Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mack and May on a gut cleanse programme #2 Week One of our gut cleansing experience

Week 1 of our (exotically titled) gut cleanse is all done….and we’re alive and well! 

If you have seen last week’s post you will be aware that we are doing a 28 day gut cleanse programme inspired by the Clean Gut book by Dr Alejandro Junger. 

Last week we gave you the whats and whys, and this week we’re discussing how the first week went.



May: I found day 1 tough because I made a bad choice for my breakfast smoothie (if you don’t like coconut, you really can taste the coconut in coconut oil! Maybe a more expensive oil would have been better, but I think I’ll avoid it unless in cooked food from now on) and was therefore hungry from the start, but snacking on nuts and raw veggies was enough to stop me from giving in and the fab dinner (chicken and veg stir fry from the Inner Me recipes) was very welcome. On day 2, a headache set in but didn’t last too long so hopefully I have escaped that. During the week I was amazed to last from the breakfast smoothie to lunch with no snacks (bar a couple of cashew nuts). I normally graze a lot during the day and whilst I did get some hunger pangs during the week, drinking lots of water and getting stuck into work to take my mind off them worked a treat (not that the plan is about starving yourself – far from it – I just haven’t quite worked out what would make good snacks so haven’t really had any on me). I have certainly woken up to how much ‘stodge’ I used to eat (and don’t need to eat) and I am actually quite enjoying the lemon water first thing in the morning – I’d definitely be happy to continue with that after the programme ends.

I didn’t realise until half way through the week that I had been cheating slightly: if you follow the Inner Me guidelines, you’re not supposed to eat red meat in week one and I actually made the beef ragu with courgetti from the Clean Program recipes, and had this two evenings. It seems that each different plan is slightly different in any case. I wasn’t able to stick to my meal plan due completely as life ‘stuff’ took over on a couple of evenings, but I loved feeling organised enough that I knew I had the right foods in the house to make something from the plan. Either way, I have drunk nothing other than water and the breakfast smoothies, have had no gluten, stacks of fresh veg, and no processed food or refined sugars, so I think I’m doing OK considering my usual diet. I think it fair to say that I have never thought about food so much, but this is all manageable, especially knowing it is only for a few weeks.
I was worried about what I would be able to eat when I met a friend for lunch and went out for a BBQ and Sunday lunch with friends and family, but some careful choices meant I didn’t deviate from the plan too much (even if I did nearly weep when I had to ask for extra veg in place of the roast potatoes and yorkshire pudding!).
One problem was that I was really missing something sweet. Normally, I’m a complete chocoholic! I did some searching online and came across The Raw Chocolate Company. I ordered some raw cacao powder for making hot chocolates etc, and some of their chocolate bars and snacks. I have already demolished one of chocolate bars (which was good – not the same as ‘normal’ chocolate – but definitely a treat considering the rest of the week’s diet) and I can’t wait to get stuck into the rest. I will report back next week when I’ll have had chance to try more of it.
The Inner Me supplements are easy to take, and there are only four to take once a day so these have been no problem. I am definitely feeling less bloated and have lost a couple of pounds. I’m feeling a little more energised and looking forward to getting stuck into week 2, where hopefully I’ll start feeling the results of week 1 even more. I can’t yet say that my outlook on life has been revolutionised and that as soon as my 28 days are up I won’t celebrate with cake and Dairy Milk, but that feeling may yet come! In week 2, we can re-introduce lentils, oats and brown rice (according to Inner Me). They were never really part of my normal diet so I don’t know if I will, but let’s see…bring on week 2!  By the way, I recommend this recipe for a roasted tomato and pepper soup - it is delicious! 

a receipe for roasted tomato and pepper
Ingredients for the roasted tomato and pepper soup
Mack: I have found week one a surprisingly positive experience. I’m feeling better within myself and I’m focussed. But then again, it is inevitable that my body would feel better given that just before starting the gut cleanse programme, I overdid it on the BBQ-sausages and burgers on my camping holiday! The food on the gut cleanse programme has been relatively tasty and filled-me up. Here is a summary of how it went:

  • The simplistic approach I took to food choice and preparation (i.e. the same types of meals every day prepared with minimal fuss) was great! Less time and money was spent at the supermarket than usual, and less time was spent preparing meals (with my pre-prepared Broccoli juice delivered to my door and vegetable and chicken soups cooked in bulk for lunch and dinner). A very lazy approach, some might say. But it seems to be working best for me.
  • Every now and then, I had a salad instead of a soup, which I would transform from being quite bland to relatively palatable with a balsamic vinegar, coriander, lime juice and pepper dressing. 
  • It has felt so good to eat lots of healthy veg and drink lots of water. I varied the veg I used in my soups a lot.
  • I did not miss bread, pasta or potato…not one bit…honestly! 
  • I have started to lose a few pounds. OK, so  it is hardly noticeable, but it’s a step in the right direction!
  • My skin looks a little clearer from the increased water intake.
  • I haven’t had any headaches, dizziness or hunger pains....so far.
  • Doing this programme with May has been great and having her support has been invaluable.  I suspect this is why I am mentally super-committed to sticking to the programme!  If May can do this, I have no excuse!!
  • I think "Clean Gut" by Dr Junger might just have inspired a new long-term way of eating for me.  Of course, I want to resume a more varied diet in 3 weeks' time, but I will certainly eat more veg and 'clean' foods in future.

Gut cleansing experience

I have been CRAVING cheese. But apart from that, there have been no major negative points.  To manage my cravings, I am munching on carrots...and having a glass of water.  I am not sure how long this 'strategy'  will last but for the moment, because I am determined to do this programme, the cravings do seem to fade. 
Less time may be spent shopping/preparing meals, but more time is being spent on the toilet! Probably too much information but an observation I thought I would share.

As May says, bring on week 2!

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