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It’s begun. My April cleanse has been well under way for the last 11-12 hours and so far I haven’t cracked or cried under the coffee cravings. This is the part I’ve dreaded the most. In past years, I took the week prior to wean off of the black magic. I knew there was something I meant to do last week. Oh, well.

The first hurdle is navigating the coffee withdrawal so I can spend this time focusing on what I’m doing. I have a strategy. During these first few days, I’ll have three green drinks a day, playing with the ratio and ingredients to vary the flavor. Most people who drink green juices regularly go on and on about the crazy energy they get. This isn’t a myth. You’re basically flooding your mind and body with stimulating chlorophyll. A few in a row will make me giddy. Drink enough and, according to Kris Carr’s Crazy, Sexy, Diet cleanse, I won’t crave coffeecoffeecoffee outside stimulants.

The other part of my strategy is reminding myself why. I’m not cutting coffee just for the sake of restricting myself. Muwahaaha, take that, Me. After this, I’ll definitely enjoy a cup every now and then, but for right now I’m reading more about why it’s important to cut during a cleanse. Coffee beans are roasted and, according to Carr’s book:

These beans have oils in them. Roasted oils become rancid and clog up your liver.

Coffee is also highly acidic and causes dehydration. The body is about 70% water, the brain is about 80% water. I drink a lot of water, but I’m almost always thirsty and get brain fogged a few times a week. Maybe coffee is the culprit. If only it weren’t so tasty. Never mind. You know what’s tasty? A fresh blend of cucumbers, celery, kale and lemon juice. Mmmm! In a few days, I’m going to mean that statement. Kidding. Green drinks are good, it’s just that right this moment my inner coffee fiend is clawing through my skull.

For today:

In the interest of giving organs a rest, the cleanse begins with a small fast. This morning, I had a cup of lemon water with a pinch of cayenne, followed by herbal tea and then a green drink when I stated feeling really hungry. Lunch will be the first food of the day and that will be a spinach salad and bowl of dal. Fasting until lunch is only for a few days.

A little bit of meal planning keeps me from feeling chained to the kitchen. I still want to enjoy my meals. Dinner will be pinto bean burgers packed with onions, garlic, peppers, carrots and peas. Plus a salad and steamed broccoli with nutritional yeast.

I’m glad to have a day off of running. I’ll probably run at a gentler pace throughout the cleanse, but mileage should stay around 30-40 miles a week.