Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Pre-Holiday Conscious Cleanse

I did my first Conscious Cleanse in January, right after the holidays. At the time, it was a very last-minute decision. And it was good that I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, or I may have not done it. The idea of giving up a bunch of food and following rules may have seemed too daunting at the beginning of a new quarter when I was very busy at work. I truly didn’t need more on my plate. Ultimately, I decided to do the cleanse because you are actually eating real food with a huge focus on vegetables.
 

The January cleanse was the best thing I have done in a long time as it helped me confirm my intolerance to wheat and eggs and truly changed my life. Prior to the cleanse, I was feeling uncomfortable pretty much after every meal. There were also quite a few times I was experiencing pretty strong pain. Why I didn’t investigate what was going on earlier, I truly don’t know.
One thing that made the cleanse very doable was that I got to eat real, unprocessed, easy-to-prepare, delicious food.


Once the cleanse was over and I got to reintroduce foods to determine if I was sensitive to any of them, I actually didn’t want to reintroduce them because I was feeling better than I had in as long as I could remember. But eventually I did go through the food testing phase and found out I didn’t react well to wheat and eggs. Other foods I had eliminated during the cleanse, like dairy, were fine. It was nice to add a little cheese and yogurt back into my diet.

Second Cleanse
 
When I did my second Conscious Cleanse in June, things were a lot easier than the first time around because I already knew the principles of the cleanse and actually followed most of them. I also didn’t have to give up coffee since I never went back to drinking it after the first cleanse. Giving up coffee had been very tough during the first cleanse. I had been drinking way too much, and I’m glad I got over it as I tend to increase my coffee consumption more and more, especially when things get stressful. It’s best for me to stay away from it, and I’m still amazed how much energy I have without coffee.

While the second cleanse wasn’t as life changing as the first one as I already knew what foods were problematic for me, it was great to clean up my eating some more, and it was wonderful starting the summer feeling my best. I realized that I truly didn’t “need” that piece of chocolate every day around 2 p.m. In addition, I let go of my condiments, something I tend to overdo easily. I also found alternatives to the dairy in my diet and thereby ate more vegetables. I also learned that I could go to parties during the cleanse. I just brought some cleanse-friendly food to share and focused on people instead of food.

During the June cleanse I lost 5 pounds and since have lost another 5 pounds by making little tweaks, based on the Conscious Cleanse, to my diet. While weight loss wasn’t my objective, it’s a nice extra benefit, and I feel truly myself right now.

Hubby also did the June cleanse and ended up really liking it. He didn’t discover any food sensitivities, but he noticed that he feels his best when he eats mainly veggies. He still starts every day with warm lemon water or lemon elixir (water, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper) and a big green smoothie. He even continued this when the kid and I were traveling this summer. It made me feel good that he started the day in a healthy way and that it was so easy for him as he had gotten used to it during the cleanse. In fact, he is looking forward to the next cleanse as he knows that a bit too much chocolate and other treats have snuck back into his diet.

Cleanses Throughout the Year

I think it’s a good idea to clean up your eating once in a while throughout the year. It’s really helpful to take a really good look at what you are putting into your body and to simplify things a bit. I don’t think it’s necessary to always do a formal cleanse, but I do certain things (many of which I learned from doing the Conscious Cleanse) to clean up my eating every few months.

I especially think cleansing before the holidays is an excellent idea. Going into the holidays with reset taste buds and a focus on whole foods and vegetables is just what I need this time of year. But the Conscious Cleanse is about more than just food. During the cleanse, cleansers are encouraged to work on all aspects of their health, from creating more me time to cleaning up their surroundings to feel calmer. The holidays are such a busy time, and I tend to feel overwhelmed. Once I feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to not make the best food choices. This year I’m determined to enjoy the holidays feeling my best.

What makes the Conscious Cleanse so doable for me is that Jo and Jules provide lots of support throughout the process, which I find tremendously helpful and encouraging. There are daily emails, six teleseminars (you can listen to them live and ask questions and they are also recorded), a private Facebook groups with current cleansers, and you are always welcome to send Jo and Jules an email whenever you have a question.  Basically, there are constant reminders and affirmations that you will be successful and that you are not alone. Before I did my first cleanse, I really didn’t think that the support would be a big deal, but it truly made the experience easy and enjoyable.

The next Conscious Cleanse starts on November 2, and registration is now open. There is a $25 early bird discount valid through Friday, October 11, 2013 when you use code EBCC113.

