How I Survived (and Learned to Appreciate) My Cleanse

(written by Julie)

I recently completed a one-week cleanse and, let me be honest, it was not the easiest thing I have ever done. I questioned why I was doing it many times, especially during the mornings when I felt sluggish, had a headache and could not reach for my regular cup of coffee.

I think of myself as pretty healthy. After all, I practice a holistic form of medicine and have spent many hours studying and learning how the little things we do every day have profound effects on our health and wellness. Giving out advice about how to live optimally is a regular part of my day, and I eat a mainly organic diet of whole foods and exercise regularly. I think I have it down pretty well. But…I am human. My life is full of beautiful things- meaningful work I love, friendships, family and beautiful children. That can easily mean overbooking myself and getting worn out. There are periods when I find myself relying on caffeine to keep me going and reaching for sugar when I am tired or want comfort.

This behavior will affect your whole system and I am no exception. The more coffee I have, the more I feel I need. When I indulge in sugar, I find myself wanting to indulge more and more.  All of these things can lead my entire system to feel sluggish, my energy to decrease, and my mood to plummet.

Just like our homes, our bodies can sometimes benefit from a deep cleaning. My cleanse eliminated all processed foods, sugar, caffeine, gluten and dairy.  These things, which are so common in our diets, are the common culprits of food sensitivities or intolerances.

Instead, I filled my life with whole organic foods, lots of filtered water and green tea, probiotic-rich foods (yum, fermented veggies!), and gluten-free grains. I increased my exercise and was intentional about nourishing myself. And let me tell you, it sounds wonderful, but those first few days…ughh. I clearly had a lot of cleaning to do! I felt terrible for my family and the beautiful women I work with, as the only thing I often talked about was my desire for a cup of coffee and pondering the point of this whole thing.

And then it happened. The light changed, my mood lifted, and my energy went soaring through the roof. My digestion was amazing and I really felt like what I was putting into my body was nourishing and feeding every cell. It was definitely worth it and I still feel amazing.

Fall is a great time to cleanse because it is a time of great transition. Just as the leaves drop from the trees, we too can look at what is going on in our lives and ‘let go’. If you are considering giving yourself a reboot, this may be just the thing for you.

Big thanks go out to Suzy Levi of Defining You Fitness, and Claudine Ardnt of Wellness with Claudine. These ladies led our group through this experience with grace and support.

Find out more about Suzy’s and Claudine’s services at and