Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cleansier than thou

I'd meant to report back sooner following my 10 day cleanse for life with Dr Jodi Larry, but I wanted to first digest what I had learned and digested.  

First, a recap. I didn't think I really needed this. I knew all this stuff, being a smarty pants and all. Nonetheless I listened attentively at the pre-cleanse meeting: quinoa instead of wheat. Cacao instead of chocolate. Hemp seeds instead of hemp. Something like that. In with the good, out with the bad. This was gonna be a piece of gluten-free cake. 

But the cleanse got off to a rough start when Jodi taught us about cacao.  Cacao comes from the cacoa bean - the same place we get chocolate from.  It is high in minerals like zinc, iron and magnesium.  You guys, we can eat chocolate on the cleanse - sort of.  It is chocolate-ish.  You can make chocolate-esque things with it and dates.  It is chocolate-like.  And my friend Andy, who cleansed with me, completely ruined it for me by showing me a ridiculously funny Portlandia clip, where a couple uses the word 'cacao' as their... ahem... safe word.  (if you want a giggle and are planning on doing Jodi's cleanse, watch it here.  Warning: may not be suitable for work or for those without a sense of humour.)

The worst part was that I couldn't keep a straight face whenever Jodi said 'cacao'.  And she said it A LOT.

My immaturity aside (it was Andy's fault), the first three days of the cleanse really were challenging. I can't say it was hunger, because truthfully I never stopped eating. In the few moments I wasn't stuffing my face with carrot sticks or rice cakes, I was thinking about food or researching ways to make beans exciting. I felt mildly jittery and I was gaining weight. This cleanse was not going well.

But Jodi assured us that come day 4, we would all be glowing and happy and past the misery stage. She reviewed this all on the day 3 meet up which I had to skip because I had long standing dinner plans. Seriously, if you do this cleanse, and I recommend you do, do NOT eat at a restaurant with regular eating people on day 3. While everyone else had cocktails and dove head first into the pad Thai and raved about the fish tacos, I sipped water and picked at my grilled chicken (no sauce) while pretending that my steamed rice was brown. And then dove into a fish taco anyway, but don't judge me; I was starving.  Afterwards, I felt guilty and bloated, my penance for straying.
But! It got easier! Prepping became second nature, sugar cravings lessened and along with them, my endless appetite and ravenous hunger. The scale stabilized and then crept down a touch. Not a lot! But a touch. A "hey these pants fit me better" touch. I was pleased.

Now. I will admit that I had no intention of adopting a puritanical lifestyle post-cleanse. I had every intention of re-entering normal society with a large Americano or a glass bottle of Chardonnay. But a funny thing happened on the way home from the cleanse. When the cleanse was over, I kept... cleansing. It seemed wrong to eat a bagel. I felt so good! It seemed foolish to have a coffee. It seemed like a good idea to have a glass of wine, which I did, but it seemed pointless to eat a chocolate bar, so I didn't.

And it's been that way ever since, a few weeks now. I've been drinking decaf (I can't believe I'm even admitting this), cooking, bringing healthy lunches to work, and generally staying off wheat and sugar. My pants still fit nicer and I generally feel... cleansier?  Clearer.

Cacao to my old ways!

Next cleanse starts Sept 26. Join me as I attempt to cleanse again, no cheating this time.  Register now!