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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Cleanse: Day 1 of 21

Breakfast Day 1: Marionberry smoothie, Hibiscus tea, Water

I always thought people who did cleanses were a bit crazy.  “Why would you do that to yourself?  Deprive yourself that way?  Isn’t it bad for your body?”

When we  were in a spa in Hawaii (yes, we treated ourselves and it was wonderful!), Matt read a little article in Outside Magazine.  We had been eating incredibly well and healthy on our trip – eating mainly a diet of fish and rice – and we had noticed the changes in our bodies.  We felt better, thinner, with more energy.  Almost clean feeling.

So we bought the book Clean on our new Kindles, and read it during the flight home.

The Elimination Diet

A week later, we were hooked and began the Elimination Diet.  This diet helped us phase out our consumption of sugar (wah), alcohol (ouch), and caffeine (scream!).  It also got us on a diet wholly made of grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and fish.  So no cheese (again, scream!), no dairy (sigh), and no soy (byebye half my protein source).

But guess what?  We felt better.  Ok, we had headaches from caffeine withdrawal – it has been about 20 years since I was without a cup of espresso for more than a day or two! But while still eating a healthy 3 meals a day, both of us felt lighter in our feet.

The Cleanse Day 1

Yesterday morning we began the cleanse.

All I had for breakfast was what you see in the photo up top:  a smoothie made of marionberries, almond milk, cocoa powder, and agave syrup; a cup of hibiscus tea (full of antioxidants), and a glass of water.

Lunch: Grilled salmon, Steamed brown rice, Roasted brussels sprouts

For lunch, I had a heavenly grilled salmon, steamed brown rice, and roasted brussels sprouts (above).

For dinner, another smoothie: blueberries, almond milk, cocoa powder, and agave syrup (below).

Dinner: Blueberry smoothie

Daily Well-Being Meter

I was afraid I wouldn’t have any energy in the morning – I thrive with a lot of protein and caffeine in the morning, and here I’m drinking next to nothing.  But… I felt full of energy!  I walked faster to work!

Compared to the week before, full of caffeine withdrawals, my head was much clearer all day.  Still not quite what I’m like with coffee, but a lot closer.

I was in a really great mood all day.

My pants felt looser already.

However, my skin is so dry, it’s like I’m shedding a layer.  During the Elimination Diet phase, my skin and hair became oily – in a good way, actually, my skin was really nice.  Then it switched overnight to super dry, the day before we began our cleanse.  I’ve never seen my skin like this.  I’m lathering on the moisturizing oil.

Overall feeling: surprised – it wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be!

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