My new-ish April tradition is a 21-day cleanse. And so it begins today if a bit on the paltry side. As you can see, this green drink is looking very light. That’s because somehow April’s arrival is news to me – guess I haven’t looked at the calendar much. What you see is the product of a rubbery stick of celery, whatever kale I had left and a small chunk of cucumber. Still tasty though and enough to start this 21 day challenge off right.
It seems like there are countless cleanses to choose from. I stick with Kris Carr’s because I love her book Crazy, Sexy Diet, which provides a broad foundation of nutrition information and lays out a plan for each of the 21 days, including food suggestions and reminders to meditate. I’ve tried shorter ones in the past, but they didn’t have the same impact. After 21 days without coffee, alcohol, refined sugars and processed carbs, any headaches and cravings have long since subsided and I can appreciate the benefits more.
This is also the cleanse that convinced me to cut dairy and gluten from my diet for good. Doing so helps me manage symptoms of an autoimmune disorder, but it’s also improved my health in areas I didn’t realize needed improving. My concentration, energy and endurance have all gone up while sluggish days and brain fog are mostly a thing of the past.
The biggest challenge now isn’t resisting coffee and chocolates anymore, it’s running. Last year getting enough calories to fuel even shorter runs was a constant struggle. This cleanse calls for at least 35 minutes of movement a day, but I do at least twice that so I’ll have to consume a little more than water with cayenne pepper and a mug of herbal tea for breakfast.
Before starting a cleanse, me thinks the best thing you can do for yourself is to stock the kitchen with foods you can eat. This way you don’t feel deprived or restricted, you just have different options. As I’m completely unprepared, a trip to the store is in order. Herbal teas, legumes and hummus are top on my list. I just hope I don’t return with sherbert and Cheetos, which can happen when you go to the store hungry.