My nickname is baby. I tried a cleanse. This is my story. …by Brittany Sheehan
It wasn’t to lose weight, it wasn’t after a particularly bad Ben & Jerry’s binge or all night tequila bender. So why try a cleanse? For me, it was partially to see if it would have any immediate effect on my frequent maladies (insomnia and tension headaches) and partially to see if I could stick with it – could I actually avoid my 2 favorite food groups, pizza and Bud Heavy, for 5 full days? Read on to find out…. (Also, here’s a great article on some other reasons to try a cleanse, if you haven’t yet indulged)
Picking A Cleanse
Have you ever interacted with someone on a juice cleanse? It’s terrifying. No, seriously. Terrifying. I once had to sit through a 2 hour meeting with THREE people who were juicing, and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. Not that I could blame them. Would you be in a good mood if all you’d consumed for 3 days was juice? Inevitably after the 3 days were up, they were back to square one, gorging on gummy worms and M&Ms throughout the work day, but this time with a disturbing level of intensity, presumably to make up for the 3 days of juice.
I decided instead to try a cleanse where I could actually cook and eat healthy, SOLID foods. I wanted this to be an opportunity to positively change my eating habits in a way that I could continue after the 5 days were over. A friend recommended Philosophie, and it was just what I was looking for. I didn’t follow the exact meal planned the booklet suggested, but I stayed within the boundaries of accepted items.
What you have to give up: gluten, dairy, red meat, caffeine, alcohol, anything processed or artificial
What you can eat: mainly fruits, veggies, white fish (max once a day), nuts
What else the full cleanse includes that I did not do: A healing “detox bath”. Sorry but I live in New York City, God only knows what’s living in my drain. It’ll take more than a cleanse to get me to sit in my bathtub and risk my butt being bitten by a turbo mouse/cockroach hybrid.
Day 1: Losing My Cleanse Virginity
The first day was pretty easy. Hands down my favorite part of this cleanse was the smoothies. In fact, I like them so much that I’ve been having them for breakfast almost every morning since I ended the cleanse last week. They were tasty, filling, and wholesome.
Sample smoothie ingredients: frozen mixed berries, coconut milk, agave nectar, honey, cinnamon. Blend & enjoy!
Day 1 High: Discovering how delicious and easy to make the smoothies were
Day 1 Low: Opting out of Wine & Cheese night in Central Park with my friends – I’m not that strong!
Day 2: Successful Soup
On day 2, I tested my mediocre (at best) cooking skills with a soup recipe from the cleanse booklet. I was surprised how well it went! I KNOW it was good, because my boyfriend, Alex, asked for seconds, and thirds. Ok, maybe he ate so much because he was starving (yes, I somehow convinced my boyfriend to go on this cleanse with me) but still….
Sample soup ingredients: whole tomatoes, onion, garlic, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, oregano
Day 2 High: Successfully made my first soup from scratch
Day 2 Low: Spent the better part of the afternoon lustfully making a mental list of all my favorite pizza topping combinations
Day 3: Seltzer to the Rescue
The third day, I hosted a group of friends at my apartment for dinner. I was a little worried about what the reaction would be from these non-cleansers, but the meal was a hit. I made my home run soup for a second night, and tried out some fresh baked cod to go with the salad. (Don’t worry, I gave my gluten-loving friends some bread too). Oh, and while they downed a few bottles of wine, I stuck to my bottled seltzer – 3 or 4…maybe 5 of them? I lost count. I’m officially a seltzerholic.
Day 3 High: A positive reaction from 4 discriminating tasters on my cleanse dinner
Day 3 Low: For an admitted seltzerholic, I sure was looking longingly at that wine…
Day 4: Hunger Strikes
I can’t lie, by day 4, I was starting to feel the pang. The hunger pang, that is. For a body that’s so used to non-stop pasta and bagels, the week of kale-heavy meals was starting to take its toll. While the Philosophie Cleanse allows you to eat as much as you want, there’s only so many sunflower seeds I can down at one time. As an extra twist of the knife, my office threw one of our co-workers a birthday party (complete with Magnolia cupcakes and ice cream cake) that afternoon.
Day 4 High: I’ve made it this far, only 1 day left to go!
Day 4 Low: I’ve begun to worry if I’m becoming a version of the cranky juice cleanse girls I made fun of, as I stand in the corner of the party, defiantly picking at my bowl of raspberries.
Day 5: The Finish Line
By the last day, while I was still feeling pretty hungry, I was also feeling happy. I was proud of myself for sticking to the cleanse without a single slip up. (I can’t say the same for Alex, who succumbed to an order of crab cakes at a client luncheon on the last day). I was an old pro with making my morning smoothies, reaching for my healthy snacks throughout the day, and enjoying my colorful fruit and veggie salads.
Day 5 High: Pride in my ability to see this thing through, with the finish line in sight.
Day 5 Low: Not being able to convince Alex to stick to the cleanse on the last day, despite multiple threat/encouragement emails
I’m glad I did this cleanse. I have a better understanding of what foods I should stick to when I’m trying to be conscious of eating healthy, and I’ve become a better cook. I can’t honestly say that I didn’t really felt any different (aside from hungrier) from the five days of detox, but I did notice that my headaches were less frequent, and I slept a little better. That’s enough to keep me knee deep in smoothies and seltzer for weeks to come!
To find out more about the Philosophie Cleanse, head to their website:
Anyone on here try a cleanse in the past? Thoughts, concerns/general remorse and or life/changing effects?