The Cleanse: Day 8

Well, i am now officially halfway through this program (if you include the elimination diet week). Overall, I definitely am enjoying this challenge and experience, and still recommend it to anyone. However, as anyone who has done something like this before can attest, one of the most difficult components of a cleanse is the ability to stay social.

“Mike, haven’t seen you in a while, want to grab drinks after work and catch up?”
“Mike, I am hosting a Sunday brunch for all our friends, hope you can make it”
“Mike, you guys free for a double-date? Dinner and a movie?”
“Mike, Passover Seder starts at 6pm, see you then.”

The last one is the worst. Symbolic Matzah? Four cups of wine? Mom’s signature pot roast? Doing this over passover sounded easy, but i completely forgot about the seder. (Sorry mom, I know you spent all day cooking, and i promise to eat the leftovers in my freezer as soon as this is done).

It’s not that you can’t be social, it’s just that doing so can get tricky. The Clean Program book talks about keeping your routine and going out as often as you’d like, but instead of fixating on alcohol, to use the time to educate your friends why you are doing a cleanse … a bit hokie, but it worked the first time while I sipped club soda.

Going out to dinner is also not that tough, because most restaurants can accommodate with gluten-free entrees, big salads (no tomatoes of course), and the like. But its tough to miss out on all the other delicious looking menu options and ask the waitress for chicken skewers and a side of sauteed spinach. Editors Note: thank you Butcher Block for not judging.

My coworkers have given great recommendations for future outings, such as the Ecopolitan or Tao Natural Foods in uptown. We are going to try one of those this week for date night, if anyone wants to be courageous and make it double-date night, just let me know!

The Cleanse: Day 4

On Saturday, I shared with you the list of foods that are approved and “clean friendly”. Eating those foods alone would be a significant change in habits and health. But, now let me share with you what goes with that food.

Spoiler alert, it’s a lot.

And, I mean a lot.  In total its about 15 pills, and 4 scoops of various powders. Every. Day. I won’t lie, this is the part that turns most people off, because it just doesn’t seem normal to digest a daily supplement whose claim is that it “contains 60 billion micro-organisms per pill”. The kit that Clean Program sells for $425 contains all these supplements in their own brand/mix. But we were able to identify what the true supplements were and spent about $100 at GNC/Amazon. After just a few days I have learned a couple things. 1) Brown Rice Protein tastes like cr*p. 2) Garlic pills do not sit well. 3) There are a lot of f*cking pills!!

  • EASE – Natural Brand Papaya Enzyme (3 daily)
  • BALANCE – Metagenics Insinase (3 daily)
  • CLEAR 1 – Saccharomyces Boulardii 50 Vegetarian Caps (3 daily on empty stomach)
  • CLEAR 2 – Metagenics CandiBactin BR (2, twice, daily)
  • NOURISH – Jarrow Brown Rice Protein Powder (2 scoops, twice daily)
  • MOVE – Natural Brand Super Fiber with Probiotics (2 scoops, twice daily)
  • ENCOURAGE -Ultra 50 Billion CFUs Probiotic Complex (1 daily)
  • RELIEF – Ultra Mega Green Men’s Whole Food Enhanced Multivitamin (2 daily with food)
  • GARLIC – GNC Odorless Garlic 1000 mg Herbal Supplement (1 daily at night)
  • MILK THISTLE – GNC Milk Thistle Herbal Supplement 200 mg (1 daily)
  • OLIVE OIL – 2 tablespoons (nightly)

So that’s the list. Its scary, definitely questionable, and likely something that will make my skin turn green. But, I will continue to take these every day for the next 17 days, ’cause I do stupid things without question when its part of a personal challenge. I can honestly say I will likely take some of the eating and nutrition habits with me after this cleanse is over, but I highly doubt i’ll keep downing shot glasses of olive oil before bed.

The Cleanse: Day 1

For those of you that don’t know the background story, here are the Cliff’s Notes:

  1. My manager has talked up his experience doing the Clean Cleanse  since my team met him last summer.
  2. About 2 weeks ago two members of my team decided they wanted to give it a try.
  3. They asked me if i was interested and I said no.
  4. They asked me again if i would give it a try, and since I can’t say no to anything when asked twice, I reluctantly agreed.
  5. We went to GNC and spent about $100 each on supplements and I was given the page above as a starting point.
  6. Until Monday, i hadn’t even looked at the book or read what this was even about.

Using the sheet above, we began the “Elimination Diet” on Monday to give us one week of eating only clean-approved foods. This was not only a suggestion of the program, but also a test to see if i was willing to put up with it. All I can say is … wow. By cutting out red meat, dairy, eggs, gluten, starch, sugars, soy, nightshades,etc. … my body feels like a 21 year old kid again. I am full of energy, sleep soundly, wake up refreshed, and i definitely sold. If the rest of this cleanse is horrible, at least I know i’ll be changing some eating habits long-term

Fast forward to today. Now the real test begins.

The actual Clean program calls for a shake at breakfast, a shake at dinner, and a solid lunch from the clean-approved foods every day for 21 days. In addition, there is a plethora of dietary supplements, enzymes, proteins, and probiotics that i will be taking as well (more on that fun next time). Dana and I bought a blender, are headed to Whole Foods to stock up on Coconut Nectar, Millet and Organic Mangos, and the Cleanse is officially on.

My goal is to blog at least every 2-3 days to keep you updated on my progress, but this is also the middle of our project go-live preparation, last-minute wedding planning, and MBA finals … so give me a bit of slack on how much I fit in.

Ready? Set? Clean!