In one of my last posts I talked about preparing for a 4 day detox cleanse. What started as a 4-day plan, turned into an 7-day epiphany (8 and 1/2 for Ambra). I lasted a week, with absolutely no food. Not one bite. I felt no symptoms of hunger, and after the 4th day, didn’t even crave eating. Extreme? Perhaps, but true.
Detoxing is commonly mistaken for a cheap attempt to lose weight. Its true purpose is to rid the body of the toxins (Get it? De-tox) which we inevitably accumulate over the years.
They come from everything: air pollution, chemical absorption (anything from shampoo to laundry detergent to car exhaust and pesticides), radiations, and of course all the processed food loaded with GMO’s, sugar, hydrogenated fats, alcohol and animal fats to name a few.
‘Yea but I don’t need to cleanse – you might think – I eat healthy, and bla, bla, bla….” I thought so too, but the truth is that pretty much everything we learn about “health” is wrong. Want an eye opener? Watch the documentary ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead‘ and you’ll be amazed by the incredible results of Joe Cross‘ 60 Day Challenge!
When you consume only juice, your system is flooded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help your body removing toxins, lower the risk of life-threatening diseases, strengthen your immune system and basically reboot your overall energy levels!
This is our ADVENTURE:
Phuket, Thailand is truly the best place in the world to undertake such an adventure, with a plethora of detox resorts to choose from dedicated solely to facilitating cleanses.
Even if we didn’t stay in any of these place, opting for this gorgeous brand new property, we still had the same experience by utilizing the expertise of ‘The Cleanse Café‘, a health center specialized in tailoring customized detox programs. They provide all necessary supplementation and equipment and advise you during the process.
Our true life savior was Organic Phuket, which delivered daily organic juices to our doorsteps freshly squeezed from their farm. Organic is huge. Particularly while cleansing, it’s extremely important not to introduce any toxins found in non-organic products, which can be contaminated with GMO’s and pesticides.
I was worried about losing weight and being hungry, but 7 bottles of 330ml juice equate to 13 lbs of vegetables, a total of 1,200 calories, not including supplements. I felt totally nourished and didn’t lose a pound. (If weight loss is a goal this can be easily accomplished with slight modifications. See FAQ below).
Completing the cleanse was one of the most transformative experiences of our lives. It’s truly incredible the process that your body undergoes. The mental, physical and actual experience proves that detoxing undeniably works. Let’s just say a lifetime of toxic accumulation is a lot for any body to handle!
The cleanse was far easier than we anticipated. What started as a 4-day process quickly turned to 7 as we saw incredible results (clearer skin, lighter, more energy and never having needing that espresso at 5 p.m.)
The hardest part came when our travel plans were suddenly changed, and on the 6th day we decided to take a last minute flight (literally, 5 hours before the plane left). A night flight from Phuket to Hong Kong meant at least 6 hours with no juice. Of course, nothing they served at the airport or on the plane would suffice, so some creativity was required. We checked in three bottles so we’d have juice immediately upon landing. We also brought our antioxidant powder blend, dehydrated coconut water, spirulina and extra fibers (Psyllium Husk) to hold us over.
* If you want to buy these supplements I personally use iHerb. They ship anywhere in the world and ship for free in the US for orders over $20. Use this link and enter the promo code: MDN970 to get $10.00 OFF your first iHerb purchase.
Finally, before we took off, we placed an order at the Mandarin Oriental room service (the only place that makes fresh juices at night) for four carrot juices at 1 a.m. so we’d have something when we arrived.
Everything went smoothly. And the transition to day 7 was a breeze.
Tweet this out: There’s always obstacles which can be an excuse to fail. But like most things in life, success starts in your mind.You just need some planning and everything will work. If we managed to do it, you can do it too.
At the end of the adventure, not only do you feel proud for succeeding, but clean, rejuvenated, amazing… basically all those things that they sell you. It’s something you owe to yourself, to your body, to your loved ones. You’ll never feel better and grateful enough for experiencing it.
