Time For A Cleanse

I want to say thank you again for all the fabulous comments on my last health post that keep coming in. It's really nice to read the experiences of your shifts in diet and what works/doesn't. If it interests you, take a peek at what others had to say. It's really wonderful to see people regaining their health just like I have!

It's that time again. Time for a "cleanse". But not the kind of cleanse I used to do (juice fasting, smoothie fasting, fruit fasting)! Nope! Three days ago I began the same sugar-free/cacao-free diet plan that I followed for the month of January. You may remember that I started up a whole new blog, Universal Eater, devoted to my new omnivorous lifestyle. People have asked if I'll post there again and then answer is yes. I'll be posting there regularly (following this post) in the next 2 weeks with what I'm eating and what exercise I'm doing.

So why am I doing this again?
I've been pumping out a LOT of chocolates and desserts this summer, which means eating lots of them too! And not just raw, but some cooked vegan items that I've featured at the farmers markets. I'm such a sucker for all these yummy things when they're floating around and then I want to eat more of the sweet stuff than the protein rich foods I know my body desires. Even fruit, being as natural, healthy, and beautiful as it is can have an effect on me when eaten in excess as I've done lately (watermelons galore, peaches, cherries by the bucket, bananas, etc etc). Consequently I've been experiencing some brain fog, weight gain and irritability, so I know it's time to press the reset button. I've been gearing up for this for a few weeks but needed the right time to start. And this time only for 2 weeks since I'll have to return to making sweet things. In the meantime, I'm only catering savory items.

Here's what I'll be munching on:

Salads/veggies
Wild meat (elk, moose, venison, bison)
Wild fish
Eggs
Sea veggies
Plain yogurt
Extra virgin coconut and olive oil
Wild berries
Whey protein powder
Stevia
Nuts/seeds (minimal)

Here's what I will be avoiding:

Sweeteners
Cacao
Carob
Super foods
Fruit, except berries
Grains

A note about my meals: I don't portion out my food. I don't count calories. I drink lots of fresh water in between meals and often a daily glass of powdered greens in water. I eat when I feel hungry, not when I "should" be eating (ie: 12:00 = lunch). I prefer smaller meals more frequently. Don't bother telling me what looks "wrong" in my diet plan.

Day 1 Meals

- 2 farm fresh eggs cooked in 1/2 tsp coconut oil, fresh raw salsa, raw gazpacho soup
- Scoop of plain yogurt
- Nori roll with parsnip rice, cucumber, red pepper, avocado
- Salad (greens, cucumber, tomato, red pepper, avocado) with tomato chipotle dressing, and wild deer meat.
- Small bowl plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup smoothie: strawberries, greens, yogurt, water

Exercise

30 minutes yoga
25 minute walk

Overview

Even though part of me was worried I might not be able to go off sugar, I was really excited to get started on my plan! I've been looking forward to it for a while, knowing how amazing I felt eating this way before. I found the day effortless and satisfying. It's so interesting to watch my positive response to a protein rich, sugar free breakfast. It's like night and day compared to eating a sweet breaky of fruit or smoothie. My egg and veg breaky totally satisfied me and I had no desire to keep snacking as I normally do after eating fruit or other sweet things. Around 9pm I was quite hungry so drank a little of my mom's smoothie. I guess I didn't eat enough throughout the day and will get more calories in tomorrow.

Day 2

Today I woke up feeling really hungry but first and always, hot lemon water to hydrate and cleanse. My breakfast was just what I needed and then I waited 30-40 minutes to do a workout. I'm feeling a bit tired today as I adjust to the lack of sugars and stimulants. I am also a bit weak which I noticed in my weight training but did my best to power through it. Fortunately I had the foresight to bring a little baggie of almonds to an afternoon event as I got ravenous by late afternoon. Otherwise I'm feeling great. My body sure feels better already and I feel like I'm metabolizing my food.

