I can see the finish line! Our 21 day cleanse finishes up on Tuesday just in time for the holidays. I experienced some interesting things while on this cleanse and I am going to tell it all in this blog. First, we cleansed our diet of all animal products, alcohol, sugar, gluten and caffeine. To be fair, I don’t eat dairy or gluten and I rarely drink, so I was off to a good start. I struggle with a sweet tooth and love everything about coffee. I was the night manager in a coffee shop during seminary and my pours sweat the sweet aroma for years. I admit that giving up animal products was by far the hardest. Animal products were the foundation of my diet resulting from years of researching the best ways to eat to bring about healing autoimmune disease. I feared that if I participated in that aspect of the cleanse that my health would deteriorate back to where I started 10 years ago.
Along with the cleanse, I practiced yoga daily. The wringing out of the organs during twists and the bending of the spine in all directions furthered my progress, so that I cannot say if the cleanse by itself gave me the following results. Also, I did not do the cleanse perfectly. I drank a little too much wine on my husband’s birthday! I tasted a pumpkin cookie to see if they were edible to deliver to a friend…that one bite had icing and chocolate chips! I wanted a “good cheat!” I also had homemade sugar free chocolate from time to time. Here are a list of interesting things that I experienced on my cleanse and a few words from my children:
-I feel fantastic. I have so much energy and desire to live life, but I have also learned to listen to the quieter moments and plan the type of yoga class I would take each day with energy level in mind.
-My skin looks radiant. My face does not look so worn out and my eyes have their sparkle back. My nails are growing healthy and strong which was a huge bonus!
-I did not experience a single episode of pain during the cleanse. The cleanse took place during the changing of the seasons which is typically a terrible time for me. My fear stemmed from knowing my pain cycle as well.
-My thyroid did not “hurt” or feel tight during the cleanse which is a huge improvement. My anxiety levels lowered without the help of additional thyroid medication.
-PG 13: Can I just say that my sex drive is at an all time high! With autoimmune issues, I struggle with energy and low sex drive, but not this month. I am so grateful that I am in a safe and committed relationship with a wonderful husband, father and partner. He is considering the importance of my embracing the cleanse as a lifestyle…except the wine. We need more wine in our life!
-During a vegan dinner, my son said, “I like this dinner, but I really miss meat!” He had eggs for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch and the night before had meat in his dinner. I was not depriving my child! Ha! My son’s challenge was to not have chips for 21 days. One night, he came to me and said that he still loves chips, but that he felt better not eating chips. I got out his baby book and wrote that one down. Yes, he is 13 but I am still his mommy!
-My daughter commented one night that she really felt bad about all the animals we consumed. She thought for a few days about embracing a vegan lifestyle, but loves a big juicy hamburger a little too much. We talked about cutting back on our meat and continuing to include vegan meals in our rotation.
-I did experience significant problems with constipation for the first 10 days. Yes, 10 days! I could not believe that I could not poop even though I was eating all of the fiber! I used a special tea twice during the cleanse to help move along this process.
-I was hoping that I would not crave sweets anymore, but no such luck. I miss almond milk creamer in my alternative coffee drink. I miss coffee. I miss baking and enjoying the fruits of my labor.
-I have eaten more high fat foods like full fat coconut milk, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. I feel like my hormones have balanced out by including these good fats and I lost 5 pounds as a side bonus.
I feared this cleanse, but I did not let my fear stand in the way of experimenting with something new.