A few weeks ago I embarked on Dr. Frank Lipman’s Be Well Cleanse. It was a 14-day cleanse that focused on cutting out harmful foods and common irritants, and adding in some extra cleansing nutrients through shakes and supplements.
In this post, I wrote about how I was looking forward most to cutting out caffeine, sugar and gluten. Those things were part of my life without me really thinking about them, and I wanted to see how it would feel to totally eliminate them. So I was really excited about the cleanse.
I love cleanses in general, but Dr. Lipman’s cleanse was especially awesome to me because you can eat regular foods (it’s not just a juice cleanse). It turned out that I could eat *almost* exactly what I normally eat, food wise, and just get rid of the pesky things in my diet that weren’t nourishing me. The cleanse is more of a change in lifestyle that you can really just keep on doing after the 14 days are over.
Dr. Frank Lipman is an MD who has also trained in alternative medicine, and he combines ancient medical wisdom with modern nutritional science, which is awesome. His cleanse is formulated to help you gain better energy and mental clarity, remove the crap and load your body with lots of cleansing nutrients so you have a heightened sense of well-being.
So here’s my recap on how I felt.
It was difficult cutting out caffeine for the first week, I will admit. I felt tired, headachey and irritable, especially during the first few days. Now, though, I’ve stayed off of caffeine and I have been waking up naturally and feel more clear and awake in the mornings without caffeine.
One of the things I was the most nervous about cutting out was raw chocolate. I love that stuff, but I was beginning to feel dependent on it (and even the healthiest raw chocolate bars have sweeteners in them, which just isn’t great to have all the time). I am so glad I went so long without it!! Why? Because I firmly believe that with any addiction (even if you are just feeling mildly dependent on something), cutting it out completely for awhile is the best way to feel detached from it. Am I going to continue to cut raw chocolate out of my life? Of course not, I’m not a total masochist. But at this point I could take it or leave it, which is a great feeling. My body also feels more sensitive to the effects of it, too, which means I can just have a little bit once in awhile and be cool.
Same with caffeinated beverages. At this point I don’t feel like I wake up and need caffeine in the morning, although that doesn’t mean I’m just never having it again. What I can do now, after cleansing, is make more conscious decisions about caffeine instead of just defaulting to it. And that feels pretty great, because conscious decisions are so much more fun. I’ve been totally blissing out with some herbal teas. A lot of herbal teas.
Sugar — I wasn’t eating much sugar in general before, but I was eating a lot of natural sweeteners. Now, after completely cutting out all that stuff for awhile, fruit tastes super sweet to me, and I definitely don’t care to eat sugar. Here’s the way I think about it. When you cut something out completely like sugar, if you eat it again, you’re only going to want the best things possible that make you feel really good. You’re not just going to dive headfirst into a box of stale cookies. You’re going to pay attention to quality and be more conscious.
And gluten? Gluten, at this point, just seems unnecessary. I’m extremely uninterested in it. If something comes along that seems like the best meal ever, and there’s gluten in it, fine, but I’m not just going to rip into any old bread basket. No way. I feel too good for that.
So that’s what cleansing can do. It can help you feel detached from this kind of stuff. Kinda magical.
SHAKES & SUPPLEMENTS:
When I first tried the shakes on this cleanse (you’re supposed to have 3 per day), I just mixed the shake powder with water. I wasn’t a huge fan of it that way, but I created a miracle shake recipe that I loved. I used coconut water or almond milk, the shake packet, some of my own greens powder, and frozen blueberries. I hope that’s ok with Dr. Lipman, because it tasted AWESOME!
I wasn’t able to have 3 shakes every day, especially since I was adding all that extra stuff to them. So I usually had 2 shakes per day in addition to eating lunch and dinner. This was a good strategy for me, because after the 14 days I had a lot of shake packets left. I ended up loving the shakes so much that I’ve been continuing to use them daily.
The supplements — I actually ended up really liking them a lot too, even though I never usually take supplements at all. They were a combination of digestive enzymes, herbs, and glutamine (to help with sugar cravings). I think the digestive enzymes really worked, because my digestive system feels like it’s on cruise control. Totally smooth sailing. And I didn’t have sweet cravings the entire time. No joke. I think the glutamine supplement was key.
I thought it was going to be hard to remember to take all of the different supplements, but I got used to it, and I actually missed them when the cleanse was over. Details on the supplements/shakes here.
What else? Oh, you’re probably wondering about weight loss. This cleanse wasn’t a weight loss cleanse for me because I was still eating pretty much the same amounts and kinds of food as I normally would. For a lot of people, this probably would be a weight loss cleanse (especially if you consume a lot of gluten/dairy/sugar).
So what now? Well, I’m continuing on the basic eating plan, more or less, that Dr. Lipman suggests, because it makes sense to me and I feel really good. I’m making my own green smoothies pretty much every day, continuing to be very conscious about consuming caffeine, sugar and gluten.
I have more natural energy now, and just to try it out, I’m now taking a blend of adaptogenic herbs that Dr. Lipman recommends in his book, Revive.
Would I do this cleanse again? Definitely. In fact, I plan to. Everyone cleanses for different reasons, but I definitely got what I was looking for from this 14-day experiment.
If you want more energy, want to liberate yourself from addictive food tendencies, have better digestion, detox your system and feel great, consider Dr. Lipman’s Be Well Cleanse.
If you don’t want to do a whole cleanse, you can also just check out the eating plan and make some simple tweaks to your diet that will make a big difference.
Whew! I know that was a lot of info. I’m happy to answer any questions, if you have any!