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Cleanse: Day 21 - Celebration

BEFORE – Cleanse Day 1, 9am

AFTER – Cleanse Day 20, 7pm

Before And After

I know it looks a little like those Weight Watchers before and after pictures, with the pictures in different locations (hall vs. kitchen) with different cameras (iPhone vs. 35mm).  But even so, I think you can tell there is a difference.  I just looked at these myself and was kind of shocked!

(Note: I wore no makeup in either shot.)

The Benefits of My Cleanse

As you all have watched over the last 3 weeks, I have some of the many benefits of the Clean cleanse to include:

  1. Sounder sleep
  2. More limber
  3. Weight loss – and more importantly puffiness loss
  4. Softer, glowing skin
  5. Greater energy
  6. No menstrual cramps or PMS
  7. Heightened mood
  8. Greater mental clarity
  9. Increased awareness of mental toxins
  10. The ability to function effectively without caffeine
  11. Clear sinuses for the first time in years
  12. Generally more in tune with my body
  13. Knowing what foods I’m really allergic to (to come – see below)
  14. I’ve found a common link to many of my medical issues
  15. I learned to put my mind over culture in order to give my body what it needs
  16. I’ve learned to love water, and drink it waaaay more often than I used to
  17. I’ve learned a TON about my digestive system, I’ve learned to love and respect my colon!

The Negative Effects of My Cleanse

  1. Funny dreams about Doritos and potatoes
  2. Restricted diet, making it more difficult to socialize at times
  3. Dry skin in the beginning (though it quickly went away after I bought the skin brush)
  4. Hyper sense of smell (it’s both good and bad, depending on where I am!)
  5. My talking about this cleanse with everyone who will listen!

What I Will Change After the Cleanse – Aka, My New Normal

  1. I created a Wellness Plan, and I’ll stick to it – I’m excited to reach those goals!
  2. I’ll be reintroducing the most common food allergens over the coming weeks, so I’ll know for sure how/if I react to any of them.  That list includes wheat, soy, corn, eggs, and dairy.  I’ll be testing a few other things as well, like rye (another gluten-containing grain), tomatoes (because of the bad reaction the other day, as well as some skin sensitivity), and raw cultured cheese (just in case raw is ok for me but pasteurized is not – raw has more enzymes to help you break it down).
  3. Less alcohol consumption.
  4. Little to no caffeine – I’m going to see where this takes me, but if I need caffeine I’ll first be reaching for the green tea.
  5. More raw foodsDr. Junger suggests 51% or more of your diet should be raw, because of those fabulous enzymes that help you digest the food.  Something to strive toward!
  6. Smoothies in the morning. I must admit, I never ever would have pegged me as a morning smoothie drinker, but I really love the way it makes me feel in the morning!
  7. Buy new clothes. I know!  I had no idea that only a few pounds would shift my clothing size so substantially.  But it’s rather ridiculous, so to the (thrift) stores I go!

Day 21 – The Final Day of Our Cleanse

Blueberry smoothie for breakfast.

Carrot, beet and celery juice at the farmer’s market.

Market fresh and fabulous local dinner (see below).

Well Being Meter

Are you kidding?  It has been an absolutely amazing experience.  Of course it wasn’t always easy, but it was jaw-droppingly informative and beneficial.

Our Celebration!

It has been cold, cloudy, and rainy here for many days on end, so we decided to treat ourselves to a mini vacation celebration.  We drove up to Vancouver, BC and spent the day sightseeing in the sun.  (About 2 hours north – the first time we’d driven much at all for some time.)  It was fabulous!

We spent the morning perusing the Farmer’s Market, the early afternoon perusing Chinatown, the late afternoon enjoying the park and the sun, and the evening EATING.  Eating fabulous local, organic food.

It just so happened it was “Dine Out Vancouver” (a part of a whole movement of restaurant weeks around North America – many are listed here).  So we had a three course meal and wine pairing at an astoundingly low price.

I will say I was hungry.  Not famished, not starving, not wasting away, but definitely ready to eat.  I could feel my insides doing lots of stuff, since it didn’t have any digestion to do.  That was a strange thing.

I still resisted the rolls – no wheat yet.  Everything I ordered was gluten free.

