I Did a 7-Day Plant-Based Cleanse And This Happened
For those addicted to Netflix, you’d probably have watched The Game Changers which posits how cutting down meat can significantly be better for you, your health and the earth. (And if you wind back to May last year, #TeamCLEO even reported the significance of this food trend!) Of course, going natural is going to be great for your body, and we were intrigued by a completely plant-based cleanse which meant going meat-free, caffeine-free and everything-free (nothing processed, no seasoning, no cheating…) for seven whole days. The writer tried it on for size and even for someone who wasn’t a complete carnivore, it was quite a challenge! Read on.
Day 1 to 3: Hunger, denial, bargaining…
The day started off hungry, but as part of the cleanse, we were meant to start the day with pure celery juice as suggested as the cleanse provider. Celery juice is extremely nutritious and great for the skin. It doesn’t taste great, but gorgeous skin is the motivation. Lunch came and it was a delicious soup and salad. Got through the day with some nut butter and a whole load of nuts. Around day two and three the real hangry set in. Whatever you were craving before, like caffeine and sugar, will probably fade by the end of day two. Significantly, for the first half of the cleanse my body felt very cold because you don’t eat a lot of “warming” foods as a lots of fruits are “cooling”. It’s hard to figure it out scientifically, but this is what the cleanse provider explained.
Day 4: Acceptance
Mid-way, though, you will break through that wall and you’ll be feeling so much better. You’ll feel lighter, you’ll sleep better, you’ll feel more energetic, and you will get used to the mindful eating. Even though you feel like you’re much “trimmer” than before, your body doesn’t necessarily lose weight so don’t expect the kilos to melt off. People also went through caffeine withdrawals which is what I thought I’d go through, but I didn’t, fortunately. A lot of water with chia seeds got me this far (chia seeds expand in water and they’re chockfull of goodness and they keep you full!). Another bonus was the Golden Tea Elixir made with turmeric which tastes much more delicious than it sounds. Just add a pop of quality honey and it’s a warming treat.
Day 5 to 7: Hope
This is when it happened. Day 5 is when I fell off the wagon and had to cheat and ate normal (vegetarian) food. If this cleanse did teach me anything, it was to listen to your body. Sure, you don’t need all that junk that you tend to reach for, but if you really need energy for your day, you can ease into something nutritious and see how you feel. I enjoyed the last few meals but by Sunday I was already ordering and eating normal vegie-based food.
As someone with a list of intolerances (you can find out what you’re intolerant to, at a price, by doing the Alcat Food Sensitivity Test by enquiring with your doctor), it was a challenge to eat vegetables that would usually cause sensitivities. For me, quitting gluten was the game-changer as I’m highly intolerant to it. Weeks on, I’m still meat-free, gluten-free and plant-based, which makes for interesting conversation (but also makes me an annoying dinner companion) but it turned out that I feel so much better and happier.