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Eating Detoxes, Cleanses, & All That Noise

So, have you ever done any kind of extreme diet or eating detox?


I ask because I’ve been thinking about crazy stuff like that lately. Not thinking about participating, but rather just about them and eating habits in general.

I have always thought fad diets, crazy detoxes, and anything that just seemed extreme or overly restrictive could not be good for you – especially for a long period of time. But hey, I’m not a professional and what do I really know? So, as I researched about it out of pure curiosity, I came to the conclusion that I do see how a short detox to “clean out” your system could be beneficial. If only I had the self control.

And just to clarify (before I start getting whiny hate mail) this stuff appeals to me more-so on the benefits of “cleaning your system” rather than using it with the goal of rapid weight loss. Obviously weight loss will come with it (in most cases) but that isnt the intention here.

But I sort of wondered, is extreme restriction, juicing, drops, pills, or liquid-only for me?

And I have decided: Most definitely not. Or in laymens terms – Hell. No.


Why is this even on my mind?

Well, a couple of weeks ago, my trainer (who doesn’t usually promote any crazy restrictive stuff, hes all about balance, I like that) talked to some of us (including myself) about a restrictive eating detox for 7-14 days. I listened of course, but as soon as we started discussing it, I knew there was no way I would last more than a day.

It basically consists of eating the same exact meal 3x per day (plus something extra for breakfast) for 7+ days.

No thanks. I love variety. And of course my competitive nature piped up and wondered “could I actually do that?” part of me wanted to take on the challenge just because.

It involves lots of chicken, a [plain] sweet potato, and green veggies. Not so bad, I love all those things……. but not 3x a day.

And then I realized, no fruit?

And then the true horror struck….. no wine? Obviously, out of the question.


I know myself well enough to know that I just love and enjoy food too much. I think I could have the self-control if I was really motivated or wanted to enough. So I was thinking yes, what was my motivation for that?

And I realized– nothing! Other than feeling proud at the end that I could accomplish it (that is, of course, if I was able to…) there wasn’t much. I would be grumpy by the end of the week, have severe wine withdrawals, I would miss cooking (which would also make me grumpy) and my kitchen would feel abandoned, not to mention Torrance would starve to death (kidding!… but not really)

So even though some other people went through with it and were pleased with the results and how they felt – I decided it’s not for me, but it still had me thinking, mostly about how my eating has slowly been turning to shit lately.

Okay, it’s not really that bad. But I do notice a few things that are slipping – like more beef creeping back into my diet (exhibit A and B from this weekend). And a bowl of annoyingly sugary cereal for breakfast the other day?


I blame it on my short attention span. I lose focus over time. Not on the overall picture, but on some small things – I just let them go. Overall, I am still pretty happy with most of the changes I have made over the last year.

I have done a pretty awesome job sticking to “natural” meats such as locally grown, free range, grass-fed, hormone free chicken and beef (which now I prefer the taste anyway). And I’ve done pretty awesome at drinking a lot of water consistently.

And as for over-processed foods, I have for the most part cut them drastically down… almost nonexistent compared to before. That was a huge goal of mine over the past 2 years.


So, what does all this mean?

I realize you can really create your own definition and version of an eating detox because that can mean different things for different people (for me it was cutting back on certain things, etc).

And it also means I realize I still have a lot of work to do on my eating. My eating habits are not really where I want them…yet.

Not a lot to work on, but I have some loose ends to tie up – mostly in the lines of more veggies and less starchy foods. Always something I have struggled with. Time to get back on track with my goals.

On that note, I’m off to breakfast – an egg sandwich with spinach is calling my name.

  • Have you ever done any type of extreme cleanse or detox? What was it? Did you like the effects?
  • What are some of your eating “rules” or philosophies?
    Mine is balance and moderation!
  • Any specific eating goals you’re working on right now?
    Incorporating more veggies, definitely!
17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Once I tried a two day “cleanse” which sounds like what your trainer suggested a little. It was a smoothie for breakfast, greens/steamed veggies + lean protein for lunch and dinner, and either asparagus or cucumber for snacks. And I LOVE all those things, but I just couldn’t love them knowing I had to stick to them. I lasted about a day and a half, and for dinner that night, I said WHATEVER and made a festive taco salad. Still healthy, just a little less BLAH.

