Well, if you follow me at all, you’ve seen far too many pictures of smoothies over the last month or so. Many people are asking me how the cleanse turned out for me, if it was worth it, etc, so I thought I would share.
Overall, I’m really happy I did it, have felt some significant changes, and feel empowered over certain food habits that seemed unbreakable. If I had to rate it on a scale of difficulty from 1-10, I would probably give it a 9. I’ve done elimination diets in the past, and this was much harder for multiple reasons.
Let’s start out with all the awesome stuff…
I did Clean Gut because I was looking for a solution to some chronic problems. Having been diagnosed with IBS when I was in high school, and only experiencing that worsen, coupled with frequent headaches, constantly having an upset stomach/nausea, I knew that things were not right in my gut and that I needed an intensive overhaul to correct them.
Having completed the cleanse & the extra week to identify triggers, I have figured out that gluten is a big trigger for me. I very quickly get a bad headache – which I didn’t have at all on the cleanse – and I feel bloated & very moody. When I don’t eat it, I feel great. So I’m glad to finally know which things I need to eliminate! (I know you’re probably reading this and thinking that gluten-sensitivity is a fad, and I have even thought that in the past, but there is validity to how difficult it is for our digestive systems, especially for those who already have problems).
My stomach is rarely upset. Even though I’m eating “normal” foods and not just what I had on the diet, my stomach seems stronger, able to handle them more easily. The only time I’ve really felt sick is when I’ve eaten about 3x as much as I should have. (Or I have gluten, of course.) Previous to the cleanse, I was taking digestive enzymes with each meal because every time I ate a full meal, I didn’t feel good.
I lost almost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. I have found that whenever I cut out carbs & desserts, I drop weight very quickly. I had been struggling with my weight ever since we moved and I got a job where they fed me 2-3x a day, so this was a very welcomed change.
Sugary fruits like bananas are too sweet for me now. I used to have 4-5 bananas a week, and now, I can’t even eat half of one! When I did Whole 30, I heavily relied on sugary fruits and vegetables like bananas & sweet potatoes. Now I can survive without them. Stevia still tastes great to me, and I’m looking forward to continuing to eat a low-sugar diet.
The things I want and crave are totally different now, and I feel I have a new understanding of what my digestive system really needs to thrive. Since the diet, Jeremy and I have added Kefir to our daily diets, and continue to take additional probiotics and eat a lot of vegetables (which wasn’t happening before).
Why it was SO, SO HARD….
For the first 9-10 days out of 21, I felt extremely sick. If you’ve ever experienced an intense detox, you know what I’m talking about. I was just about ready to quit because the extreme fatigue made it difficult for me to function, especially at work. I was moody & short with people, more easily annoyed, and just all-around miserable. I would recommend that anyone who does this diet be able to take some days off, if needed. Your body needs tons of rest.
Most diets ask you to cut some things out. The difficult part about this one, though, was that I not only couldn’t eat what my co-workers were eating, but I didn’t even get to eat a meal in the evenings, just drink a smoothie. Smoothies are great, but they aren’t meals. I found that especially challenging for the first 1-2 weeks. I much preferred Whole 30 where I could come home and make a huge, nourishing meal! (I do believe, though, that Whole 30 didn’t heal my gut at all the way this cleanse did).
Food choices – the choices were pretty limited, especially for what to put in a smoothie. I got pretty bored of having the same smoothie 40+ times in 3 weeks.
I spent a TON of time cooking. Every evening after work, I would cook lunch for the next day. So it went, get home after 7pm, cook, go to bed, repeat. I woke up earlier to make smoothies in the morning. It was a huge time investment and definitely something I couldn’t have continued long-term.
We couldn’t go out to eat really at all during it. That’s pretty hard for someone as social as me – I kept having to decline & re-schedule plans. Of course, afterwards, we made it up for it with visits to Stanley’s and Trattoria Lisina. 🙂
It is pretty cool to know that we can heal our bodies of chronic ailments if we give them what they need. I would recommend Clean Gut to anyone dealing with a chronic problem & heartily recommend the book, which I really enjoyed as it goes into a lot of scientific explanations and was written and developed by a doctor.
Here’s to taking care of ourselves!