If you’d like to try the cleanse yourself, scroll below the pictures: I put together my FAQ guide which is filled with everything you need to do this yourself.
Detox Cleanse FAQ
1. Was I hungry?
- Without a doubt the question I’m asked the most. I can honestly say I felt zero hunger. It’s hard to feel when one consumers the equivalent of 13 lbs of fruit and vegetables a day spread out over 1,200 calories. I crave food only until my body began ridding itself of toxins: 3 days. The feelings are normal: it’s the body’s withdrawal from addiction of sugar, caffeine, etc. Knowing how the body reacts, can one truly say that food, particularly sugar, is an addiction, no different than any illegal drug!?
2. Did I have energy?
- It came and went, but every day there’s at least one moment that seems so overwhelming you want to quit. Power through it. Drink and hydrate. Occupy yourself. It only lasts a minute and once it passes you feel even better than before. The first two days were easy, although this is the opposite of what most people experience. The fourth was by far the worst for me, and I felt so lethargic I wanted to quit.
- Lethargy and headaches are caused by the body working effortlessly to expel toxins through the liver. It’s also withdrawals. These symptoms faded as the cleanse went on, and on the 6th day I had the most energy out of any day. I felt 100% normal, and, if I chose, confident that I could go another week with minimal effort. The 7th day was the best I ever felt in my life.
3. Was it hard?
- I was extremely fortunate to have every tool at my disposal to make the cleanse successful, which I believe is the only hard part. In other words, I planned ahead. What most people would expect to be the ultimate challenge: hunger or fatigue was actually the least difficult. Success means ensuring you have constant access to juice, supplements and fibers, the mental commitment, as well as allowing yourself the time to rest and planning the time in your life to reward yourself with this challenge.
4. Did I lose weight?
- Not like I would have expected, but mostly because I didn’t want to! I started the cleanse at 65kg (143 lbs), which is skinny enough. So I modified my program to include some high quality vegan protein (this is what I like the most) and nut milk (which you can easily make yourself like we do).
- However, I assume most people actually aim to lose weight in which is inevitable. To receive maximum benefits try easing up on the fruit based juices (fructose also hinders the livers ability to expel toxins) and use coconut water once daily to replenish electrolytes and energy.
5. How much does it cost?
- All things considered the cleanse is extremely cheap. Given that you’re never eating out and your only expense is vegetables, fruit and supplements, it’s a bargain. If you’re consuming organic, which you should, I’d say total cleanse costs for 7 days is $200 – $300.
- Given the enormous health implications it has for your future, what could be better value for your money?
6. Did I have any cravings?
- Initially it was pineapple-fried rice with vegetables. Probably because I was in Thailand and could smell it’s perfume everyday from the guests around me. After the 4th day I was repulsed by heavy, greasy foods and anything fried. Almond milk with pine nuts and bananas was about the most aggressive thing I craved from that day forward. Most of the time I just wanted more juice.
7. Did I have any other symptoms?
- During the entire cleanse I had a cumulative 10 minutes of headaches, mostly because I didn’t drink in time or wasn’t properly hydrated. However, headaches are often experienced depending on ones prior habits, particularly with smoking, sugar and coffee. Waves of fatigue are normal. The longer I went the better I felt.
8. Can I workout during the cleanse?
- During the pre cleanse and the first day, I worked out probably 80% as hard as I normally do. The second day I took things down to 50% (push ups, abs and light cardio), and the third I swam a few laps. The fourth I swam ½ KM and the 5th did nothing at all.
- The 6th day I worked out 75% of normal, completing 50 minutes in the gym. Afterwards I continued to feel the vibrant and alert.
9. What is the most important step to success?
- Hand down, unequivocally I’d say preparation. That means:
- Finding the right juicer. I condensed all my research and experience into two easy selections: first timer/economic friendly option and the experienced juicer/ higher quality option. The difference is in the press. The latter “slow pressed” style of juicing extracts all pulp leaving only pure juice. Whatever you decide, don’t skimp on quality. I threw away my first juicer (a Jack Lelanne) because it simply didn’t work and was too hard to clean!
