Every year when my husband and I do our annual cleanse, I get asked a ton of questions about it. There are many types of cleanses and detoxes out there and it can be overwhelming. I think a lot of people also associate it with deprivation and sacrifice and assume that they will be miserable. I chose to do the Clean Program years ago (I actually think it might be ten years now!) and I chose it because you CAN eat. I wanted my husband to do it with me, and there is NO way he would be on board with a juice cleanse or The Master Cleanse.
When I originally decided to do it, Clean Program had 2 versions:
Plan A was you drink a smoothie for breakfast, have a large lunch from the list of approved foods and then a smoothie or soup for dinner.
Plan B was that you had a smoothie for breakfast, and your other two meals from the list of foods that you are allowed to have. You can snack as much as you want as long as you are eating and drinking from the list of approved foods being mindful of portion size. It is also suggested to leave a 12 hour window between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the next day to give the organs of digestion a break.
We chose to do Plan B where you could eat the two meals and we continue to do that every year. Clean program doesn’t really even promote this method anymore because they feel that Plan A is a better detox, and it probably is, but this works for us. And to be honest, we usually end up eating a lot of soup for dinner anyway, so we kind of are doing it the way they suggest. There is also a whole list of supplements that are recommended to support the process.
Here is what a typical day looks like on Clean (and sometimes even after Clean)
• Wake up and Tongue Scrape –first thing I do every morning after my meditation
• Brush teeth
• Celery juice
• Exercise /stretch/dance/move somehow, even if it’s just for 20 minutes
• 16 oz of room temperature water with lemon
• Dry brush
• Shower and essential oil applications
• Green smoothie with Amazing Grass powder with frozen berries, chia seeds, collagen peptides, Amla powder, coconut water, aloe vera juice, dragon fruit, an apple, a handful of raw cashews, a few kale or dandelion leaves and a few ice cubes
• Cup of Kukicha tea with stevia – my favorite tea!
• Snack if I need it – raw nuts, lara bars or half of my afternoon smoothie.
• Lunch – salad from the list of foods you can have.
• Snack – Smoothie made with Orgain Organic Plant Protein powder, almond milk, collagen peptides and I vary the fruit depending on my mood, but wild blueberries almost always make the cut
• “Cocktails” made with kombucha – My husband Joe has mastered our “Mocktails” before dinner with coconut water, kombucha, fresh mint, fresh lemon, a few pieces of pineapple or some berries. We kind of wing it each night and the tang from the kombucha satisfied my craving for a glass of wine.
• Dinner – meal or soup from list of foods you can have – We ate a lot more soup for dinner than on previous cleanses. We didn’t feel as hungry this time for some reason. I made a giant pot of soup every Sunday that was perfect for evenings that I worked late.
• Water with lemon throughout the day
• Herbal tea after dinner, Tulsi Rose and Tulsi lavender are favorites, we also really love Golden Milk or Turmeric Tea in the evening
• There is a list of supplements that help the process that we take throughout the day
• Natural Calm before before bed
• Alternating detox Epsom salt baths, and Castor Oil Wraps through out the week
I also scoured through all of my healthy cookbooks before the cleanse even started searching for new recipes made from the foods we are able to eat. I made a giant list of possibilities and we tried some new recipes that were definitely keepers. The key to success I believe is being creative with the list of what you can have. As long as the the meals are tasty, you don’t feel like you are being deprived or you are missing out.
Looking forward to keeping the inspiration for clean eating going. I still have many new recipes to try from the list that I had made.Our goal is to be in the 80/20 range. Clean eating 80% of the time and indulging a bit more on the weekends the other 20% of the time.
I’ve been asked why we do this every year and why January? Often detoxes and cleanses are associated with Spring. We do it after the holidays to reset our systems after all of the overeating and over enjoying the foods that we have to celebrate the holidays. I just can’t say no to a Christmas cookie. Taking all of the inflammatory and toxic things like sugar, alcohol, wheat, etc., out of your system results in not craving them anymore, increased energy and you drop the extra weight and bloating that may have occurred over the holiday season. Plus, our social calendar is light during January so we don’t feel like we are missing out on anything.
I would recommend reading the book Clean, if you are thinking about trying a cleanse. It’s very informative and helps you understand WHY you eliminate certain foods and why you add specific supplements. Clean Program sells kits that contain shake mixes, all of the supplements you would need, but you can also just get everything at Whole Foods, Amazon or where ever you do your shopping. You can also visit the Clean Program website where you can take a peek at the list of what you can eat and what you eliminate for the 21 days. There’s great recipes and all kinds of inspiration on the blog. As I mentioned you can also order products, but it’s not necessary, I find I’m able to find everything I need in the stores or on Amazon and save a great deal of money.
We felt so great after our cleanse this year that we have decided to do a one week cleanse every few months, perhaps as the seasons change just to keep the inspiration going. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes and if my husband will actually try to wiggle out of that commitment!