my experience with the Dr. Junger Clean cleanse

Many of us have tried detox cleanses in the past or are curious about them.  After researching a number of them, I found one that I felt was a good fit for my goals, basically to cleanse while still eating!  I don't believe in fasts or serious deprivation as I think there is almost always a negative rebound effect and its just not good for you.  Last week a friend and I did a 3 day detox using this guide from Gwenyth Paltrow's blog Goop in which she promotes Dr. Alejandro Junger's Clean Program.  It focuses on staying hydrated while getting loads of fruits and vegetables whose properties support your liver during the cleanse.  There is protein, and in my opinion, enough calories to keep you from losing your mind, but not too many to keep you from losing a couple pounds. 
I'm not promoting or recommending this program, per se, but reviewing it based on MY experiences during those 3 days.

Day 1: See Goop for the detailed plan and recipes.
You are to start with lemon water then move to the following as the day goes by: herbal tea, a smoothie, coconut water, an avocado and onion salad with (really good) carrot ginger dressing, pumpkin + sunflower seeds.  These items were all good and satisfying.  The dinner, a broccoli and arugula soup made with onions and garlic was not so great, these foods all contain compounds that are an important part of the detox process, so I don't recommend skipping this one.  Just don't get your hopes up that it's going to taste great, like we did. 

carrot ginger dressing over onion, avocado and lettuce salad

Day 1 went well until dinner.  My husband came home and made grilled cheese and tomato soup while I ate the broccoli soup...brutal!  Later, I had to have an apple and a spoonful of avocado (in lieu of the tablespoon of olive oil that's suggested) to keep myself from the chocolate kisses.  I figured this wasn't so bad since both apples and avocados are acceptable foods on this plan.

Day 2: See Goop for the detailed plan and recipes.
Same start, then chicken for lunch, which was amazing!  I'll use this recipe again!
After that, we moved some things around to avoid the pea and basil soup.  Not sure how "acceptable" this is, but we did it anyway.  We had the miso soup for dinner (added zucchini and mushrooms for a little more bulk and only 4 Tbsp miso paste and it was still very flavorful...delish.  I'll make this again too!) instead of as a snack and had the Beet, Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juice from Day 5 instead (I had beets left from the farmer's market).  The juice was delish and little Sam loved it too.  Note: we added a few cups of ice to thin it out and we thought it tasted better.
Day 3:  See Goop for the detailed plan and recipes
It was great to have oatmeal for breakfast, and all else went well.  We went out for the juice "snack" to Peeled in Lincoln Park just to get away from the juicer and out of the house for a bit. 

In general, I would say this cleanse was a great success.  Although I was tired and had a headache the first day, on day 2 and 3 I felt really great.  A few things:
  • I slept like a baby all 3 nights. 
  • I felt leaner and not at all bloated
  • I had this urge to clean out drawers and closets, which I did and am loving it.  My detox companion did the same thing! 
  • There is a lot of work in preparing and shopping for these ingredients.  Do it with a partner or two if you can, and split the work and cost of the food (and support one another).  We found that many of these recipes make enough for 3 servings.  If you're doing it alone, the miso soup recipe will feed you 3 times (so you only have to make it once as it's the most time consuming. 
  • I chose mint tea most times as the herbal tea.  It helps to curb appetite.  Dandelion Root tea is another good option, or there are "detox" teas on the market.
  • Take time for a good book, take a long bath and long walks.  The mind needs a break just as much as the body!
  • Try to ease back into your regular diet slowly and keep some of these recipes in your back pocket.  The addition of these foods on a regular basis will help you maintain a healthy balance.
  • Always consult your doctor before beginning a cleanse and never cleanse if you are nursing, pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

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