Why I Fell in Love With Eating Clean After a 5-day Cleanse

Why I Fell in Love With Eating Clean After a 5-day Cleanse

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eating clean
Photo: rawpixel.com

Last month, I decided it was time for a much-needed health overhaul. Five years of taking anti-inflammatories and painkillers for various ailments had wreaked havoc on my digestive system. Debilitating bouts of pain meant long periods of inactivity. Long hours working at my computer and lack of sleep led to relying on caffeine or sweets for a quick pick me up. On top of that, I live in Paris, where delicious food is synonymous with a good life, and a glass of champagne, cheese or a warm pain au chocolat are never far out of reach. As a result, I’d often feel exhausted, bloated, and moody — not to mention the extra kilos I’d piled on. My body was in dire need of a reset.

Friends in the health and wellness industry suggested that changing to a gluten-free or vegan diet for a while may help combat the chronic inflammation in my body. Fed up with taking drugs, I liked the idea. But, how was I going to incorporate eliminating so many things from my diet with a busy schedule and feeding my meat-bread-and-cheese-loving husband and kids? I decided it was time to outsource.

Eat Clean Delight
© Pure Delight

After researching different options, I zeroed in on Pure Delight, because they offer not only a variety of fruit and vegetable juice detoxes but also soups, clean food, and healthy snacks. And here’s the clincher — they deliver the products fresh to your home. No meal planning, shopping or calorie counting!  After a relaxing summer holiday in Chicago (eating and drinking way too much with family and friends) I had stopped taking anti-inflammatories—it was time for that cleanse.

All my meals for one day!

Delicious and nutritious fresh meals delivered to my home

“Eating Clean” means that you eat 100% natural, 100% vegan and 100% gluten-free foods, which are untreated and unprocessed and as close to their original state as possible. This ticked many of the boxes I was looking for, so I signed up for a 5-day Eat Clean program, which includes 3 balanced meals, 1 juice, and a snack (totalling 1,000 to 1,400 kcal) per day.

On Day One, a courier delivered two bags, each containing one bottle of juice and three chic mason jars labeled Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner to feed me for two days. On Day 3, I received the remaining three days of meals. This was not what you would imagine to be “detox” or “diet” food. They were light, but rich in flavor, with unexpected blends of spices, seasonings, and textures to tantalize the taste buds.

smoked vegetables and lentils
Smoked vegetable and lentil bowl for lunch.

For example, a daily menu could include Chia Pudding with Plum Puree spiced with cinnamon and ginger for breakfast, a Mexican Salad (carrots, mango, radish, coriander, onions, peas, avocados, pineapple, lemon juice, agave syrup, and cayenne pepper) or a Smoked Veggie and Lentil Bowl with beets and smoked tofu for lunch. Dinner would be an Oriental Lentil Stew with lentils, carrots, celery, pomegranate, and cashews or — my favorite — an Ayurvedic Vegetable Curry with sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, carrots, and red onions.

Pure Delight Detox Juice

Each day I also had a colorful and nutritious bottle of cold-pressed juice, such as Pink (with beetroot, carrot, apple, orange, pear, lemon, and ginger), or Pure Veggie Green (cucumber, fennel, spinach, lemon, celery, and parsley). The juices — which you’re encouraged to sip slowly, even “chew” — made a perfect afternoon snack.

The experience of eating clean

The first two days were not tough. But, by the third day, I started feeling very hungry in between meals. I found that drinking lots of water (it’s recommended to drink two liters a day during the cleanse) helped to quell the hunger. Making a jug of fruit or veggie-infused water each day provided a delicious alternative to drinking plain water.

infused water
Photo: rawpixel.com

One of the hardest things was cooking for my kids and husband, then opening my little mason jars of food to feed myself. Sharing meals are also about being social and spending time with family. That’s why I planned to embark on this during a week when I had no parties, work events, travel, lunch or dinner appointments.

The results

So, did it work? Yes, because I (mostly) stuck to the program. This included cutting out caffeine, alcohol (not difficult, as I’m not a big drinker), drinking lots of water and scheduling in light exercise. I did sneak in a few carrot sticks when I felt super hungry!

