This is my first ever cleansing fast, and today is day 12. I have learned so much about myself doing this – I heartily recommend a fast for getting control over your eating and cleaning the toxins out of your body. (Although some people shouldn’t fast – for example those who take Coumadin or blood pressure medication)
I read the book Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself and got further inspired to give it a try when several of my friends reported that they were doing it and were very happy with how they felt and the results they achieved.
To start, the book is not laid out very well – I kept wishing that he’d get to the point of exactly how to do the Clean program. But there’s the rub – he sells the fiber powders and supplements that you need for the cleanse. It isn’t required that you buy their supplements – as you’ll find out if you join (yes, you have to join – but it’s free) the Clean website and check out their forums. Some are doing the web version of Clean (and bought the supplements from them) and some are doing the book version (and bought their own products.)
I’m doing the book version. Here’s what you do:
The diet is an anti-allergic three week diet meant to quiet your system and clean out all its toxins. (I’m only doing two weeks due to an upcoming trip.) Hence it is high fiber (you add a fiber powder to your shakes) and mostly whole food. The main restrictions are no dairy, soy, wheat, corn, oats, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. You keep to a 12 hour overnight fast: if you eat dinner at 7:00 pm, no more food until 7:00 am. Lemon water on rising and before bed.
Breakfast is a fruit shake. I like pineapple, apple, celery, blackberries, flax seed, chia seed and walnuts all mixed in the blender with some herbal tea. I love the Vita-Mix (it and my KitchenAid professional stand mixer were the two non-negotiable items I had to bring when we moved here) because it can grind through nuts and seed with ease. Each shake gets 2 tablespoons of fiber powder, too.
Lunch is a small whole food meal. Those who eat meat might have a small piece of chicken. I usually have a bowl of peruano beans topped with cut up avocado and a bunch of carrot sticks.
Dinner is a vegetable juice or shake. The program doesn’t want you to eat tomatoes, so it is a bit hard to make a V-8 juice clone, but I combine carrots, celery, cucumber, jicama, almonds, cabbage, spinach, etc. with more herbal tea and the fiber powder to make a dinner shake.
You may think that doesn’t sound like much food but I have been completely satisfied and am not ravenous when the next meal comes around. I have been eating between 1,200 and 1,400 calories a day and feel like my nutrition is in the right area. The nutrition info below is from the online tracking program I use at Live Strong. I like their site for tracking my weight and calories… they also have a nice support forum. This is just an example of one day’s food.
I like my protein to be in the 10-20% of calories range, on the day illustrated below my protein intake was 11.18%. (If you are wondering why I am an advocate of eating a lower protein diet, you might want to read The China Study for more information.)
In addition to the fiber, the program wants you to:
- Take a milk thistle supplement – for liver health
- Eat a piece of raw garlic or garlic supplement
- Take 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil before be each night
- Do at least 1/2 hour of light exercise a day
- Exfoliate your skin when showering
I have lost 7 pounds so far – but I just wish I could explain how good I feel and how well I’m sleeping. When I started the program I thought it would be a worthwhile ordeal, and instead it is something I am thoroughly enjoying! How strange is that!
If you are considering doing a cleansing fast, I would highly recommend this one.