Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I Survived The Cleanse!

I survived...woo!

It's been funny the last couple of days. I've been diligent about keeping up with my comments and my blog friends have been writing me back asking about the cleanse. I suppose I peaked some curiousity despite my whining!

I'd have to say that the cleanse was a success. I feel a lot better. I'm more energetic and getting better sleep but I do think my digestive issues are just something I will have to try and balance. Sometimes, it's fine and sometimes it isn't and I know that stress only aggravates my symptoms.

For a week, I did an ayervedic cleanse which basically focuses on building a healthy metabolic system and attaining good digestion as well as exercise, yoga and meditation. You test to see which dosha you are. I tested as a borderline Pitta/Vata but because of my digestive issues, the cleanse leader told me to consider myself Vata. Apparently, this is like having old lady digestion! And my dietary staples of salads, popcorn and crackers are bad for this dosha because it takes a lot of effort to break down those foods and they are drying. Great...apparently, I've been jacking myself up for a while. My dosha requires that veggies and food be cooked. Hence, me now having to cook a little more. I can still eat salads but need to counteract it with good fats and acids to help the breakdown of the veggies and should stick to that being an afternoon meal instead of an evening meal. Ayerveda believes that your biggest meal of the day should be lunch and not dinner.

So what did I eat? A lot of rice! This doesn't bother me too much since I grew up having rice at two meals anyways but I haven't kept that practice up since high school so I'm not used to making or eating so much rice hence dusting off the rice cooker. So it was a lot of warm coconut rice cereal, a rice and bean concoction and lots of veggies with a smoothie, stewed fruit or soup thrown in for good measure. I felt satisfied each day. No hunger pains.

The worst part of the cleanse was the caffeine withdrawal. On my second day, I felt like death. I had no energy, was super lethargic and only got up to cook or feed myself. The headache was terrible. But I persevered. In exchange for giving up caffeine, I have a better sleep schedule. I can't really last past midnight anymore so I am forced to go to sleep earlier which means it's a little easier to get up in the mornings when the alarm goes off and hence, I have more energy. Amazing what I was depriving myself of for 30+ years. But as you can expect, after 30+ years of coffee, it isn't so much the caffeine I miss but the taste of coffee so I'll be switching to decaf to fulfill the coffee craving. I do think that the caffeine was making me a spaz and I feel a little calmer. I think it will take a little while for me to reach my inner zen.

There was no weird colonic enema although that was an option. Yes, I said enema. Don't go freaking out. Instead I took a natural supplement to help move all the bad stuff out of my system. I took it before bed, it did its work while I slept and when I woke up, I did my bathroom business and I strangely felt a lot better. I have a very slow digestive system that I think this just helps do some of the work my system seems to get lazy about.

I didn't do any of the yoga, meditation or exercise I was supposed to do because the cooking took forever. At least I thought it took forever but I also have a small kitchen and I usually try to avoid being in there as much as possible so I am not very proficient in that department. The cooking wasn't my favorite thing but I think you all got that vibe from my whining. :)

Would I do it again? Yes. I would probably try to find a time when I was doing a staycation so I could take full benefit of the cleanse with enough time to cook, meditate and exercise. Ayervedic cleanses occur in the Spring and the Fall.

Would you all like some stats?
At the beginning of Lent, I gave up sugar and was at a starting weight of 157.
At the start of the cleanse, I was at 155. For one week, I was going to give up caffeine, sugar (already was), meat, wheat, dairy, fat (other than olive oil and ghee) and alcohol.
One week later and I am at 150.8.

So I'm down about 7 pounds with 4 of those being due to the cleanse. My goal is to be down to 145 by the time I go to Grand Cayman in June. The hard part, of course, is to keep those pounds off while losing more. I'm 5'8" so I think 145 is a good healthy weight plus I'm not sure my bone structure will support me being lower than that. Time will tell though.

I'll maintain some aspects of the cleanse and incorporate more grains and veggies into my diet especially in the evenings. I ended up eating a lot of rice just because I prefer it over quinoa but I did have some of that. I am just happy I can incorporate oats into my diet now. It's my usual morning grain. I love oatmeal!

I am back to regular eating but I am trying hard to make careful choices and not snack. ANd if I do snack, that I snack on fruit.

It was an interesting experiment. A year ago, I would never have done this. I didn't think I could. What?! Give up coffee and meat and wine?! You have got to be kidding! I don't miss the coffee, I don't miss the meat although I'm back to chicken and well, I can take a break from wine but not give it up altogether. Lucky for me, my dosha says red wine is good. Thank Goodness! So...if I can do it. You can do it to if you so choose to. You can do anything! You just have to believe in yourself.

