If you follow me on Instagram, you will notice that I did a 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse using the book written by JJ Smith. I decided to do the cleanse after talking with a member of my book club that had recently completed the cleanse as she prepared her body to a new lifestyle diet. I had recently come back for vacation with Babydoll and had been having some issues with my stomach – I would feel nauseous after eating sometimes, I was feeling bloated a lot of the time, just not good. I was getting to the point where I was thinking I could just stop eating and try to get everything out of my gut and start over. The cleanse sounded like it would help with my gut issue and maybe kick start weight loss that has been stagnant for the past 4 months.
After reading how the cleanse works, I decided to do the modified version of the cleanse – a smoothie for breakfast and lunch and a sensible meal for dinner. I went to the grocery store, bought the supplies (tons of greens and fruit), and decided to start the 10 days on Tuesday instead of Monday. Oh, let me tell you about what I couldn’t eat. No red meat (I eat a ton of chicken and seafood); milk, cheese (I love cheese in all forms – not goat cheese but all others); no refined sugar (y’all know I make dessert every Sunday); no beer, liquor, coffee, sodas/diet sodas (I don’t drink these anyway – gave up liquor when I started WW & my soda is a La Croix or San Pellegrino); no processed foods; no fried foods; and refined carbs (white bread, pasta, white rice, etc.). I had basically decided my menu for the week before and gone grocery shopping prior to deciding to do the cleanse, so the changes that I had to make had to be using the items I had in my pantry/cabinets/freezer/frig.
I took the advice of the author and thought of the cleanse in two parts. I bought the greens and fruits for the smoothies for the first five days. I had read that there was a possibility of suffering withdrawal symptoms. The things that most people have withdrawal from I don’t consume, so I never had withdrawal symptoms. I have been intermittently fasting since November, getting my mind adjusted to consuming something other than tea before 1pm. The dinner plans that I had made for the week actually worked with the for the “restrictions” that are associated with the cleanse. There were a few things that I needed to tweek that included using brown rice instead of white when I had my baked cod. I made my meat pies (empanada like) with whole wheat flour and coconut oil to make my pie dough.
Eating the smoothies – and we were eating them because there was a lot of texture to the smoothies – and having snacks of sliced apples, boiled eggs, baby carrots & sugar snap peas (the last two only I ate, Babydoll wanted nothing to do with the carrots and peas) were easy those first five day. When the weekend coming up we were a little hesitant because we love our breakfast on the weekends.
This is when the struggle began. Day 6 for dinner, I made a chicken meatloaf with Japanese sweet potatoes and green beans. If you’ve never had a Japanese sweet potato, you better. This sweet potato has white flesh and is so sweet that you honestly needed nothing else to make it great…just butter or faux butter in our case. It was sooooo good and the meatloaf was a hit too. If you remember why I said I started this cleanse, it was to figure out why my stomach was not being friendly to me. I made cashew cream that I used to make an apple carrot slaw and tuna salad that I ate on celery with dashes of hot sauce.
The most interesting portion of the cleanse, foodwise, was our venture into vegan cheese and sour cream. I incorporate a plant based butter in my cooking along with real butter and Brummel Brown (which is made with yogurt), but there are some things that I felt require real cows milk butter. I was surprised that I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter would be a great addition to my brown rice and steamed vegetables. We had taco salad one day. I used 95% lean ground turkey, grain-free chips, cashew cream queso (both made by Seite), vegan sour cream (Tofutti brand), and vegan shredded cheese Daiya). We were super nervous that the cheese and the sour cream would be garbage – we were told not to try the cheese by itself. Surprisingly, we were happy with the cheese and Babydoll used the “sour cream” for dipping with her Doritos or Seite chips! I used the cheese slices in the meat pies, we used the shredded cheese, sour cream and cashew queso for our taco salad. I have continued to use the cheese slices to make grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Babydoll will mix the sour cream with real sour cream (half and half) when she has the Flammin’ Hot & Limon Doritos. So, I’m not going to knock the vegan dairy products.
By day 7, we were tired of drinking/eating smoothies. I really wanted a cracker…y’all know how much I love crackers. I just wanted a cracker. Babydoll had been saving some chocolate chip cookies that I brought home from work. She was smelling the sandwich bag that they were stored in everyday. We wanted “real food”. The countdown seriously began on that day.
When it was finally over….we had pulled pork with sweet potato fries. We were afraid to eat bread, so it was the meat and fries. Now don’t get it twisted, I made a caramel sauce for those fries, BUT I made the sauce using vegan butter and Swerve brown sugar – it was basically healthy. There was some hesitancy to eating outside of the way we had been eating for those 10 days. Add to that, it was a crazy busy weekend; so we didn’t go ham eating everything we had not been able to eat while on the cleanse.
What were the results of completing the cleanse? I had lost 8 lbs. I believe I lost a couple of inches in my waist; I can’t say for sure because when I took the measuring tape to my waistline at the end the number was the same, but some clothes that I took in for alteration at the beginning of the cleanse, still had some extra room when I picked them up. My stomach is a lot flatter – not completely flat, but my clothes look good.
Finally, I figured out that broccoli is no longer my friend – we can no longer be together, we not buddies, WE BROKE UP. This was a very important discovery for me, because the main reason why I started the cleanse, was to figure out why I was getting sick (nauseated) most of the time when I ate.
Will I do this again? Not for 10 days. I’m thinking of doing this once a month for 5 days. I am trying to stay within the same realm when I’m eating. I’m going to incorporate more brown rice in my eating, I’ve really started eating natural peanut butter, I’m eating vegan dairy more often, and I think I can limit my desserts to once a week (unless it’s super good then I’ll have it twice a week).
NOTE: I wrote this a few weeks ago and forgot that I had not posted it – I apologize. I have done another five day cleanse and it wasn’t too bad. I believe I will continue with those once a month.