Today is Day 3 of my post-cleanse.

I have now reintroduced raw solid fruits and leafy greens, raw solid non-starchy vegetables (e.g. sweet peppers, onions, tomatoes and cucumber), and caffeine.  So far just black tea though.  I’m usually a morning coffee drinker and since I’m still eating just fruit for breakfast the prospect of chasing it with a mug of coffee just isn’t appetizing to me right now.

I’ve also had bits of dairy (milk in my tea, a small bite of cheese) but am going to hold off on reintroducing yogurt for a while.  As noted a couple of posts ago, I’ve have become aware of the fact that yogurt — at least the fat-free most likely laden with chemicals kind I used to eat — doesn’t really contribute to filling me up, so I’m going to try to eat less of it in the future.

Today I get to have cooked food (steamed or boiled vegetables) and easy on the digestive system carbs (maybe a bit of plain brown rice).  If I ate meat I could also have a bit of chicken.  Instead I think I might try eggs.

I am not, not even a little bit, hungry.  I am not, not even a little bit, craving anything.  Not even my usual standbys like granola bars.

And, my stomach feels great.  I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to be bloated or nauseous.  You know the “girls don’t fart” claim we women sometimes like to make?  Well, girls on cleanses really don’t.  🙂

I started this cleanse with two intentions.

First, to transfer the fresh start energy I’ve been rockin’ emotionally and psychologically to my physical self by detoxifying my digestive system.

And second, to re-awaken my body and mind to the world of possibilities offered by healthier eating. 

Not only did I accomplish those objectives, but I also learned a lot both about myself and the cleansing and detoxifying process .  

As regular readers will know, I love lists.  So to close, a listy-list of my lessons learned (it’s a short list, but it’s numbered so it counts).

v’s final thoughts on cleansing  

1) Timing is everything / Everything is connected

I couldn’t have attempted this cleanse any sooner than I did.  I simply had too much going on and was not in a strong enough emotional and psychological space to attempt something requiring this much discipline.  

If you’re going to do a cleanse, try to find a period when you’re not coping with anything else too major (e.g. definitely wait until after your done uprooting your life by leaving your job and moving cities!).  

I recommend this not just because of my belief in the connection between physical, mental, and social well-being (it’s the World Health Organization definition of health, y’all.  Trust), but also because planning meals with this much precision requires you to be kinda flexible with your schedule.    

That said, feeling good on the inside definitely contributes to overall well-being.  So I wouldn’t suggest waiting for some elusive, perfect window.  Just pick a week when you feel your intentions for your cleanse won’t add to an already over-burdened self.   

2) Eating well requires effort, and awareness, but it’s so much more satisfying

This cleanse really helped me to connect with what my body really needs.  Turns out the juice from a handful of spinach, three kale leaves, some cilantro, a lemon, a half a cucumber and two golden delicious apples is not only delicious, but also totally filling and energizing. 

It also helped me to connect with what my body doesn’t need.  No surprise, it doesn’t need (nor does my digestive system necessarily appreciate) several of the foods I was eating previously.  

Foods that don’t really fill me like the non-fat yogurt example from above fit in here, as do foods I eat knowing they have limited nutritional value but I allow myself when I’ve been working out a lot (e.g. during my 10 KM run training), or am coping with a life challenge (e.g. the move).  

For example, I’m not much of a dessert person, but there are a few I find hard to resist when either celebrating or struggling (cookies, especially ginger molasses cookies, and carrot cake are particular weaknesses).  And I don’t drink a lot, but I definitely found myself more inclined to have a glass or three a week in the lead up to my move (some social, but some to relax after a hard day too). 

Noticing how much better I’ve felt over the last almost nine days of my pre-, post- and actual cleanse has not made me want to swear off all of these foods forever, but it has made me want to commit to being more aware of how what I eat makes my body feel.  And to focus on eating foods that give me the energy (and well-functioning digestive system!) needed to live a healthy active life.