Meals

- 2 eggs cooked in coconut oil, chard, tomato slices, raw salsa
- Protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder*, water, frozen strawberries/blueberries, chard, ice
- Salad with deer meat and tomato dressing (same as yesterday)
- Handful of almonds
- protein shake: 1 scoop protein powder, frozen blueberries, chard, yogurt, water, ice
- Few raw seed crackers with cheddar dip

*I use a high quality whey protein powder sourced from New Zealand and is sweetened with stevia.

Exercise

- 40 minutes weight training/cardio: The Firm - Tough tape 2

Despite the cheesey 80s factor, I love this video and have had it for years but am doing it consistently this summer. I love how I can use 10 lb weights for it now (used to use 8), and do full pushups instead of on my knees. If you want a great workout that incorporates weight training with some cardio, this is for you - its NOT for the faint of heart. If you use weights that are challenging for you, you'll be workin' and sweating by the end.

Day 3

It's just the beginning so "to be continued", but it's off to a good start. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling really hungry and by the morning I was famished. I've rarely wake with strong hunger pains. As I said yesterday, I think my metabolism is revving and I'm easily burning the kinds of foods I eat on this plan. My breaky is the same as yesterday (and probably will be most days).

I realize that this isn't the best plan for everyone, but it sure works for me! 🙂

Have you ever done a completely sugar free detox? If so, how did you feel on it?

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10 Comments
  1. September 12, 2011 at 18:14
    Reply

    Congrats to you for doing the 'reset!' It must be fantastic to feel your metabolism revving.<br /><br />I was completely sugar free for almost a couple years while dealing with candida and mercury toxicity issues. But I'd been 80-10-10 style for a half dozen years and then other stuff. I didn't feel great during it, but I was sick so maybe not surprising. But having added carbs, and later, fruit and occasionally other simple sugars back in this year, my energy has improved immensely!<br /><br />I'm going to look at the comments on your other post too--interested to see what people have to say. I have some questions, maybe, for you too.<br />thanks again!<br />Ela

  2. Anonymous
    September 12, 2011 at 18:40
    Reply

    Sounds good Heather. I've been on a very similar diet to what you described in this oast last year and off and on, depending on how i'm feeling. It's a great one. The only thing I would like to contribute is that I, too, found that I was famished late at night or in the middle of the night, sometimes waking up from the cortisol and low blood sugar (supposedly signally my body that if I didn't eat something I was going to go into a coma. lol.) Not sure if you have challenges with blood sugar issues, I have never been diagnosed, just "self-diagnosed" ;) I found that this in itself was a tourturous way to treat myself, all in the name of trying to find exactly the amount of food I needed to sustain me while slimming down, getting firmer and keeping my strength. It's a tough call either way, sometimes muscle weakness and losing what I just worked so hard to attain because of fewer calories than needed (even just 200-300 would have maintained it I bet) I also forget that animal protein takes more energy to digest than sugars, veggies and fats don't, and that automatically puts you in a 200+ calorie deficet per day, regardless of exercise. With that in mind, I have think you can actually eat a little more when you are eating animal protein because of this factor, and the RIGHT amount of calories will always help your body balance out, and adjust to any type of adrenal stress issues you may be battling due to stimulant overloads. Getting that light headed feeling like you need to eat is already a signal that cortisol has gone up, as I'm sure you know, I try to avoid waiting that long because I'm not helping my body heal by doing that. I have found lately that making sure I eat more before 8-9pm at night, and a sufficient amount of carbs (even just more veggies, or smoothie like you said) enables me to sleep through the night and go to bed feeling more comfortable, as opposed to hungry and hoping to wake up looking better than I did the night before. lol Also, I usually need a little bedtime snack right before I hit the hay to make me confident that I'm not going to bed starving. I just find that the obsession with perfection is an addiction unto itself, & no way around it other than to experiment...i think food is like drugs and there'll always be a day when we get back on those fruit/choco kicks because our body is craving those nutrients and stimulants (instead of alcohol or real drugs) to alter our perception and appreciate life is so many different facets. Up, down, and all around. he he : ) Cheers to you and your expansive journey, I sorta wish I was home so I coulda scooped up somea those treaties at the farmers market, even tho I make my own, it's always nice to have something made FOR you, as I'm sure you appreciate as well :) <br /><br /><br />A

