So today was Day 1 of actually eating differently. I haven’t had alcohol in a week (woot!), but I was still drinking coffee, eating fruit, sneaking in the occasional bites of raw cookies at work (I mean, raw coconut palm sugar is BETTER, right?), aaaaand drinking juice. Okay, fine, I wasn’t really trying hard at all.
I really wanted to do a green juice cleanse. We sell juice cleanses at work, but they’re pretty fruit dense, which is great normally, but not for me right now. The green juice is just perfect. Luckily today I was able to snag two that had expired. Shhh. But the cleanse itself is just a bit out of my budget’s reach at the time being, even with a great employee discount. So I read all about the Candida Diet and what to eat, and decided that if it was going to work for me, it was going to have to be super simple. Almost as simple as a green juice cleanse would be.
This list is so not simple to me.
Now, I’ll admit that it’s going to seem like I’ve just made my life more difficult, because in essence I’ve cut down the “can eat” list into virtually a third its size. Sobeit, my brain is free to think about other things.
I had also heard before about a brown rice cleanse. Before I continue, though, I want to make something extremely clear. I AM NOT A FAN OF CLEANSING. I’m not one of those folks that tries a new cleanse every month. I hate restriction. I think the word “diet” is ridiculous. And, frankly, I’ve learned that when I’m staying physically active, I naturally crave more of what’s good for me. But cleanse-schmeanse attitude aside, this is a time in my life when I’ve hunkered down to decide it may actually be the only thing to cure my ailment.
Back to brown rice. Word on the street is that it’s hella good for you. So I did a little reading to make sure it wouldn’t act like Chocolate Chip Cookies to my little yeast buddies, and sure enough its extremely probiotic in defending the body from overactive yeast. Sweet. I’m in!
Hence, my cleanse consists of anything green, brown rice, kimchee, and sauerkraut. Just wanted to throw in that extra probiotic there with the pickled stuffs, and the list tells me it’s okay.
I got to work this morning with my two salads, some ginger, and two boxes of herbal tea. I knew I was gonna have to be ready for this! I immediately started my morning tasks, which usually includes brewing the coffee for my staff, but the poor things had to make their own today. I wasn’t going anywhere near that pot. Instead, I made myself Hot Cinnamon tea (made of real cinnamon, which is supposed to be supremely antifungal), and proceded to do my job. I have to admit, I was pretty cranky off and on all day, and I got pretty bummed around 10 am, when my head just started pounding. But I knew that I had to resist the urge to give in, and I allowed myself to bear with that headache. All. Freaking. Day.
Around 2pm, I started feeling especially foggy. I reminded myself to drink tons of water, which helped, and just breathed through the discomfort. I almost left work early, but I knew that I wanted to end this cleanse feeling like I woman-handled it, not like I had been dragged behind. So I stayed at work another hour and a half and focused on concluding some simple tasks. It felt so awesome to make that choice! Terrible headache still pervading!
Finally, I went home and took a nap. I never nap, but today I just had to. And I zonked out so hard! It helped that I ate a huge bowl of kale and brown rice when I got home. Then I woke up immediately aware that I had a running date with my friend Tammy, who “needed” to run an “easy” 5 miles today. Again, I was determined.
Those were some slowwww 5 miles! She said she was hurting, too, so I didn’t feel too bad. At first, though, every step reminded me that my head was in serious pain, like having a migraine but being forced to stare at a bright light. Except, I was choosing to do this, and I knew I would eventually get over the hump. And I did… the run was exceptionally difficult, but more on my brain than anything. My body felt amazing.
I came home and ate another huge salad. Romaine, cucumber, and avocado never tasted so good. A little olive oil (allowed!) and some ginger (encouraged!) and voila. Yum. A handful of sliced raw almonds for dessert.
Then I sat down to get my daily dose of blogs, and suddenly I realized that my headache is gone. I did it! I feel really awesome. Tomorrow I’m gonna champ through it again, and I’m pretty sure it won’t stop there. Yeast-be-gone, BRING IT!
It’s Day 3, and the “cleanse” is essentially over. I have plans to cook a plant-heavy vegan dinner with friends tonight, and I couldn’t be more excited. The past two days have been wonderful. I’m actually very surprised at how easy a food cleanse can be. I emphasize the “food” part, because I realize that full-on juice or suppliment based detoxes are an entirely different story.
But all in all, Day 1 was the hardest to get through. Truth be told, I think the caffeine headache is primarily to blame for that. The second day felt like any other day, and my body felt amazing. I was super sore from my 5-mile run (my butt cheeks can’t decide if they’re angry with me or thrilled...true story), and then today I hiked up Crowders Mountain with some friends, complete with mid-hike yoga stops and cleanse foods consumed en mass at the peak.
What a great way to end things! I feel like that extra 62 hours of eating a sugar-free diet was exactly what my body needed to kill of the tail end of my infection. And HALLELUJAH.
Water, water, and more water!
Hot water with:
- Lemon and Cayenne (Every morning!)
- Lemon and Ginger
- Cucumber, Ginger, and Basil
All sorts of herbal teas! Peppermint, ginger, cinnamon...
Green Juice! Make them at home, or buy them at Luna’s!
Brown Rice with...
- A dabble of coconut oil, tons of black pepper, and avocado mashed in.
- Sliced avocado and Kimchee (Trader Joe’s Vegan Kimchee is the best!)
- Coconut oil and Cinnamon
- Steamed Kale and Sliced Garlic
- Sauteed Spinach with Sliced Garlic
(I use Trader Joe’s Organic frozen brown rice...it makes things SO much easier!)
- Kimchee and Avocado, plus a drizzle of EVOO and tons of black pepper
- Avocado, sliced cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper
Dressing (on spinach and romaine...yum!)
¼ Cup Olive Oil
¼ Cup Water
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- Process all together using an immersion blender or food processor. Enjoy!
This is just the simplest cleanse in my opinion. The next time I do it, I'll get even more creative. I'm thinking massive amounts of fresh herbs chopped up and tossed in with brown rice pasta, zucchini noodles and avocado. Oh man...this cleanse may have made a believer out of me!
In love and taste,