Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Here's the deal

When I visited home over the summer,
my friend looked so healthy, so glowing
and so much smaller (dropped 10 lbs)

I had to ask, 'What's your secret?'

'The Clean cleanse', she replied

'oh...Darn it!...', I thought,
grasping for a different explanation

Knowing an annual detoxification has been part of many cultures,
I was 'on board' with a cleanse as a way to be kind to my body

But about 15 years ago I did a dreadful cleanse
Just vegetable broth with supplements, 
leaving me weak, shaky, grumpy, & just generally horrible
I quit in 5 days with no remorse and a trail of thankful coworkers in my wake

So you can understand why I hesitated to do another cleanse

But the curiousness got the better of me,
put its tendrils in my mind,
so I surrendered and bought the book
Clean by Dr Junger

{ Plus I needed a kick in the pants to start eating healthy after the summer }

Endorsed by Gwenyth Paltrow, Outside Magazine, & other famous ones,
the book contained reasonable, sound advice

Try to eat organically
Eat more fruits, veggies, fish, and nuts
{ Doable }

But then, oh no, no...

Processed sugar

This made my dairy-loving body hide under the sheets
with a pillow over my head
yelling 'Noooo!'
at about the time I was due to pour that glass of wine
at the end of a long day

Let's face it, there is never a good 21 day period to put your culinary life on hold

But like an explorer, I grabbed three suckers friends for this food expedition
And they seem to agree with my assessment of the cleanse too:

What I feared would be almost a month of fun-free food,
actually was a 21 day opportunity to figure out how to eat in a new way
with the help of the delicious recipes in the back of the book,
packed with flavor
{ garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon }

One of the most important things to say
is I was never hungry
or grumpy
( well at times, sure, but not due to the cleanse )

I felt so nutritionally fed,
I rarely craved the foods I was to avoid

It was actually easy-peasy
( a little more complicated when away from home )

Now I confess I did have a few meals of 'vacay'
An oreo-and-beer day with a friend {super naughty}
A pizza and beer day with family 
But let's just call that part of the experiment :)

The way I felt the next day ( bloated, awful )
got me to jump right back on the cleanse

Smoothie for breakfast
Real meal for lunch
Smoothie or soup for dinner
Snack on nuts and berries when hungry

The idea is to have liquid meals for dinner and breakfast
so your body can detoxify while you sleep

So here's a peek of what I've taken from it

  • Water is tasty and quenching with lemon in it
  • Breakfast smoothies are now a morning routine, forever
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect smoothie consistency is avocado
  • Quinoa tabbouleh and lemon marinaded kale are new favs
  • Dates, currents, coconut, flaxseed, almond milk, and miso are new additions to the grocery list

Although my kids were not on the cleanse, 
I sneaked in wheat & dairy alternatives when I could
- coconut milk drizzled in their porridge & rice noodles with tamari sauce-

How do I feel?
A lot lighter and certainly healthier
 We all lost weight ( I lost six lbs ) - that's always happy

Most of all, I learned a heaping handful of new scrumptious recipes
 that gave my body a rest from the things I typically consume
( and we were already eating organically and very 'Whole Foodsy' before the cleanse )

I'm totally hooked
and will continue to eat 'clean'
for breakfast and lunch
( back to solid meal dinners with the family again )

Now let's get all personal here
How do you know if you're the perfect candidate?

Look at your poo, my friends
According to the book, it should be daily, odorless,
and the consistency and color of peanut butter
Gross, I know
And yes, I went there :)

Would I recommend eating 'clean'? Absolutely

P.S. 'Clean' also sells supplements and shakes, which feels gimmicky to me. I would not recommend using these, as one would miss how to make the smoothies and soups, which for me was the most worthwhile part. I followed the book, not the website :)

Note: I received nothing from 'Clean' for this post
- all photos by me -