You guys, I just wrapped a 21 day cleanse. I am lighter-nine pounds to be exact, less tired (yes—even with a baby currently going through the four month sleep regression), and feel freaking amazing. I signed up because although I am giving myself grace and not trying to rush losing the baby weight, especially since I’m still breastfeeding, I wasn’t really losing any weight and I’d fallen far off the healthy wagon (like three blocks away) with the holidays, the tired days, and basically all the days since becoming a mom of four. I’d always been so mindful about ensuring my kids had vegetables everyday and we ate home cooked meals. But, I’d let survival mode become my new norm and my family’s meals and my post-partum body had become the victims of my crime. So, I signed up. Little did I know the extensive benefits, besides weight loss, I’d see in just a short time.
Now, you know me and you know I keep it real. So, I won’t sugar coat anything and I’ll tell you exactly how this went down. Get ready for my cleanse capitulation.
Let me start by giving you an overview of what this program is exactly. It’s not a diet. I didn’t call it a diet once and honestly, I never felt like I was on a diet. From day one, I just kind of adapted this as my new lifestyle, even if it was only going to last 21 days. By the way, some days that long yet short time frame really kept me in it. Because I live in the Bay Area, being gluten free or dairy free or anything free isn’t that uncommon. Honestly, it’s like I’d finally joined the trendy hipsters' restricted foods club and found myself nonchalantly asking waiters what kind of oil was used in the saute. I felt like ‘one of them’. But, like I said, I keep it real. So if you really want to know how a cheese addict felt not having cheese for 21 days, come talk to me. That part was HARD. And feeling cool may have helped lessen the sting, but it certainly didn’t replace the delicious, salty creaminess from my daily life. I really missed cheese.
Besides the motivation I had to lose some weight and feel less energy depleted, this program also came complete with a personal nutrition coach, Leah Vachani, founder of Lunch with Leah and creator of The 21 Day Cleanse. Can we say amazing support?! It was like having a cheerleader and cop hold my hand throughout the process. Leah is no joke. She’ll be nurturing and sweet and a positive influence for you day in and day out, and yet she’ll tell you point blank that you can’t eat that cookie if you want to see real results. What I also love about Leah and how she structures the program is that unless you really do the work of eliminating certain foods for the entire 21 days, you won’t truly know what is negatively affecting your gut in the end. To me, this in itself was such a motivating factor when I wanted to just give in and eat some chocolate. But, how will I know if it’s gluten or dairy or sugar or soy making me exhausted? How will I know what’s keeping me from dropping those pounds? “Put. Down. The. Chocolate. And you will you find out in 14 more days”, I told my inner self in my best Leah voice. More than once.
Truth be told, and speaking from experience of having done many different weight loss plans before, my cravings were not that bad on this. In fact, I'm super proud to say that although some days I probably ate a little more than I should have being on a 'cleanse' per se (ex. Valentine's day when I stress ate a paleo chocolate covered banana), I never ate or drank anything that wasn't cleanse approved for those three weeks. And it wasn't that hard. When I wanted a dessert, I made a mug cake with almond flour and raw cocoa and eggs and a tiny bit maple syrup. When I wanted cheese, ok nothing satisfied the cheese craving, but I amazed myself that I could survive three weeks cheeseless. And I honestly feel as strong as Arnold Schwarzenegger ala Terminator status because I was able to do it.
This program is really like no other that I've tried. It comes complete with meal plans and recipes (if you want to follow them). I made a handful of the recipes and then cooked other simple things I knew were compliant with the program on other days. There are weekly coaching calls led by Leah and an online course you can do on your own time, complete with a library of additional resources. Leah also creates a Facebook group each time she starts a new cleanse session so peers can connect and support each other. It feels like a big cleanse family doing it together.
The knowledge and eating habits I've gained through participating in The 21 Day Cleanse were so valuable and helpful in getting me and my entire family back on a healthier routine. Will I continue to be such a stickler about eating coconut aminos rather than soy sauce moving forward? Hell no. By the way, I didn't even know what coconut aminos was a month ago. But, I will be more mindful about so many other things because I see what an incredible shift I felt in my mood, my energy, my sleep, and my body overall by simply putting more whole and nourishing foods into it rather than superficial empty calories.
Since wrapping the cleanse, I've started reintroducing foods into my daily lifestyle to see which truly are the culprit. I'm sure you can guess the first I reintroduced. Dairy-ding ding ding! I will say though, having felt so damn good without dairy for three weeks, I'd be doing my gut a huge disservice if I went right back to eating cheese like it was going out of style, so-like dating after a bad breakup-I am taking it slow.
Ok, now are you ready for the best part?! Leah's next cleanse starts on 3/2 and I've got a special discount for my peeps! Personally, I think The 21 Day Cleanse is a steal at $147, but if you use code MamaWorkIt, you'll get $30 off! This is an incredible deal and one you definitely don't want to miss. Super excited for you to experience the huge benefits I did on The Cleanse! Now go sign up and get ready to lose some pounds, gain some healthy habits, and discover what your body likes and doesn't through this incredible journey.