Questions: Do you sometimes “clean up” your eating? If so, what do you do? Have you ever done a formal cleanse? If so, what was your experience? Have you ever thought about doing a cleanse? If so, why, and what are your expectations?

Be well,
Andrea

24 comments:

  1. I am thrilled that this cleanse really is just advocating eating healthfully. :) I say, if it works for you, which is clearly did, continue to do it!

    I actually eat a "cleansing" diet every day of my life. I have not eaten sugar in 11 years and the sweetest thing I can say I have eaten in the last 11 years is butternut squash! How crazy is that? I am actually quite proud, but honestly, I don't crave sweets and my willpower is better than..... Well, no one's willpower compares, ha ha ha ha!

    It really is great for people to give their livers some cleansing herbs and nutrition more regularly than not!

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    1. Yes, the cleanse is really about healthy eating, and that's why I like it so much.

      No sugar in 11 years is amazing! I don't eat a lot of sugar, but I have never thought about giving it up completely. Maybe I should...

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  2. I like the idea of a cleanse, but I know my hubby would never be on board - he is on blood thinners, and Vitamin K is off the table for him - mainly dark, leafy vegetables. I may try your husbands water/lemon/honey/cayenne pepper drink, but I have to ask what the benefit of that is? To get your metabolism going? I am loving how many people we have in the FB group - up to 61 now!

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    1. The lemon elixir is supposed to be cleansing for your organs and also boost your metabolism. My husband also drinks it because he uses local honey in it which is supposed to help with allergies, and it seems it is helping him.

      Awesome job on the FB group!!!

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  3. Sorry to hear about your food allergy problems that have crept up. That can't be any fun. But I'm glad to hear you're managing to enjoy so many other delicious things that are not only good for you but make you feel better, too.

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    1. Yes, I'm very glad that I've finally figured out what's going on and how to feel good.

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  4. I don't feel the need to do a cleanse because I feel that I eat so healthy and clean it's not necessary. If I have too many healthy carbs even though they are whole grain I pull back and eat more veggies and feel more energy right away!

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    1. Eating more veggies and fewer grains always makes me feel better.

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  5. I don't do a cleanse as you know but I just trey to eat well all year round no matter what holiday or event & fit in my treats - makes me happy! :)

    I love that you found what works for you!!!

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    1. Yes, it's all about finding what works for you. :)

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  6. I don't do cleanses but I often analyze what is and is not working for me. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think frequently analyzing your eating and exercise is key. It's so easy to continue doing things that are not working.

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  7. I think a pre holiday cleanse is a great idea. As clean as I think I eat cleanses are always eye opening. Right now I'm trying to up my exercise, I workout 5 days a week but was feeling sort of stuck. Using my fitbit and really working the water. Love cleaning it up.

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    1. Yes, cleanses are eye opening. I, too, think I eat very clean, but there a many "little" things that sneak into my diet. My husband just got a Fitbit about a week ago, and it has already made him walk more! :)

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  8. Yes and yes...pre holiday cleanse is a great idea...I just need to put myself in the mood for it.
    Have a wonderful week Andrea :D

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  9. I'm so glad you've found a eating lifestyle that works for you! Isn't it amazing how good veggies can make you feel? Since putting on a few pounds last year, I've focused more on making veggies the main event for lunches and that's helped tremendously. Even RDs need to step back and look at their own meals once in a while ;)

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  10. Ive been sooo curious about doing a cleanse or perhaps eating RAW ONLY just for a week.
    I feel my body asking for that...

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    1. I ate raw for a week or so a couple summers ago, and it was great. In the fall, I like to have some warm soups, etc. But I'm looking forward to eating raw again some time. It feels great.

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  11. What a perfect time of year for this. I've been thinking about doing something similar. The "holiday" season pretty much starts with Halloween for me and goes until mid-January when my birthday is. LOL

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    1. Yup, the holiday season can be quite long. I'm looking forward to starting it right. :)

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  12. I've actually told a few people about this program, after reading your blog posts. It's really nice to know that there is a "cleanse" that I can trust and that someone I know (or at least, somewhat know, haha) has tried and really loved. I may do it one day.....it's quite tempting. I think for me it would be best to do it after the holiday rather than before. OR perhaps, both?? :)

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    1. I had actually never thought about doing a cleanse before the holidays, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes. I really like the idea of cleaning up my eating even more and resetting my taste buds, and I think for hubby it will be especially beneficial to get off sugar for a while and hopefully therefore not overdo it during the holidays...

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