So...the cleanse was a success.


If you've gotten to the end of this, my thoughts go out to my friends living in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. My sister lives in this area and her house wasn't damaged by the tornado but was damaged by the storms. If you can send some good thoughts, I'd appreciate it. She has lots of water damage due to the hail breaking her tile roof and skylights and she had just finished a remodel. May she have the strength and motivation to deal with the insurance and having more contractors in and out to fix the damage. I can't wait to see her in a couple of months. I am just thankful that they are all ok. The house will be fixed up in time.

I'll be back soon with a stitching update.

Until next time...


Chris said...

Congratulations on completing this Valerie. It took a lot of commitment but it sounds like you are feeling a lot better.

Giovanna said...

Wow, good for you - congratulations!

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

Great job, Valerie! Because of my heart disease and high cholesterol, I decided to quit eating red meat and pork - haven't had any since August. Can't say I miss it too much but I don't know that I could go to a high end steakhouse and not get a steak! Caffeine, in the form of iced tea would be tough for me to give up completely but I do drink decaf tea in the evening. Sounds to me like you're making some very positive changes that will benefit you always. Great job on the weight loss. I need to drop a few pounds myself!

Margaret said...

That's so great that the cleanse was a success. Sounds like you're sticking to it -- the important parts -- too. I keep figuring once DS goes off to college, it's time for me to change our eating habits to healthier ones. i hope I can do it!

Sorry to hear about the damage to your sister's house. Thank goodness she was untouched by the tornadoes though. It could have been so much worse, right? Hope the cleanup and repair goes well for her. Not fun -- I had tons of that last year, so I sympathize.

Margaret said...

ps: Is dark chocolate allowed? :D

Katrina said...

Glad the cleanse worked so well for you!!!!

Thank goodness your sister is okay and the house stuff can be fixed but what a pain for her.

Ann at Beadlework. said...

As someone with digestive issues I found what you were doing really interesting. I'm glad it worked for you.

Anne said...

YAY! You made it Valerie! What great stats too at the end of it! I tried no coffee on Sunday morning but my headache was so bad I had to have a cup. I guess it's just persevering until the end! You must have had a lot of strength and will power to get through that day!!!

So sorry to hear about your sisters house. My prayers go out to her and the other families affected by the tornadoes.



Michelle said...

Congrats on the cleanse! I think it would be good to look into this, because I think I have a sluggish digestive system too. Thanks for the info. And thanks also for checking on me last night - much appreciated. Sending lots of prayers to your sister on her house. Glad they are ok though!

Keeper of the Crowes said...

So happy to hear that the cleanse was a success. Congratulations on the weight loss and finding a balance that works for you!!!

Denise said...

Interesting, will have to look into all that. I'm glad it was a success for you! Hope things go smoothly for you sister.

Carol said...

What an interesting post, Valerie! It sounds like it really was the right thing for you and that even if you hadn't lost any weight from it, it has you feeling better than before you started :)

I'm so relieve that your sister and her family are okay--unbelievable photos from those tornadoes down there!

Have a wonderful Easter, Valerie :)

Catherine said...

So glad your sister is okay! Tornadoes are such scary beasts!

Congrats on completing the cleanse! Maybe one day I'll try one again.

Mindi said...

Congratulations on completing the cleanse, and putting up with some rough moments! It was really interesting reading about it. I'll have to do some research on an ayerverdic cleanse, it sounds a lot more friendly than some of the pure liquid or juice cleanses I've seen.

Julie said...

Congrats on completing the cleanse.
My thoughts are with your sister, i hate storms.
Have a lovely Easter!

Dani - tkdchick said...

By interesting read.

Melanie said...

Congrats on making it through to the end!!!!! It sounds like it was pretty great all around once you got past the initial newness of it. (And rice everyday? YUM. Now *that* I could stick to. lol)

So sorry to hear about your sister's house. Especially after they just fixed it. Ugh. I have a friend who lives in that area and she had to spend all afternoon in a stairwell at work but, thankfully, nothing was damaged.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the successful cleanse! Sounds like it was challenging, but so worth it.

Prayers being said for your sister. That was a strange bit of weather for sure. A friend of ours got stuck in the Dallas airport when her flight was cancelled.

Meari said...

Congrats on surviving the cleanse!