To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse? Redux. Day 1.

Early last year “to cleanse or not to cleanse” was a question I agonized over for months.  Cleanses have been trendy for a while, and I had been hearing about the benefits from a number of my friends.  Still, as a serious lover of food, wine and coffee, the thought of going without for any period of time seemed unhealthy.  But, then again, as a serious lover of food, wine and coffee, only committing myself to something like a cleanse would convince me to give them up.  So I enlisted my husband to do it with me for moral support, and we cleansed.  We chose to do three days of the mid-level Blue Print Cleanse, which had been recommended by friends.

Shortly after giving our credit card number, we realized we had dinner plans on what was to be the last night of our cleanse.  “No big deal,” we thought.  “We’ll just start it Sunday night instead of Monday morning and finish the cycle by dinner on Wednesday.”  Aside from that little adjustment, we drank our juices faithfully.  I don’t remember exactly how I felt during those three days.  I don’t remember ever feeling overly hungry, and I do remember being extremely tired at the end of each day.  I also remember the one cinnamon cashew milk “juice” we got each day and what a guilty pleasure it felt like.  At the end, I didn’t feel as refreshed or healthy as I expected to, and any weight I lost was marginal.

So why have I found myself doing it again?  Well, for one, it’s January, and it just seems like the type of thing one should do in January.  Secondly, I suppose on some level it must have felt good to clean out my system, because I found myself kind of craving it after a decadent holiday season.  But I decided this time I would document my experience while on the cleanse, to make a more informed decision next time I find myself needing it.  So here it goes….

Day 1:

7:15 a.m. – I leave the house with my 5 year old and 2 year old to drive the 5 year old to school.  Usually I am armed with a double latte from my recently purchased Jura espresso maker.  Today I am armed with just my #1 green juice.  On the road, the 5 year old decides she wants to taste it.  “Help yourself,” I say.  After a timid sip she decides it’s not bad.  When I express shock at her liking it, she takes a bigger pull and says, “actually, never mind!”  The 2 year old starts in–”I try it!  I try it!”–but she takes one sniff of it and pushes it back to me.  “I really like the cinnamon one!” the 5 year old remembers from the first time we did it.  “Yeah, I remember that one too,” I say to her, but am thinking to myself greedily, “hands off that one, it’s the only good thing I get to eat [?] all day!”

1:00 p.m. – Please remember I work in a bakery.  Today I spend the day holed up in my office, for obvious reasons, but find it hard to concentrate on the budgeting and financial work I am trying to accomplish.  I head into the kitchen to work on some cake decorations, but find a tray of chocolate marshmallow whoopie pies staring me down.  I grab a small handful of toasted almonds and head back to paper work.

6:00 p.m. – On the subway to pick up the 5 year old from a friends house.  I am drinking my #5 green juice and playing Scrabble on my iPad and laughing to myself about what a ridiculous yuppie I am.  (If I had thought of my future self in college, this is definitely NOT what I would picture.)  At the friend’s house, the girls are sitting down finishing their dinner.  They are eating ice cream sundaes with homemade waffles.  The waffles smell SO GOOD.  The friends parents offer me something–”anything” they say.  “No thanks,” I say abruptly.  “Even water?” the father insists.  “No,” I repeat, as if the water would be a gateway drug leading me to waffles.  I consider telling them about the cleanse, but I only met them a couple months ago, and I don’t want them to think I’m some kind of crazy anorexic mom (which I’m not–at least not the anorexic part), so I collect my daughter and we head home.

7:45 p.m. – I am completely drained, but my husband is at a work dinner, so I am on bedtime duty.  Fortunately, the girls are good tonight.  We read a couple books, I sing them a few songs, and soon they are fast asleep.  Thankfully much easier than I anticipated.

8:20 p.m. – I reemerge from the girls’ room, and sit down for my “dinner”–the coveted #6 juice–cinnamon cashew.  I savor it.  I open my computer to answer emails and do some work, but feel too fried to concentrate.  So I turn on the tv.  Happily, I find “The Bachelor” is on.  This is about the level of brain activity that I need right now.  I curl up with a blanket (because I’m feeling unusually cold) and zone out.

9:25 p.m. – As someone still in her 30′s, not going to bed before 10:00 is a thing of pride for me, but I make an exception tonight.  I make myself feel better by saying I’ll just watch tv in bed.  Barely making it through the Bachelor’s rose ceremony, I turn off the tv and drift to sleep easily.

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