Not clean. A cleanse. My cleanse. That is what I will be doing for the next 21 days starting first thing in the morning. No, it isn't one of those lemon water cayenne paper garbage cleanses that wreak havoc on your body. This is a medical cleanse that I still get to eat things while taking the supplements. 

I have never done a cleanse. So I need to warn all you "readers" that if my writing gets angry or ranty, maybe it's withdrawals? But I am working with a nutritionist and she assured me this is perfect for me and I will not suffer any bad side effects. For the last few months I have been really wanting to do this. I figure once a year would be great to buckle down and give my body and organs the attention it needs. To be perfectly honest, I don't even take vitamins! I know! The horror! And I'm anemic. Have been since before I had Gunnar. This cleanse is supposed to help all that, and it forces me to eat really healthy things, really often. I am not so good at remembering to eat at regular intervals, like lunch. And breakfast. So this will be good for me. I hope.

I found out that the best time to do a cleanse is at the start of a new season, especially fall. So I had the go ahead after the last week in September to begin. But I really needed to figure out HOW I was going to do this before I just dove in. 

Some things I CAN have. Yay! All fresh fruits except oranges and orange juice. All fresh or steamed vegetables except corn. Brown rice, oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff, tapioca, buckwheat, potatoes. (I don't even know what some of these things are!) The only breads/cereal I can have are products from buckwheat, rice, oats, quinoa. All legumes including peas and lentils. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin. I was afraid I would not be able to eat meat on this, but I can eat all fresh or frozen fish except for shellfish, organic and hormone free turkey, chicken, and lamb. Rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk. I can have olive oil, flaxseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, sesame, walnut, pumpkin, oils. I can only drink filtered water, green or white tea and mineral water. I can have vinegar and most spices. The only sweeteners I can have are brown rice syrup, agave, blackstrap molasses, and manuka honey. 

You're probably thinking, wow! That's a lot you can have, right? 

Well, let me list what I CANNOT have. Now remember I am a carbohydrateholic. I LOVE me some starches. Here is what is banned: oranges, orange juice, corn, creamed vegetables, wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye, ALL gluten, tofu, tempeh, soy beans, soy milk, ALL soy products, peanuts, peanut butter, beef, pork, cold cuts, frankfurters, sausage, canned meats, shellfish, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, ice cream, frozen yogurt, non-dairy creamers, eggs, margarine, butter, shortening, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayo, spreads, soda, alcohol, coffee, all caffeinated beverages, chocolate, ketchup, relish, chutney, soy sauce, BBQ sauce and other condiments, white or brown refined SUGAR, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, processed honey.

Yeah. Try and go to a market and see how you do. Or a restaurant.

I decided I needed some major grocery shopping time because if I am going to succeed at this I need to have food I can actually eat in my house. And not be tempted by the string cheese, beef jerky that I usually succumb to in my desperate food searching hours.  I spent an hour and a half in Whole Foods, with my cousin who works at Whole Foods. We were reading label after label. You'd be surprised how many things have soy in them. And bread, well there is ONE loaf of bread I can have, in the whole store! Millet bread. It literally weighs 5 pounds and it's the size of my hand. 

Some sample meals I am planning for the next few days. I have Puffed Millet with rice milk for breakfast with sliced bananas. Another breakfast I will be trying is Quinoa with Agave nectar syrup. For snacks I have almonds, fresh fruit, and I was thinking of apple slices with cashew butter. For lunch I can have a sandwich using the millet bread with sliced organic turkey, and I found in the deli case mediterranean tuna salad that was water packed, and is mayo free. I found these brown rice crackers I can have with the tuna. I can also have humus and rice cakes, rice cakes and cashew butter, and I found a vegan chili without soy in it. I also found a kind of Kettle Chips I can have. It only has potatoes, sea salt and sunflower oil in the ingredient list. I did spot some freshly made guacamole I can have as well. But without tortilla chips, it's just not the same. For dinner, I will be having organic lamb, chicken, rice, veggies. So that's what it's going to be like in this house for a few weeks!

This is not going to be easy for me. It may surprise some of you that I have very little will power. However, I don't think it will be hard to cut out the red meat and pork. I did that for over 10 years and so I'm not worried there. I am worried about the gluten, wheat, and dairy. Cheese and bread is a huge deal for me. I don't even eat bad cheese like cheddar and swiss, I eat the healthy hard cheeses, but nonetheless, ALL cheeses are a no no.

If you're interested in my progress I will update my blog periodically with how it's been going. If you are curious about any specifics just leave a comment. She is also supplementing a separate fiber for me to take from here on out. Which I believe is great since I know my diet normally does not have enough fiber in it. 

This is NOT for any weight loss at all. In fact, it would suck if I lose any weight on it. It's purely to feel and be healthier. If I can do it, which I am determined to do, I would like to do this once a year. 

Cross your fingers for me. Hold on tight. Here we go. . .