A Cleanse, Family Style

When our kids were little, we were their teachers.  The tables have now turned and our adult kids are teaching us.  I am reaping the reward of a 30 day cleanse my youngest daughter researched and invited us to do with her.

Actually, she got the whole family involved and I learned that when we take on a challenge as a family, the team support propels us to success. This adventure involved meal planning and eating differently so it was either “co-operate or cook your own food”  in each of our homes.  All three of our men decided it was worth it to climb on board.

It All Started Before Christmas   
We chose not to bake at Christmastime and we down scaled our holiday meals with simple choices.  After all, come January first, we knew we would delve into our new regime for 30 days.  You can put up with anything for 30 days, right?  It’s not a lifetime. 

I’m still amazed at all that I’ve learned about myself during those 30 days of eating only whole foods in January.

*  My hair shined more and my skin cleared. 
*  My energy increased.
*  Sleep reached deeper levels.
* My teeth felt smooth like they do after a professional cleaning.  Flossing seemed unnecessary but I did it anyway.
*  I learned that we could celebrate birthdays without cake.
*  My thoughts came quickly and clearly.
*  I learned about sources of comfort other than snacking but missed popcorn tremendously!
*  I learned how to control my meal portions for my body size.

I lost five and one-half pounds.  But my goal aimed to eliminate inflammation.  I hoped for more success in my joints.  For me, the dramatic effect resulted in my teeth.  Last week, six weeks post-cleanse, my dental hygienist patted me on the back for improved maintenance.  My dentist noticed decreased inflammation after my deep cleaning.  I confessed to both of them that my success stems from the cleanse.  

Being a sugar and caffeine addict, I expected to fail.    But I didn’t.  I learned that fruit, dates and nuts are better choices for me.  Coffee is acceptable on the 30 day program, but not dairy.  No grains, no pasta, rice or bread for 30 days changed me.  I learned how to eat dinner foods for breakfast.  To my credit, I like vegetables, lots of them, with my protein.

After 30 days, the challenge switched to adding foods back into daily living again.  We’re all different and we learn what our bodies tolerate best.

Would I take on the whole 30 day plan again?  Absolutely!  My core being is worth it.

You know those cute capri’s that get shoved into the back of my closet every spring because they don’t fit but I can’t pitch them?  I wore them to lunch with my girlfriend yesterday.  She, in her mourning state and petite frame, does not need a cleanse program right now, but out of curiosity, she read the book: It Starts with Food.  Whereas she questioned some things about the Whole 30 Day Program, she learned things about herself.  She realized all the sugar content in the evening glass of wine she loves and decided to cut back because she likes it just a bit too much!

I like her open mind and teachable spirit.  Discussion opens doors to greater success.  We don’t always have to agree.  We never arrive; there’s always something to learn!  Personally, I’m glad I put the cleanse to the test. 

What are you learning about yourself these days?  Or maybe you’re just thinking:  “Sure am glad I’m not part of that family!”


  1. Kudos to you and your family for the 30 day cleanse!It requires a lot of willpower, but it's worth it.

    I'm also a coffee addict. Decaf. is expensive here, but I'll buy wherever and whenever I have the chance to pay less for it. I replaced sugar with stevia powder several years ago. Recently I read an article by a nutritionist that it's no good and that only sucralose is ok as a sugar substitute. Haven't checked that out yet. Nuts is good food but adds to weight, so they are not on my menu. As for bread, no problem to reduce or give up, but I've noticed it affects my bowel movement, so I have to be careful.

  2. Congratulations to you on the 30 day cleanse, Mary! I would have no problem eliminating coffee, but I would miss my tea! Sending you hugs and much love. :)

  3. How cool with the cleanse you all did! My brother, his wife and son did it a few years back. They said it was hard for the 30 days, the initial first few days the hardest, but the benefits achieved were definitely worth it! I'm learning I need to let go some things physically, but more emotionally and mentally :)


  4. Congratulations, my friend! Well done! I have never done that particular cleanse, but I have done the "lemonade" cleanse for 10 days more than once. Oh, my, it is HARD, but I felt SO much better when I was on it. The one I do actually cleanses the arteries. My husband and I have been thinking of going on it again soon. Thanks for this encouragement! Love and appreciate you!

  5. Never hurts to try something healthy. Kudos to you and your family, Mary. I agree, taking on a challenge as a family or group makes it so much easier--you have built in accountability!

  6. Hi Mary! I am trying to cut back and sugar and salt myself. I do break through and eat 'bad' things on occasion, but I agree with you that I feel better eating more pure foods.
    I love coffee (as you well know!) and wine and chocolate. I try to drink coffee without milk or sugar, and have cut back on wine and candy. It's not easy, and I'm not perfect, but it's a definite step in the right direction. Good for you! I admire you and your family for doing it together. makes is so much easier!

  7. What a beautiful new header for the first of Spring!
    Goodness, but you're so disciplined. (I giggled a bit about the ultimatum to your men-folk!) I'm sure there's much more to the cleanse than what you've shown, but I'm struck how like Atkins this seems.

  8. Dear Mary,

    I am focused on a goal of losing weight to bring my blood pressure down and become a healthier me. I'm doing it by following my doctor's suggestions to make vegetables, some fruit and protein my friends. It has definitely cut back on the amount of baking I do, but we are both benefiting from it.

    I do hope that you'll share with us about how things go for you as you begin to add things back into your diet. I'm especially wondering how it will be if you decide to add gluten back into the diet.

    Congratulations on making it through the 30 Day Whole Food cleanse!


  9. Hey, that's an impressive achievement. I wonder when I could start this. This sounds like a challenge I would enjoy. Honest!

  10. That's great Mary. I love hearing about what others are doing to have a healthier life. I only wish I had paid more attention to this YEARS Ago. Of course they say as long as you have a breath it's not too late to start something good, fresh and new. For me Mary, I am just trying to eat healthier. I more conscious about the choices I make. Meal planning has really helped me a lot especially my lunches. I have found that if I pre-planned my lunch then I am less likely to eat trash. And I have three daughters that help me too. I enjoyed this post so much. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  11. Congrats! I do love my coffee, but I did cut it back to 2 cups. Cutting out sugar and gluten has helped my joints......a LOT. Oh, and I don't have to take Prilosec/omeprazole any more (was on 20 mg twice a day for years)

  12. Good for you! I'm always amazed at how the old adages had more wisdom than we realized when we were younger; "You are what you eat…"

  13. I did the "Daniel" fast at the beginning of the year for 21 days...like you, I'm a sugar addict, so I wasn't sure how I'd do, but I did fine, and may try it again. I wonder why legumes are not included on this particular cleanse you've shared. Congrats on completing it and losing the weight. You say it didn't help your joints that much?


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