“The Cleanse.”  It’s become its own entity.

I’m not talking coffee enemas, apple cider vinegar for 3 days, or excessive fasting.  The cleanse I’m referring to is a 21-day detoxification program designed by Standard Process, a supplement company The Chiropractor has researched in depth and recommends for many purposes.  Their 21 Day Detoxification program is known in our house as “the cleanse.”  It includes specific guidelines for eating and recommends certain supplements on specific days, including a drink/shake formula. There are certainly other protocols that may be appropriate for various purposes, but this specific plan is generally a pretty effective way to set the stage for continued gut healing and a good place to start regardless of what the issues are.  (That said, always check with your practitioner, you know…)

I first completed this protocol when we were dating and it was a bit of a shock to not just my system, but my thinking about what could actually satisfy me.  (See this post for a little more backstory about that experience.)  I had to quit bread, milk, and sugar cold turkey, and that was a pretty big deal for me.  Luckily I had The Chiropractor at my side encouraging me and teaching me about the good things that were happening in my body, and it made a huge difference that a good friend of mine did it with me that first time. By the end I felt significantly better and was proud of myself for doing a “hard thing,” and I had a whole new perspective on the possibilities of changing my habits.

But this post is actually about someone else’s experience.  In September of this year we had a change in staff at The Chiropractor’s office.  Our fantastic office manager Natasha left us for an out-of-state move, and we welcomed our new front desk manager, Kim.  Kim has been a wonderful addition to the office and if you’ve been in recently, hopefully you’ve had a chance to chat with her–she’s fantastic!

Kim decided to do the 21 day cleanse with The Chiropractor backing her up (no coercion!).  When I talked to her about it around day 12/13, she was feeling great and said that she hadn’t really struggled with any cravings.  And when I checked in with her after it was all done, she had nothing but good things to say.   Here are some of her comments:

-“I was expecting something that was going to clean me out in an unpleasant way but that didn’t happen at all.”  😀

-“It was very manageable–lots of options for what you could eat.”

-“I have great energy now–I feel so good!”

-“I’m planning to continue eating this way even though this is over.”

-“It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I was preparing for the worst but it really wasn’t that hard.”

And when asked for any thoughts to share with someone who may be doing the 21-day cleanse for the first time:

-“Keep as much routine and structure as you can.  Plan ahead.”

-“Know that the weekend will be harder if you’re going to be around family members more. If they’re expecting you to prepare meals the same way you always have and are not on board with your sudden changes, be prepared for how you’ll navigate that!”

I’ll add my own two cents here and just say that there’s no way around it–a major shift in eating takes time to plan, prepare, and execute.  Cooking allll your meals and bracing for social gatherings takes some discipline.  But once you are able to prioritize it, even if just for a short time, you can get yourself into a new rhythm and it will become very manageable.  It has to be intentionally done and won’t happen without some work.  But it’s worth it. (Preaching to myself here!)

Kim’s enthusiasm is making me want to do it again, but I just haven’t gotten myself there mentally yet.  Which brings me to my next point: Lest you have an inaccurate image of The Chiropractor…let me assure you that we are not always “clean” eaters.  I do try to prepare dinners that are whole food-based and not heavily processed, and because The Chiropractor won’t eat much of it anyway, I generally veer away from meals that revolve around pasta, rice, and bread, but there are plenty of other things we indulge in from time to time (sometimes the same time every day…) that aren’t beneficial for that weird thing inside us called the mircobiome… more to come about our typical meal planning in a future post!

In the meantime, if you’re curious about supplements that The Chiropractor recommends or general nutrition support, you can find more info here.  And if you come into the office soon, give Kim a high-5 and tell her that she’s inspiring The Chiropractor’s Wife.  🙂