Monday, February 22, 2010

21 Day Cleanse Report


February 1st I embarked on the Kathy Freston, "Quantum Healing" 21-day Cleanse.  As reported about 10 days ago, I started to have some worrying symptoms (my left hand went very cold and numb, turned very pale, and felt inordinately fatigued and somewhat headachey and depressed).  So I slackened off a bit by adding some protein, in the form of fish to the regime.  Once I caved there, I added some white wine while dining out with my DH and friends.  I did start to feel better after adding the occasional meal with fish protein. 

Kathryn, who joined me in this venture, says she believes I was missing vitamin B-12 and that could account for the symptoms and the improvement once adding protein that could supply the B-12.  I also discovered that while one of the grains I was eating in the form of bread was wheat free, it was not gluten free.  So my report is that I did not totally stick to the cleanse and it is therefore hard to judge it as such.

Now off of my adjusted version of the cleanse I will continue to not consume meat of any kind, will drastically cut dairy, and avoid wheat and sugar as much as possible.  Wine will be enjoyed when I please with my DH.

No more 21-day cleanses for me.  I will however, experiment with eliminating wheat and dairy but at separate intervals so I can determine which (or perhaps both) is more detrimental to my energy levels.

Some things learned while on the cleanse:

*  I am not 'mindful' when it comes to food preparation or eating.  While preparing food that I did not particularly want to eat, my mind flitted elsewhere - thinking about an idea for a painting or a collage .... stuff like that.  I also noticed that I do not really take time to slowly savour food while eating.  That is something to change - become more mindful around food.

*  I noticed that I often think of food as a reward.   E.g.  "After I complete this task, I will have a cup of tea and an oatmeal cookie".  This became clear when the opportunity for anything that seemed rewarding was absent!

*  It is amazing how not eating animal proteins changes everything about your digestive tract operations!  Hmmmm - how to phrase this delicately?  Let's just say you will cut way back on your purchasing of toilet paper and room freshener!  Quite amazing.

*  I believe it is getting off of dairy that has settled my intestines into a normal, healthy schedule.

*  I figured out it is called a 'cleanse', because you actually do feel CLEAN inside. I don't know why or how I knew this, I just knew and it felt good.

*  Not eating gluten, makes you feel less bloated.

*  Not eating sugar or wheat really cuts back on food cravings.

*  I still do not like tofu.

*  Love, love, love white tea.  It is apparently even better for you than green tea.

*  Sometimes I would think "I don't want to invest time cooking something I am not really going to enjoy - so I will just eat it raw".  It was good, easy and fast.  And raw food probably offers more health benefits too.  Don't worry, I will not soon be promoting a raw foods diet.

*  There are 1001 things you can do with oats.

*  Love, love, love sunflower sprouts.

*  Anything tastes better with a few drops of toasted sesame oil.

*  When you sneak some black Alaskan cod in your diet - sprinkle lemon infused olive oil on it for a taste delight.  To die for!!!

*  Finally, I learned, or rather confirmed, that I have much less willpower than my daughter who followed the cleanse perfectly - twice.  Guess I will have to eat crow.
*  And my sweet blogging friends, I have learned to  never bore you about any regime I undertake, again!

Kathryn did stick to the cleanse for the whole 21 days (BRAVO!!) and gives a report about the experience here.

Marlene and Val also accompanied us, but I have not heard from them since the first week.  Perhaps they will leave comments here to update us on their experience.
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  1. Some really good tips and advice here Bonnie! Bravo for sticking it out even if it was a bit modified. I am intrigued with your statement about thinking about food as a reward and being mindful of what we eat. What a great way to face the reality of what we say to ourselves about food and maybe even change how we think about it which may help us in better food choices overall.

  2. Excellent reporting, Bonnie!! And it's not boring in the least, honestly. I too was quite intrigued by some of the things you noticed and 'food as reward' hit home for me. If I didn't have a rapid metabolism and hollow legs (apparently, cause there's no other explanation) my rewarding of myself would have put me in the overweight class.

    I agree with the common sense approach of eliminating one or the other at a time, and also think that dairy(I am a cheese fanatic) causes a lot of problems. I think you were extremely sensible about your approach, and there's no point at all in being a zealot about anything. Kathryn, on the other hand.....well, she's one determined cookie and that's partly why I love her.

    anyway, bravo to you and thanks very much for updating us all. Believe me, I had wondered how it was going and was looking forward to the details.

  3. I had to laugh and agree with you about animal protein. I still eat dairy... but cutting out beef, pork and chicken has helped my digestion amazingly. I am going to try and limit my cheese intake. I don't drink milk, I never liked it. And I eat eggs maybe 2-3 times per week. I eat way too much cheese so hopefully I can cut it down to a healthy amount per week! Good luck to you. It's so hard but you will feel so empowered when done I am sure of it!

  4. I have heard pros and cons about these "cleanse" diets, mostly cons. I guess the key is to eat sensibly. If you are not going to eat meat, it is important for you to get your protein in other ways.

  5. Hi Bonnie,
    i've posted my lengthy cleanse report on my blog - you can link to it from your blog if you wish!

  6. Val Baker to me at

    dear Bonnie
    I have been frustrated in my attempts to leave comments on your blog so will try by email. I did persevere with the cleanse but must confess i was not entirely 'pure'; I found it difficult socially sometimes so i had the odd glass of wine but kept it light; having left off animal products for a few days, i had no cravings for meat at all and found it quite gross actually. But i live with a carnivore and so meat (mainly beef of chicken) play a role in our kitchen. However, I did manage to quit smoking during the process - its 4 weeks now and although i felt quite headachey and irritable for the first two weeks, that has all passed and i feel good. I am not sure if the headaches were just from not smokeing or from the whole detox effort - I suspect the latter; but either way it just indicated how much i needed to do this!
    I will persevere with leaving out wheat, dairy, and sugar as much as possible; and meat as mucha s possible. I do think it was an easier exercise here in the heat, than for you in that extreme cold where you need high burning fuels in your tummy to keep warm and active! I would also like to source that book, and make it a regular attempt. Perhaps with a multi-vitamin complex at the same time?

    your blog is definitely one of my favourites - i love your posts and always find them interesting and uplifting. I have often linked you on my facebook page. Yesterdays blog on heart health was so interesting. I keep reading about the power of mediation and breathing, and focussing on breathing, but sending love to your own heart makes perfect sense!

    mainly this is just to say, please excuse me for not leaving comments, but I am following and LOVE your blog! you are making a difference to so many - and i am only one.
    take good care and enjoy it all

  7. Just an fyi, B-12 deficiency cannot be cause of those symptoms, as your body stores B12 for five years (sort of a built in back up system from our "pre-historic" history for when finding protein was difficult). Also since you consume fish and some dairy, you will not be B12 deficient, unless you are a very strict vegan for a very long time. My guess, most of those symptoms were blood sugar related, or simply withdrawal...
    Your, Crazy Cleanse obsessed daughter

  8. Hey - Crazy, cleanse-obsessed daughter! What you say makes sense to me. Thanks.


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