  3. September 12, 2011 at 20:13
    Reply

    I'm on day 13 of a 14 day sugar/carb free detox right now, inspired by you! I have not done any berries or stevia or anything else sweet, besides carrots and tomatoes. I can digest raw veggies for the first time in my life! That will help my raw diet SO much, as I was eating a good 70% fruit before and my blood sugar was a mess. I was constantly bloated and foggy and miserable. I haven't eaten meat, but have been eating eggs and raw cheeses. I'm excited to start adding fruits and desserts back in in a few days and see if my "reset" will allow me to handle sugars better. I really went through a good detox... fatigue, headache, wrong things coming out of my body... I've tried everything I could think of and FINALLY, after years of sickness, this is helping!!! I'm blogging about it here, for anyone who is interested: blogspot.rawmisadventures.com

  4. September 13, 2011 at 19:40
    Reply

    Isnt it funny when a vegan preaches to you even when I'm eating vegan and I hear it it makes me cringe, I used to be like that! You're being true to yourself and your body and doing amazing work pioneering and leading new paths.

  5. September 14, 2011 at 01:45
    Reply

    we are in a little cleanse over here too, trying to find if we have any hidden food allergies <br /><br />although we are having fruit, but avoiding other sugars, well trying :)<br /><br />xoxo<br />pure2raw twins

  6. September 14, 2011 at 02:43
    Reply

    Again, it's so interesting to hear from others. Congrats to all of you too for going sugar free, regardless of the amount of time. Cheers to feeling great!!! xo

  7. September 14, 2011 at 07:18
    Reply

    Hi there,<br /><br />Reading this article (as well as the comments) makes me feel like I should probably do a sugar detox as well - I used to think that it was the yogourt and grains that were the culprit in my bloatedness - but now I'm re-thinking that seeing as I've almost completely cut out whole grains and eliminated dairy from my diet for a couple of weeks, and I'm still feeling bloated and gassy all the time, no real change! I eat a ton of fruit each day as I crave sugar more than anything, all the time. Vegetables rarely appeal to me - I put them on my plate, eat them up, then feel even more hungry than before and am only fully satisfied when I have a couple of fruits or a spoonful of preserves afterward! I should probably see what I would feel like if I reduced/eliminated my fruit intake for a while... I'll do a little more research into it, and I'll let you know how it goes.<br /><br />One question: <br /><br />WHAT IS A SUPERFOOD?!??! <br /><br />I saw that on your list of things that you'll be avoiding, and I had no idea what you were referring to... supplements??

  8. September 14, 2011 at 18:09
    Reply

    Hi Allison, <br /><br />Yes, I highly recommend trying a fruit free/sugar free diet for a little while. It will take away the gassy/bloating you're experiencing - I've been through that before too! It's awful :( <br /><br />A superfood is a food with an extra high level of nutrients. Even though they're wonderful, some of them still can have a stimulating effect and some do contain natural sugars like lucuma and goji berries... and maca and cacao can stimulate. So Im avoiding them during this cleanse. <br /><br />i DO take supplements though :) A high quality vitamin and mineral supplement (not available in stores), calcium magnesium, and omega 3-6-9. <br /><br />Take care!

  9. September 15, 2011 at 12:47
    Reply

    Heather, this is very inspiring, helpful and encouraging for those who are experiencing issues with their diet. I agree with Mel - you are pioneering and leading new paths through your experiences and by sharing your personal journey with us ! :)

  10. September 25, 2011 at 15:07
    Reply

    I just stumbled on your blog and, oddly enough, stopped using all sweeteners except stevia a few days ago. We are attempting a modified candida diet with my daughter, so we have eliminated Gluten, sweeteners and high sugar fruits. Eliminating all fruit is just not feasible for her, as she is only three. So far though, her diaper rash has cleared up significantly and she is doing pretty well with tummy pain. I am very hopeful that this will help her stomach issues. Anyway, we are both feeling great so far. I think we will continue like this for three weeks or so. So glad to see that your cleanse went so well! Thanks for sharing!

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