So, years of gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, making lots of dietary and lifestyle changes and feeling so much better physically, and I thought, wow, I’m totally there. I have my life back. But then last fall, I developed a mysterious rash on my chest that persisted for months despite every imaginable home remedy. It would get better and worse and better and worse.
Then, I went to a library book sale and happened to find a coffee table cookbook from the 1980s published by a California spa that included menus and recipes for spa meals that could be prepared at home. It included recipes for Cleanse days as well as day by day meal plans. I was flipping through the book a few weeks after I got it, looking at the recipes and the daily meal plans and reading the background about the spa’s philosophy when it struck me that maybe a Cleanse might help my rash and other health issues.
I decided to do the juice day home initiation Cleanse as written in the book, and then winged the second two days based on eyeballing the recipes for the later days.
The Basics: The Cleanse Day as written was, like, 500 calories. OK, that might get me through to 10 am. Out of the gate, I did double to quadruple portions of each of the six drinks. The advice was to make each drink fresh from whole ingredients just before eating, rather than preparing them ahead of time. The schedule for the day went something like this.
7:45 am—First drink
9:00 am—Eyes crossed with starvation, accidentally start to eat a potato chip, spit it out and throw it in the trash
10:00 am—Second drink
10:30 am—Ready to kill someone
1:00 pm—Actually feeling OK
3:50 pm—Fourth drink
5:00 pm—Actually really doing OK
6:50 pm—Fifth drink, feeling fine
8:00 pm—Sixth drink, I actually don’t even finish
Out of the gate, the day I did the Cleanse, I planned to do absolutely nothing. You are also allowed to drink as much water, laced with fruit, like lemon or lime or strawberries.
It really was hardest in the morning when I really did not think I would make it through without freaking out and eating an entire pizza. I do not know if my stomach shrunk as the day went on or what, but by drink four, I was doing OK.
Also, this Juice Cleanse Day should only be done once in a Blue Moon. It is highly calorie and nutrient deficient. Even if you do it the way that I did, with double, triple, quadruple portions so there are enough calories, it is horribly nutrient deficient. No child should ever do one of these juice cleanses, and they should never be done for more than one day.
In addition, the spa offers various stimulating hikes, exercise classes, water aerobics, hot tubs and massages to assist the cleanse. I did what I could at home with walking around the house, exercising and taking showers and baths.
The first day was really tough, but overall I made it through OK.
More next week on the two “Solid Food” Days.
(And don’t miss the final installment In Review.)