Those of you who follow me on social media (click here for my: IG, Twitter, FB) probably noticed a couple weeks ago when I posted a lot of really healthy-looking juices, raw soups, salads, etc. I was doing Beaming’s 4-Day Cleanse, and it was such a great experience. Honestly, I wish I could go back to that week right now. I will do another sooner than later. As I reflect, many positives stand out, including things I didn’t anticipate: i.e. way more time due to not having to cook or do dishes for four days, yet still having something healthy at my fingertips. I rarely eat out or “pickup lunch to go” because I don’t trust most restaurants’ sources of food nor their food prep, so that has me in the kitchen a lot. While I love cooking, it was nice to have a break.
Before the details of my four days, let me clear up thoughts on a cleanse/detox, as I know there are mixed opinions.
First off, a cleanse is not a crash diet nor a means to lose weight fast. It can definitely kick start a healthier lifestyle to help you reach your ideal weight (and for some that means shrinking your stomach right off the bat), but please don’t use cleanse for the wrong reasons. Personally, I had no desire to lose weight on Beaming’s cleanse, as I am happy/healthy at 130lbs, so I did have some approved snacks to ensure my caloric intake was met as you’ll read. This was also a time for rejuvenation. Thus, I did not exercise strenuously whatsoever. Plus, I wasn’t coming off a hard week of training or racing and, therefore, not needing all those extra calories to repair/replenish, which is important to consider when scheduling a cleanse. Don’t start a lower-calorie cleanse the week after an Ironman, for example, when you need extra.
So, what is a cleanse? And cleanse vs. detox? A cleanse eliminates poor-quality foods and drinks (sugar, grain, gluten, processed junk, alcohol, caffeine, etc), nourishes with nutrient-dense juices and foods, gets rid of waste/toxins/bad stuff, and so on, to essentially “kick start” the body — inside and out — for more vibrancy. Juicing is one of the purest and most potent ways to naturally load yourself up with enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Juices are low in fiber to give the digestive system a break from all that hard work, and when you drink juice on an empty stomach the good stuff goes straight into your bloodstream to work its magic. Nothing compares. That said, a cleanse is not just about juicing (it can be for hardcore folks). Cleanses can include plentiful healthy fats, proteins, fiber, and even real foods, like the kind you chew (lol). Detoxing fits within a cleanse, but as far as I understand, it is a little more specific with ingredients and it targets specific organs such as the liver, skin, kidneys — all those guys who taking a beating when we eat poorly and expose ourselves to toxins (whether intentionally or not). Bottom line: I believe a cleanse should be done at least once a year even if you’re “healthy” because in this world we’re exposed to bad things daily in our environment that tax our system; the cleanse gives our body a chance to reset.
Also, a cleanse is for the mind and soul. It is a period of time to relax, eliminate stress, find peace, sleep well, smile more, laugh often, achieve balance, and even get your “om” on. If you’re doing a cleanse but still running around like a banshee, what’s the point? So if you partake in one of these, make sure you can clear up some of your schedule for some “me” time. Personally, I made an effort to do yoga every day during my cleanse (with longer savasnas!), not train for triathlon at all, sleep at least 8 hours, enjoy lunch (raw soup) outdoors on my patio instead of at my desk, eat/drink slowly to taste every morsel, get a massage, and so on.
Alright, now that we’ve cleared that up. How did my four days of Beaming goodness go down? Well, the journey actually started the Friday before with pre-cleanse prep. I eliminated coffee and alcohol the Friday before I started the Monday cleanse so it wouldn’t be a total shock to my system when I got going. I’ll admit, when I did the 1-Day Reset, I was still a total caffeine junkie and I did crash/get the headache that time. I didn’t want that during the 4-Day! In fact, I even kept coffee out of my diet after the cleanse for 2 weeks total just because it’s also good to be off the caff several times a year (it also makes it more effective as an ergogenic aid for all you competitive athletes out there).
I conveniently picked up my cleanse locally in Orange County on a Sunday afternoon, with two days worth packed in cute cooler bags for keeping. (Then, the second pickup is Tuesday afternoon for the last two days. Avoid a cleanse that gives you too many days at once; you want it fresh!) Each day of the cleanse menu included five drinks of some kind: 2 juices, 1 smoothie, 1 raw soup, 1 elixir, as well as a raw entree for dinner (three nights of loaded salads with creative creamy dressings made from foods like cashew or avocado, and night four is a special raw/vegan/gluten free lasagna). The juices varied each day and satisfied the desire for sweet and savory — some were more green, some more beet red — it never got boring. The smoothies were creamy, thick, and protein packed with almond butter/and Beaming’s special protein blend, which I plan on purchasing – yum. The soups were incredibly creative and delicious concoctions, such as an arugula curry — for real?! Yes please! Some of the elixirs packed a good spiciness with ginger, cayenne or jalapeno, which I lovvvvved. (Those were my cocktail hour, lol!)
There were also bonuses from Beaming beyond the menu listed above that I wasn’t expecting and, to me, this validated this cleanse even more: a bottle of milk thistle/dandelion root extract; both of which are powerful detoxifiers for our liver, an herbal tea mix with DIY bags, “energy” shots but not like you’re 5-Hour Energy, as well as daily emails of encouragement, instruction, tips and recommendations for further benefits such as taking probiotics, Vitamin C, magnesium oil, how to hydrate well, etc. A cleanse/detox should be an education on health and wellness, and provide the support you need.
