At the beginning of the week, I started the purification program offered by Standard Process brand of dietary supplements. They develop and sell (through health care professionals like chiropractors) whole food supplements, and grow most of the ingredients for them on their certified organic farm. I know about this program from Jill S. (and her husband – my upper spinal care doctor) and some friends who have participated in the program themselves. It’s a 21-day program designed to help cleanse your body of toxins (e.g., food additives) and to help you learn better eating habits (i.e., practice “clean” eating).
I was really excited about this, based on results my friends have experienced (e.g., glowing skin), but really nervous, too.
Oh, stupid internet! I just wrote four more paragraphs and now they’re gone! GONE! (Just kidding, internet. I still love, love, love you.) So where was I?
I was nervous about having what I needed on hand throughout the program because I’m more than a little bit disorganized and scatterbrained when it comes to the kitchen. But just a little prep time on Sunday, to buy some fresh fruits and veggies and prepare some approved soups, and I was completely prepared for this week.
The program goes like this: The first seven days are the “cleanse” phase, and the first ten days involves a restricted diet. Days 11 through 21 are also restricted, but must less so. For the first ten days, food consumption is restricted to supplements, which include shakes (up to seven, I think, are allowed per day), unlimited vegetables, fruits up to half the amount of veggies consumed, and one or two, half-cup servings of brown rice, quinoa, or lentils. It probably goes without saying that a minimum of eight glasses of water are required each day. And I’m to refrain from consuming alcohol, caffeine, or other stimulants, nuts & seeds, dairy, grains (with the exceptions above), and any processes or refined foods.
I’m on day five, and I have to say I’m feeling prett-ee good! Here are some observations:
- At the beginning of the week, I thought the shakes sucked. They didn’t taste bad, but they sure as hell didn’t taste good, either. Now, although I still wouldn’t say they taste great, I think they’re not half bad. I’d heard that if you take a 21-day “fast” from something (e.g., sugar, salt), that it would dramatically change your palate. But I was always too lazy to test that hypothesis – until now.
- Related to the first item: Straws are good. I’m so glad that I remembered to pick up straws, as the shakes are much more pleasing through a straw than just drinking them from a cup. I know not why.
- Remarkably, I never got a caffeine-withdrawal headache. I’d intended to cut out coffee a week before starting (so I wouldn’t go in to total shock), but I kept putting that off. I realized that I was never going to start unless I just decided to start.
- I have not felt hungry throughout this process. Between the shakes and the veggies, including the soups, which are tastier than I expected, I’ve been full the whole time.
- However, the first couple of days were hard because, even though I wasn’t hungry, I was craving things. Sweet things, salty things, crunchy things. I just had this nagging feeling of wanting something else to eat, even though I wasn’t even hungry. (On Day 3, I really wanted French fries & ketchup!) That just drove it home as to how much mindless eating and junk I must cram into my poor body on a daily basis that I would be craving things. Can you say “addict”? The cravings haven’t completely passed, but they’re way less intense now than on Monday.
- Sweet potato fries are so good. And one should not be left alone (or in my case, with another party who wasn’t interested in them) with more than one serving of them. I overdid it a bit with these yesterday, which resulted in my first belly ache of the program. The upshot of that was that it made me realize that I had not one digestive/intestinal issue during this program before that point.
- You can say “no” to crap food. On Tuesday (Day 2, still craving pretty intensely) all this junk food (cookies, candy, chips – and later pizza) was available to me at work. A couple of people said I should just eat what I wanted, and then start over “tomorrow.” Yeah, and go through that again? I don’t think so!
- I have lost five pounds or so. Weight loss isn’t my primary goal with this program, but it is a longer-term goal of mine. I was hoping this program would help me get on the right trajectory toward a truly healthier diet. And that I’d start to actually lose weight, instead of just talking about how I’m about to lose weight.
- Seasoning can be key. I just double checked the booklet, and I don’t see a specific, obvious remark about salt/sodium. So I guess I was laying off adding too much salt to stuff all on my own. Anyway, this stuff (below) is awesome as an alternative to salt. Tastier, too, because of all the flavors involved (although sea salt is component, it’s mostly spices). Just a bit of this and “plain” lentils are quite delicious.
That’s all I have to report for now. I’m so happy I decided to try this. Although it started out slightly difficult, it’s getting easier as I go, and sticking to it is making me feel really powerful and proud of myself. I’ll share how the rest of the program is going sometime next week.