After seven days of drinking delicious green juices for the beginning stages of my cleanse, I started getting night sweats. Like crazy sweat-through-your-clothes night sweats. Part of me thought, “There is no way this can be normal,” but the other part of me wanted to believe that it was just a reaction to my body cleansing. I had decided to embark on this cleansing period after having pre-cancer removed from my colon last August. (You can read more on that here.) I knew I needed time to mentally and physically prep for it, so I decided January 2017 would be the start of my three-month journey of twenty-one days of juicing and two months of high-nutritient food that didn’t contain grains, dairy, alcohol, or sugar. I would be doing this to cleanse my colon, liver, and gall bladder. I know—sounds awesome, right?
On day seven of the cleanse—after beating the headaches and having gotten over the fact that wine would not be happening for a while—I was super disappointed to learn that I needed to take a step back from my cleansing. The amazing ladies at the Habit Project had been wonderful at making me the most delicious juices to help me stay focused and get what my body needed, but I’d also enlisted the help of Jackie from Food Works. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, having someone lead you through the cleanse is so very important! During the cleansing period, Jackie does a weekly call to check in, go over what’s happening with your body, work through emotional and physical changes, and teach you amazing recipes to get what your body needs. On my first check-in call, I mentioned the night sweats, and she immediately dug into this.
You may not know this, but winter months are not the ideal time to cleanse the body, especially for someone with an autoimmune disorder. (I have hypothyroid.) During this time of the year, the body needs to be warmed with foods like root vegetables, starches, and soups to keep it operating well in the cooler temperatures. It turns out that a lack of such things can cause some pretty crazy effects in people with autoimmune disorders, including hormone imbalances, night sweats, racing heart, insomnia, and more. I definitely experienced all of the above! I felt like I was going into pre-menopause ! It was bananas!
I started backing off from the juicing slowly while adding soups and more raw foods and introducing nuts again. We decided to postpone the cleanse until the spring when the body is naturally ready to cleanse, craves more fresh veggies/fruits, and doesn’t have to work so hard to stay warm. After a few days off from the cleanse, I started a twenty-one-day food cleanse, which just realigns the body and helps with kicking some cravings the body is holding onto. It’s also a great way to prep the body for an intense cleanse like the one I’d been getting ready to embark on. I wanted to share this with you because of the importance of having someone like Jackie in your life when you decide to make a huge health shift. Had I not been walking through this with someone who is highly trained, I most likely would have brushed off my symptoms and really hurt my body.
Can you cleanse at all this time of year?
Yes, most definitely! The three-day cleanse the Habit Project offers is the perfect way to reset the body and kick some cravings you are struggling with. It’s very gentle on the body and is also a great way to start off something like Joy McCarthy’s thirty-day food detox. This type of cleanse causes very little stress on our digestive systems and is the perfect way to introduce the body to cleansing, get a little reset, or prep for that more intense, deeper cleanse.
Although it was super frustrating to have to stop and put off restarting this cleanse (especially because I’d been bitter about even doing it in the first place), I know it was the best decision. Plus, it gives you my readers more time to think about joining me on the cleansing journey in April! 😉
Over the next eighteen days of the final period of my cleanse, you will be seeing lots of recipes that I’m using for every meal of the day. So stay tuned and follow along!
Here is one of my current favorites, which I actually posted about a few years ago—a lentil loaf that my friend Tasha came up with. It’s the perfect meat replacement, it works as a wonderful main course to serve with French fries, and it makes an awesome meatless meatball for any spaghetti dish.
I purchase all my fresh and organic ingredients from Natures Fare Market.
- 1 cup uncooked green lentils
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds or walnuts (I used almonds)
- 3TB ground flax soaked in 1/2 cup water for at least 10 min
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced (or 3 tsp garlic powder in a pinch)
- 1 cup each finely diced onion and celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup grated apple (no need to peel it first. May also use 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 3/4 cup almond flour, also known as almond meal
- 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried thyme in a pinch)
- 1.5 tsp herbamare (or salt and pepper to your liking)
- heaping 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1TB maple syrup
- 2TB coconut sugar ( I used date sugar as a replacement to fit with my cleanse)
- 2TB balsamic vinegar (choose a good quality one, it’s worth it!)
Cook the lentils in about 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil first, then set to simmer for about 30 more minutes. The point here is to overcook them so they are a bit sticky and mushy. That may mean adding a bit more water if it seems like they are running out of water. Stir every 5-10 min or so. Once you think they’re cooked and mushy enough, mash them even more with a potato masher. They won’t look pretty right now, but this step is worth it in the end.
Leave the lentils alone for now and sauté the onion, celery, garlic in a bit of coconut oil. (or your oil or choice) Cook until just a little bit soft, 5-10 min.
Mix all the ingredients now in a big bowl and mix well. At this point you can taste it and see if you’d like to add more salt, pepper, thyme etc.
Pour mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and press down firmly
Mix all the ingredients of the glaze in a bowl and brush over the top of the loaf covering it completely.
Bake for 350 degrees for 40 min.
Enjoy with a side of yams and salad~~*