The Dreaded Cleanse

The Dreaded Cleanse

So, yeah, I’m doing a cleanse. Before I tell you about that though, I want to say thanks for all the well wishes last week.  The graduation and prom both went off beautifully and even my dashing between East Coast cities was accomplished without a hitch.  It was a proud mama day for sure.

Now, about that cleanse….

For the record, I have never believed in juice cleanses.  I can’t get onboard for anything that doesn’t include food.  I need to chew.  I also need protein and many of the juice cleanses that I have seen don’t include protein.  So I have never considered it an option for me.

The cleanse that I chose is from the recently opened Organic Pharmer in Rye Brook, NY. Organic Pharmer is co-owned by Dr. Susan Blum, the woman who wrote the book that guided me to cure my autoimmune disorder.  If you missed that story, you can read it here.

The Organic Pharmer cleanse that I chose includes both food and protein, so I felt comfortable giving it a try.  You can sign up for one to five days and each day includes a breakfast and mid morning juice, a small lunch salad, a mid afternoon juice, a large dinner salad and a dessert almond drink concoction followed by an aloe shot.  There is a lot of volume and you eat/drink something every two hours.

The cleanse is gluten, soy, dairy, sugar, corn and animal product free.  Everything is 100% organic.  Being on these healthy prepared juices and salads cleans you from the inside out.  By putting only clean, green fuel into your body, the cleanse is designed to make you sleep better, awaken more easily and maintain high energy throughout the day.  The more highly processed your diet, the more resulting energy you will feel from this cleanse.

I should also add that the food and juices are very varied and almost all delicious.  There is an occasional juice that isn’t the best, but they are all palatable and many are outright wonderful.

Why am I doing a cleanse in the first place?  Well, um, (heavy sigh) I have put on some weight.  Ugh.  It’s not a lot pound wise, but being only 5’2” it is enough that many of my summer clothes don’t fit and what does fit is decidedly snug.  It’s not a good feeling.

When I realized that I had gained some weight that wasn’t budging, my internal voice started making excuses.  “You’ll be 45 this year, maybe it’s just natural to put on weight as you age.”  “You’re stressed out about the move.”  “You just aren’t exercising consistently enough.” “Don’t worry, it will come off on it’s own this summer.”

And then I called bullshit on myself.  (I call my clients out, so I need to do it with myself too, right?).  The reason that I have put on weight is because I AM EATING TOO MUCH.  Plain and simple.  I may be making healthy choices, but when I am going back to the nut tin five times or becoming a regular at the Whole Foods olive bar, things are bound to go astray.

I realized all of my portions have gotten too big.  I have tried to reign it in, but with life being busier than normal right now, it hasn’t worked.  So I decided to try something different; thus the cleanse.

I am currently on day two and going strong.  It feels strange to not eat breakfast, but I know it is only short term.  Having something every two hours keeps my blood sugar even and so far I have only had a few hunger pangs.

I am also doing the cleanse with two of my good friends.  It is always helpful to have people to compare notes with and who can understand what you are going through.  The accountability is good too.

Overall I feel great.  I have lots of energy and am not feeling deprived at all.

Honestly, I think that this is the easy part.  For the next few days I will be told what to eat and when.  I am a disciplined gal and feel confident that I will stick to the regimen.  The more challenging and important part is what happens after the official cleanse is over.

As we all know, keeping weight off is often more difficult than losing it.  I am not sure how much weight (if any) I will lose from the cleanse alone, but my plan is to use it as a jumping off point.  Once finished, I will have lessened my food intake, gotten my body used to good, pure food and shrunk my stomach.  When I come off the cleanse I will give myself a very specific plan to follow.  If I go back to the same thing I was eating before, my efforts (and my cash outlay) will have been in vain.

I certainly don’t want that.

So for the days and weeks following this cleanse, I will plan healthy smaller meals.  I will portion out my afternoon snack (or try to live without it altogether).  I will plan my exercise and stick to the regimen as strictly as I am now following the cleanse.  This should allow the extra weight to come off in a steady, healthy way.

The idea is for my smaller portions to become the norm again.  I would like to have one trip to the nut tin, or a few olives as snack and be satisfied.

As is often the case, I am using this forum as a way to keep myself on the straight and narrow.  I know that I will need to check back in to let you know how I’m doing, so that will be one more motivator for me to stick to the plan.  That and the bathing suit I am determined to wear this summer.

If you want to know more about the Organic Pharmer cleanse or want to come up with some strategies for how you too can lose those unwanted pounds, you know I am always here.  Please contact me and we can set up a time to chat.

What have your cleanse experiences been like?  Please comment below.


14 Responses to The Dreaded Cleanse

  1. Patti says:

    I’m interested to read what happens when you come off the cleanse. That’s where I usually boomerang and my cravings skyrocket.