- Having all the supplements necessary.
- Drinking every 2 – 3 hours.
- Timing things correctly.
- Clearing your schedule completely. Doing this with a regular job would be extremely difficult. It’s important enough to take a week off or use vacation time if you have to. Detox also means clearing the mind, and I feel strongly that the cleanse is a mental break a physical one. If it doesn’t sound like a vacation, do what we did and combine it with one.
- Have a partner: I cannot stress this one enough. Doing this alone, especially for your first time, would be very difficult.
- If you have to do this at home it’s imperative to remove all temptations. Put all the storable food somewhere out of sight and always have a fresh juice ready to grab in the kitchen. When you’re hungry and tired and still have to make it, you’re going to fail.
10. How much water should I drink?
- 5 liters a day is recommended and less than 3L would be a disaster. Water is the essential liquid that expels the toxins from the body. It’s also important you take mineral water (Aqua Panna, Fiji, Evian, etc), both for the nutrients and its purity.
11. I have to work, run errands and what if I’m traveling?
- Here’s a list of essentials so you can get through your day, whether it’s that errand you have to run or an international flight.
- Dehydrated Coconut Water: Simply mix with water and boom, all the electrolytes and sugar to you need to keep you going.
- Superfood powder: If you can’t juice, mix in this instead. Two scoops will have nearly all the vitamins, minerals and protein of a vegetable juice. The best I’ve ever found is Amazon Chocolate, an organic blend of Green Foods, Superfruits, Sea Vegetables, Probiotic Cultures and Amazonia Cocoa Beans. One serving delivers more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than 5 full servings of fresh fruits and vegetables… and it also tastes delicious!
- Spiriluna: It suppresses hunger, is an incredible antioxidant and provides a huge quantity of protein per serving. In fact, the highest concentrated substance on the planet.
- Chlorophyll: Excellent for removing toxins like heavy metals (mercury, lead, etc.) from the blood and body.
- Protein Powder: Feeling like a workout? Or want to lose weight without losing the muscle? I took 30g daily of SunWarrior Protein, a high quality, non GMO, all vegan supplement made from brown rice and peas. It also has all 11 essential amino acids for the best possible absorption. I’ve been using it for years and it’s incredible. If you want to buy these supplements I personally use iHerb. They ship anywhere in the world and ship for free in the US for orders over $20. Use this link and enter the promo code: MDN970 to get $10.00 OFF your first iHerb purchase.
11. I’m feeling like I want to quit…
- Drink. Don’t think about the endless days you have in front of you. Just focus on the next obstacle. Make a list and check it off. The first few days are where almost everyone fails. After day 3, you’re too invested.
12. I feel like I want to keep going…
- We felt the same… so we did! We lasted 8.5 days in total and continued to ate raw and juice for weeks after. Continue until you feel the time is right. We knew it was time to quit when we were afraid of the inevitable: being too scared of eating again and not feeling as amazing as we do while fasting. Just take it slow and remember you don’t have to go back to your old ways and that feeling can last forever!
13. How do I break the fast?
- By starting slow. Eat all organic raw products for a minimum of 2-3 days following the cleanse. A week is recommended. Continue to juice! From there, slowly introduce cooked food back into your diet, all the while maintaining lots of juice and vegetables as your staple. My feeling on breaking the fast were the same as when I started: I didn’t want to do it!
14. What next?
- The true purpose of the cleanse is long-term health. And it can only happen through permanent change. Your body just underwent a transformation, so why reintroduce the poisons of sugar back into it? Remember, if you crave it, it’s an addiction. And also what mommy taught you: just because everyone else does it does not make it okay.
13. I’m still having doubts. I justt can’t get my head around not eating. How do I get through 7 days with no food?
- One juice at a time.
…As always, anything questions, please ask in a comment!