Diary of a Cleanse

Earlier in the month my friend Marilyn and I enjoyed Sunday brunch at a local raw foods restaurant.   The idea of a raw food diet is not completely new to me.    Juicing is a regular part of my routine and I avoid processed foods.   I watch what I put in my mouth as I am gluten and lactose intolerant.  The only time I eat red meat is when I visit Mom and she throws steaks on the grill or serves up roast beef with all the trimmings.    I’ve always considered my diet to be very healthy but the raw food brunch was eye-opening.  The offerings were craftily made to resemble comfort food like lasagna, burgers, ceviche, fettucini, and spinach pie.  The brunch covered everything from soup to nuts and I ate it all up including the idea of introducing more raw foods into my diet.

I decided to start by cleaning out my system.  Marilyn recommended a program she used called Blessed Herbs.   I researched it on the internet and placed the order.

Day One, Wednesday 9/16

Anticipating delivery of the cleanse kit today I stop at the store after work to pick up a gallon of raw organic apple juice.  When I arrive home the cleanse package is waiting at my door!  The comprehensive kit includes a booklet to answer questions, a daily calendar, step by step instructions, and the herbal supplements for the program.   I select the best of three options which is to do a nine day cleanse.   This breaks down to three days of pre-cleanse followed by five days of liquid fasting, then wrapping up with a day of post cleanse.  The other two options allow you to eat food but they take much longer to complete, almost up to a month.   While I am excited to start the program I am also eager to get it over with as quickly as possible so I opt for the nine day cleanse.

According to the directions, on day one of the pre-cleanse, you eat your normal diet but take an herbal supplement before dinner and a dose of toxin absorber before bed.    I opened the box before dinner and took the smallest dose of the supplement.  Great!   I was on my way!   If my body responds appropriately tomorrow, then day one will be in the bag! 

Day Two, Thursday 9/17

Cut out dairy, red meat, refined sugars, etc – all the bad stuff.  Eat today but cut all portions in half.   Take supplements in the evening.  Okay, I can do this.  I lift weights at the gym in the morning, knowing it will be the last weight training until this is over.  I mention the cleanse program to my friend Pat and she expresses concern.   I trade emails with Dan, my trainer, and tell him about the program.   From his response it is obvious he is also not supportive.  Doubt creeps in and I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  I trade emails with Shantal.   She wishes me good luck and tells me she is planning to do a cleanse in the near future.   And my co-worker Scott is excited when I tell him about it.   That makes me feel better.

My body responds appropriately to day one of pre-cleanse which means day two is officially underway!

The smell of roasted peanuts in a bowl on top of the file cabinet wafts over the top of my cubicle at work.   I resist by drinking gallons of water and herbal tea all day to keep my belly happy.   On the way home from work I feel a little shaky.   My body is used to more than a half serving of baked veggies for lunch.  This is not a good sign.”   I think.  I resolve to keep option two as my back up plan.  I get home and have more veggies.   The supplements fill the gaping hole in my belly.

Day Three, Friday 9/18

The company brings in pizza for lunch today, something I don’t eat anyway.   I stick to a small scoop of salad.  Surprisingly, I feel okay today — no shakes, no light-headedness, no hunger pains.  I keep drinking water and tea and make it through the day.   Considering the small amount of food I have been eating I am surprised at how much my system is releasing.  I am relieved, no pun intended, that so far this is easy.  At home, I discover the small unopened package of raw food cookies I had purchased last week.  Temptation!  I push them to the back of the cabinet.   I can’t quit now, tomorrow I start the full cleanse.  Option two remains in the back of my mind.

Day Four, Saturday 9/19

I have a client this morning.  Nervously I plot out the times of the doses, the first day of the full cleanse.  I want to be sure my energy level is high for the 10:00 a.m. session so I wait until 8:30 a.m. to take the first supplement with juice.   The session with the client goes well and I get back home in time for the second dose.  I have errands but decide to wait an hour to tune in to my body.  I feel fine!  At 12:30 p.m. I grab my granny cart and head out the door.   I drop off clothes at the dry cleaners and then walk the mile to Target for paper towels and detergent.    I need another gallon of apple juice as one will not be enough to finish the program.  I have to stop at Whole Foods. I dread going into the grocery store.  I grit my teeth, ignore the sample stations and pretend not to smell the deli roast chicken.  I practically run through the produce section with my eyes closed.  I don’t feel hungry but boy do I miss eating.   I grab a bottle of juice, cat food and a bunch of pastel pink gerber daisies.   If I can’t have food in the kitchen at least I can have flowers!  When I get home I feed Kitty then call my son to wish him happy birthday.   He talks me through the process of fixing my garbage disposal with a broom handle.   It works!  This day is a success any way I look at it.

Day Five, Sunday 9/20

My belly is so empty!   At least until the first dose of the toxin absorber, then it feels happy.  Well, in this instance, happy is a relative term.  Equilibrium Energy & Education Center is having its second birthday party today.   They are offering mini-treatments making it a great opportunity to try some new things.  My second dose is due around 11:30 a.m.  I tuck a packet of supplement in my pocket and head out the door a little after 10:00 a.m. for the mile and a half walk.  I arrive before the crowds and enjoy a 20 minute treatment in Hawaiian Energetics.  During the treatment, the energy goes right to my gut as if to support and validate the cleansing effort.   I check the time.   The next dose is due but I push it off so I can get in a 15 minute hot stone massage.  Aahhh!   The massage is so worth it!  I feel like a noodle.   Sheesh!  I have to quit describing things in terms of food or I will never make it through this.  I quickly pay for my purchases and head back home.   My belly is complaining so I run into Whole Foods and grab a small container of apple juice and a bottle of water.  I stop and dump the contents of the packet into the juice, shake it up and drink it down.  According to the directions I need to follow the juice with 16 oz. of water.   I guzzle the water during the walk home.   I spend the rest of the day housecleaning, doing laundry and worrying about the next day at work.   I also sneak in a little nap mid-afternoon.   Option two, the back-up plan, no longer seems necessary.

