We all know what happened last time I tried to complete a cleanse.
Let’s just say it was quickly interrupted with a buffet of reuben egg rolls, a vegetable antipasto platter and several beers (photo evidence here). Cleanses and myself…well, we really don’t get along with one another too well. I like to eat. I like to eat well. And I like to eat what I want.
However, I am also a total sucker. Sometimes the promises made by cleanses are just too damn alluring for me to ignore. Brighter skin! Improved mood! Better digestion! Increased energy! Higher libido (hubba, hubba)! More mental alertness! Yes to (d) all of the above – I want to be a glowing, optimistic, flat-abbed, energetic, sexual goddess of the WORLD! Give it to me cleanse!!!!
So I agree to a cleanse, and the reuben egg roll syndrome starts all over again. Wah wah.
However, this time was different.
When Jo and Jules, the creators of The Conscious Cleanse, reached out to me to help them promote their program, I was skeptical at first. Another cleanse? Geez, I don’t know about that. But once I discovered that this is a 100% REAL food cleanse, I (somewhat reluctantly) agreed. Their mission is to help you find your personal best – in mind, body AND spirit – using the power of real foods, and that seemed like a mission I could get on board with. So another cleanse it was!
For about two full weeks, here is what I had to do:
- Eliminate certain foods including chocolate, corn, dairy, eggs, grapefruit + oranges, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers), peanuts, shellfish, soy, squash + sweet potatoes, strawberries, sugar, wheat + gluten products and yeast.
- Eliminate certain beverages including alcohol and caffeine (<- yes, including coffee!).
- Follow food combining rules, which essentially suggested eating vegetables with protein or grains but not protein and grains together. Also, fruit is to be eaten in a smoothie or by itself on an empty stomach.
- Complete daily exercise, which focused on self-care and included activities like decluttering my space, journaling and waking up early to take extra “me” time.
If you are freaked out by that ^^ above list ^^, it’s okay. I was too.
But those two weeks were really eye-opening!
I ate a lot of beans and brown rice. I made more smoothies in those two weeks than I had made in the past year. I bought obnoxious amounts of kale, which made even the hippies at my local co-op give me strange looks. I felt lethargic at time. I felt good at times. I suffered from major headaches as I weaned off coffee. I exercised modestly (mostly yoga). I didn’t follow the food combining rules perfectly + slipped up several days. I happily consumed lots of warm lemon water.
Honestly, I didn’t get the euphoric goddess of the world effects as I had hoped. However, I did notice my bloating go down significantly (like, really significantly) and saw abdominal muscles that I hadn’t seen since most likely elementary school. I prepared all my own food at home, saving me time and money (which would have gone to eating out), and just generally making me feel better.
The best part of the cleanse is that Jo + Jules encourage you to slowly reintroduce foods to gauge your food sensitivities. What I had never taken the time to notice is that my body does fine with gluten, dairy, corn and coffee but does not like sugar or soy. When I reintroduced sugar (via a slice of zucchini bread from a co-worker), my stomach immediately started churning and didn’t stop for eight hours later. The same thing happened after a handful of gummy bears too.
Will I still eat these things? Of course.
But will I be more cognizant of how much and how often I eat these things? Absolutely.
And that for me, is the perfect level of food consciousness.
Conscious Cleanse Kale Salad with Avocado, Cherries and Pecans
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 head lacinato or curly kale
1/3 cup raw pecans, roughly chopped
1/3 cup sugar-free dried cherries (or make them yourself using this method)
1 avocado, diced
Lemon Tahini Dressing
1 heaping T tahini
2 T lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 t dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt + pepper, to taste
Tear kale into bite-sized pieces, removing stem. Place in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over the kale, and mix well. I suggest, if you don’t mind getting messy, tossing and massaging the salad with your hands, ensuring the dressing is well-coated onto each leaf. Add pecans, cherries and avocado, and toss gently.
Makes 1 Everythingtarian-sized serving, 2 generous servings or 4 small appetizer servings
The Conscious Cleanse is offering Everythingtarian readers 20% off using the code RFCC912. The next cleanse starts April 14th, so mark your calendars!
[I received the Conscious Cleanse free of charge to review. All opinions are my own.]