On January 5th, I started a 21-day cleanse, which I described here. I did it. I did not cheat. I loved it. And while I am glad it is over, I am maintaining many better, healthier habits.
Here are my key takeaways.
- I feel better. In my head and in my body. I am thinking more clearly, my belly is more comfortable, my early mornings are more pleasurable.
- I need a lot less food than I think I do. My “normal” calorie budget is 1,300 per day (according to my Lose It Apps anyway). On average, over the three weeks, I ate about 1,000 calories per day and I was not hungry except on the days I exercised.
- With these new eating and drinking habits, I need less exercise. During the past three weeks, I exercised only twice per week, which seems to be plenty both mentally and physically.
- I did lose weight, 8 pounds to be exact, which is a lot for me and hard to do in three weeks.
- I did not miss alcohol, but I did miss the rituals. I missed the ritual of a glass of wine during a lunch date with a friend (replaced by non-alcoholic beer) and the ritual of a glass of wine in the evening to wind down (replaced by many cups of all kinds of different teas).
- My evening beauty routine has improved. Somehow exfoliating and masking and “retinol-ing” go better with three cups of hot tea than with three glasses of wine.
- My skin is clearer. I don’t know if this is from the liters of tea (herbal mostly) I consumed, from my more regular use of my Advanced retinol serum (see above), or from the lack of alcohol, or all of the above, but I am definitely more “glowy.”
- I spent a lot less money on food and beverage, partly because going out did lose some of its appeal, and partly because when I did eat out, there was mostly lettuce and certainly no alcohol on my tab.
- I went to the grocery store twice in three weeks (versus my average of once every two months…). With these new habits, having the right food at home and in my purse at all times is essential to avoid “mistakes due to hangry emergencies.”
- I discovered a love for apples. I have probably eaten an apple a day since January 5th (the only fruit allowed on this cleanse) and I plan to continue. They keep the doctor away, are easy to travel with, and are available in American Airlines lounges!
- My new rituals and habits have stuck beyond 21 days. I have not added milk back to my coffee. I have not added carbs or sugar back to my diet. I am still limiting dairy. I did enjoy mimosas with brunch and a great cabernet with dinner this past Sunday, the first day “post cleanse,” but I have not had any alcohol since. I will certainly splurge on date nights and on weekends, but these new healthy habits are here to stay – and that is the best possible outcome of these 21 days.
I cannot think of a better way to have started 2020!