Day 6 came and went without incident and, I can gratefully say, without any grading of any kind. I'm taking tonight to hunker down with Gatsby, watch hockey, read a fabulous book Friend Lora gave me (Outlander...check it out!), and forget for one night that I'm responsible for the English education of some 154 future contributors to the world.
So, with that, I turn it back over to the cleanse and addressing a few questions that have been passed my way through messages. Note that all of the information here is just my own thoughts based on my own experiences. I'm not a doctor, and my thoughts should in no way be taken as medical advice.
Tell me about Metagenics - UltraClear!
UltraClear is a medical food made by Metagenics. There's a somewhat informative article about it here on LiveStrong (insert Lance opinion here) that gives some background. I haven't been able to find anything that suggests that UltraClear, when used for short periods of time, is unsafe in any way. Rather, it serves to provide the nutrients the body needs to sustain itself through a cleanse, while still honoring the "digestive rest" that is important to the cleansing process. More on that in a mo'.
Can anyone do a cleanse?
Yes and no. Like I said earlier, cleansing is not for everyone. If you have any sort of health situation going on at all, you really need to check with your doctor before partaking in a cleanse. The first one I did back in 2009 was with a group under the guidance of a coach in a program through CorePower Yoga. Since then, I've done multiple cleanses, only the last few without the supervision of a nutritionist. If you have struggled with an eating disorder in the past, you need to assess whether participating in a cleanse will be a trigger for you. If there's a chance it could be, don't do it.
What are the benefits to doing a cleanse?
For me, a cleanse serves several purposes, most of which are mental rather than physical. Physically, I lose some weight, my skin clears, I feel lighter, and I feel a lot more in-tune with my body's natural rhythms (such as they are). I also eat more vegetables. But mentally...that's where the magic happens. There are days, as I'm sure you understand, when I need a Diet Coke. When I need french fries from the cafeteria. When I don't need the doughnut from the office, but I sure want it a lot, so I eat it. And then I sit in the midst of my sugar crash and berate myself, especially in January, for not having more self-control. Cleansing reminds me that I do have self-control. It also reminds me that if I eat one doughnut, it's okay. That the danger is not what I eat, it's how I eat. Cleansing reminds me that a lot of times when I think I'm starving to death, I'm actually bored. Or thirsty. Or procrastinating.
How much weight can I lose during a cleanse?
A good friend asked me this question and I told her what I typically lose, but I'm not going to get real specific here on I Am Who I Am. First, as mentioned above, I'm cognizant of triggers for eating disorders. Also, that's a very individual question and I don't want to give you some "these results aren't typical" answer. I will say that every time I've cleansed, I've gained more than half of the pounds back within a week. A cleanse and a weight-loss program are two very different animals. If you want to lose weight, do a weight-loss program. If you want to detox your body, do a cleanse.
How do you really feel?
Right now? I feel like crap. I haven't eaten any solid food besides broccoli and apples since Monday. I'm sick of drinking UltraClear. I'm exhausted. My back hurts. I'm irritable. I'm whiny. I haven't had caffeine since Friday. I'm sitting here watching hockey and I want to be drinking a cocktail and eating popcorn...but I'm not (and, truthfully, I don't...my habit wants those two things, but I'm not really craving either one). Along about today, the cleanse really starts to suck, and I think "Why did I do this? Why don't I just eat a sandwich?" But I know from past cleanses that I'm in the middle of the woods in the dead of night right now, but I'm on the right path and very soon I'll start to see some trees I recognize, then some light...and I'll be out and okay again.
What cleanse should I do?
I would recommend the cleanse I'm doing (The Ecopolitan UltraClear Plus 10 Day). I would also recommend any cleanse you do under the supervision of a nutritionist as a part of a wellness program at a gym, yoga studio, etc.
The better question is what cleanse should you not do....any cleanse that excludes essential nutrients from your diet (ahem, master cleanse, ahem), lasts longer than 7-10 days, or involves you putting more chemicals/pills/toxins into your body than it takes out should be avoided. Cleansing is kind of a big ticket word right now, and there are a lot of people out there who are peddling things they don't know anything about in order to make a buck. Remember, above all else, this is your BODY you're dealing with, and you only get the one.
That hits on most of the questions I've been getting over the last few days. If there are others I didn't touch on, feel free to drop a comment. Off to go hit my last serving of UC for the night--cheers!