21 days later

i started this year with a pretty intense resolution that i would be committed to from the get-go. call it a cleanse, a detox, or purification, i was ready to jump-start a change in my life, shedding some toxins, habits and hopefully some poundage. i’ve been on a path of dietary change for the past few months and feeling dramatically different, so it made sense to take it one step further. my last appointment was dec. 28 with dr. merritt and it was then i learned what this cleanse was all about. 21 days, baby!

doing anything for 21 days is a bit daunting, especially when it’s under the guise of a cleanse. could i really do this? was i up for the task? i talked to jordan about it and his practical response was, “for $295 you better do it!” i know what you’re thinking.  that’s freaking expensive! but when i comparison-shopped with other programs, it was on the cheap end of things. i was paying for a bevy of cleansing supplements (some 6 bottles!), a massive container of nutrient-dense protein smoothie powder (1-3 per day), and the advice and experience of professionals. here was the plan*:

1.) take all the supplements (for the first week, i took 36 pills a day; i was delighted when this dropped down to 22 the last two weeks). i am so not a pill person, so this was a big deal for me to do.

2.) drink 1-3 smoothies a day. this could have been disaster, but the smoothie powder was delicious and ultra-satisfying. they were like a dessert treat, and consisted of flavors like apple-cinnamon (my and the boys’ fav!) and carob-banana. i typically drank one for breakfast and one after dinner, when i was at my weakest for some snack-goodness. i will continue to order this smoothie powder as we all love it!

3.) eat all the veggies and fruits i wanted, with a heavier proportion of veggies. i could cook the veggies in butter, olive oil or coconut oil. i could also eat up to a cup of lentils or 1/2 cup of brown/wild rice a day. on day 11, i could also start eating chicken, turkey, deep-water fish (salmon, cod, etc.), eggs, beans and nuts.

4.) drink a ton of water and get some form of exercise every day.

5.) no more coffee/caffeine, alcohol, sugar, bread, pasta, cheese, milk, soy, etc!

here’s how it actually shook down:

1.) the first day was probably the worst. it was new years day. i drank too much champagne and ate too much lobster in butter the night before. i felt like crap. i had the headache to end all headaches. i couldn’t take any tylenol or have a cup (or pot) of coffee, or eat some greasy eggs and bacon to make me feel better.

2.) days 2-3 were better, but i was overcome by crazy body aches, mainly focused in my legs and my right hip. this was really interesting, since i’ve had problems with my right hip over the past 10 years, noticing how much tighter and tweaky it is during yoga and exercise. at day 21, my right hip is almost on par with the left – amazing!

3.) days 7-8 were tough in terms of cravings and just being sick of eating fruits, veggies and lentils. man, i wanted just one bite of mac and cheese.

4.) at day 11, i had lost 5 lbs and while i was psyched about this, and the fact that i could expand my protein consumption, i was also a little discouraged i hadn’t lost more.

5.) the last 10 days were the easiest, by far. i was pretty creative with my cooking, making delicious lentil soups and salads, pan-seared fish with coconut, cilantro, lime sauce, roast chicken and root veggies. i didn’t feel deprived in the least and really got a grasp on how to prepare and eat very delicious, satisfying healthy food. at day 16, i think my body overcame a block and i started losing more weight.

6.) at day 21, I DID IT! i did not cheat ONCE. i made homemade pumpkin ice cream for my family without even touching my tongue to the spoon to see how it tasted. i found appropriate things to eat at our favorite restaurants, and even while at a dinner in rural Texas during a work trip. i resisted creamy mac and cheese, pizza, to-die-for cannelloni. don’t get me wrong, there came a point where i was totally obsessed with what i couldn’t eat. but i did not give in! jordan was a huge factor in my success, too. one night i would have poured myself a small glass of wine had he not put his foot down. tough love, baby!

7.) all-in-all, i lost 9 lbs. my clothes fit awesome! i feel really healthy and fit. i feel like i’ve changed some not-so-good habits and have really developed good decision-making skills and willpower when it comes to food. i no longer drink coffee (a habit i really wanted to kick and had tried many times to).

tomorrow, i am no longer on the cleanse. i feel a huge sense of accomplishment, but i also feel like my work is not done. which is probably a good thing. during the process, i had visions of day 22 and bingeing on all the food i couldn’t eat. getting drunk on wine. savoring a few cups of coffee the morning after. now that it’s the last day, i can’t imagine doing that, and undoing all this hard work. don’t get me wrong, jordan and i are going out tomorrow night and i will enjoy a delicious dinner with some foods that were verboten. i might have one drink. but i’m not going nuts. i’m still going to stay in the framework that i’ve built for the past 21-days. because it actually works.

and because i feel that good.

*i did this cleanse with the guidance of a professional, however if you’re interested, you can find the plan on-line and order all the supplements that aid cleansing via amazon. i’m truly impressed by standard process and the quality of their products.

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