This is my first cleanse and I’m excited and slightly petrified. My goal is to detox my system and maybe shed a few pounds in the process. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about her cleanse because it’s all described on her web site. The reason I chose this cleanse is that it’s organic and she’s a local company here in North San Diego County.
Each day of the cleanse you consume roughly 700 calories. I will tell you that going without food is my worst nightmare! I wouldn’t last a day on Survivor because of the lack of food. You also drink a crap ton of water plus the green drinks and protein shakes. On paper this is about 10 times more liquid than I normally drink so I’m apprehensive that I won’t be able to drink it all. I am definitely challenging myself by doing this but I am also curious to see if I CAN do it.
Chef V advises you to pre-cleanse for at least two days. This means eating off of her list of approved foods (there are a lot) but basically you’re cutting out dairy, wheat, sugar, salt, alcohol and caffeine. Wait, what??? Caffeine!!!! If you’ve read my post on cold brew, you’ll know I love me a good cup ‘o joe (or 3). I didn’t follow her pre-cleanse instructions very closely, however I did wean myself off of coffee because I wanted to avoid the dreaded caffeine headache. I Googled caffeine withdrawal symptoms and found articles claiming caffeine withdrawal is a mental disorder and those saying withdrawal symptoms don’t exist! Talk about confusing! I’m happy to say that I was able to stop drinking coffee within 3 days of decreasing my intake and I didn’t suffer any headaches or other negative effects. I will start drinking coffee once the cleanse is over!
Day 1 – Morning
As promised, my cleanse showed up on my doorstep early Monday morning. By 7am I had unpacked the bag and refrigerated everything as needed. The cleanse comes with specific directions about the order in which you drink water, the green drink and protein shakes. It even comes with a timeline schedule to keep your intake evenly spaced out.
At 8am I had my first taste of the green drink. It’s pretty good!! I’ve had a few other green drinks lately. Jamba Juice’s Apple n Greens is quite good but also packed full of sugar. Suja’s Mighty Greens is organic and also tastes good. It did take me a few glasses to really like the flavor but even at a first go it’s not offensive. However, it also has a lot of sugar compared to Chef V’s drink (19g of sugar compared to 3g per 8 oz serving). So after being used to sugary green drinks I wasn’t sure how I’d like Chef V’s but it went down easily.
It’s hard to describe how something tastes, since it’s subjective. For me, the primary flavors are kale, apple and a little parsley. The kale is subtle, though. It’s not like a kale salad. I have a hard time with those salads and this green drink is much more palatable. There is some chunkiness to the green drink so I swirl it around before drinking. The last few gulps of drink are chewier than the first.
I drank more water, then had the protein shake. I made it with the shaker cup included in my cleanse (the plastic bottle is BPA free). Again, not bad! It was a little gritty, but I found by the end some of the grit had absorbed water so it wasn’t as rough. Next time I drink it I’m going to let it sit for a few minutes to see if it has a better consistency. I made it with ice and cold water.
I could taste the vanilla and the stevia in the protein shake. It was better at the end than at the beginning. It reminded me of almond or soy milk which is weird since those ingredients aren’t in the shake.
It is now almost noon and time for my next green drink. I’ve peed four times since 7 am and I can see that this will be my reality for the next two and a half days. Must flush out the toxins, right? And they were full bladder pees. I know, TMI.
Day 1 – Evening
So I made it through the rest of the day and I am typing this at 8:30pm. I’m feeling satiated and sipping my last bottle of water before bed time. Chef V recommends drinking another 24oz of water between the time you finish the soup for dinner and go to bed. I’m not going to drink this much because I don’t want to be up all night peeing! Anyway, here’s how the rest of my afternoon and evening went.
I had my green drink at noon and another at 2pm. I drank a lot of water in between. I felt mildly hungry during this time but it was manageable. At 2:30pm I had a protein shake and I was fine until the next green drink three hours later. I drank at least 16 oz of water during this time. I thought for sure that I’d be ravenous, especially since I had to feed J during this time and make dinner for Curt. Even the smell of chicken in the oven didn’t make my stomach growl! Who am I??!!
Have I mentioned that you get to eat a delicious soup for dinner? It’s a sweet potato-y carrot-y bowl of yumminess. After drinking ice cold water / green drinks / shakes all day, it was great to sit down to a hot bowl of soup.
I’m really surprised that I didn’t feel super hungry all day and that I was able to consume all of the liquid. I was intimidated by this, but I figured I’d try it…and I’m happy I did. I maintained a normal amount of energy throughout the day too. I even managed to get all of my Fitbit steps in for the day (yes, I’m standing at my computer stepping from side to side). We’ll see what tomorrow brings.
