Final Day of the Cleanse – Thoughts & Reflections

It is the last day of the raw cleanse!  There is a part of me that does not want it to end – and certain aspects won’t.

This whole process has been much more than just about eating raw.  It gave me an opportunity to really listen to my body, take the time to respond to it, and dedicate some time each day to take care of myself. It also tested my willpower and showed me some of the not so pleasant emotions and thoughts that were hiding underneath the surface.  There are  learned lessons and new habits to be kept. But before I get to all that good stuff, here is a quick breakdown of what I had to eat on Day 5.

I had a  carrot, spinach, cucumber juice for breakfast. Since I don’t have a juicer and didn’t want to fuss with the Vitamix and the cheesecloth, I stopped by a juice bar on my way to work. Delicious, but of course lighter than a smoothie. For lunch I had a big salad with hummus, carrots, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes and avocado.

A cup of ginger tea in the afternoon and a whole lot of water throughout the day. As a snack, I had a handful of raw almonds and a kiwi.

Eric and I were  heading to the Bay Area right after work to visit family, so we picked up dinner on the way. We went to the co-op and I had a large garden juice and a raw banana flax bar from go raw. To my surprise, I wasn’t too hungry. I looked around for something substantive but nothing really sparked my interest. The bar was pretty good and together with the juice, I was satisfied.

So there you have it, DAY 5!

Now, a bit more about the cleanse. So I’m sure you want to know the good and bad parts, right? I can honestly say that there were not many things in the negative column. But there are a couple of things to think about if you want to embark on a raw cleanse of your own.

Why it Rocks!

Energy: You would think that I’d be snoozing at my desk, but aside from the first day, I actually had a lot more energy in the afternoons. Before the cleanse, I would often have to have another cup of coffee or caffeinated tea in the afternoon just stay focused and keep my energy levels high. Fast-forward to the cleanse, and as long as I ate a good breakfast, and a good amount of veggies for lunch, I had a consistent flow of energy thought the day. Water helped big time.

Belly feeling good: No belly aches, digestion issues, bloating, etc. I suffered with this a bit before I became vegan, but would still occasionally get aches and pains here and there. For the past 5 days though, I haven’t felt a single digestion related issue. Maybe I’m sensitive to gluten? I think I’ll slowly re-introduce it and see if that’s the case.

No “cooking”: The meals and smoothies come together  really quickly. I don’t think I spent more than 20 minutes from start to finish throughout the entire cleanse. No pans to wash, no hot stove, no oven, and no microwave = more time to spend doing something else. It does take time to chop the veggies, but if you have a food processor, you will rock at this too!

Things to think about

Pocket book: When I went to the co-op  to sock up in the beginning of the week, I spent more than I wanted to. I did have to get a few staple items that drove up the prices, but some of the organic and raw nuts (such as macadamia nuts, cashews, pistachios) can get pricey. With that said, the staples last you a long time, and the price really depends on what you eat. Most of the seasonal organic produce that I normally get anyway, was not bad at all, and the beauty about veggies is that you can always substitute. I got creative in many of the recipes and the meals turned out great. I would not let this stop you!

Plan ahead: To make sure that you are not chewing your pencils, you have to have enough to eat and drink every day. This will most likely not be a problem because the nutritious food will keep you fuller longer and will  help the cravings subside.  If you want to have fun with it and make sure your meals are not  boring (which they absolutely do not have to be), just do a little planning ahead. I looked at the recipes Ashley provided in her Generosity Cleanse, and picked at least one for each day. I made a grocery list and headed out to the store. You can always have leftovers for lunch and have all your smoothie staples on hand.

Now, as far as the whole experience, it was wonderful!

Aside from trying many interesting new recipes, two of the things I especially enjoyed about the Generosity Cleanse were the scheduling suggestions and the ideas for self-care.  Ashley’s cleanse comes complete with daily schedules that are not overly prescriptive but actually very helpful in getting us into a healthy routine.

Some people are not “schedule” people and I get that, but creating a schedule for your routine – when you go to bed and when you may try to eat – can be really important. Ashley talks about this in her cleanse. Our bodies like a routine; the body works hard to maintain a schedule and make sure that everything is on track. When we are all over the map when it comes to eating, sleeping, not drinking water, our body is out whack. That’s when we start seeing our energy levels rise and drop, digestion issues pop up, mood changes, and stress levels rise. This takes a toll on our relationships, our own mental health and our appearance.

My favorite part of the routine was going to bed at 10:00 pm, and doing some type of self-care ritual almost every day. Of course, life happens, and it may not always be feasible to go to bed at 10 pm, but I can make obvious choices in my control to get me there. I also re-affirmed my love for lemon water and exercising in the mornings.

Another really interesting thing about this whole experience, was noticing my “hunger” triggers. To my surprise, I was often not really hungry when I wanted to eat, but stressed or anxious.  I learned to drink some water and really think about why I want to eat, and often, the answer was not “I’m hungry”. It turns out that really nourishing your body this way, also nourishes the mind.

Here are some things that I’m excited to commit to:

  • Eating more raw meals!
  • Drinking more water (all day long)
  • Less caffeine (fewer lattes, and maybe decaf once in a while)
  • Getting to bed earlier
  • Figuring out if I have a gluten sensitivity
  • Lemon water, as always
  • Trying additional self-care Ayurvedic practices and doing them at least a few times a week
  • Less snacking

If you are considering doing some type of cleanse, my advice would be to get some guidance, like I did through Vixi. Not so say that you can’t do it on your own, but it makes it easier on you if you have a framework to follow.

Thumbs up to this experience!

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  1. Posted July 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Maria, congratulations on completing the cleanse! I’m SO glad you enjoyed it overall. I loved reading your posts and am so thankful that you have shared your experience. Wishing you all the best going forward! xo

    • Posted July 7, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Ashley! Great holistic approach and wonderful recipes. LOVED IT!!

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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