30 DAY CLEANSING (Hello, Almond Milk)
"Wait, so you can milk almonds," I asked incredulously.
Bless my wonderful friend/ex-coworker, as she patiently said, "yes, I make my own. It's really easy."
I took her explanation as fact and proceeded to inspect the Ball mason jar and bottle that contained the homemade almond milk. I was grateful. It was very generous of her to give me so much, especially since in my silly mind, "milking" those little bitty almonds probably took forever and that she had to use quite an absurd amount of nuts. Mostly I appreciated that she was supportive of a 30-day cleanse I was determined to complete, by not only telling me, but also showing it with her gift of almond milk.
Let me say this - I'm not a cleansing type of person; especially not for weight loss. And although I know that sounds ridiculous since I do have a before and after photo splashed on this particular post, I want to explain why I originally decided to do it.
First, I wanted to support Tara, the fierce woman featured on my last post. She was using some great doTerra products for some of her care and thought I'd see what it was all about by attending one of her information sessions. Second, I suffer from horrible side effects due to a couple of medications I take daily. Everyday without fail, I feel intense nausea around 2-3pm. I wanted to see if there was something in their line that I can use to ease it.
Enter the Cleanse and Restore Kit. I previously just nodded and smiled when friends who completed this cleanse told me how well it worked for them, but this time around something just tugged at me. Why not try it, I thought? During the info session, she mentioned how the cleanse also helped people with digestive issues (me!) and I was in.
The 30-day cleanse consist of three 10-day components that are highlighted in the doTerra blog, which you can peruse after your read this lovely post. I would take different supplements every ten days which include goodies that would support my gastrointestinal health, help with my digestion and assist with detoxing. I would then pair these supplements with clean eating for 30 days.
Ah, two words I never thought I'd take so seriously - clean eating.
Although I smirked at the thought of clean eating, it was a huge reason I signed up for this cleanse. For one, I would not be cleansing in the usual way that many folks imagine it to be: no eating, only liquids, drinking my greens, starving, and so on. I would actually be eating food. Granted, my nourishment was going to be as clean and healthy as Jillian Michaels, but I was game.
Before my cleanse, let me tell you a bit about how I ate and how that was probably a huge reason, besides my medication, that I had digestive issues. I LOVE cheese fries. When I first met them at Island's many years ago, it was love at first bite. I apologize for that bad joke, but it's true. There was a time many moons ago when I would eat cheese fries with ranch for breakfast (yes, breakfast) every day (yep, every day) without fail for months. During work, my coworkers would make fun of me as I poured my sugar and cream with a side of coffee. And besides cheese fries, it wasn't abnormal (for me anyway) to have a pastrami sandwich as my first meal of the day. I think you get my eating pattern. Not surprisingly, my stomach was in pain throughout the day and then nausea from my meds would hit me in the afternoon.
I'm not going to lie, the first few days were rough when it came to what I should gobble up. Clean eating meant gluten and sugar-free for the whole cleanse. I didn't realize how much sugar was in every damn food. I ate so many hard boiled eggs for breakfast during the first week I had to look up what percentage of methane was in flatulence (just for curiosity's sake, of course). It's only 7%, by the way. But even with my egg rich AM diet, I immediately felt positive results. By the third day, my afternoon vertigo subsided, as did my tummy pain. I knew I had to continue.
I eventually got the hang of it and started to cook different types of foods. I ate veggies and fruits daily for the first time in a long while. My body thanked me for it. The supplements were not bad either. The detoxifying pills were my favorite because I imagined that they were literally grabbing all the old cheese bits left inside my body that had been squatting there, rent free, for years. Of course, I give much credit to all the greens I consumed for helping with healthy digestion, too. I know at the end of the day that healthy foods, on their own, can heal our bodies.
I ended my cleanse last October. On the 31st day, I freaked out because I had no idea what to eat, even though I had been eating healthy foods for a month. Do I go back to daily pastrami sandwiches and/or cheese fries? Thankfully, after I finished, a lot of foods started to taste different to me. I couldn't put the regular amount of sugar in my coffee as I did before because it was too sweet. A lot of foods were just too sweet, period. I also ate less; not on purpose, but because I just felt full faster. And although not part of the original reasoning for me to start the cleanse, I did lose weight (which I had been "planning" to do anyway...I just didn't know when). I lost 20 pounds during the cleanse and 20 more pounds since.
I did not do any regular fitness activities during my cleanse (or the past few years for that matter), so that's what I'm going to focus on now. I'll also work on continuing to at least follow a 75/25 eating plan (75% clean + 25% cheese fries, palabok and al pastor burritos).
If you're interested in trying the cleanse, then by all means, read up on it here and decide for yourself. Do your research and talk to a doctor, nutritionist or health coach. If your main goal is to lose weight, this might help, or it might not. There are so many different ways to get to a healthier you.
I also want you to take a look at my before and after picture again. I want you to look at my smile on both pictures. Yes, I was next to one of my beloved Lakers icon in that before photo, so of course I'm grinning like a cheshire cat, but that's besides the point. I was happy before I lost weight and I'm happy now. My smile never changed.
I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but true joy does come from the inside. No amount of weight loss can help you gain happiness.