Wow. Just WOW. When I first started this Cleanse, this blog post felt SO far away. I can’t believe 21 days are over! But we’ve come to the end of the road. *Cue Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”* (Fun Aud Fact #253: My first CD purchase was Boyz II Men’s II Album)
Week 3 was the big push to the end. The Cleanse regimen is no different than where we left off from Week 2. It was just a matter of following through the program and keeping up with the new habits and routine that I’d been doing the previous two weeks. I’ll admit that I was super antsy on the last few days and ready for the end. I may have even uttered the words “I’m so over this Cleanse.” a
couple many times. I just wanted to go back to “normal.” I needed an attitude adjustment.
You know what can instantly change this nerd’s attitude? Numbers. They don’t lie. I always say that you can’t argue data.
The first question that I usually get asked about the Cleanse is “Have you lost a lot of weight?” And my final total weight lost was *drum roll* 10 lbs. I saw numbers on my scale that I haven’t seen in YEARS. That plateau that I had hit for months (despite working out multiple times a week) was overcome and is way behind me now.
I also asked my trainer, Kate, to take measurements body measurements pre- and post-Cleanse. Well, they were technically Day 20 measurements, but I doubt my body would drastically change in another day so I think they’re a reasonable comparison anyways. Here are some results:
- Chest: -2.25″
- Upper arm: -1.0″
- Waist: -0.75″
- Hips: -1.5″
- Thigh: -0.5″
- Belly: -3.5″
Assuming that each thigh and arm lost the same amount, that is a total of 11 inches lost in 21 days! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the numbers Kate was writing down. I’m sure I can tell myself that if I worked out more, had less rice, didn’t add protein on Days 11-21, there would be more pounds and inches lost. But you know what? I’m going to stop that thinking for once and just be proud of the progress I did make! I’m really happy!
So how about things that can’t be measured? How am I feeling? Here are some of the areas where I felt the most differences.
Energy Levels & Sleep Patterns
- Pre-cleanse: It was always really hard for me to get a good night’s sleep, which of course just starts a horrible cycle. Then I’d wake up and still be exhausted, need caffeine to wake me up, get a burst of energy, and then crash a couple of hours later. I used to be sluggish in the middle of the day, especially right after lunch. There used to be times when I worked in an office where I felt like I just wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day. And I always got soooo tired on my commute home, which always made me nervous since I was driving 40 miles each way. So dangerous to be tired and driving on the highway!
- Now: It’s easier to fall asleep and STAY asleep! Less tossing and turning. I woke up with energy and I had plenty of energy throughout the day. I didn’t feel like I was on a roller coaster with ups and downs. I felt great ALL day.
- Pre-cleanse: I consider myself a pretty laid back person for the most part. But I will say that if I am tired or feeling hungry, I can be grumpy just like anyone would expect under those conditions. I’m an emotional person, and during certain times of the month, I will go from crying happy tears for some stranger winning $100,000 on a game show (seriously, it’s happened) to bawling over the silliest thing like not being able to find my keys (also happened) in no time.
- Now: While on the cleanse, I felt less hormonal as if the hormones had come to a happy healthy balance. I asked my hubby for his take on this, haha. He said that after Day 5, my moods were great and I was pretty even keeled. (Again, no gun was held to his head. ;))
Focus and Clarity
- Pre-Cleanse: I used to always say that I’m a good “multi-tasker” and I think part of that is that my attention span is short and I’m easily distracted. Kind of like that dog in the movie Up – SQUIRREL! So I’m always jumping from one thing to another with no rhyme or reason.
- Now: I felt like I had superhero strength and my super power was laser sharp focus. I felt really productive after Day 5 and I could for once sit down, concentrate, and methodically get through my to-do list by finishing one task at a time. It was so good to not feel frantic and disorganized. Makes for a less stressful day that’s for sure!
- Pre-Cleanse: I’ve always had some physical effects that I assumed were due to diet, but just lived with as if they were normal. I would get headaches every few days that were just unbearable. I often had itchy skin. My nose was constantly stuffy and my sinuses often hurt – I would always attribute that to seasonal allergies which just happen to be around EVERY season. I also had occasional bloating and abdominal discomfort.
- Now: Other than the one wicked headache on Day 3, I haven’t had a headache or needed to pop the Ibuprofen for the duration of the Cleanse. My skin was less itchy. The stuffiness and post nasal drip were significantly reduced. There was practically no bloating and I had no problems with abdominal pain at all.
- Pre-Cleanse: Often “too busy” to plan or think through my diet choices. Healthy eating was not a priority. Didn’t understand why I made the choices I did.
