I hope you had a great weekend and are ready to tackle the week ahead.
I always LOVE Mondays because I have an obsession with to-do lists and planning, and I always feel like Monday is a fresh start to accomplish all my goals.
Quick note before we start: do you get emails from Notes from the Universe? If not, you totally should. They send positive goodies like this one straight to your inbox Monday - Friday morning:
Young souls learn to accept responsibility for their actions.
Mature souls learn to accept responsibility for their thoughts.
And old souls, Julie, learn to accept responsibility for their happiness.
You can sign up here to receive them.
And without further ado... let's chat all things cleansing!
Why I Did the Cleanse
Just to give you a quick recap: I've been running in circles (in the best way) since I got to Canada. From training for my half marathon, to writing every day, to applying for permanent residency and all the little stresses that come along with moving to a new country... I've had my plate and to-do list quite full.
I wanted a few days where I could tune out from the world - mentally and physically - and give myself the time and freedom to MYSELF. The nutritional part of my cleanse was very simple (only liquids) and it cleared up a lot of decision-making surrounding food. The mental part of the cleanse included lots of meditation, yoga and very little social-media checking.
If you want to find out all the details of the cleanse, you can read my initial post about it here.
How I Felt During the Cleanse
During the cleanse, I felt great!
As I mentioned in this post, I started off fasting for the first 24 hours of the cleanse, which felt both spiritually and physically refreshing.
After that, it was all liquids: lots of water, kombucha and smoothies!
The reason I opt for smoothies instead of doing something like a juice cleanse is because protein-based smoothies balance and stabilize your blood sugar more than juicing will.
When you're ONLY drinking juice (or smoothies filled with fruit/sugar, as most smoothies you'd find at Planet Smoothie and the like are), it spikes your blood sugar. Your body has to release insulin to bring your sugar back down. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone, and that roller coaster of UP & DOWN with the blood sugar is what causes you to gain and hold onto weight. You can even become insulin resistant, which in the long run leads to diseases like thyroid problems and diabetes, and makes it MUCH harder to lose weight.
So, I opted for smoothies that contained protein, greens and healthy fats.
If you've followed me for a while or you're a client of mine, you know I always preach #GPF: greens, protein, fat -- even in my smoothies!
I'll write a post tomorrow about my favorite smoothie formula, but a typical smoothie during my cleanse looked like this:
- vegan protein powder
- chia seeds (or flax or hemp)
- heaps of spinach/greens
- 2 tbsp. almond butter (or 1 tbsp. almond butter, 1 tbsp. coconut oil)
- lots of superfood spices like cinnamon, turmeric, etc.
I usually only include fruit in my smoothies now if it's before or after my workout, simply because that's when my body best utilizes carbs. I have hypothyroidism so I've found that when I'm careful about the portion sizes/timing of my carbs, it makes ALL the difference in my skin (less breakouts), performance (more energy), and sleep (better sleep). I'll do another post about my hypothyroidism later on!
Overall, I felt amazing just having 3 of these smoothies during the day. The formula helps me feel fuller for longer because of the protein and healthy fats, so I didn't really find that I was hungry at all.
I had energy to do hot yoga (err day!), go for long walks, and even lifted on Friday. I saved my long run for this weekend when I was eating solid food again.
How I Felt After the Cleanse + Would I Do it Again?
I talk in my e-book about how I do social media cleanses every so often, and they make ALL the difference for me. If you've never done a 'sweep' of your social media, btw - you totally should. Go through and unfollow all the people you compare yourself to. I always ask myself 'does this person offer value to my life in any way or make me feel good about myself?' and if the answer is no, BUH BYE.
Clearing my day of social media also seemed to create SO MUCH more time in my day, which was great for writing, walking, yoga, work, listening to inspiring podcasts and all the things I truly love to do.
Physically, I would definitely do it again... but I'd probably wait another few months or so.
Is cleansing necessary?
Our bodies naturally detoxify and cleanse themselves through our liver, so it's not necessary to do any type of cleanse, really. Like I said in my original post, I was mainly doing this for the mental benefits that come along with the cleanse rather than the physical (i.e. most people do cleanses to auto-correct after a weekend of shitty food or to try and lose weight).
I tend to avoid EXTREMES as much as possible, which is why I opted for smoothies with nutrient-dense whole foods in this cleanse. That's why it's important to know your intentions for doing a cleanse: are you doing it to lose weight? to 'detox'? to punish yourself for a 'bad' weekend? all of these are signs that it's probably best to avoid a cleanse or restriction. Instead, just get right back on track with eating whole foods, getting out there and sweating, and not beating yourself up over it.
BUT if your intentions are pure and you have good balance in your life already, a cleanse may be a good option to clear your mind and body of all the mental chatter!
See ya tomorrow :)