I signed up for a nutritional cleanse last month that was offered by a friend who is a Holistic Health Coach.
I had never done a cleanse before and wasn't exactly sure what I was agreeing to. But I trust my friend and another friend was also participating. So I signed up.
We had a kick-off call a couple of days before it started to set expectations and make introductions. This was the first I had really thought much beyond the time commitment... basically it was eliminating a bunch of foods and following a vegan diet for three weeks. Going for mostly raw and a few specifics for what to do and not do.
Starting out... I knew that eliminating the sugar, meat, eggs and alcohol would not be a problem. Caffeine and gluten were certainly doable, but would require some thought. The big thing for me was going to be the dairy. I eat a lot of cheese and yogurt and a fair amount of milk... as in I have been trying to make our own yogurt because we eat so much of it.
After the cleanse... It turned out that animal protein was the hardest part to go without. Mostly this is because of shearing season. Shearing is a very physical job and the food I was eating, while providing a lot of immediate energy, was not sticking with me. So, I broke a lot of the rules at least once.
I did not experience the lack-of-caffeine headache. I did not feel like my eating was stifled or limited. I did not go hungry. I may have lost a few pounds... I'm not diligent about weighing myself, so I'm not certain about that last one.
My first soda, cake and coffee were not satisfying. My first turkey, bacon, sourdough bread and cheese were all very satisfying.
What did I learn?
Eating breakfast and taking time each morning for myself is a good thing. Before the cleanse started I was waking up, making coffee and going straight to the Day Job... no breakfast, no slow-ease into the day, just wake and work.
Drinking warm lemon water helps with the after-effects of eating beans... almost instantly.
This cleanse reinforced that we eat a well-balanced diet. Some of the people were having a hard time, but I never felt restricted. I never had any pain or discomfort and I generally slept a little better.
Would I do it again? Yes. But not during shearing season.