I have been pregnant or nursing since 2008! During my childbearing era I’ve discovered how utterly broken my digestive system is. I’ve learned that my chronic urticaria (hives) isn’t something I have to just live with and I began understanding how food affects my body both positively and negatively. I have yearned to do some sort of cleanse for a very long time but when you are pregnant or nursing you must not detox, so off to Google I went. What I’ve discovered is that there is no one size fits all program and the options available are endless; juice, 21 day fixes, vegan, to name a few.
During the time that I was playing blog hooky, I became a distributor for Young Living. It was the essential oils that initially hooked me but I’ve found their products to be second to none and ultimately I decided to go with their 5 Day Nutritive Cleanse since it appeared to be a more moderate, gentle option.
The cleanse consists of 3 shakes, 3 – 2-4oz cups of Ningxia Red, 3 digest and cleanse soft gel pills, and 3 snacks chosen from a list, daily for five whole days. I am also supplementing Ningxia nitro for an extra energy boost twice a day. The shakes are filling and the snacks come at the best time, when you’re starting to really miss food. Hunger was not an issue at all.
Day 1: Dreaming About Bread
My husband received a surprise week off of work due to owed furlough time so I hoped on the opportunity to have his help around the house while I did this to myself. After he brought our middle guy home from school mid afternoon of day 1, I took a much needed nap, and I dreamt. About bread.
It wasn’t a fresh delicious handmade loaf of bread straight from the oven my grandma would make for me on Sundays. It was two pieces of cold, gluten free, store bought bread snuck from the fridge like my kids always do, in a nada sandwich style that consisted of nothing but two, cold, pieces of dissatisfaction. I took a bite and felt a pang of guilt as I knew I was cheating, then I thought better of it and kept eating. When I woke up I was hungry. While the nap was the best decision for avoiding reality, it also pushed my strict no eating schedule off by two whole hours which is why my brain gifted me the illusion of eating. Once I got my shake on, my hunger was alleviated and I continued my struggle against snacking.
Day 2: Starting Good, Ending Shitty
I woke up on Day 2 feeling pretty damn good. One day was down and if this is what this cleanse was going to be like then I would surely rock it so hard like the legend I am. Sure I genuinely missed food. I wanted food. The crunch, the heat, the mindless snacking but I wasn’t hungry. Not even a little bit. It wasn’t until after my lunchtime snack of broccoli, steamed with a little lemon, which was highly anticipated but turned into a huge let down, that the headache started. This headache would last two days and would be utterly debilitating. While I prayed for it to get better, it mocked me by steadily getting worse.
I thought I would be okay to take my oldest son to soccer practice. I am a mom after all and carrying on in the face of adversity is what we do best. I was not. The noise was excruciating. My friend compassionately offered to bring him home once it was over and I quickly jumped ship and abandoned my terrible idea.
Day 3: The Best Laid Plans
I wanted to sleep the headache off. My goal was to sleep the headache off. I planned on sleeping the headache off. So of course I got about four hours of sleep and then was kept up the entire rest of the night. My head didn’t hurt when I slept. If only I could, she thought longingly. Also at this point my allergies started kicking into high gear.
Soft Gel, Shake, Snack, Ningxia Red, repeat.
I have a bit of a specific set of circumstances which is why I wanted to “cleanse” in the first place. I have severe food allergies and a dysfunctional damaged gut. What I was experiencing during days 2 and 3 was a pretty radical die off of the bad yeast and bacteria in my system. I didn’t want to take aspirin because I didn’t want to add in any harmful chemicals and I basically chose to struggled through, sleeping as much as possible and taking it as easy as possible. This was not quite the rock concert I had envisioned day 1 asI swiftly went into a Millie Vanilie like tailspin.
Day 4: Relief
I went to bed on day 3 and woke up on day 4 with no more headache! It had finally passed and better yet I was almost done! The down side was that my allergies were now out of control. I was covered in itchy, horrible, hives. The hives were ignorable when the headache was bad but now with no headache they became unbearable. I relented to antihistamines and consulted my doctor.
Me: Should I keep going?
Doctor: Yes. Finish!
He told me that what I was experiencing was most likely a continuation of the detox process, that it was okay that I took antihistamines and that I should indeed finish. This gave me renewed strength. One. More. Day.
Walk by my husbands fresh brewed tea. God that tea smells AMAZING! Has tea always smelled this AMAZING???
Day 5: Acceptance
By day 5 I believe I’ve reached the fifth stage of grief; acceptance. I no longer eat food. I just drink shakes. This is my life now.
I was feeling good and wanted to take the kids out of the house. We decided on family bowling which turned into hitting up a new trampoline park. The boys and I had a great time jumping and I felt really good. Brunch would have been nice but eh, this was it, the last day! My kids started asking me if I would ever eat again. When one of them tried to get the apple I purposely brought as my snack I nearly bared teeth and hid in the corner like a NYC street rat. No one touches my precioussssss!
During my time away from food, my husband was so wonderful to handle all of the pick ups and drop offs as well as all of the dinner making. Before he became an electrician, he was a cook/pizza man and when he takes over the oven it’s always a real treat. I would smell all of these amazing smells while sitting on the couch with my shake.
Me: OMG THAT SMELLS SO GOOD!!!!!!
Husband: It’s just butter…
Some thing I’ve noticed with this cleanse:
First and foremost I can breath! Part of my food allergy issues involve a very stuffed up nose that is extremely difficult to breath out of due to the inflammatory response my body produces. After the cleanse I am clear and can breath freely which is fantastic.
1 cup of plain yogurt is actually quite a large portion so your brain feels like you’re getting a lot and you feel more satisfied. Things that are good, will taste like the best thing you’ve ever eaten, but be careful that any produce be the absolute freshest because if it is rotten in any way it will ruin your day.
One cup of yogurt with 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries
The totally non scientific after effects of the cleanse include a brain that feels clear. Where there used to be a lot of static noise there is now clarity and peace, if that makes sense. I didn’t actually realize how distorted I had been, like the buzzing of a guitar through an old amplifier. My nerves also which tend to be all fired up and ready to party now feel calm. I gained an all around sense of calm.
I do not know if I lost any weight or inches off of my body because that was not my intention or focus for cleansing. I honestly do not own a scale and measuring is too much work for me when I’d rather be doing pretty much anything else. I do know that there are other people who have reported such experiences and I invite you to Google them for more information if you are interested.
Support is crucial. My husband came through on the home front and my group of mommy best friends came through on the helping me keep my shit together part. All of which was crucial.
I worked with my doctor to figure out the best way to “reseed” my gut with the beneficial yeast and bacteria we all need and love which we get from our high quality probiotics and probiotic rich traditional foods. Following the cleanse I am taking Klaire Labs Biotagen (not pictured) which is a prebiotic supplement. Do you know what prebiotics are? I had no idea, they are food for the good bugs in our gut. I am also adding more good guys by taking a Perscript-Assist probiotic twice daily. These are our preferred probiotic because they are one of the only dirt and not lacto based probiotics. After a weeks use I will go down to once a day. I am also using Young Livings Master Formula supplements as well as continuing to drink Ningxia Red daily.
I would indeed do this cleanse again and I hope that the second time around would be much easier. That the die off would be much more manageable as well as the side effects. If it isn’t obvious that I am not a doctor and what I am leaving here is of my own personal experience, than let me say that I am not a doctor and I highly recommend doing this with your doctor’s help and supervision. If you have any questions about this or any of Young Livings products please feel free to ask me!