- Now: I really think that not only was my body cleansed, but so was my mind. I really got the opportunity to examine some of the reasons why I was driven to overeat or emotionally eat (stress, anxiety, etc). These past three weeks let me take a step back, assess my behaviors, and really focus on changing them. Every food decision I made was deliberate and thought out. I was able to practice what I learned from my WF “Dream Team” about being mindful. It’s been a good mantra for my life. I even wear it on a bracelet so I remember it daily. It was something I always knew, but was inconsistent in practicing. Now I feel like I’m actually really living it wholeheartedly.
Be Mindful. Tree of Life symbolizing wisdom, protection, beauty, abundance, and strength.
So after seeing the before and afters of these aspects, it’s really hard for me to say that I want to go back to “normal”. Do I want to go back to being unfocused, moody, tired, having headaches, sniffly, and acting mindlessly? Nope! I do plan on keeping a lot of the habits and lifestyle from this point going forward. I will allow myself to enjoy some of the non-Cleanse foods in moderation from time to time, but primarily continue what I’ve learned. I think it’s time for a new “normal”.
Thanks so much to everyone for following along on this blog series! It was so nice to receive the encouragement from those of you who have come into the center saying that you’ve enjoyed reading this. I wouldn’t have made it through the 3 weeks wihtout it. I also hope in doing this that I would be able to help other women in some way – whether it encouraged you to come in to Wholistic Fitness to meet with a practitioner, made you more mindful of your own behaviors, maybe even encouraged you to try the Cleanse on your own, provided you with a new dinner recipe, or at least gave you a laugh with my silly jokes. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read.
Until the next blogventure,
Here are a couple of recipes I tried on Week 3!
No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili
Servings: 5 • Serving Size: 1 cup • Calories: 235 • Fat: 8 g • Carb: 14 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 23 g • Sugar: 4 g • Cholesterol: 81 mg • Sodium: 578 mg (without salt)
20 oz 93% lean ground turkey
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10 oz can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
8 oz can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
fresh cilantro, for garnish
In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and cumin. When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve.
We usually make a turkey chili recipe that includes beans, but we didn’t miss those at all in this recipe. The addition of sweet potatoes was very nice as well! This was a perfect meal for a cold, snowy, winter night!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup free range chicken broth
2 tsp. arrowroot (corn starch post purification)
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. butter
Preheat broiler. Brush broiler pan with small amount of olive oil. Season both sides of chicken with thyme, pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt. Place chicken on broiler pay about 2-3 inches from the heat for 5 minutes per side (or until 160 degrees at the thickest part). Remove from broiler and keep warm. Heat a large skillet, lightly oiled, over medium heat.
Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and cook for 3 minutes. Place tomatoes on platter with chicken. Combine corn starch and broth in a cup. Stir until dissolved. If on purification, reduce broth to glaze on stovetop. In the same skillet, whisk together the corn starch mixture, lemon peel, and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Cook one minute or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add butter and any juice collected on platter and boil while stirring constantly. Cook until butter is just melted and sauce thickens. Pour over the chicken and serve. 35 minutes preparation time. Makes 4 servings.
This recipe was really simple to make and quite tasty. We’ll definitely be keeping this one in our recipe arsenal to use after the Cleanse is over.
Grilled Steak Fajitas
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 2 fajitas (3 oz meat total + onions, peppers + 2 tortillas) Sodium: 487.6 mg (without adding salt) • Calories: 297.8 • Fat: 13.1 g • Protein: 28.9 g • Carb: 30.4 g • Fiber: 16.1 g • Sugar: 1.7 g
For the Steak
2 lbs flank steak, trimmed of fat
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp cumin (or to taste)
2 scallions, sliced (optional)
salt + fresh pepper to taste
For the Onions and Peppers
3 medium onions, sliced into long strips
3 bell peppers (I used multi-colors), sliced into strips
1 tbsp olive oil
salt + fresh pepper to taste
Season the steak a few hours ahead. Pierce steak with a fork all over to tenderize. Season steak with cumin, garlic, scallions, salt and pepper. Allow steak torest at room tempurature at least 10 minutes before grilling. n a large grill-safe pan such as a clay Chamba or cast iron skillet combine onions, peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. Place on the BBQ and cook on medium-low heat, tossing occasionally until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes. This could also be cooked inside on the stove as well.When the onions and peppers are done, set aside to keep warm on the top rack of your grill; raise the flame of the grill to high flame. Discard scallion and sear steak 4-6 minutes without moving, turn the steak over and cook a few more minutes until rare or medium rare (well done will be too tough). Remove from grill and let it rest a few minutes before cutting.
Cut meat into small cubes and combine with the cooked onions and peppers andserve with tortillas, cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
I love Mexican food so this recipe was a great one for me! I had my serving over brown rice, while my hubby had them in flour tortillas.