Each day I felt great and that my caloric needs were met. I was never ravenously starving, and if I did get hungry between drinks I asked myself if it was “artificial” hunger/aka hunger just because I felt like eating, or was I truly hungry and in need of something. I think this is an important practice — whether cleansing or not — to learn to be intuitive with food and your body will respond positively. All too often we eat just to eat, not because we actually need those calories. If I did need something extra I had something from Beaming’s approved snack list, mainly raw/soaked nuts and seeds, raw organic veggie slices, and one day I even had some avocado. A couple times, I also had dehydrated organic coconut shreds, which was not on the list, but I figure it’s a pure/clean snack.
By Day 3, I was really feeling the positive effects. My energy levels were skyrocketing, my face and skin looked vibrant, eyes were glowing, I felt less tension in my body, I was motivated from wakeup time ’till bedtime (but not over-working!), and most of all — my mind felt more crisp and clear than ever. It’s amazing how food an drink can effect mental clarity. I already consider myself very healthy with what I eat and try to avoid things that cause a “foggy” feeling (i.e. gluten, beer, etc), so to feel even more sharp and on top my game during this cleanse? Loved it. In fact, every day I woke up before 6am after 8+hours of sleep, and never crashed. My body was also working extra smoothly in terms of elimination (TMI – but we all know that sometimes caffeine addicts need that morning cup to get things moving, ya know what I mean?! that was never an issue for me), I had no bloating of any kind, and I just felt good and strong.
Did I hit a rough patch ever? Not really. I think because my mind was in the right place and dedicated to the process. I didn’t get cravings. I didn’t miss coffee or booze or chocolate or chips. Honestly, the “worst” for me was missing my regular breakfasts — I’m not a liquid breakfast girl typically; I love my combo of free-range local eggs, avocado, veggies in coconut oil, salsa — as well a rough patch on lasagna night (dinner #4). Don’t get me wrong, the lasagna was to die for, but I definitely could have eaten multiple servings. That was one night where I felt extra hungry and the one slice + side salad didn’t cut it. Granted, I was on my feet a lot that day with clients at the gym…probably contributed. Otherwise, I didn’t find it hard to stick to the menu. You drink every 2-3 hours and those are enough to nourish and sustain. As mentioned, lean fat sources are most definitely involved throughout the day which helps immensely (avocado in the smoothies FTW!). And no issue with “just a salad for dinner.” They were hearty and something I’d want for dinner on a light week anyways; I think I couple times I added some raw/soaked nuts and seeds and extra organic lettuce or chopped veggies (like cucumber) to the mixes, but that’s it.
I didn’t miss meat (but I have no intention to become vegetarian/vegan; I simply believe in variety), and I didn’t miss hot cooked food even though it’s winter. At night, when I sometimes pour a glass of wine and have dark chocolate, instead I just drank the herbal tea with milk thistle detox extract, and lots of sparkling water (God bless Sodastream – minus the soda mixes, duh!). Besides the occasional chocolate and wine, I don’t snack at night anymore as it is (I used to back in the day before I ate enough fat), so it wasn’t hard to eat the salad and be done. But for those who DO snack after dinner, this is a good exercise in breaking that habit.
Also, what about other people in the house?! If you do a cleanse, it’s important that everyone who lives in your house is aware and mindful of the process; make it a positive thing that you can share with family and/or loved ones! Ask your people kindly to be mindful of what they’re cooking and whatnot (especially if you are struggling with the cleanse and lack of your “regular” diet), while also introducing them to the positives that a cleanse offers. My boyfriend John was very understanding to this 4-Day journey and made a conscious effort not to be grilling steaks and baking cookies. In fact, even though he’s not into the whole cleanse thing (yet, lol), by default he had a healthier week as well — making salads for dinner, laying off the beers, no dessert indulgences, etc.
Last but not least, I said in the beginning how I wanted to make this journey more than just the juices and raw foods. It was a lifestyle thing for me. I made an intention to do daily bikram yoga, and, no joke, the fourth day (Thursday) I had my best session of bikram I’ve ever had at the 6am class. I nailed poses like I’ve never done before and felt so much focus. I was able to truly quiet my mind during savasnas and just be in the moment. Beyond yoga, I made an effort to take walks on the beach and even had a splash in the ocean — something I don’t regularly do when I’m bogged down with work. I shut off external “noise” during feeding times to just enjoy the food/drink, the taste, the nourishment it gave. All those things may sound silly, but they make a difference. My HRV readings kicked butt.
Did it work? Even though I’m a healthy gal and probably eat better than 90 percent of the population as it is, during my 4-Day Cleanse with Beaming I still learned new things on how food can nourish, and I personally reached new levels of energy, mental clarity and an overall feeling of healthy awesomeness. It worked, even for this health nut. Plus, as I said in the beginning, it was a pleasure to be be free from cooking and cleaning dishes for four days; I didn’t even anticipate how much extra time that would open up. So why not try a cleanse yourself? I strongly suggest it. Give Beaming a go especially if you’re local to the San Diego/Orange County area, and, in fact, if you’re not local you can get in with Beaming still — they ship a 3-Day cleanse; click here for details!
*A cleanse/detox is an investment in yourself. It is worth your time and hard-earned money.*
That said, if you are interested in a Beaming Cleanse, please contact me NOW at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll hook you up with a discount code for the 4-Day, 3-Day, or 3-Day shipped. You must act before February 15 to get this deal! Contact me now! You won’t regret it, promise.
Also, please contact me / leave a comment if you have more questions on cleansing 🙂