The Birthday List: Do a Cleanse.

piclab (8)I’ve done cleanses before – specifically The Clean Program and Meghan Telpner’s 3-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. But when I was making my birthday list this year, I was feeling off kilter in my eating habits. I’d put on a few pounds and was generally feeling sluggish, so a cleanse seemed like a good way to give my body a break and get back on track with my eating habits.

The lovely Renee from Raw Chi Food offered to send me one of her detox kits, which is centered around a 5- or 7-day cleanse that she outlines in her ebook. The kit contains her Purity Blend powder, a blend of milk thistle; bentonite clay; psyllium husk; strawberries; inulin; cats claw, designed to draw toxins out of your system and flush them out while also keeping you full between meals. You also receive Himalayan sea salts for detoxing baths and a dry skin brush for cleansing your lymphatic system.

The ebook walks you through each step of preparing for the cleanse as well as what to expect throughout. Renee also makes herself available as your cheerleader and encourages you to contact her by email or text anytime. There were a couple of times when I felt like giving up and shot off a quick email to Renee. She got back to me right away, answering my questions and offering encouragement.

Renee suggests drinking smoothies for each meal – about 2 litres per day – and switching in a raw salad for one meal if you feel like you need to. I stuck with strictly smoothies for the first day but on day 2 I was feeling so foggy that it felt impossible to get anything done, so I had a salad for dinner, which definitely helped. For the rest of the time I had 3 smoothies a day and a raw salad for lunch. In between I also drank lots of herbal tea – mostly Dr. Stuart’s Liver Detox blend, fennel, nettle, and peppermint.

I got through the first day of the cleanse without much difficulty, but then day two was definitely the hardest. I was cranky and had a headache and my poor friend who spent the day with me had to hear a lot about “this stupid fucking cleanse.” The next few days were up and down. At times I felt light, refreshed, and energetic. At others I was irritable and hungry. I did the 5-day version of the cleanse as I had a date on day 6 and couldn’t bare the thought of sipping on a smoothie or noshing salad while he ate delicious veggie fare.

A lot of people were critical of my decision to do a cleanse at all and I wasn’t without my own self-doubt. There is no medical evidence that a cleanse will have any long-term benefits to your health if you immediately go back to loading your body up with junk.

But I think a cleanse is a great way to kickstart new healthy eating habits. I found that even just five days of cleansing helped diminish my sugar cravings and gave me a better understanding of when I’m genuinely hungry. Now I’m more inclined to only eat until I’m full and to stop myself from mindlessly snacking throughout the day. I’ve also found that my sensitivities to certain foods have been heightened since finishing the cleanse. Whenever I eat refined sugar or wheat I start feeling exhausted almost immediately afterwards, which is a good indication that these are foods I should be avoiding. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that I lost a bit of weight through the process, so all of my clothes have been looking extra fantastic. So I’m not sure it’s an experience I’ll be repeating regularly (it was hard to schedule a week without food-related commitments!), but it certainly wasn’t without it’s benefits.

So, what about you: have you ever done a cleanse? And if so, what did you think?

Love, strawberries, & fresh mint tea,



P.S. In addition to offering an amazing line of products on her website, Renee also teaches raw food retreats at a gorgeous manor house in the English countryside. She has two coming up in June and is offering a 10% discount if you use the code ‘Retreat’ when you register.


  1. I totally agree that a cleanse is a great way to jump start healthy eating habits. I did a cleanse a while ago and day 2 and 3 were the hardest by far! But I learnt a lot about my sugar cravings, and I have a lot :)

  2. I’d love to try a cleanse, not sure I could do 5 days, I think I’ll start with three and see how I go. Would love to check out the detox you did once I get to London :) x

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