Recap: Maura’s Seven-Day Cleanse Experiment

Our contributor just completed a weeklong cleanse. Read on to see how it went—the good, the bad, the ugly—and how she did it. Warning: There's lots of poop talk.

Mission accomplished! My one-week detox is complete: no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed sugar, no meat, no dairy and no wheat.

Last week I wrote about my decision to do a cleanse and promised that I would follow up with daily food logs and updates about how I’m feeling now; that’s what you’ll find here. (Buyer beware: Some of what’s below is brutally honest. Yes, I’m talking about bowel movements, people. That’s what cleansing’s all about, right?)

All in all, it was a great experience, and not as rough as some of the other detox programs I have done. The most interesting things I noticed where (1) I felt best when I ate the lightest and drank the most water, and (2) I was able to notice where I used food as a crutch because I was tired or stressed, which was a great reminder about how important rest and time-management really are when it comes to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Without further ado, here’s a peek at what my week looked like.

Day 1: Monday
Started the day a little groggy for one too many New Year’s Day glasses of wine. Feeling tired and sluggish all around. Ready to cleanse!

Breakfast: Apple-banana-blueberry smoothie with coconut milk, flax seed, chia seed and Kyo-Green Powder; chamomile tea

Lunch: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with onions, red peppers, garlic and Kalamata olives; chamomile tea

Dinner: Quinoa with veggies, sautéed spinach with tofu and spicy tomato soup

Daily water intake: 60 ounces

Bowel movements: 1

Cravings: Chocolate and coffee!

Day 2: Tuesday
By the middle of the second day, I was cranky, irritable and tired. Went to bed at 8:30 p.m.! Felt like crap.

Breakfast: Apple, tomato soup

Lunch: Leftover dinner from Day 1

Snack: Celery stalks with peanut butter

Dinner: Quinoa with broccoli, avocado and garlic hummus

Daily water intake: 60 ounces

Bowel movements: 1

Exercise: True story: I practiced yoga for 30 minutes then fell asleep on my mat.

Cravings: Anything crunchy or chewy (bread, please!)

Day 3: Wednesday
Slept like a champ and for 11 hours (8:30 p.m to 7:30 a.m.). Feeling the need to poop more and getting frustrated about it! Still feeling pretty tired overall, though.

Breakfast: Apple-banana-blueberry smoothie

Lunch: Tomato soup, spinach salad with mango, almonds and shredded coconut

Snack: Celery, white tea

Dinner: Leftover dinner from Day 2

Daily water intake: 48 ounces (with lemon this time)

Exercise: Taught three yoga classes

Cravings: Sweets and protein

Day 4: Thursday
Starting to feel more energized. My 5 a.m. wakeup call this morning wasn’t as awful as it normally is. But I’m definitely having some crazy dreams. Aaaaand, I finally have a second BM—I’m a happy girl!

Breakfast: Apple

Lunch: Falafel, broccoli rabe, spicy Mexican soup (sans chicken)

Snack: Celery, coconut water

Dinner: Quinoa with green beans, almonds, dried cranberries

Daily water intake: 48 ounces

Bowel movements: 2 (hooray!)

Exercise: Taught three yoga classes

Cravings: Caffeine and any food. I’m feeling hungry all day, probably because I lost my water bottle and didn’t drink enough H2O.

Day 5: Friday
Really feeling jazzed and back to my old energetic self. Feeling less bloated. Still have dark circles under eyes, but nowhere as bad as beginning of week

Breakfast: Strawberries, blueberries; ginger tea

Lunch: Broccoli rabe and falafel; brown rice wrap with avocado and tofu

Dinner: Southwest veggie soup with quinoa

Daily water intake: 72 ounces (with lemon)

Bowel movements: 2

Exercise: 75 minutes of power yoga

Cravings: None

Day 6: Saturday
Feeling great! But I’m disappointed I still have dark circles under my eyes. They are getting better and I know more rest would help. But…the good news is I hit the 3 BM mark. Victory.

Breakfast: Apple, two clementines

Lunch: None

Snack: Coconut water, almonds

Dinner: Brown rice, roasted veggies, blacks beans, pico de gallo, mixed greens

Snack: air-popped popcorn

Daily water intake: 72 ounces (with lemon)

Bowel movements: 3 (!!)

Exercise: Taught a three-hour detox yoga class in 90-degree room. It felt a lot like sitting in a sauna.

Craving: Cheese

Day 7: Sunday
Final day. Cravings having subsided except when I find myself stressed. Feeling great: good energy, no belly bloat, bowels are moving, clear in the head. Decide to stick with no caffeine, wheat, dairy and sugar for awhile after the cleanse.

Breakfast: Apple, two clemetines

Lunch: Eggs with spinach, tomato, mushrooms and roasted pepper with potatoes

Snack: Veggie chips with hummus, white tea

Dinner: Salad greens with avocado, mangoes and cashews

Daily water intake: 72 ounces

Bowel movements: 3

Exercise: Two-hour yoga class; Thai Massage

Cravings: Wine