I recently did a cleanse, for 7 days. No gluten, dairy, sugar, coffee or alcohol. I lived through the journey on the Dim Sum and Doughnuts social media channels, but I didn’t get into specifics. Below are the answers to every question that came up during my journey:
1. What kind of cleanse is it? Is it a juice cleanse? I didn’t do a juice cleanse. I need food. I did one with shakes for some meals and healthy food for others. I didn’t even like juice. I drank only water, lots of water.
2. What’s left after you take away gluten, dairy, sugar, coffee and alcohol? Nothing. Just kidding. There are food lists, shake and meal recipes that come with a reputable cleanse. I figured out how to make a few things and basically made them over and over. I don’t like (or know how) to cook so I ate a lot of chicken, vegetables, berries and nuts. The shakes I made always had fruit, almond milk and the cleanse powder. Repetitive food choices were easiest for me to manage. For people who enjoy cooking, there are lots of possibilities.
3. Why are you doing a cleanse? I’m a sugar addict. That’s a thing, sugar addiction. For the most part, I’m a functioning sugar addict: I’m usually pretty disciplined about the amount of crap I eat each day, but there are days—too many days—when I am completely out of control. Imagine Charlie Sheen loose at the Playboy mansion. That’s me, but in a bakery.
And that would be fine if too much sugar wasn’t bad for you, but it is.
I have to work out twice as much to offset the amount of sugar I ingest. And I hate working out. Plus, I have two jobs, two kids and no partner right now. I don’t have time to add on another work out. I can’t even fit in the ones I’m supposed to do!
I was starting to feel like crap. It was time to clean house.
4. Did you experience actual “detox” side effects? I wasn’t rocking in the corner swatting at flies that didn’t exist, but I did suffer from headaches the first few days. I also was kind of shaky, and annoyed by everything. (More than usual.)
5. How long do the side effects last? For me, I stopped wanting to punch people around halfway through the journey: “Through the door by Day 4.”
6.Did you lose weight? I actually didn’t do the cleanse to lose weight. I knew this would be a question though so I weighed myself on the day I started, once during the cleanse, and once at the end. I lost 3 pounds. That being said, the only way to maintain any kind of weight loss (I don’t care if it’s 3 pounds or 300) is to maintain healthy eating habits.
7. What didn’t you like about the cleanse? I missed going out socially. For me, hanging with friends usually revolves around food or coffee. On one of the days, I met a girlfriend for coffee and I couldn’t have any. The social aspect was hard for me. I missed meeting people for lunch because I was “detoxing.” I missed my friends.
8. What did you love about the cleanse? I loved not feeling like I had to workout as much. I wasn’t eating as much—and virtually no sugar— so I didn’t feel the pressure to exercise as much. I also loved feeling proud. I was SO proud. I broke an addiction. I WAS CRAP FREE! I wasn’t putting any crap into my body, and anything that was already in there, was coming out.
9. Do you spend a lot of time in the bathroom? For me it was Day 4. Day 4 was when a lot of brown decided to leave town.
10. Is it true you sleep better? Does your skin get brighter? I have heard those things happen, but I didn’t notice a difference for either one. I did wake up every morning feeling good though. That was nice.
11. Did you ever want to quit? Yes. YES. Towards the end, the last 2 days, I wanted OUT at every breakfast, lunch and dinner. I was so over it. I had to tell myself “Finish what you started, girl!” on more than one occasion. (I even said it out loud a few times, in a scolding “mom” voice, to myself.)
12. Did you do it alone? I wanted to do it with one of my friends, but I didn’t know for sure if he was going to do it. I got scared it would be Day 1 and I’d be alone, so I got a detox coach, Nikki. (Real name, she said I could.) She was hard on me, but she was good. I had questions in the beginning so it was nice to have someone to go to for confirmation or encouragement.
And it wasn’t just Nikki! One of the people from the Dim Sum and Doughnuts community unexpectedly jumped on board, so not only did I have a coach, I had a partner too! I absolutely recommend doing any kind of cleanse with someone. It’s an intense experience, and for me, intense experiences are always better when shared. Ain’t no bond like a detox bond!
13. Were there triggers? So many! Triggers SUCK! They’re so hard. It also didn’t help that I am an idiot. I totally forgot that I promised my kid she could get her ears pierced, so the day AFTER I started the cleanse, when I was flat-out detoxing, I was at the mall. THE MALL.
There’s food everywhere at the mall. Fun, yummy smelling food, like cookies! It was horrible. And then, the next day, I had to go to the grocery store. That was hard because I always steal some of the chocolate covered raisins from the bulk food area (don’t tell anyone). Also, I had to get something for a party from the bakery area and no one was there.
There I was, jumping around in front of the counter trying to ignore all the cakes and cupcakes and frosting. It wasn’t fun. Then, as if on cue, someone walking by who knew I was doing the cleanse was all: Hey you!! How’s your cleanse going? And I was all: If someone doesn’t come soon and get me what I need, I’m going to get ALL KINDS OF CRAZY UP IN HERE is how the cleanse is going!!
14. Did you cheat at all? A little bit, yes. I read that you’re not supposed to have any bananas during a Cleanse, but I couldn’t accept that so I asked my coach. She said “No” to the banana but I chose to pretend she didn’t. I needed some banana for the shakes. I tried it without, but I just couldn’t do it, so I put some in my shake every morning. Sorry, Cleanse! I also had six chocolate covered cherries a day—sometimes nine.
15. Did you learn anything? (No one actually asked that, but I’m adding it anyway.) I learned how much I really need to eat each day and I learned I have the power to say “NO,” even when I really want to say “YES.” I learned a craving is when you NEED IT RIGHT NOW, and actual hunger is when you’re open to many foods.
16. What would you do differently? I would plan ahead to stay clear of triggers on Days 1-3. I thought I planned pretty well, but that trip to the mall was a killer. Walking by the cookies and brownies and ice cream at prime snack time, no thanks.
17. Would you do it again? I’m sure I will do it again. The love affair I have with baked goods can get toxic at times, but it’s a love I’m not willing to give up. Dessert makes me happy, I just need to manage my love for it. I now know I have the power to do that. And if (when) I lose my balance again, I know how to clean myself up—but not today. Today there’s leftover cake in my house, and it has buttercream frosting. My favorite.
Thanks for being here! I hope this helps!