After Thanksgiving this year, but before Christmas, I decided to go on a “10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse“. I had actually seen a lot of people on my Facebook feed that had done this particular cleanse, and were so excited about the results. I decided to do some research on it, because I know I needed to do something. I was walking around feeling toxic. Everything was off. My skin was dull and I was battling constant breakouts. I was also requiring coffee to get up, and sometimes needed a second cup to make it throughout the day. I was getting busy and stressed out with life and work, so I started eating fast food or out every single day. Something needed to give, because I knew that it was out of control and the holiday season was going to give me even more access to junk. So I just did it.
What is a Green Smoothie Cleanse
I purchased the “10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse” book by J.J. Smith from Amazon.com. J.J. Smith is a health expert that suffered from mercury poisoning at one point in her life and was bedridden, and used the green smoothie cleanse to flush the mercury from her system. There are two versions of the cleanse: the full cleanse and the modified cleanse. A Green Smoothie is essentially a smoothie made up of greens (kale, spinach, spring mix, etc) and fruit, which generally has a green color when blended. The full cleanse is 3 green smoothies per day; 64 oz of water; fruit and veggies for snack; detox/herbal teas; and something to move your bowels. The modified cleanse allows for 2 Green Smoothies and a clean meal (protein and complex carbs) per day. Both cleanses should provide 8-15 lb loss depending on which one you do, but both will reset your body’s systems to get them running optimally.
I lost about 9 lbs on the full cleanse, which was a little less than I was hoping for, but in the end I really did gain so much more. Here are 10 things I learned about myself and future weight loss success doing this cleanse.
1. I can function without coffee.
I get up about 5:45 a.m., and the first thing I do is rub my eyes and roll over to the Keurig. During the fast, coffee or caffeine of any kind was not included, so I had to ditch that cup a day I so heavily rely on to function. It took me about 3 days to get over it. I had a little headache each morning, and it took a while for me to get moving. That was only temporary. About day 3 or 4, once I was up… I was up. And it was great to be able to do that without any stimulation.
2. I mindlessly nibble off of my son’s plate.
My son, Caleb, is 3 years old and a notorious waster of food. During the cleanse, I noticed that I had to consciously stop myself from finishing the eggs, pancakes, french fries, grilled cheese edges, etc. from Caleb’s plate. It was insane. I never include those calories in my calorie bank when I’m tracking. I also didn’t know I was doing it, until it wasn’t an option. The first day I realized that it was a problem, I made sure I had my Green Smoothie at the same time Caleb was eating, just so I wouldn’t even be tempted.
3. I am capable of not eating my emotions.
I’m a self-proclaimed emotional eater. Sometimes when I’m extra emotional, I’ll bury those feelings in a can of chocolate candies and wine. In the moment, whatever I’m dealing with feels so much better. But we all know those extra pounds just eventually add more stress and anxiety, which leads me back down that nasty cycle. This was one of the biggest lessons I could have. I said a quick prayer, wrote my emotions out in a journal, or went for a quick walk. None of my solutions included chocolate or booze, and that’s pretty awesome.
4. I can make it through social gatherings without booze.
I had 2 holiday parties (one at a bar and one at a brewery) and 3 theme park adventures, and I made it through all of them without a sip of booze. This may seem like nonsense to you, but for me it was a big deal. I’m a social drinker, and I rarely get out… so to say “no thank you” to so much free alcohol was a bit of a challenge. But I made it!
5. I can crave fruits and veggies.
I thought my body was only capable of craving sushi, chili dogs and Double-Double Cheeseburgers from In N Out. I was wrong. About 5 days into the cleanse, I wanted to eat… but I was more interested in a light salad or steamed veggies. I enjoyed the light feeling that I was experiencing as my system reset itself and longed for other foods to satiate me, but not weigh me down.
6. Planning and preparation mean everything.
I had to game plan at least a day in advance to make it through the holiday parties and holiday amusement parks with my son. If I knew I was going to be gone a short time, I would fill up with detox tea and a smoothie so I was full. If I was going to be gone longer, I added veggies in my purse. There was one particular day when we were at the Winter Wonderland at PetCo park. I was watching the hot dogs, popcorn, and churros being enjoyed at the event, and my stomach was HANGRY. I reached in my purse and tore up about 4 cups of snap peas and carrots. Hey… whatever works, I made it home and had my last smoothie of the night. When I went to Disneyland on the last day of my cleanse, I blended my smoothies the night before and froze them. When I needed them thawed, I ran the bottle they were in under hot water, and I hit up all the fruit stands in the park to make it through the day. Mission Accomplished.
7. I can’t base my success by the number on the scale.
This post was actually inspired by the lack of movement on the scale. Mind you, I lost a good 9 lbs on the cleanse… but I was hoping for a good 15 lbs gone by day 10. I got so frustrated so many times during the cleanse, that I wanted to quit. But I had to sit back and reflect on the all of the other things I had gained during this process. I also know that my clothes fit a little better. My skin looks amazing. I’ve been sleeping better, and I feel in control of my life a little more than I have in a very long time.
8. Prepping for this cleanse forced me to prep for other things in life.
Of course I would find some life lesson in a smoothie, but I really did find that my life was simpler when I had a plan for my day. I never realized how much of my day was in array from me not taking the time to plan my meals. It’s not that my life revolves so far around food, that it runs my entire life. But having my meals and menu planned in advance made me want to take to plan other things just as precisely. I got more work done. I was less stressed. I didn’t feel like every decision that I was making regarding food or snacks was another mental account of the calories I was consuming. I just found the whole process of restricting my food options to be surprisingly freeing.
9. When I take the time to work on myself, I’m a much happier person.
This cleanse forced me to take a time-out and take care of myself. I went to bed earlier, because I was tired from not having caffeine to keep me constantly stimulated. After the 4th or 5th day, my patience had returned, and I experienced a lot more peace than I had anticipated. My thoughts were clearer, and I was overall able to get more done on a daily basis.
10. This isn’t a diet. This isn’t a lifestyle change. This is a temporary way to reset your body’s system.
I enjoyed this process for the short time that I did it. I would definitely do it again in a few months if I felt my body needed another recharge, but it’s definitely not a long-term solution for my health goals. Instead, I’m going to take some of the things that I learned in this process and include them in my healthy lifestyle plan. For example, I love the idea of making a smoothie in the morning to get a surge of fruits and vegetables as soon as I start my day. I also want to make sure I plan my meals at least the night before, so I can just take the guess workout of it.
If you’re interested in a weight loss kick off or just a way to rid your body of some of the crap that you’ve been doing to it, consider this cleanse. I’ve done a few different fasts and cleanses, and this by far was the least uncomfortable and the short time frame made it easy to stick to.
Until next time,