Raw Cleansing – Results & What’s Next?
This concludes our raw cleanse. I started out by taking my measurements, journaling as I went along and making notes of how I felt and responded. I would say going into this cleanse that I felt the best I have in many years! I am not someone who has been sick or symptomatic, but my health has definitely been improving over the past 2 years. I think the periodic raw cleanses with the change of seasons have been good for me. For me, doing raw cleanses has shifted from being about weight loss, to being far more about the other changes I have been witness to.
Changes I noticed with this September 2013 cleanse:
- Increased energy
- Improved skin glow
- Less inflammation in my face and body
- More motivation
- Clearer thoughts
- Clearer intuition
- Enhanced sense of harmony in my body
The changes during this cleanse were closer to what my normal experience has been, so my results were less dramatic than in the past. My hope is that cleaning up my diet during my day to day life and doing these cleanses have put me at a better point to start with, hence the changes and any results are not as dramatic.
Some challenges I faced this time were:
- Having more cravings than during past raw cleanses*
- Less noticeable changes, made sticking with my eating plan more difficult
* I have become far more active in my life since losing weight and retiring, so I my demand for calories is higher and a bit harder for me to maintain on a raw diet. Next time I would do a food log to capture calories and food content. I did decide to go off the cleanse 2 days early due to cravings in the last week. The foods I was craving were steamed vegetables, whole grains and warm foods. Each cleanse can be different, so I continue to be open to each unique experience and what it has to teach me. It is important to tune into your body and be open to adjusting if needed to take care of your body.
Here are photos and results from my September 3 week raw cleanse:
Here are the results from before my initial raw cleanse in August 2011 to after I completed my September 2013 raw cleanse:
Please note, I did 6 raw cleanses during this 2 year period. Each raw cleanse left more and more good habits that are with me in my day to day eating. I also retired in the Fall of 2012, walked 550 miles in the Summer of 2013 and fell in love during this Summer too! So I am not saying “do 6 cleanses and this will happen to you.” I am just reporting out my numbers and visual changes.
I believe slow changes based on good nutrition are the way to go. I have done medical fasting using Optifast in the past, but found I got great results that didn’t last and I ended up going higher in weight afterwards due to insufficient calories and not learning how to cook and eat well.
During August I set up the plans for my raw cleanse. I was so excited about doing a cleanse again that I invited a small group of folks to join me in a private Facebook group. Each person created their own specific raw cleanse goals. For some it was 3-7 days long and others did longer (if they had done other cleanses or were higher on their raw food consumption already). Everyone was able to post their goals, recipes, questions, etc.
What I learned from our group doing their own cleanses:
- Some folks powered up their juicers or began making smoothies for the very first time.
- I took every snag I noticed that we learned from our group and put it into my raw cleansing blogs. One gal did a 36 mile bike ride on day one of her raw cleanse which resulted in her needing to eat while out without her next meal planned. This and other learnings lead to me writing a full week of preparation information into the blogs, including mentioning the need to lay low (versus be very active) in the initial 3-7 days.
- We came up with the rough cost as a figure of $150-200 a week to do 100% juice for the week in ample amounts to keep calories at 1,800 + per day. That includes all groceries, eating out, beverages, etc. Once you add in salads and smoothies, the cost was about $100-150 a week.
- I learned more about the challenges of others who may have kids or a partner who is eating cooked food while they are cleansing.
- Practicing juicing beforehand makes for a smoother transition into cleansing.
- Going off coffee, alcohol, sugar and processed foods before the cleanse can help the transition be less intense.
- Most people reported doing better with a change that is “cold turkey” versus gradual.
- The group had synergy and supported each other, allowing us all to have input and encouragement to share.
- Others got similar benefits and mentioned:
- Improved energy (especially after the initial 3-4 day point of the cleanse).
- Slowing down and noticing other areas of their life where they are ready to make changes.
- Heightened sense of taste and appreciation of healthy foods.
- More aware of what other areas of their lives were supporting them or not.
- “Coming back to the body I love.”
- Improved flexibility.
- Flatter stomach.
- More aware of how foods affect my body.
- Being flexible (versus trying to be perfect) which is less stressful on the body and mind.
- Most people enjoyed the juice and want to keep it as part of their diet.
- Over time craving less “junk foods.”
- Stimulated by the new raw food recipes.
- “I just feel so “even” and all of my cravings (caffeine, carbs, sweets) are gone. Now, the idea of putting unhealthy things in my body just seems absurd.”
- Feeling more relaxed.
- Feeling less bloated.
- At least one person organized her kitchen and recipes giving her more power to create great meals moving forward.
- It’s nice to have a group for support, questions and the sharing of goals, information, recipes and photos.
A BIG thank you to all who participated in our Facebook Group. I learned from you every day and it was nice to share the journey!
When you are eating healthy foods, your body responds quite quickly. Here is a list of symptoms of a diet that supports good health. It is a good gauge as to if your diet changes are good or not. I expect to do another raw cleanse in 2-5 months. Let me know if you want to join me.
And here is one last raw banana chia pudding recipe complete with video by Julieanna Hever and Chef AJ. Enjoy!
My hope is that these blogs will help anyone who wants to know more about raw foods and how they help the body cleanse. I also hope that others will be encouraged to try their own cleanse after reading over the information and resources included. If you do a cleanse or wish to join our Facebook group next time we do a cleanse, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org