Clean Eating Program
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may have gotten a glimpse of the book I’m reading and what’s going on in my world right now.
I was on the search for another way to help heal my body, and landed on this book called “Clean” in a google search.
CLEAN: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself. Obviously this caught my attention. I ordered it right away and read through it within a couple of days of arrival.
From the back of the book: “Clean is a 21-day M.D.’s clean program designed to be easily incorporated into our busy schedule while providing all the practical tools necessary to support and rejuvenate our bodies. The effect is transformative: nagging health problems will suddenly disappear, extra weight will drop away, and for the first time in our lives, we will experience what it truly means to feel healthy.” source
Sounds pretty good so far, right? Too good to be true? Maybe.
About the author: “Alejandro Junger, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology, having trained and now practicing in New York City. In addition, after completing his medical training, Junger studied Eastern medicine in India. He was the medical director of WE Care Holistic Health Center in Palm Springs, a world-famous center for fasting, cleansing, and detoxification.” source
So how do you follow the Clean Program? There’s a few different approaches to this clean eating program (written by the author Dr. Alejandro Junger for GOOP): source
Option 1:The Clean 21-Day Cleanse
“A 21-day detox program for achieving vibrant health and restoring the body’s own natural ability to heal itself. Specifically designed for the person on the move who wants to remain active and cleanse.
This cleanse consists of a shake/smoothie for breakfast, lunch from a set list of approved foods (called the Elimination Diet) and a shake/soup for dinner. Some of the foods not allowed on the Elimination Diet are wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, citrus fruits, caffeine (highly stimulating, highly acidic, and/or highly allergenic foods). Throughout the day you take your recommended supplements and healthy snacks are permitted if necessary.
The cleanse focuses on changing habits and resetting the digestive track so foods that you find yourself craving begin to have very little appeal to you. The cleanse isn’t hard, but it does take focus.” Focus is brought to determining your true hunger cues and managing them accordingly.
“The most frequently reported benefits are mental clarity, improved energy, improved digestion, weight loss, balanced moods, and long-term dietary changes.”
Option 2: Clean 21-Day Elimination Diet
“A 21-day dietary program based on removing foods from our diet that are known to cause food allergies, food sensitivities, and disruptions in the digestive process (wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, etc). This diet helps your system reset and cleanse in a very gentle way.
For 21 days you eat three square meals a day exclusively from the Elimination Diet. The approved foods will encourage light detoxification. Avoiding the non-approved foods will encourage many things such as improved digestion, improved beneficial bacteria levels, and light weight loss.
This option is perfect for someone who is looking for a stepping stone on their path to optimal health, but might not be ready for a full-blown cleanse.”
Option 3: Clean Mini 3-Day Cleanse
“A 3-Day mini-cleanse designed to give your digestive system a rest and boost your energy levels.
One liquid meal for breakfast and two solid meals from the recipes provided below for lunch and dinner. No supplements are needed for this mini-cleanse.
This mini-cleanse is best for those who only need a slight reset. It’s also used as a maintenance program for those that have first gone through Plan A or Plan B.”
Reasons for Excluding Certain Foods
“CLEAN excludes certain foods from the 21-day program for several reasons. Some of the reasons include these foods may trigger sensitivities and/or allergic reactions, they contain toxic chemicals, they may have an acidifying affect on the body, they are mucus-forming, they are pro-inflammatory or some foods are simply difficult to digest.” source
**The book emphasizes the importance of giving your body 12 hours throughout the night time to digest and detoxify. So, if I were to eat dinner at 7 pm, I wouldn’t be able to eat anything until at least 7 am the next morning.**
To read more about the Clean Program, check out their website: www.cleanprogram.com
(Sorry for the lengthiness and all of the quotations btw).
So, did I decide to go through with it?
I feel that my body could use a clean retreat, including getting rid of excess mucus which inhibits my body from functioning properly. I have chosen option 1 for now, where I eat a smoothie or shake for breakfast, a solid meal for lunch from items determined on the Elimination diet list, and a blended soup for dinner. I figure giving my health history, my colon could use a bit of a rest from all of the harsh digestion.
Some people may call this a cleanse, and I suppose I would to, but it’s not to be looked at as a standard cleanse where you think of only liquid meals, limited calories and colon flushes. I don’t believe in those types of cleanses and think they can do more harm than good. This is a 3-week period of feeding your body only nutrient-rich foods and ones that it can most easily digest with limited chances of allergies. It’s about rebuilding the intestinal flora in your gut so that nutrients can be absorbed more easily and readily. It’s about slowly getting rid of toxins from your body. It’s about feeling your absolute healthiest self.
It takes a bit of planning, food preparation, motivation, and dedication, but all-in-all, I don’t find it difficult to eat only clean foods especially when I’m home during the week. Social outings will be a different story, but I will do my best. If I get off track for one meal, I will get right back on track for the next one.
I have gone into this program with the mentality that if I can stick out option 1 for a while that would be great, but if I feel the need to switch to option 2 which is the three solid meals of food from the Elimination Diet, then so be it. I’ll make the switch or do a mixture of 1 and 2. I know I am still feeding my body only nutrient-rich foods either way and doing a great thing for my body. Also, I haven’t decided if I will stick it out for 1,2, or 3 weeks. I’m going to see how I feel week by week.
Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been eating…
Greek style quinoa salad with zucchini, green olives, dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano (so good!), roasted broccoli, and tilapia. I have since found out that tilapia is on the do not eat list. Whoops!
Homemade butternut squash soup: Butternut squash, onion, celery, garlic, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, chickpeas, and water, topped with sunflower seeds and cilantro. Pretty darn good.
The breakfast smoothies have been different everyday. Fruits, veggies, some type of protein (Spirulina, chia seed, almond butter, hemp protein, etc.), homemade almond milk.
Leftover quinoa salad with chickpeas added in for some protein.
Green veggie soup! I wish I would have written this one down because it is absolutely outstanding! The ingredients are: broccoli, onion, garlic, zucchini, green beans, almonds, chicken broth (homemade), water, thyme, salt, and pepper. This stuff rocked my socks!
Snacks have been raw carrots, snap peas, blueberries, apples or a bite of almond butter.
Clearly, I am not eating tasteless food on this Clean program. Everything tastes fantastic. I am eating healthy abundant amounts of fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, lean protein, and drinking plenty of water. Green tea is permitted too so I have been enjoying one cup in the morning in place of my coffee.
Today is my third day on the program. Already, my digestive system seems to have calmed down. I felt a little bit irritable during the first couple of days, but right now I am feeling very calm. Irritability is a common complaint in the beginning because our bodies are working so hard to clean up excess toxins build up over time. Our bodies are constantly trying to find a state of balance and get rid of toxins but they have a hard time keeping up with this process when we are continually feeding it toxic foods and beverages. That’s why this extra push may be what some of us need to “clean up our act.”
I am feeling really feeling great with the 12-hour nighttime “fast.” I never go to bed uncomfortable from eating too close to bedtime, and in the morning I have no rumbling colon or bloated feelings. Such a simple solution!
This program isn’t for everyone. Before beginning this program PLEASE consult with your doctor.
So there you have it. That is what’s going on in my life right now.This is just another road I am taking in my journey towards wellness. It’s been a long trip, but I will get there eventually!