While I love the holidays, and look forward to them, they can be fairly hard on your body. Between all of the late nights, indulgent treats, and cocktails, you start to feel pretty low energy by the time New Years rolls around. This 10 day cleanse is easy, quick, and you still get to EAT. Well… Maybe easy isn’t the best word. But it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s a great way to give your adrenals and gut a break, and you’ll be able to put your best food forward for all of your holiday engagements this year.
Here are the do’s and don’t’s for the 10 day cleanse:
- Sugar/Sweeteners (including natural added sugars like agave or honey, but excluding fruits and veggies containing sugar, those are fine)
- All the whole foods – Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. (Non-processed meat as well if you’re an omnivore)
- LOTS of water
- Fermented foods without added sugar
Caffeine is one of the hardest things for most people to give up, but you can ease your way into it by starting to cut back a few days before officially starting the cleanse. That way there isn’t quite as much of a shock to the system. Below are my thoughts and experiences with some of these factors to give you an idea of what to expect and how you may feel.
Caffeine – I was worried about this one to be honest. I generally drink 3-4 cups of tea a day, but I rarely keep track and I’m sure that sometimes it’s higher. Turns out, not much to worry about. I was a little headachy the first day, but woke up bright as a button the second day. (Also – What in the world does that expression mean?)
Alcohol – Let’s be honest, we all feel better when we don’t drink. The end. 🙂
Sugar/Sweeteners – This is the item that had the biggest impact on me. Start reading your labels and you’ll realize you’re consuming much more sugar than you expect. Dressings, marinades, sauces, protein powders, protein bars… Basically anything packaged. They’re all filled with sugar or sweeteners. Cutting out these items really forced me to look at my meals more critically and make more informed choices. It also meant planning ahead because I couldn’t reach for a quick bite like a protein bar.
Soy – I’ve gotten into the lazy habit of having store-bought veggie burgers and sausage patties when I’m too tired to cook. Yes, they’re great convenience items, but this was a good wake up call that I should make/keep whole food options around as well. This also meant that between no soy and no sugar (aka my protein powders and bars) my protein intake was much lower than normal. Once I got into the swing of it and actually did my meal prepping, I was fine.
Overall I thought this was a great cleanse. You still get to eat but you see and feel results. PLUS it’s a great reminder to pay attention to your food and to help get you out of bad habits. That was my biggest takeaway, that I get lazy and reach for foods that are more processed than what I should be eating on a regular basis.
Stay tuned for some fun recipes that I came up with during this cleanse!