I’m sorry, I can’t eat that bro.
That was the rhetoric for 22 days, as I did my first “cleanse”. No sugar, no caffeine, no alcohol, no gluten, no dairy and no soy.
Surprisingly, it was easier than it sounds – but only because I spent most of those 22 days either working out, working, or cooking.
My goals were to gain muscle, improve my sleep and increase my energy – anything else would be a bonus. And as someone who does Crossfit daily, in addition to training rides for the upcoming 545-mile AIDS LifeCycle from SF to LA, I have to eat a lot – or else I’m barely hanging on.
A lot of people were curious to know what a typical day looked like, and I’m happy to share – just keep in mind, this wasn’t a cleanse to lose weight.
· Chia seeds, hemp seeds, ground flax w/ pomegranate seeds, blueberries and raspberries in unsweetened vanilla almond milk
· 2 to 3 eggs
· Glowing green smoothie: ½ head of romaine, bunch of spinach, 4 celery sticks, 1 bunch of parsley – blend – then add ½ avocado, ½ pear, ½ banana + 1 inch of ginger in 20 oz of cold water
· Paleo pumpkin muffin (mostly almond flour, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, and some spices)
· Apple with almond butter
· Steak or chicken or salmon with mushrooms and brussel sprouts, served on a bed of arugula and basil (no dressing)
· Kale salad with tahini, olive oil, roasted hazelnuts, and ½ a sliced avocado
· Mix of carrots, steamed beets and cucumbers
· Handful of almonds
· Unsweetened vanilla coconut milk yoghurt
· Baked sweet potato
· Sautéed broccolini with garlic and olive oil
· Pacific salmon with lemon, olive oil, and seasoning
As you can see, I was eating constantly – and as you can imagine, my grocery bill was astronomical. That being said, my meals were packed with vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and lean protein to fuel my muscles. I was never hungry and my body almost immediately started responding to the diet.
· I put on muscle.
· I felt stronger, almost immediately.
· I had more energy, especially on weekends (when I would previously indulge quite a bit).
· I had serious caffeine withdrawal and felt like I was in a fog for the first few days.
· I was constantly preparing meals and it took up a lot of free time.
· The food on my menu became quite repetitive, especially by the end.
At the end of it all, I felt like I had regained control of my diet and more importantly, my body.
I was no longer dependent on caffeine to stay awake, alcohol to have fun, and sugar to get through long days at the office. That being said, it’s certainly not something I could do forever, maybe occasionally as a reset.
I don’t believe that living in any form of extreme state is healthy so, in short – I give the bro-friendly cleanse two thumbs up (on two very flexed biceps) as a means of getting back on track.
Inspired to get back on track but in a milder, less extreme kinda way? Sign up for our 21-Day Eat Clean Challenge and get healthy this May.
Follow Dave’s footsteps and clean up your (food) act this spring. Join tuja’s 21-Day Eat Clean Challenge and we’ll help you get healthy – like Dave – without getting hangry. Sign up here.