A few people have asked why I'm doing this cleanse and what the benefits are so I thought I'd share more about that today. I have been wanting to do this for quite some time, but being an Ironman triathlete logging 15 or so hours of training a week means you can't even think about it. I did two Ironmans last year so there was never a good time and it kept getting put off further and further. It would be suicide to attempt it in December during Holiday mania, so the first of the year felt right.
I've had 3 really fun months of offseason life, doing all of the things you can't do or aren't supposed to do while training, which included drinking too much, staying up too late and eating all the wrong foods. If you don't take a break, you'll go crazy, so I have no regrets (well, except for maybe the 10 pounds I gained... oops) but there comes a point where you just need to start over. Enter the cleanse.
There are many types of cleanses you can do ranging from fasts where you consume primarily water to nutritional cleanses that are largely food based. I wanted to really take a break so I opted for a liquid nutritional cleanse so I wouldn't be in total calorie deprivation and experience serious detox symptoms. Breaking my caffeine addiction was bad enough. The idea behind cleansing, particularly liquid-based cleanses, is that by allowing your body to divert energy away from digestion it can work harder to clear your system of toxins. Cleansing is also a spiritual tradition in many cultures, usually done as a fast.
My hope was that I would come out of this experience feeling refreshed, feeling like I rid myself of bad offseason habits, and have a different appreciation for food. I also wanted to feel I had accomplished something because besides the training conflicts, I avoided this because I thought I couldn't do it. I didn't think I had the discipline and as it turns out, I do. I don't think there is anything more satisfying than doing things you thought weren't possible.
I am just about done with Day 4 and my second day of liquid only. I feel really good, still no cravings and I'm even less hungry than before. Someone asked me today what my first solid food would be on Saturday morning and I honestly hadn't thought about it. You can't break a cleanse with a huge meal so I imagine it will be something simple and small, and just might include that almond butter I was thinking about yesterday.