay full.
Here are some things I learned last week:
- When you’re not eating as much, drinking water become easier and more fulfilling. I definitely need to drink more water.
- Juicing is yummy and refreshing, so much so that I think I’d like one of those fancy pants juicers for Christmas.
- Greens taste good when you spend the time to cook them right. Costco sells a big bag of kale for $3.99- perfect for throwing into smoothies or sauteing with some garlic, olive oil and onions. Beet greens aren’t bad either.
- When you’re not able to snack on normal items like granola bars and string cheese, staying full becomes more challenging. BUT, you’re forced to think creatively about what might fill you up. Detoxing is as good for the body as it is for the mind. Repeat after me: M&Ms are not a good snack choice.
And the biggest surprise? Besides feeling hungrier than I’d have liked, I actually had a TON of energy. I woke up several mornings at 5:30am without my alarm. I went on morning runs and didn’t feel any different than I normally would. And, I had absolutely no gas whatsoever. I really can’t believe I’m talking about gas in such a public venue but it really just has to be noted. I mean, people, think about it. When was the last time you went a week without passing ANY gas? Yeah, probably never unless you’re Sleeping Beauty.
The moral of the detox week is this: I feel like I did something great for my body. I let it have a rest and I challenged my mind to think differently about how I eat. I felt good, and I still do. I can’t tell you if I lost weight (because I never did a before/after weigh-in) nor can I tell you if my body is free of all crappy environmental chemicals. All in all though, I consider last week to be the kick-start of looking at food differently, especially as Jonathan and I attempt to cut a lot of lactose and wheat from our diet.
Have you ever done a detox or cleanse? What did you like about it? If you haven’t done one, what are your thoughts? Weird? Intriguing? I’d love to know what you think!