I finished my first week of the Clean program. Woo hoo! This program is from the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. The first week is really about eliminating a lot of foods/beverages from your diet that aren’t really good for you. Those foods that are processed, full of sugars, hard to digest, or allergy-prone. The types of things that are on the elimination diet are alcohol, coffee, dairy, soy, wheat, sugar, etc. There is a list of things you can have, and a list of things you can’t have. It wasn’t so hard being sure to eat all the good things. I eat a lot of that stuff already. The hard part was to eliminate the stuff on the bad list.
Many of us are probably like that. We eat a lot of good stuff. We eat fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. We eat lean chicken and fresh fish and nuts. The problem that a lot of us have is that we still eat a lot of processed foods, sugars, red meat, caffeine, and ice cream (my personal weakness). This program is designed to eliminate those from your diet, at least while doing the cleanse. The hope is that you learn new habits and stick with them once the program is over.
The first few days were a bit tough with the caffeine withdrawal headaches. I expected them, but that didn’t make them any easier to bear. And I really missed sugar! I thought it would be bread, because I really love bread, but no, it was sugar. That sweet tooth really wanted to be fed.
But the food was good. There was plenty to eat. I did feel hungry – or I thought I felt hungry, but perhaps it was really just craving certain foods that I was feeling? But it wasn’t unbearable. At any rate, I was very good. I stuck with the diet plan all week. I drank lots of water and drank herbal teas, and ate plenty of fruits and veggies. I tried some new foods out, which was interesting. The first few days I was really tired, but by the end of the week I felt a lot better. I really feel like I have more energy and am feeling less sluggish and less bloated. I even lost 6 pounds. Woo hoo! Bonus!
Now this week the real Clean program starts. Still the same yes and no lists of foods. But now it will be one meal a day with solid foods, at midday, and two liquid meals (smoothies, soups, juices) for breakfast and dinner. No food for at least 12 hours every night, so timing of meals and snacks is very important. There are a lot of recipes included in the book, which seem to be fairly simple and highly nutritious.
The book is not just about diet and the cleanse you are doing. There is a lot of information about the toxins in our environment and workplaces and homes, additives in our food, chemicals in the products that we use regularly (like shampoo and makeup and cleaning products, etc). Dr. Junger explains how a lot of these things affect our health and well-being. There is much that is thought-provoking and hopefully encouraging to help you make changes in your life to be healthier overall. He advocates exercise and meditation, as well as getting enough sleep every night and he also recommends having a creative outlet. The food is just a part of it!
So today I started my smoothies. I had my first green smoothie. Let’s just say it didn’t go according to plan. 🙂 First, the mango wasn’t quite ripe so it didn’t really blend well, so I don’t know how much nutrition I got out of that. Second, I didn’t really get it blended well, so there were chunks of mango and avocado and kale. That didn’t seem to go down well, so I tried to strain the chunks out of it and just leave the liquid, but I spilled a big chunk of it all over the counter and the floor. So my first smoothie wasn’t smooth. 🙂 I’ll do better on the next one.
So now I am off to do the 2nd week of 4 weeks of the Clean program. I still miss some foods (ice cream), but I am content with the food I am eating, and I expect I will be able to complete the entire month. I recommend the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger, it is easy to read and has a lot of great information about toxins and foods and how they affect your health and well-being.
See you next week with the results of Week 2!