After five days of eating clean, I felt more energetic, my bloating had disappeared, my skin was glowing, and I had lost 3 kilograms.

scale

I wasn’t interested in a quick-fix yo-yo diet. Rather, I was looking for a way to introduce healthier eating habits with results that could last. And that’s exactly what I found — this cleanse was a way to “reset” my body and try a new way of eating that might eventually help remedy my different ailments from the inside out.

The cost for this 5-day cleanse was 211 Euros, or roughly 42 Euros a day, which I think is a good value considering it includes all your meals prepared for the week, conveniently delivered to your doorstep. And you even keep the nice glass jars to store food in after.

Is it sustainable?

Let’s be honest: this type of cleanse gets you results without feeling miserable, but there is a reason that people do these for a limited period of time. As with any cleanse, detox or diet program, the results and how long they will last depend on your goals, as well as your regular eating habits and lifestyle. If you go on a cleanse and then go back to a sedentary lifestyle and a regular regime of alcohol, fast food, and buttery pastries, the results won’t last very long.

Vegetarian food
Photo: rawpixel.com

One month later, I’m still down 3 kgs and my metabolism is humming along, because I’ve committed to exercising more regularly and I’m trying to follow the principles of clean eating as much as I can.

The cleanse was exactly what I needed to get rid of some toxins, boost my metabolism, and drop a few stubborn kilos without starving myself. In fact, I find myself craving some of the delicious clean meals I tried during the cleanse, so I’m cooking variations of them at home for my family — chia puddings, quinoa salads, and more vegetarian dishes like tofu and veggie curry and lentil stew.

But, I am an American-born Chinese woman living in France with two growing boys to feed. I enjoy my occasional steak, dim sum and stir-fries, a glass (or two) of champagne, the occasional French macaron, and eating out with family and friends. So, I figure I’ll follow the rule I learned years ago from a nutritionist to strike a balance: be good during the week, and I can afford to splurge a little on the weekends or when going out.  And, when I feel the need to hit the “reset” button on my body again, I’ll be happy to try another cleanse.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not sure how ‘clean’ legumes and fruit and veggies are. They are food. But a diet of mostly animal foods, to me, is in fact the ‘cleanest’ of diets. It digests mostly in the your highly acidic stomach and then further broken down by bile, and is not left fermenting in your gut for days, finally resulting in large amounts of… you know what. I believe it’s a complete misconception that vegan foods are somehow cleaner than animal foods. Though if you use vegan whole-foods to replace processed foods, then yes, that’s a start. But you can also replace processed food with meat, eggs, fish, chicken, and dairy… nothing cleaner or more natural, considering meat and fat are the foods our earliest ancestors ate. It’s just phrases like ‘buttery croissants’ being unhealthy that bothers me. The butter is in fact the only really healthy thing about the croissant. Veganism is okay as a ‘fast,’ but animal products will rebuild and repair the damage resulting from a poor diet. All that said, the juices sound lovely-tasting – it’s just annoying to always hear ‘clean’ associated with fruit and veg all the time.

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I didn’t write anything about “buttery croissants” being unhealthy (although, I don’t think that eating too many of them would be very good for anyone). And I am certainly not one to judge anyone’s diet. My article is purely about my personal experience. As I indicated, I love my pains au chocolats, (very buttery, and especially when they are fresh out of the oven!) and meat, as well as fish, eggs, chicken, and dairy. I also avoid processed foods and maintain a fairly balanced diet most of the time. But, my metabolism has always been sluggish and made worse by years of taking anti-inflammatories. So, I just needed to shake things up a little, and I was open to the idea of doing a short-term cleanse with a variety of “clean” foods, more so than I would like fasting. “Clean eating” is a term that is commonly used to describe, in general, eating whole foods in their natural state and avoiding processed foods, but I don’t believe there is a rigorous definition of what is “clean” food. I can see how it could be perceived as judgemental, but that is not how I intended for it to be interpreted here. Personally, I believe in moderation and balanced nutrition, as well as doing what works for you as an individual. I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m pretty sure that we each process different types of food differently. Some people are gluten or lactose intolerant, others don’t digest red meat very well or are allergic to certain foods. So, everyone has to make the choices that work best for themselves.

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