I ate an amazing arugula and wild mushroom salad, then local white salmon with potatoes over a fennel/leek salad, a cheese course, and finally pumpkin creme brulee.  And wine.

I know you’re supposed to very gradually reintroduce foods – dairy, sugar, alcohol in particular – but we needed a celebration for the hard work.  (Don’t we deserve it??!)

What Were the Effects?

I didn’t drink one of the wines I had because it made me very flushed – from the oak or sulfites, I’m not sure.  Otherwise, I felt pretty good afterward.  Except for the sugar low on the way home – I fell asleep for an hour!

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23 comments to Cleanse: Day 21 of 21 – Celebration!

  • andrea

    Congratulations! One, you look wonderful and two, now I really want to do a cleanse. I want to feel as good as you describe! I’ll read Clean and see what my options are. Do you think three weeks is key or will a shorter amount of time work? Yesterday I asked my husband if he would do a cleanse. He said something like, “what do I have to do?!” I didn’t want to mention the caffeine, the alcohol, the sugar. Then I said that maybe I’d just do it while he was out of town next and he said, “what, you don’t want me to feel good, too?” So maybe he’ll be on board and we can do this together! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • What a satisfying accomplishment! Congratulations. I’ve been lurking your blog since reading your “no poo” posts (I’ve been poo-free six weeks now & love it). Also, I admire your insights into New Normal and I’m inspired to start cleansing after Valentine’s day (post-chocolate coma).
    I have a question on logistics (maybe I missed this earlier)- have you been packing your lunch the night before? Did you discover any tricks to making those meals/planning easier? Cheers!

    • Leesalu, thanks for coming out of lurkdom! I’m glad you stopped to ask a question.

      We did pack lunches the night before. We had a cooking deal: I was the smoothie maker morning and evening, and Matt was the lunch maker. He cooked 3 days of greens and rice at a time, and just put together the protein the night before. That helped a ton.

      We also found a good source for eating out in a pinch nearby – for those days when you just don’t quite have time. We had teriyaki salmon from a health food store – and asked them to hold the teriyaki sauce, brown rice instead of white, and veggies just greens.

      And we kept canned aduki beans on hand as well – those are easy to throw with the rice and greens and be on your way in a flash.

      Hope that helps!

  • Congratulations,

    I am so happy for you that this has been such a positive experience.

    Just something to watch. If you are at all thinking that the tomatoes might have given you that response earlier it would probably be advisable to be aware of your intake of all the solonace family (capsicum, eggplant, potatoes, tomatillo’s etc) until they have proven not to be an issue.

    Kind Regards

  • Emily Davis via Facebook

    What kinda cleanse? Did u get to eat on it? What did the cleanse consist of? Any fasting?

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing your journey the last 21 days. It has been truly inspirational and I appreciate all your insights on cleansing and all the pros and pitfalls of it.

  • Hi Emily, I’ve cataloged the cleanse daily on the blog – please feel free to click on over and check it out! You might want to start with Day 1 here:

  • So awesome! I did get the dry brush and love it. You have me thinking….

    • Awesome, Deb G – great to hear! Can’t wait to hear if any other changes are sparked. I do think the cleanse has been one of the better things I’ve done for myself in a long time… if you’re considering it.

  • Liz

    I would recommend not giving in to caffeine at all if possible. If you feel that you need caffeine, then your body is telling you it is tired and you need to rest/slow down. Having caffeine gives you an artificial boost that stops you listening to your body.

    • Great point, Liz – I haven’t had a cup yet. Even though I’ve wanted it a few times, I’ve been trying to listen to my body telling me I’m tired – and then nurture it rather than prod it to continue. Great advice!

  • Congrats! It’s been so informative following your journey. Thanks for sharing it, and I’m so glad that you’ve found something that works so well for you.
    Oh, and I’m now hooked on the skin brush! It might just be the thing to save my uber-dry skin!

  • I haven’t done a cleanse, but I started drinking smoothies some mornings instead of having eggs and toast, and even though I eat lunch a lot earlier those mornings I feel fabulous after the smoothie. So strange! Even when I wake up hungry, like today, the smoothie really held me for a while. They’re definitely something everyone should try. (Also, I got an immersion blender for Christmas so they’re just really fun to make. :))

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