    • says:

      Yes Patti, I agree that is something to be concerned about. Today is my first day off (down four pounds) and I will let you know. I ended up doing the full five days. My friends stopped at three and their “re-entry” has gone really well so far. To be continued….

  2. Angela says:

    Perfect timing for me Lorna, my boys will go away with their father for a week in the summer and i’ve already decided (as this is the fist time in 16 years that I will be home alone!) that I want to do a cleanse. I am looking into a juice fast, simply so I don’t have to cook at all during the week! But you have inspired me to explore other options too. Thank you!

  3. Lois Olson says:

    Hi, Lorna.

    I’m 5’2″ also, so I totally understand what you mean about being over 40 and the summer clothes not fitting. I’m in the same boat.

    I also understand what you mean about wanting to chew and not being on a juice only cleanse. I feel the same way.

    I recently watched “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on Netflix where the host went on a 60-day juice cleanse. That’s intense. What I took away from the documentary was that micronutrients are great for our body and can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans.

    So instead of going with all juices 100% of the time, I’ve increased the green smoothies I drink each week and eating more beans and less meat. I love meat, so that is a challenge. I love coffee too, so that will be another challenge.

    Can’t wait to hear how the cleanse goes for you.

  4. Elizabeth MacLeod says:

    Being a pita personality . . . cleanses are not so great for me. However, that said… I too like to chew!!!! But I do feel better when I clear myself out. Keep away from sugar and stuff that doesn’t feel so good. Like tonight, when I got hungry after a talk being given and indulged in the cookies as I was having a blood sugar low from my kind of cleanse…which is watching what I eat, clearing out the stuff that doesn’t make me feel good… I too am motivated by my snug summer clothing… so not so happy with myself after tonight… So I appreciate the timing of your post. Tomorrow… back into the self care with love…and taking a few more healthy snacks with me for emergencies so I can keep the portions and ‘those cookie moments’ in check !!!! Thanks Lorna….

  5. I, too, struggle with cleansing as a practice. The minute I even think about going “without” my body wants to indulge in the very item(s) I decide to let go of. Fortunately my food life is pretty wholesome so there is very little to “clean.” Glad you had a good experience!

  6. It all sounds so reasonable and logical when you describe it so sweetly! I would love to hear how this goes for you. I’ve not found a cleanse yet that I’m brave enough to give a try.

  7. Susan Seale says:

    I’m also one of those folks who can not do cleanses…my body doesn’t react well. Perhaps because my diet is already so clean on a daily basis. It just ends up feeling not so good for me. I so admire you for taking charge and bringing such loving attention to your own body though! We all know what works for our bods and it’s such a good reminder to do what the body wants!!!

  8. Susie says:

    I can’t wait to meet you at the Organic Pharmer this week so you can show me the ropes 1st hand!

    Then we’ll see about ‘The Dreaded Cleanse’ 😉

  9. Deb Lange says:

    I have done the brett elliott cleanse – and my son and a few friends have done it almost annually. It is really a great way to change eating habits, to remind you to eat healthy. I eat healthy most of the time. Some people say even one day a week, with water, and salads, is good. I think we are so lucky to have so much amazing food within our reach, and yet people eat commercial rubbish that has lots of chemicals and no sustenance! and then we have still have millions starving in the world – a world that is so out of balance???

    I am happy to eat local, seasonal fresh produce – it is they most flavoursome and healthy at the same time!

  10. Dana says:

    I cannot cleanse either, my body goes into revolt. I do drink fresh beet/carrot juice daily and eat very clean 90% of the time..if that counts? because it keeps things in fine form 😉 I practice kindness when the sugar indulgence strikes… I too have revisited portion size, as a nut lover, of(both the human and edible kind). Let us know how it goes Lorna

  11. Michelle says:

    Ah, yes. The dreaded cleanse. Key word: dreaded. I’ve never wanted to do this, but I support you in your pursuit!

    Have you seen the documentary Hungry for Change? I like their idea of flipping a cleanse on its head. Instead of focusing on taking things out, they suggest focusing on all of the nutritious food you are adding in, especially naturally detoxifying veggies like cilantro and parsley. Your body will then naturally want less of the “bad stuff.” This has always worked for me when I make sure to get in my daily (or more) green smoothies and juices. I almost immediately stop craving sugar and processed food. :-)

    Good luck!

  12. april says:

    interesting, lorna – i personally like that your cleanse includes “chewables.” :) i will be curious to hear what you thought of the cleanse and your takeaway health benefits.

  13. Cathy Sykora says:

    I love your attitude when it comes to your cleanse. I also look at cleanses as an opportunity to hit the “reset” button, to reign in those undesirable habits that can crop up slowly and without our awareness. I also like how you found one that fit your needs. Some people adore cleanses where they don’t chew, some don’t, it’s all about finding what is going to work for you.

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