Well, it happened, and I survived. We both survived (though Em was borderline…). The cleanse ended.
To be honest, it really wasn’t that bad. I think that after talking about it, we both agreed to that…and we may even have agreed that we were glad we did it.
We ended up being home with the fam as our time expired. So while we weren’t able to eat the barbecued ribs and mashed potatoes that they had for dinner, we did have a bit of ice cream cake at midnight when the cleanse ended. (Despite what we had read about easing back into “regular” food, neither of us have had any problems. *knock wood*)
I ended up losing about 5 pounds (and I was already a couple pounds light when starting). Not too bad considering the fact that I had no solid food for 5 days. The goal is to put on about 12 now that it’s over (that 5 I lost, plus about 7 more – yay late-night pasta!). Em also lost about 5 pounds while on the cleanse, and I think that her plan is to stay near where she ended up.
I did feel like I probably lost a bit of upper body muscle (I just look a little bit skinnier). That’s probably a combination of the cleanse as well as not working out at all during it (not a good idea to do a lot of strenuous exercise while cleansing).
I guess I am now “flushed” and clean from the inside, though honestly it’s not actually anything that feels different to me. Who knows…
What we learned:
Cleansing isn’t so bad. It honestly wasn’t as bad or as hard as either of us thought. I never felt completely empty or terribly hungry as if I were starving. It wasn’t always a “satisfying” full, but I could tell that I had food/nutrients in me.
The flush was alright. As I said before, we both had a little pre-cleanse flush anxiety, but neither of us (that’s right – even Em) minded the flush that bad. It was a bit inconvenient as far as having to wake up earlier in the morning to make sure we had time to do it, but that’s not that bad.
Smoothies are tasty (especially with fruit). Okay, we both basically knew that, but we did come up with some really tasty smoothies. Bananas and strawberries have an extremely strong flavor profile and can help overcome or hide other stuff. (Also, spinach is a good thing to throw into a smoothie to add nutrients and make it healthy without ruining the flavor.)
Vegetable mixes are a bit more of a science. While we did make a couple of good ones, we also had a few that were not so good. Part of it is simply just the idea of drinking the vegetable smoothie/juice mixture. Kind of weird. We did decide that a couple of mixtures we made would make for good soup purees – just blend them and then heat them up a bit.
5 days isn’t that long. Going along with the first thing I listed, we both survived. It was five days, and at times it was inconvenient, but we made it. And now we can say we’ve done it.
Eating is sometimes an activity you do when you’re bored, trying to pass the time, or procrastinate. Again, we kind of knew this, but this cleanse really proved it. When you’re not allowed to snack late at night or throughout the day, you realize that in many of those instances you’re not actually that hungry, you’re just eating. Not a bad idea (for those trying to be healthy or even lose a bit of weight) to drink a couple of glasses of water (maybe spritz a bit of lemon in there) when you think you want a late-night or mid-afternoon snack.
You do need food to concentrate. We both agreed that it was more difficult to focus (especially mid-afternoon and late-night). We were fine to play around on the net or watch a DVD, but to sit down and read or really think was a different story. Your brain really does need fuel to engage.
You appreciate “solid” food much more after you’ve not had it for a few days. We both love our fruits and veggies, but in smoothie form with nothing else for a few days really made that first piece of ice cream cake, that first peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and even that first granola bar a little extra special.
So there you have it, our first (will it be the only!?!) cleanse in the bag. We planned it, we stuck to, and we survived it. Not too shabby.