All I do is pee. Really, like every 45 minutes. It makes sense considering how much liquid I’m consuming, but it’s a bit much. At least my number two was regular, not a number three. TMI again? I think it’s important to mention it since I am doing an all liquid cleanse! I’ll repeat, no hershey squirts!
I woke up with my normal amount of energy, which was neat considering my low caloric intake the previous day and my lack of coffee. I felt hungry around noon like I did yesterday, but it may have been my environment. I stuck to my normal routine of taking J to swim class and then having lunch at Panera. I was bombarded by the smells of the restaurant and inches away from J’s chicken noodle soup since I had to blow on it because of its temperature. Parents of small children will know that any food warmer than 85 degrees will immediately prompt said child to lament “it’s too hot!!” But I overcame the urge for solid food, drank my green drink and reveled in my martyrdom – kidding, of course. I did tell myself that I was half way done. I wanted to stick to the commitment I made to myself to complete the cleanse so I didn’t cheat.
The rest of the afternoon and evening were smooth sailing. I don’t think I described the soup properly yesterday (or four paragraphs up) . There is a hint of Thai flavor due to coconut milk and curry. It’s a mild flavor, though, and I definitely wouldn’t say this is curry soup.
As I wrap up day 2 I’m starting to think ahead to what I’ll eat after day 3. Being so “clean” I don’t want to bombard my system with my usual eating habits. Chef V recommends a two day post-cleanse diet which is the same as her pre-cleanse. I intend on eating from this list, with the exception of eggs and cheese because I really love them. I am digging the low amount of sugar that I’ve consumed. One day of Chef V’s cleanse has 36g of sugar. Now when I think of the kale apple smoothie at Jamba Juice with its 19g of sugar, I get a little nauseated. Before the cleanse I was eating Chobani’s Greek Yogurts but they have a lot of sugar in them too. I’m going to switch to plain Greek yogurt with fresh organic fruit. Strawberries are on Chef V’s list of excluded foods and I’m not sure why.
OK, I took a break and Googled “why are strawberries excluded from a cleanse”. The first result is from something called “Clean Program”. The wording in Chef V’s include/exclude food list is exactly the same as this 21-day cleansing program. Their explanation about strawberries says they are a common allergen and contain high amounts of pesticides, even organic strawberries. Hmmm…I’m not so sure about that and I’m going to continue eating organic strawberries!
Day 3 – Morning
I am a masochist. It’s noon and I’m hungry. I decided to prep for tomorrow’s clean eating so I cooked quinoa and a brown rice blend – two separate pots. The wonderful aroma of quinoa has infiltrated my nostrils and I’m borderline ravenous. Don’t think quinoa smells good? Try not eating solid food for two and a half days and you’ll be all over that grain like Kobayashi at the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Instead of eating, I’m drinking my green drink right on schedule and hoping it will satiate me.
Aside from this mid-day hiccup, I feel great! I have my normal amount of energy as I just spent two hours cleaning my house. I am still peeing hourly and am happy to report another normal number two this morning!
Last night I was a bit hungry before bed but I just ignored it and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I wasn’t hungry feeling anymore. I drank a cup of Chef V’s detox tea before drinking any water. It was ok. I’m not a tea person, though. It was drinkable but not a substitute for coffee (and I know it’s not supposed to be).
As I’m typing this, my hunger is dissipating. Yay for green drink! I’m expecting the rest of the day and night to go smoothly.
Day 3 – Evening
I did it!!! All done and no cheating. So this evening wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. My stomach was really growling a lot. I drank water and the grumbles went away, then came back. It’s almost bedtime and I’m not hungry, so after the soup I’ve been feeling great!
The interesting thing is that I haven’t felt any blood sugar crashes. Even when I was feeling like I wanted to chew on my left arm, I didn’t experience any of the light headedness or fading away feelings that I normally get when I’m starving. I was able to power through the hunger and I’m so glad that I did!
My stomach has rumbled a bit each evening after eating the soup. Not crampy but just a little gurgle-y. I’m carefully planning my first meal of solids so I don’t undo all of the work from the past three days as well as end up with cramps or painful digestive issues.
I’ll be reporting my weight loss tomorrow so keep reading just a little longer!
I chewed food – woo hoo! I tried making a meal mostly off of Chef V’s clean eating list. I feel great this morning and I’m going to continue to drink a lot of water today – and hopefully everyday. And number two was normal again. Whew! I must say that I am curious to see how a 5-day cleanse would go. This morning I wasn’t starving and I could have done the cleanse today.
I lost 4.2 lbs and a half inch off my waist and an inch off of my hips. I’m sure I will gain some of the weight back once I eat more solid foods and that’s ok. My biggest take away is that I need to eat less sugar to avoid the shakey feeling I sometimes get when I’m hungry.
Have you tried Chef V’s cleanse or another cleanse? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. And thanks for reading this super long post!