Natalie Wood in Westside Story singing "I feel pretty"

Natalie Wood in Westside Story singing "I Feel Pretty"

I admit that I am doing the Group Cleanse at All Wellness for business purposes. Blogging about interesting things is my job. Nutrition, Pilates, Osteoporosis, Women’s Health are all very interesting topics to me and to All Wellness. But this assignment is having unintended consequences.

I gave up coffee and toast, wine and cheese, the four pillars of a good day, and what happened?? I feel pretty. No kidding.

I looked in the mirror this morning and actually noticed a difference. There is no other way to describe it, I feel pretty. My skin feels tighter on my face, my eyes are sparklier (and that isn’t even a real word). Though I’ve never really cared before, I am starting to believe in Gwyneth Paltro‘s beauty secret: clean food.

Normally I would never do something as popular as the Clean Program. It is endorsed by dozens of celebrities, the book has sold millions of copies, it is popular on television and online. Martha Stewart is a huge advocate: “It really does make you feel better! It really does make you look better!” (Martha’s exclamation marks.) But I’ve always been interested in fasting and cleansing and as I have been too much of a chicken to take it on alone, the Group Cleanse is my big chance.

I’m on Day Five. And well, I feel pretty good, fantastic actually. For the first four days, I did the elimination diet. Day Two and Day Three were complete hell. I had terrible headaches and was exhausted all the time. I talked to a fellow coffee drinker who is doing the Cleanse independently, she had the same terrible headaches on her second and third days. Day Four was like a new beginning. I had no headache and felt great. And today, I feel even better.

Today is my first day of actual cleansing. This means a liquid meal for breakfast and dinner, and a sensible vegan+ (made up of foods in the elimination diets) meal for lunch.

The recommended duration for the Elimination Diet is one week – this is for people who regularly eat processed foods. I am a vegetarian and eat processed foods extremely rarely, so I thought I’d be a good candidate to start the cleanse early. And frankly, I’m excited about it.

To give you and idea of what the meals are like, here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast: Chocolate Shake (it tasted amazingly good)
Coconut Milk
Almond Butter
Ice Cubes
Coconut Flakes
Scoop of Protein Powder (I’m using Garden of Life Raw Meal)
Tablespoon of ground Flax Seed
Cacao Powder

Lunch: Wehani Rice Salad
Wehani Rice (wehani is a sweet, red rice with a terrific, nutty flavor)
Shredded Cabbage
Shredded Carrots
Chopped Apple (organic Empire, my favorite)
Raw Organic Pecans
Cashew Dressing: Cashew Butter, Lemon juice, water, drizzle agave

Dinner: Juice

(I had a lot of apples, so I used them often today)

Snacks: rice cake with cashew butter, raw almonds

Drinks: Yerbe Mate, Inka, Mint Tea, Water

The Clean Program has no caloric restrictions, so the quantities I used corresponded to my hunger level, which I was surprised to notice was not that high. The rule of thumb is that if you are cleansing with the goal of  weight loss, you should monitor your food intake.

Here’s the other important factor in the Clean Program: allow 12 hours after dinner before you break your fast. During the work week, this means dinners are pretty early around here.



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