Confession #1: My name is Abby and I'm a sugar addict.
Confession #2: I'm a sucker for buying just about any and every detox and cleanse book I read about—only to never actually put them to the test. They sit sadly in a stack in a corner while I eat more Laffy Taffy and Hot Tamales than anyone should in one sitting.
When my friend Gwen told me she was on a 14 day cleanse, I was instantly intrigued. And the more she told me about Dr. Frank Lipman's Be Well program (opens in new tab), the more it sounded like something I could actually do. Dr. Lipman's basic philosophy is that the right combination of supplements, diet and lifestyle changes can get you healthy and keep you that way. His 14 day detox uses targeted nutrients to boost the body's natural detoxification process and get rid of harmful foods and irritants in your system. I like the sounds of this. Plus, you get to eat.
I've done a couple of three day juice cleanses in the past. And actually, I rather enjoyed the challenge of trying to stick to it and felt great afterward. But they aren't very realistic for someone who needs to be on top of her game at work every day. Read: I was kinda bitchy and very much in need of a nap during said cleanses. But Dr. Lipman's plan consists of three nutritional "shakes" (early morning, mid-morning and late afternoon) along with a light lunch and dinner (accompanied by a supplement pack at each meal.)
This all sounds perfectly reasonable. Of course, then I realize that the meals will be free of gluten, dairy, meat (though organic chicken and poultry are okay) and various vegetables (though most are allowed.) You can't have any refined sugar (though there are lots of allowed fruits) or caffeine either. Considering I usually drink about five Diet Cokes a day, this gives me pause. But I know I need to rebalance my body and STOP eating so much darn sugar and soda. And the real kicker for this Irish girl, no alcohol. I have no problem physically giving it up, but the social aspect is huge. And I sure do like my vino. I'm basically making zero plans for the foreseeable future. Why tempt myself?
I think I was in a haze the first couple of days. Day one was totally fine. The shakes aren't the yummiest thing in the world, but I didn't hate them so much. I was hungry and wanted a slice of pizza, but I think that's only because I knew I couldn't have one. It's certainly not a normal Thursday meal for me. Day two was a Friday and my co-workers noticed I was a little bit more low-energy than usual. And I was starting to get a killer headache. I might have tackled someone for a DC, but I've promised myself that I'm doing this thing without cheating. And I'm very Type-A. Perfectionism runs through my veins, especially when given a challenge. Saturday and Sunday were less fun than your typical weekend. I worked out both days at my new obsession: SoulCycle (opens in new tab). But otherwise there was a lot of lethargic laying around which probably didn't help me forget about the pounding in my head. But then Monday came and I started feeling really good. No headache. More energy. And today is even better. I don't even get hungry as often as I used to just a couple days ago. I think I've finally turned a corner on this thing. Phew.
So what's changed so far in six days:
-I started to cook for myself...every day. This rarely happened before, especially during the work week.
-I'm sleeping better. Usually I'm a crazy insomniac, but I've started going to bed before midnight.
-I'm totally saving money on my healthy lunches and lack of $12 glasses of rosé. Bonus!
-I think my face is looking slimmer, in all likelihood due to a decrease in bloating. Yay!
Stay tuned to see if I stick with this thing. And let me know if you have any cleanse or detox tips.
For more information on Dr. Lipman, check out his website (opens in new tab).
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