4-Week Clean Eating Cleanse
The Mindful Daddie and I decided that we wanted to get back to a healthier lifestyle, but we decided to do it after the holidays so we could indulge in all the delicious food without guilt or restrictions. We want (and need) to get back to healthy eating habits and consistent exercise!
So for 4 weeks we will be doing a “Clean Eating Cleanse.” It is a program that I have put together after reading information from many different sources, as well as from a cleanse I participated in through my yoga studio a few years ago. Here’s the basics:
- No gluten
- No dairy
- No sugar
- No alcohol
- No red meat
- No soy
- No processed foods
- No caffeine (more on this one later…)
We are also trying to eat as much of our food organic as possible. To me, “clean eating” can’t truly be clean if you start with produce that has been treated with pesticides and other chemicals. The chicken, turkey, and eggs that we eat are organic/free range/nitrate-free whenever possible. You can also eat fish on the cleanse, however the Mindful Daddie is not big on seafood so I don’t waste my time cooking it!
After 4 weeks, I feel our bodies will have had a sufficient amount of time to rid themselves of any foods that may cause reactions or irritations (i.e. fatigue, bloating, headaches, trouble sleeping, etc.). We will then decide if we want to reintroduce foods, like gluten and dairy, back into our diet, and if we do we will start with one thing at a time so we can feel how it affects our bodies when we eat it!
Are you wondering what the heck we are eating? The answers are surprisingly delicious (see Recipes)!
We eat avocados, fruit, veggies, green drinks/smoothies, chicken, turkey, salads, eggs, sweet potatoes, tea, wraps, nuts, beans, lentils, hummus, salsa…the list goes on and on!
Our cleanse started on January 7th, and we have already lost about 5 pounds each without even trying! We are not counting calories, or limiting our portions. When we are hungry, we eat and we eat until we are full. I don’t feel deprived or “hangry” (angry because I’m hungry). The research I’ve done, paired with personal experience has made me a believer that “fat does not make you fat”, as long as it’s healthy fats (i.e. avocados, olive oil, coconut oil). We get fat from eating/drinking processed sugars, chemical artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that lurk in so much of our food. Our bodies were not designed to digest these chemicals and compounds! Our bodies were designed to eat fresh, whole, beautiful foods! It’s no wonder our country struggles so much with obesity and chronic diseases…our food supply has become industrial and not agricultural!
In addition to our clean eating, we are drinking a green protein smoothie every morning (check Recipes), which incorporates superfoods and an amazing whey protein powder that comes from grass-fed cows. Yes, I do realize that by including whey protein I am breaking the “No Dairy” rule of the cleanse. I decided the pros of using the powder outweighed the cons, and made the executive decision to add this nutritional boost to our smoothies!
The Mindful Daddie and I are also drinking a vinegar health drink 1-2 times a day. It calls for raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, and water. This drink may seem strange, but it has so many amazing benefits for your body and digestive system. I should also add that it gives me a nice energy boost after I drink it. Check the Recipes page to see how to make it! Here’s a fun little story: my grandma has been suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome for many, many years. She started drinking the vinegar health drink and had NO symptoms of RLS that first night while she slept! She drinks it every evening before bed and continues to be symptom-free. Can you say, miracle drink!?!
Ok…let’s talk about coffee. The cleanse calls for “no caffeine”. I knew this was going to be my biggest challenge right out of the gate. I love my coffee. I love the taste. I love the smell. I love holding the warm, steamy mug. I love the experience of drinking coffee. Not to mention, I’m the mom of an almost 16-month old who still isn’t sleeping through the night. I love the perk that coffee gives me. I wake up looking forward to drinking it. Ok, I think it’s clear how much I love my coffee! I tried to go without it for 24 hours, and the following morning I woke up with a migraine-like headache that made me want t lay in a cool, dark room all day. I’m a mom, so I don’t have that luxury. I also felt really dizzy an nauseous. My headache and sickness got worse as the hours passed, so I decided that I was going to keep my damn coffee!!! I brewed a cup and within an hour I felt completely normal. I am fully aware that I am addicted to caffeine…and I just don’t care. I was planning on going right back on the coffee after the cleanse ended anyway! The Mindful Daddie is going caffeine-free, and he loves coffee almost as much as I do! He toughed it out through those first couple of rough days and started drinking the occasional cup of tea. Go Daddie!
People are discouraged by not being able to have sugar, but it’s super easy to make the switch to healthier sweeteners. PLEASE DO NOT EVER USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS LIKE SPLENDA, SWEET ‘N LOW, ETC. They are completely toxic for your body and likely carcinogens (cancer causing compounds). Here is what we use in place of refined and processed sugars:
- Xylitol (can be used cup-for-cup in any recipe in place of white sugar)
- Organic raw honey
- Dark liquid stevia
- Grade B maple syrup
That’s the cleanse in a nutshell! I will be posting more on sweeteners, quality meats, coffee, apple cider vinegar, and other things mentioned in this post. I’ll also be posting all of the recipes we are using to the Recipes page. Stay tuned!
Comment below with questions, or share your experiences if you decide to take on the 4-Week Clean Eating Cleanse!