Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another Cleanse...This Time Smoothies!

She wouldn't even look at me. The shame.

I embarked this morning on the Dr. Oz 3-Day Cleanse with my boyfriend by my side. He recently returned home from a week-long tour of east coast breweries, and he was feeling a little "off". Most likely due to the copious amounts of free beer consumed. We had been thinking about doing a smoothie cleanse for a few months, but we didn't have a good strong blender to work with. Low and behold, my mother had her Vitamix out and waiting to be borrowed when I arrived to Deep Creek on Thursday. I told Tom about our good fortune, and we commenced plans for a detox.

Day one: It is 3 pm and I'm a little bit hungry. I'm also really out of it, but it is my first day back at work after a 5 day vacation, so I'm not attributing it all to the cleanse. Also, I frequently eat green smoothies for breakfast, so the only difference for me today is the lunch shake.

I went home at lunch to meet Tom, and we made both the lunch and the snack smoothie (which I have stored in a thermos in the fridge for 4 pm). I'm going to try to go to the gym straight from work, so I don't have too much time before or after the dinner shake to think about food. I realized about a half hour ago that I forgot to add the celery to the lunch shake...probably why it wasn't as terrible as everyone says it is.

Note: I'm also allowing myself coffee during this cleanse (with soy or coconut milk creamer). We're going to modify the drinks as needed, since raspberries are very expensive right now, and I have some frozen blackberries, frozen blueberries, and fresh black cherries ready to use. I personally don't feel I need a cleanse for weight loss purposes, so it's more about testing my strength and stuffing my mouthhole with the healthiest things possible. At least that's my take on it all.

Day 2: Well yesterday I had the snack smoothie with a spoon, and it seriously tasted and felt like I was eating pancake mix. MMMMmmMMMm. It was the breakfast smoothie again, but it was a completely different color. Strange. Last night we had the dinner smoothie...we only added the amount of cayenne for one smoothie although we were making two at once, and we were glad that we made that decision. It was strangely sweet and then SPICY. In an unsettling way. It took at least an hour to choke it all down, double-fisting a glass of water in the other hand. 

This morning we made the breakfast shake subbing fresh black cherries for one cup of raspberries, and frozen strawberries and blackberries for the other cup (since we're doubling the recipe for the two of us we needed 2 cups of raspberries total). I also added a tiny nub of fresh ginger root, some cinnamon, and a little allspice. It was good this morning. I felt pretty full after about 3/4 of it, and drank the rest in the car on the way to work. It's 9:45 and I'm starting to feel some hunger pains (I usually eat a mid morning snack around 10 so my body is programmed to get hungry now). This morning when we woke up we were both ravenous. 

Note: Neither of us are doing the detox tea or baths. Also, Tom didn't up his water intake extraordinarily yesterday, and so he said he's down two lbs since Monday. Probably due to water loss, but still encouraging for him! Yesterday my parents were over to see my roommates, and they made homemade quiches, melon and ham as an appetizer, as well as these little spinach pastries. I wouldn't eat most of that even if I wasn't doing a cleanse, but it all looked SO GOOD. Needless to say, we weren't very social--we made the dinner smoothie, cleaned up, and took it with us downstairs to finish Gasland and to watch Ted to pass the time until bed. 

This was lunch, done the correct way with celery added. It was the weirdest texture ever. As I typed that (with the smoothie sitting on my desk) a co-worker walking by just stopped in her tracks and stared at it. "That really doesn't look very good". I agreed. 

Good luck with this one, stomach.

Day 3: We caved. I have a work dinner tonight, so we were planning on ending today after breakfast shake, but it didn't work out. The celery in the lunch drink yesterday was just too much. We both felt sick and malnourished (which is obviously ridiculous because it was only one day) and all it took was one suggestion from Tom of stopping this "nonsense" and we were planning a Chipotle dinner. How quickly we crumbled in the face of adversity.

Ah, well, you can't win 'em all. 

In conclusion: I have done juice cleanses before, and found them to be very healthy and helpful, if not for actually resetting your system and eliminating toxins, then for testing your willpower and cutting out caffeine for a few days. I think the main issue with the Dr Oz cleanse, for us, was that we were just so hungry. There weren't enough calories (about 1100 a day) to satiate us while still exercising and working full days. We probably also didn't give it enough time: my hormones to signal hunger were still going off at 10 am when I normally eat a snack, and the plan doesn't allow for food at that time. I'm sure I would have adjusted with a few more days of the schedule, but I just wasn't willing to see it through. I failed.

One last note: I think that if I genuinely believed that I needed to make a dietary change, had written out my reasons for the diet, and used the diet to start a new, more healthful dietary lifestyle, things might have been different. I can see how using a radical switch to make modest changes afterwards seem like a bargain could really work for some, and I'm interested to see if and how my professors will approach the subject of cleansing in relation to clinical recommendations. I just personally didn't feel I needed much tweaking of my diet, save the last few days before the cleanse eating lots of desserts since my family-in-law was in town. I also didn't see any ahem *results* from the smoothie cleanse like I saw from the juice cleanse, which is (weirdly) a motivating factor for me. 

Anywhoo...if you decide to do the cleanse, let me know how it goes! I hope you have more strength and determination than my puny will!

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