    June 6, 2012
    • you sound like me! Torrances aunt (who now does training with me) tried it and she said the 2nd night she said screw it and made a yummy dinner too! haha

      June 6, 2012
  2. ittybitsofbalance #

    Such an interesting post, Andrea! I’ve never done a detox myself, but know plenty of people who absolutely swear by them. To be honest, I see myself relating to you in a lot of ways– I don’t do well with restrictive habits and in the long run they seem to harm me more than they help me (binges, insatiable cravings, etc.) After tons of trial and error, I’ve decided that the only thing that works for me is not having rules! haha

    June 6, 2012
    • ironic isnt it? I think im the same – maybe we are just rebels 😉

      June 6, 2012
      • I agree with Brittany completely!! I tried doing a “diet” once that wasn’t actually to lose weight, but actually to help with my skin. Thanks to that diet, I still can’t eat salmon to this day haha (I was eating it way too much). I need variety, and I can’t handle putting restrictions on myself!

        June 6, 2012
  3. what an interesting post! i do have friends that go on cleanses/detoxes and whatever else…and honestly, i dont know how much I really agree on the whole thing. I’m of the mindset that your body can pretty much cleanse itself without you having to go to extremes for it…plus any weight loss is pretty much temporary since once you start eating normally again, it’ll eventually creep back on. Anyways…its definitely not for me. I try to be as balanced as I possibly can but *I* need my indulgences. I work hard every week exercise wise so rewards are necessary in my eyes 😉

    Eating goals are basically just trying to get in nutritionally powerful foods to keep me well fueled for marathon training..Its SO hard for me to cut out junk but I’ve been keeping candy out of the house so thats a big step in the right direction for me, haha

    June 6, 2012
  4. I do cleanses 4 times a year, usually for 7 days. I buy a detox cleanse kit with pills for eliminating toxins from your major organs and colons, and then I eat clean for those days. No sugar, no processed foods, no alcohols, no breads or high carby food. I always feel better, more energized, and never deprived. A lot of times it just resets my eating habits. Usually I do this at the end of the summer, when I have been drinking beer and eating chips a ton, after the holidays, ect.

    June 6, 2012
  5. I totally agree….I just like variety too much to do something like that. I even have trouble eating leftovers sometimes!
    I do think that egg sandwich with spinach does sound good though. I wonder if I could eat one of those for 7 days in a row?

    June 6, 2012
  6. I could NEVER do a detox or cleanse; I know myself too well to know that I would a) not be a pleasant person to be around and b) feel like crap throughout the majority of it, hence making it not worth my while. I agree with you about balance and moderation; that is a goal that I am trying to stick with right now. I’m also cutting back on the alcohol a bit (even wine!!!). I think that drinking the booze contributes to poor food choices. But I’m not going all crazy and COMPLETELY cutting it out; just one day a week is all 🙂

    June 6, 2012
    • me too! I have actually cut back on wine a great deal… i notice it creeping back up 🙂 we can hop on the wagon together haha

      June 6, 2012
  7. My senior year of college I did the “Special K” diet and I actually lost the 6lbs promised in 2 weeks! However… I was terribly cranky and I gained it all back in about 2 seconds. I bomb diets! If I tell myself I cannot have something, (especially wine lol) it’s all I want and crave. Now my idea of a “detox diet” is fresh food with LIMITED alcohol and sugary snacks.

    June 6, 2012
  8. I always think about those detox things too! I think I would have so much more energy if I could just clean out my system but I totally agree that I would get very bored very fast! I saw kourtney on an episode of the kardashions and she got a colon cleanse haha she is healthy so maybe I should try that! Let me know if u ever find a good way to detox! I haven’t found the key yet!

    June 7, 2012
  9. I don’t think I could hack that detox thing either!! I tried South Beach diet for a while. that was not really successful. What works best for me is not keeping sweets or bags of chips in the house!

    June 7, 2012
  10. Very interesting post as this has been on my mind a lot lately. I’m doing a detox/cleanse starting on Monday (it’s a 3 day cleanse). For some reason, my digestive system has gotten a little wonky lately and it’s making me feel bad. My eating hasn’t really changed that much, and I’m getting in tons of veggies. I’ve tried a few remedies with no success, so I’m hoping this will help. It recommends to not eat but just drink the stuff throughout the day, but with the intensity of my workouts and running I know I will have to eat. I plan on supplementing the cleanse with fresh steamed veggies and lean protein. I did try to do a strict cleanse like your trainer suggested and I only lasted 2.5 days. The thought of broccoli made me want to vomit for about a month. My belief is everything in moderation and the 80/20 rule!

    June 8, 2012
    • thats interesting! i cant wait to see if it helps you! I am interested ind detoxes and such for that reason as far as “cleaning” you out and sorta setting a reset in a way. 3 days isnt too bad!

      June 8, 2012

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