A few weeks ago I decided that it was time for me to give up my ‘unhealthy eating’ and try to effectively reset my taste-buds and my body’s cravings for junk food by going on a 2-week raw food cleanse. My diet really has never been completely unhealthy….I do most of my grocery shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market, and purchase a majority of foods that are either organic or non-GMO, buttttt I will admit that I was snacking on unhealthy foods much more than I should, drinking wayyyy too much coffee and I was feeling the repercussions of those choices affecting my energy levels.
I was raised by a woman who has always been ‘green’. For most of my teen years my mother made me a breakfast of 1 shot of wheatgrass followed by a healthy home-made smoothie. (Oh gawd I hated those wheatgrass shots!) My mom taught me how to take care of my health and my body with foods, natural supplements and homeopathy.
I guess this familiarity with natural and raw foods made me a little over-confident going into this cleanse, and the fact that I was already very near being underweight didn’t help either.
I found a great 2-week raw food cleanse recipe list and decided that I would follow it. I bought all the ingredients for week 1 and decided to go for it.
During the first week of the cleanse I felt GREAT!
Even though I’d drastically reduced my caffeine intake, I felt fantastic! I had more energy than ever, I stopped craving junk food and I was thrilled to be cleansing my body. But at the end of the week I was tired of eating raw food and decided I was going to just ‘wing it’ for the second week of the cleanse. That was a BAD idea.
Rather than following the cleanse recipes for week 2, I felt confident that I could make my own healthy choices. That too was a BAD idea.
By Wednesday of week 2 I felt like crap.
I woke up on Wednesday and felt “off”. I felt flu-like symptoms, my whole body felt light and tingly and my stomach was in knots. I felt nauseated but couldn’t vomit and was bedridden for 3 days. During those days all I could “eat” was Ensure, and I honestly thought I was going to die. I know that sounds dramatic, but I had dropped 6lbs. during that cleanse and I definitely did NOT have 6lbs. to lose.
I had cut so many things out of my diet for the cleanse, and during week 2 when I decided to deviate from the recipes I was following, I neglected to ensure that I was getting enough of the nutrients my body needed. It’s only recently (within the past 2 days) that I’ve been waking up in the morning feeling ‘normal’ again.
I will NEVER put myself through anything like this again! Now that I’m feeling better, I’m making sure to eat right. I’ve been eating a variety of foods every day and been mindful about what I’m consuming. This was a horrible learning experience that I will always remember and never repeat. Even though I ate good foods during week 2, I was depriving my body of a sufficient amount of protein and calcium. Also, when one is eating raw foods only, it’s VERY easy to under-eat without even realizing it.
Here are 3 very important tips to keep in mind when you are trying a detox/cleanse/diet:
#1 – Eat every 2-3 hours. Your body digests juices and raw foods much quicker.
#2 – Be sure you are not making any changes that are too drastic. There is such a thing as “over-cleansing”, and it can be dangerous if you do not follow tip #3.
#3 – Pay attention to your body! If you want to stay healthy, it’s vital to know when you need to cleanse, and when your body actually just needs a better foundation to rebuild itself.
Have I abandoned all my new habits? No way! I am still making daily smoothies and juices, but I am definitely eating meat and dairy again. All that being said, I am glad to be back in the land of the living!