If you’ve been following along on my Instagram stories, you know that for the past 21 days or so, I have been on a cleanse. I’ve had a lot of questions about what this cleanse is, why I’m doing it, etc. So here it is, the answers to all your questions! And stick with me through this, because I have a special limited time discount code for the Clean Program at the end of this post!
First, a little backstory into why I decided to do this now. Or why do it at all?! haha. After the holidays, like most people, I just felt like I had really overdone it and I needed a fresh start. To top it off, I got really sick with some flu-like thing on New Year’s day, which followed with a crazy congested cold of some kind. I’m usually one to enjoy a glass of wine on most any evening and have been avoiding any dietary restrictions the past several years. With the chaos of motherhood, I just felt like self care was at the bottom of my priority list. But after getting so sick, I genuinely had no interest in drinking wine or alcohol of any kind. I just wanted my body to heal and feel better! You know that saying, “sick and tired of being sick and tired”? Yeah, that was me. So I decided to go with my gut, if you will, and started looking into cleanse options.
I considered doing Whole30, as I just keep hearing about it. I think it is just pretty trendy lately. It is not totally different from what I did end up going with, but there are some key differences. One of the big ones for me was that Whole 30 is pretty meat heavy, and since I don’t eat meat regularly, I wanted an option where I didn’t have to depend on meat for protein. Also Whole30 avoids all grains and even protein dense legumes, whereas Clean eliminates only those grains that are known as inflammatory and/or have concerns with production here in the US [such as wheat and corn]. I also considered a juice cleanse, but then quickly came to my senses, haha. I like to eat and I am pretty active, so I need food to sustain my busy days. Nobody likes hangry mom, amiright?!
In my younger years, I tried many diets, including veganism, various calorie restrictions, etc. At some point, I stuck with vegetarianism with some fresh fish [but I’m allergic to shellfish] because it aligned with my personal belief system, as well as my tastebuds. I don’t miss eating meat at all, so that has never felt restricting to me in any way. Also when my daughter was a baby and I was breastfeeding her, I had to eliminate dairy and even soy for a while because she had such a sensitive tummy. So in other words, I know how to avoid certain ingredients!
As I was thinking about all this, I put out a little survey on my Instagram Stories about clease option recommendations from my followers, and my friend Amy of WundaBar Pilates reached out to me and recommended Clean. When I looked into it, I realized it was the very same cleanse I had done almost exactly 5 years ago, after my first baby boy was done breastfeeding. I remembered loving the way I felt after doing it! I was pretty much sold from there.
So what is the Clean program? It’s actually pretty simple. Basically you just avoid most of the major allergens and known inflammatory foods from your diet. Clean recommends a 21-day cleanse [like I did] once a year, and a 7-day version for maintenance every few months, or if you just feel like a shorter cleanse is more manageable for you!
Here’s what you avoid:
- red meat
- processed sugar
- oats + corn
- nightshades [tomatoes, red peppers, eggplants, etc]
So what can you eat?
- whole vegetables and leafy greens
- whole fruits and berries
- wild fish, organic chicken, turkey and wild game
- brown rice + quinoa
- healthy oils like avocado and coconut
- hemp, rice, and nut milks
- nuts + seeds
- vinegar, spices + herbs
Clean also recommends respecting the “12 hour window”, meaning no solid food for 12 hours overnight in order to give you system a break. In order to further aid in ease for your digestive system, you have a shake for breakfast and a shake for dinner. At lunch you just eat according to the Clean diet. Snacking is allowed too! But honestly I was pretty full and satiated from my shakes and meals that I rarely snacked during my cleanse. You could probably get all the ingredients to make your own shakes, but the Clean team makes it easy and you can just order this kit. It’s not cheap, but if you think about it, this is replacing 2 meals a day for 21 days, so basically 42 meals + super clean and healthy supplements included! Plus, think of all the money you’re saving on wine over 3 weeks. 😉
Here’s some of my favorite eats from being on the cleanse. I linked the recipes I got from Clean, and some I just made on my own!
tuna brown rice bowls
salmon quesadillas [omg so good. ate this almost everyday!]
leftovers: baked sweet potatoes, grilled red onions, daiya cheese, + spinach
Ok now for results! I know that’s what everyone cares about the most. First of all, I feel AMAZING.
I’ve been suffering from insomnia of some sort since Diego was born. Part of it is that I mostly work/blog at night. So just generally not getting enough sleep, but also not being able to sleep well when I did. While on the cleanse, I actually wanted to go to bed at a reasonable time every night and I slept so much more soundly.
Secondly, I think I had basically forgotten what it was like not to be bloated. Like, I just assumed that was my new normal state. Now being 1 week post cleanse and testing out foods by slowly reintroducing them, I think I do have a sensitivity to gluten. ugh. But not being bloated feels SO good!
In addition to sleeping better, I find I have so much more energy. Which for me translates into being more patient with situations that used to simply put me over the edge. Hello, basically every minute of motherhood, right?!
Weight loss: maybe like 5 lbs.? Not a ton. Of course I wouldn’t have complained about losing more than that, but I honestly wasn’t doing this for weight loss. The Clean diet doesn’t restrict calories at all, so you can eat until you are full. Which again was one of the reasons I chose it! The Clean team also recommends not doing this specifically for weight loss, as the idea is just to get a better sense of how good your body can feel!
So overall would I recommend this? YES. I do admit, you have to be in the right frame of mind to do it. There will always be weekends where there are fun food + alcohol options staring you in the face. Actually, I did this cleanse over my birthday. Also when we went to my brother in law’s 40th birthday party celebration with a 5 course dinner and wine pairings. No it was NOT easy to stick to the plan, but I did! There’s never a “good time,” ya know? I wanted to do this for me, and it was the right time for me. So if you want to feel better and learn some things about yourself, I say DO THIS CLEANSE. You won’t regret it.
GET $60 OFF YOUR FIRST 21-DAY KIT! Use code PAIGE21 [not case sensitive] at checkout on the Clean website. **This code is activated through March 1, 2018.
If you do try it, I would love to know about it! Write a comment here, send me an email, or shoot me a DM on Instagram! I’d love to hear what you think!
P.S.The Clean Program gifted me my Clean kit after I reached out to them. Because I love this product so much, I wanted to share my honest opinion of it with you guys!