I Tried Nourish NW’s 12-Day Cleanse and Here’s What Happened

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner, Registered Dietitian & Cooking Class Instructor at Nourish Northwest

IMG_5066As a dietitian and a general balanced, healthy eater, sometimes I need to hit reset on my eating habits. After what seems like a longer than normal winter, that feeling has never felt more relevant. Lucky for me, my business partner needed to test new recipes for her upcoming Spring Group Cleanse at Nourish Northwest. Together, we prepared 12 days worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

If my experience doesn't sell it, the pictures will.
If my experience doesn’t sell it, the pictures will.

During those 12 delicious days of real food and no deprivation, I:

Gained (Non-Caffeinated) Energy

I love coffee. I love the smell, the taste, and the ritual. I don’t necessarily love the way it makes me feel, but I do experience withdrawal headaches when I don’t have it. This sends me on a cycle of addiction that has remained since I gave birth to my son three years ago. When I break my physical addiction, I feel more clear-minded, alert and have sustained energy throughout the day. If you are thinking about doing the Spring Cleanse, I recommend weaning off caffeine a week before you start. The cleanse can make you feel foggy (what Olivia and I call “detox brain”), so it’s nice to not compound that feeling with caffeine detox symptoms. I recommend cutting back gradually over a week, eventually switching to one cup of green or black tea by the start of the cleanse.

Day 1 Dinner
Day 1 Dinner

Decreased Sugar Cravings

This is where I practice what I preach. Cutting down on processed sugar is one of my most common recommendations to clients. I say, “If you can avoid added sugar for 3-5 days, you will break the cycle of addiction and reduce cravings.” Then I turn around and have a 3:00 pm sweet and a coffee sample. There is plenty of natural sweetness from the whole foods on the meal plan of this cleanse, so I really never even craved the sugar.

My favorite smoothie: Lemon Chia
My favorite smoothie: Lemon Chia

Found Empowerment

I pride myself on not being a rule-follower when it comes to food. I’ve never been on a diet and allow myself to eat what I want, when I want it. I am adventurous and curious about new foods. This attitude is healthy and empowering in many ways. I never feel deprived and I know that I have a peaceful relationship with food (thanks, parents!). But, in the last few months, I have let that attitude prevail over being mindful about what goes into my body. I found it equally empowering to truly pause, assess my physical hunger level, and say ‘no’ to extra snacks. Because I felt so satisfied by the interesting and delicious flavors on the meal plan, I really didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Mindful eating is an ongoing process for me. Since the cleanse ended ten days ago, I still find myself giving that little pause before popping something into my mouth. Thanks for the generous samples, New Seasons, but I’m not hungry and I know what peanut butter on a pretzel tastes like.

Lost a Few Pounds

My general attitude toward food (see above about not being a rule-follower) also allows what I’ll call “extras” to sneak in: A sample at the grocery store, a few bites to finish my toddler’s meal, a scrap of dessert left over from a cooking class, a beer after work, etc. While my baseline diet does not differ wildly from the cleanse meal plan, the cleanse provided the consistency of eating without extras. In the 12 days, I rarely felt hungry, loopy, or moody while also losing some weight.

I’ve always loved Nourish NW’s approach to cleansing/detoxing/resetting eating habits. I’ve experienced it first hand and cannot wait to do it again in a few months!

If you’d like to join us, the meeting is April 30 at 1:00 pm. You can sign up here!

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