My 21 Day DIY "Clean Program" Elimination Diet
** This post contains my personal experience, please consult a doctor and do your own research before going on any sort of cleanse or diet to make sure it is right for you **
When I first heard about Dr. Junger’s “Clean Program”, I never thought that I could do it. Mostly because the thought of drinking smoothies for breakfast and dinner sounded unappetizing to me. However, I eat well and take good care of my body but was still feeling bloated, hungry, unsatisfied after meals, depended on the same foods, and tired throughout the day (especially in the afternoon). I felt that something had to change and that my body and digestion needed a restart and that it was time for a deep cleanse.
This was my first elimination diet and I wanted to make sure that I did it right. I looked into ordering the Clean Program’s 21-day cleanse package but as a college student, the $475 dollar price tag was just a tad out of my budget. Despite this setback, I was still determined. I ordered the “Clean Program Book” and set out to create a DIY version.
The “Clean Program” Breakdown:
21 Days of…
Smoothies twice a day for breakfast and dinner
At least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast
No peanut butter
As you know, I love love love eggs, peanut butter, and yogurt. So the idea of going without some of my food staples and all of the other foods from the “don’t” list seemed overwhelming to me. But, I knew I needed this. My body needed this. My skin needed this. My digestion needed this. I was ready for the challenge.
Preparing for the cleanse:
First, I read the “Clean Program Book”, this book gave me so much insight as to how the body can naturally heal itself. Honestly, it changed my perspective on the power of food, nourishing my body from the inside, as well as what and when I am eating.
Then, gather the supplements and plan for the cleanse.
DIY Cleanse Essentials:
· Plant-based Protein Powder (1 scoop per shake)
· Fiber – I used ground flaxseed (2 TBSP per shake)
· Probiotic – I used Silver Fern Brand (1 a day in the morning)
· Digestive Enzyme (take with each meal)
· Liver Support – Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Dandelion Root
· Magnesium – I use Natural Calm
· Olive Oil – I would drink 2 TBSP olive oil at night before I went to bed to coat my intestines (and oh boy did I sleep like a baby)
How I felt:
Week 1: Everything is pretty easy. The first day I felt slightly hungry. I had a couple of headaches in the first few days (which is a normal thing when your body is detoxing) but overall my spirits were high. I loved the challenge. The biggest changes I noticed was the increase in my energy levels, better quality in my sleep, and my skin started to glow.
Week 2: I feel so light and energized. All I want is food for dinner, but the results are worth it. I am not bloated at all and my digestion is incredible. I am more hungry in the afternoon and am snacking on cleanse compliant foods (especially cashews and almonds) to get me through. This week I have upped my fats (avocado) in hopes to curb my hunger and sugar cravings. I also started incorporating some form of animal protein (salmon & chicken) into my lunch to hold me over for dinner. I am loving the way that this cleanse is making me feel inside and out!
Week 3: Feeling motivated! I got this! Drinking smoothies for breakfast and dinner seems pretty normal to me by this point. I actually am enjoying and finding myself craving a dinner smoothie. In the past three weeks, my sleep, attitude, body image, and mental strength have increased so much that I am honestly not looking forward to the cleanse being over. Can I continue living like this forever?
Day 21: I DID IT! I stuck with the cleanse. I’m glowing from the inside out. I feel recharged. I feel light. I feel energized. I feel focused. My mind and body feel strong. I love how I feel and I don’t want it to end.
In one word this cleanse was amazing. That’s exactly how it made me feel, absolutely amazing.
The cleanse helped me to tune into my body and learn how to listen. I noticed which foods made me feel energized and which ones were draining my energy. When I gave my body a much-deserved break from the normal 3 meals a day, my body thrived.
The final phase to the cleanse is the reintroduction period. Dr. Junger suggests reincorporating the one food that you missed most during the cleanse and for me, it was eggs. All I could think about was a nice poached egg and that is exactly what I made. I wouldn’t say that the egg made me feel amazing the first time, but I tried it again and didn’t seem to have much trouble. Following eggs, I reintroduced dairy, because I love love love Siggis yogurt (the only dairy product I eat) and am still debating whether or not dairy works well with my digestive system, but time will tell.
This was my experience with the cleanse. I am sharing what I felt and what worked best for me. I will without a doubt be doing this cleanse again and would highly recommend this cleanse to anyone who wants to get in tune with their body. Overall, it was an incredible experience.
Again, it is important to listen to your body – I am not a doctor. This is what I did and I am only speaking from my experience. I would recommend doing your own research, listening to your body, and following the program outlined by Dr. Junger.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have or to share your experience with an elimination diet or cleanse!