Day Six, Monday 9/21/09

Whoohoo!  More than halfway done!  The booklet advises that one could have a cleansing “reaction” but so far I feel fine with the exception of my baby toe.  Someone stepped on it  yesterday and this morning it is swollen.  I don’t think it is broken, only bruised.   Wearing a shoe hurts so I slip on my flip flops.  I’ll have to hide my feet under the desk all day.   I bring a supply of cleansing packets and a container of juice with me to work.   Based on the schedule, I’ll do four out of the five doses at the office.  My hope is to do this privately and avoid questions, but I immediately fail in that regard.  Two folks are in the kitchen while I prepare the first one.  I divert conversation to my baby toe which seems to work but later Sue comes to me with questions.  I hope I can get through today, tomorrow and Wednesday quietly and avoid being fodder for the office grapevine.  Mmmmm, I do love grapes.  The clock approaches 1:00 p.m.   I feel a bit sluggish.   The booklet warned about this but went on to say that this period will pass quickly followed by a burst of energy.   I look forward to that.   I take a walk around the office to perk up.  And, of course, stop at the ladies room.  I look in the mirror.  Is it my imagination or does my skin look super-good?

Day Seven, Tuesday 9/22/09

Two more days of cleanse.  Option two is no longer an option.  It is amazing to me that I have gone three days with only liquids and I feel fine.   I am shocked at what my body is releasing.  It is an incredible feeling to know this gunk is out of my body.  Baby toe has rebounded and looks good too!   Walked by the peanut bowl this morning and it had no claim on me at all.   Great, great, great!  My coworker Bob commented that the shaker jar looked like a jar for fireflies.   I laughed!   Catching fireflies is something I haven’t done in years.  I feel like a firefly….all light, airy and ready to take off. 

The Law of Attraction is working.   I received an email from Bernadette, the Director of Equilibrium, stating that I won a raffle prize from the Birthday Party!   The prize is Susan Smith’s book titled Recipe for Health Bliss Cookbook!  Now that’s what I call affirmation!

Day Eight, Wednesday 9/23/09 

In the words of the great James Brown….

“Whoa-oa-oa! I feel good, I knew that I would, now
I feel good, I knew that I would, now
So good, so good, I got you”

I feel like dancing, dancing, dance the night away!  Okay, enough with the song lyrics but I cannot believe how good I feel!  My skin is clear, my body feels strong and I‘ve released nine pounds of toxins that were lingering in my system.  The constant slight edema in my left ankle is gone.  My ankles MATCH!     In the homestretch and I have an organic apple sitting in a bowl on the counter for tomorrow’s post-cleanse breakfast.  I wish I had purchased a bigger apple.

Word filtered out to a few folks in the office about my cleanse.   A small office, this was to be expected.   What I didn’t expect was the level of interest!  Lots of questions, serious questions, have come my way and a few people have asked for the website for Blessed Herbs.   Is that a sign of age that we are so interested in our ability to poop?

Day Nine, Thursday 9/24/09 

I placed the apple on my prettiest dish, the pink one decorated with white leaves and strawberries.  I sliced the apple in half, then quarters, then eighths.  I cut each eighth into three little pieces until the plate was covered with diced apple.  I couldn’t resist.  I popped one piece in my mouth right away before carrying the dish to the table.   A single woman, I have the habit of eating my breakfast standing at the kitchen counter each morning, shoving it down quickly before heading out the door.   So this apple was more than my first solid food after the cleanse; it was a first to actually sit alone at my table eating and enjoying my breakfast.   I decided to be civilized and eat my apple pieces with a fork, chewing ever so slowly.   The apple was an apple, no better or worse than any I have ever had before and the lack of elation surprised me.  But there was a difference.   Kitty sat next to me purring.   I scratched her ears thinking to myself she’s right, this is a nice way to start the day.  This is a nice way to start the next step to a healthier life.


  1. Comment by Dan Bentz

    Posted on September 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Glad to hear you made it through your cleanse Kathy! 9 pounds is a lot of weight to lose, congrats. Pay close attention to how quickly it comes back, or doesn’t come back; I’m intrigued Will you be back in the gym tomorrow?
    Take good care!

  2. Comment by Dan Bentz

    Posted on September 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Glad to hear you made it through your cleanse Kathy! 9 pounds is a lot of weight to lose, congrats. Pay close attention to how quickly it comes back, or doesn’t come back; I’m intrigued Will you be back in the gym tomorrow?
    Take good care!

  3. Comment by Susan Kozem

    Posted on October 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I laughed out loud a couple of times. What about the afternoon juice, were you drinking it?

  4. Comment by Susan Kozem

    Posted on October 1, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    I laughed out loud a couple of times. What about the afternoon juice, were you drinking it?

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