I first learned about The Conscious Cleanse from my friend Teri’s blog. I’d always associated cleanses with liquid diets, deprivation, and pure misery, so I was intrigued to read her review of this particular cleanse and learn that this one’s not about starving in the slightest — it’s just about eating “clean” and being very aware of what you’re putting in your body. Now that’s a cleanse I could get behind.
Here’s the lowdown: For a 14-day period, you give up all dairy, soy, eggs, wheat, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, common allergens (like strawberries), and a few starches (certain beans and veggies, like potatoes). Assuming you start this cleanse on a Monday, weekends become more hard-core cleanse (and rest!) days.
It sounds like a lot, but it was surprisingly easy for me to adjust to this new diet and routine. In fact, I loved the extra time I spent thinking about the food I was purchasing, making, and eating. I felt really aware the whole time, which is, after all, kind of the point.
I have a huge sweet tooth, so I was sure I’d miss sugar like crazy during this cleanse, but surprisingly the two things I missed most were coffee and red wine. Thanks to my caffeine experiment earlier this summer, I knew I didn’t miss coffee for the caffeine. I think I missed the ritual of both drinks, and the occasions they typically go hand-in-hand with (time to regroup in the morning for coffee and conversations and meals together with friends on the wine front).
Throughout the cleanse, I continued my typical Pure Barre workout routine and didn’t experience any lack of energy during the 14-day period. In fact, many times I felt more energized than I typically did. I also noticed that my skin was clearer than usual and that I was sleeping more soundly.
For me, the Conscious Cleanse was a great choice. I became more aware of what I was eating during that two-week period (which was my main goal) and also spent more time preparing food and planning meals (something I’d wanted to get better at doing as well).
Things I’ll continue post-cleanse include:
- Drinking warm lemon water in the mornings and evenings. Though I also want to re-incorporate coffee many mornings, I did grow to love this drink as a citrus-y start to both start and end my day.
- Making green smoothies my go-to breakfast. These are delicious, and I’m totally hooked! My favorite combo is spinach, frozen mango, frozen banana, water, and chia seeds. Delicious, and the protein-packed chia seeds curb my hunger for several hours.
- Keeping foods less sweet. I typically add sugar (Spenda, actually) to my tea or coffee, and have realized I don’t need the extra “sweet.” Going forward, I’m going to try to drink coffee sans-sweetener, opting for just the cream instead. (I just can’t do black!)
- Being more mindful in general. Turns out I don’t “need” breads, dairy, eggs, and soy the way I thought I did. I’ll continue to make many recipes without these ingredients.
I also got some new favorite recipes from the Conscious Cleanse book, including the recipe for Protein-Packed Almond Butter Balls that I posted last week as well as this one for a quick, easy, and delicious kale and avocado salad.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend this cleanse to anyone who’s interested in being more aware of the foods they’re eating. It’s a great way to give your body a bit of a “reset” and rest time from all the processed food out there.
Thanks, Jules and Jo, for creating a cleanse I actually got excited about — and that I can continue to incorporate into my diet going forward.