Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegan Clean Program, I'm Done!

Twenty-one days ago, I started following a veganized version of Dr. Alejandro Junger's Clean Program.  I drank a healthy organic smoothie for breakfast, had a whole foods lunch, and a soup for dinner.  I snacked on yummy things like organic kale chips and raw organic cashews, and sometimes I had a juice for dessert.
Blended curried split pea soup from Vegan With a Vengeance
Overall, I feel really good.  Three weeks later and no complaints here.  I've lost two pounds and a teeny bit of body fat, and my clothes fit better.  Weight loss wasn't one of my goals, I followed the Clean Program because I wanted to press restart after too many sugar cookies over the holidays.  I wanted to pick up some more healthy habits, and maybe make a difference in the way I react to certain allergens.
I discovered the deliciousness of kale chips while on Clean!
The verdict? I'm really happy that I saw this through.  It wasn't always easy, especially with my busy schedule.  I went without sugar for the longest time I can remember.  I mean, I had fruit and a bit of agave here and there, but I'm talking about straight up sugar.  I feel good about that.  We installed a water filter on the tap in our kitchen.  I thought it would be expensive or a pain, but it was like $20 at Target and really easy to install.  I drank filtered water with organic lemon throughout the day.  I started skin brushing regularly.  I left a 12 hour window between my last meal of the day and my first.  I started my day with a healthy smoothie and usually ended it with a healthy juice.  These are habits I could easily continue.

I have allergies to cats, and on Day 20, I spent some time at a house with a cat.  I love kitties, and they love me.  They always end up rubbing on me, and I always end up petting them (it's hard not to!).  Usually, this ends with hives, fatigue, and a stuffy nose.  On Day 20 and reaction.  I couldn't believe it!  Could it be that simple changes in my diet made this happen?  I've been getting allergy shots for almost a year now, but this is the first time I haven't had a reaction in what seems like forever.  The weird thing is, I was getting hives during Clean, so at one point during the 21 days I came to the conclusion that the Detox wasn't fixing my allergies.  The fact that I didn't react to the cat was really awesome and surprising!

It wasn't all smooth sailin' on Clean, though.  There were definite moments of frustration and hunger.  If I got hungry during the day, I'd snack on a Clean approved food.  I found I had the hardest time on Friday nights, after dinner.  It's hard to find the resolve to say no to seemingly healthy food like popcorn while watching a movie.  I would make some tea and move on, and I found my craving would pass without any drama.

Now that it's done, I look forward to sneaking in a little coffee back in my life.  It's been a almost a month!  The only strong cravings I had were for coffee, so I'm going to bring it back. After Clean, you're supposed to bring certain foods and drinks on the "no" list back gradually to see how you react.  Since my diet was healthy to begin with, I don't think I'll see too much of a problem.  It will be interesting to see how my allergies go.  After coffee, I'm bringing back peanut butter, bananas, soy, then gluten.  I'll definitely post updates on how it goes!

Have you ever given up coffee?  How did it go?


Chanda M. DeFoor said...

Very cool! That is so interesting about the cats. I would love to know if the allergies come back when you return to "normal" eating. Kudos for seeing your cleanse the the end. I'm sure it wasn't easy. Enjoy your coffee! You deserve a treat.

Bianca said...

Congrats on finishing your cleanse! I might look into Clean for next year. Only I could never give up coffee again (did that on the ACT last year and I thought I was going to die .... like the whole month ... never got used to it). I'm glad you're bringing coffee back!

One change I did make after cleansing was to sweeten my morning java with agave and unsweetened soymilk. I've actually found that I like that better than sweetening with sugar!

Alejandro said...

Great post !
Thank you so much for spreading the word.
Yes, your allergies start in the gut, where 80 % of your immune system resides. And when foods irritates it, it responds to other things as well.
There is a lot you can do to reverse the 'condition' without the needs of shots, which are not really correcting anything, but tricking the body.
You can find a lot of info on MyCleanProgram, our community site, did you join ? Please do...
Great blog site, keep up the good work.
Alejandro Junger ( From CLEAN )