I’m doing a cleanse. Yes, a rid-your-body-of-toxins-hippie-cleanse-detox-thing. It’s hard to say when this idea came about for me, but it was at least a couple years ago. The idea of going on a restricted diet, with no processed foods, seemed like an interesting way to make a fresh start on spring.

In general, I tend to eat whole foods, but there are exceptions for all of us. This diet is not about dropping pounds, but more about a realignment. It consists mostly of flax oil, herbal tea, veggies and fruits. After a couple weeks, I get to start eating beans, then nut, then rice. At the end, I gently ease back into regular eating, with dairy and meats entering my meals once more.

Monday evening, as I shopped for pounds and pounds of veggies to prepare for “the cleanse”, I was still feeling too embarrassed about it. So many people have asked me “Now, why are you doing this?” that I was starting to feel silly. Still determined to proceed with this little experiment, but a little silly admitting it out loud. In fact, I was so shy about it that I couldn’t admit to my local produce shop that this was the reason I was buying ten pounds of beets, broccoli, kale, carrots, parsnips. I sheepishly lied and said we were having friends come stay. For a week. And they were vegetarian.

Yeah, I’m a really terrible liar. And if you are going to admit you are doing a “cleanse”, probably the most receptive audience would be the check out girl at my hippie produce shop.

Today is Day 2 of thirty days. It’s been fruit and veggies for the last two days, and tomorrow we begin the juice fast, which means fruits and veggies pureed. The biggest effect for me has been the no alcohol and no caffeine rule – mostly the caffeine. I probably enjoy about five glorious cups of coffee everyday. I know it’s not great, but I used to chain smoke in another lifetime for about seven years, so I feel like this is a lesser evil. But the headache I had yesterday rocked my world. And the one today has been a dull nagging pain.

I’ll share an update on “the cleanse” about once a week, so you can join me in this little experiment. Maybe I’ll feel the same afterwards, or maybe I’ll have a freshly detoxed glow. But at least I’ll answer the question I’ve had for years on whether this could work for me as a once-a-year cleaning out the house kinda deal.

The report from Day 2 is that I feel weak, headachy, and a little irratable. Hopefully it gets better, otherwise this will be a loooooooooong thirty days.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson