Cleanse It to Wins It — The Finish Line

May 5, 2012 by

I made it, folks!

I am so very CLEANSED and happy, and I don’t see any reason to stop now.

To read about the first parts of this journey, click here: For days 1-6, For days 7-15, For Days 16-18.


Sure, there are things I miss, and I will make a few exceptions while I’m in Chicago and NYC (I am not leaving Illinois without eating Pequod’s Pizza, that’s a damn fact), but for the most part I will try to adhere loosely to the following tenants of the Clean Program for the rest of my eating days.  Or, as long as humanly possible.

  1. Regular exercise and plenty of sleep
  2. Allow 12 hours to pass between supper and breakfast for full digestion
  3. Have 1 or 2 liquid meals per day
  4. Drink a ton of water
  5. Stay away from red meat, soy, dairy, gluten, caffeine, processed sugar, and alcohol as much as humanly possible

Following these rules (without being neurotic about it) will not mean I can never have a cupcake or Spanish cheese again, but trying to adhere to them is bound to steer me toward more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and unprocessed foods in my daily life.

Here’s how the final three days of the Clean Program went down.

Day 19

Travelled to Chicago and got up criminally early (3:30am — thanks Miles for driving me to the airport).  Packed cashews and gluten/dairy/soy/sugar-free cookies in little snack baggies so I could snack on salty or sweet things without having to buy airport food.  Made it to Chicago at 8:30am without any coffee or non-approved snacks.  Went to a coffee shop to meet a friend for lunch, where I ate the tuna and greens from a sandwich (but not the bread) and sipped tea.  Then met up with more friends to celebrate the recent engagement of one of my besties, and indulged in a few bites of cheese and some champagne.  Then went out for sushi with girlfriends, which I ordered to fit the cleanse as best I could: brown rice, no shellfish, nothing fried. Not my best day, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.  I’m actually pretty proud I didn’t just arrive in Chicago and say “to hell with it,” which during Week 1 I pretty much planned on doing.


Day 20

Went to Whole Foods in the morning to stock up on snacks.  Bought fresh fruit, kombucha, juices, cashews, and gluten/dairy/soy/white sugar-free coconut clusters to keep in the car.  Bought an insulated tote with a  zipper to keep it all cold during the day.  Felt pretty awesome about that while I drove around doing errands and having a juice smoothie for breakfast.  (If you’re interested in what I’ve been snacking on and my favorite cleanse-approved snacks, check out my Garden of Eat’n Pinterest Board here.)

I miss you, WF

Joined my friend Becca for lunch at Southport Grocery, home of THE BEST CUPCAKES in the city.  Didn’t have a cupcake!  Or fun French toast!  Or coffee!  Instead, I had a LOAD of fresh fruit, some herbal tea, and some cauliflower purée soup (non-cream-based).  Delicious!  And I still have time to get my hands on one of those cupcakes before leaving town, if I really want one.

Not a cupcake in site.

Becca had red kraut!

After lunch, Becca and I engaged in some retail therapy at the Southport Anthropologie, and let me tell you — everything looks great on me right now.  Not everything everything, I mean, I won’t be buying one of those hideous jumpsuits that deluded people think have come back in style, but everything I want to wear looks great on me.  It’s a spectacular, amazing feeling to have that problem in the dressing room (because at Anthropologie, a shopping spree is not really feasible at this point in financial time).  I did buy a dress for opening night on Saturday and another fun summer dress from the sale section, which didn’t set me back too much.  I practically floated through the rest of my day.  That night, before my new show’s first preview (which went GREAT by the way!), I had another smoothie for dinner and didn’t even finish it all.


Day 21

Final day of the cleanse-proper!  I went to the Bleeding Heart Café and Bakery on my own for breakfast, because I know they have a lot of vegan options and I figured I could find something filling and not off-limits.  I ended up ordering tea and tilapia tacos, sans the egg, cheese, and sour cream.  Then I ate the filling and not the tortillas.  I also had some delicious vegan apple slaw on the side, and herbal tea.  Overall, fantastic.  I didn’t treat myself to one of their phenomenal cake balls, but watching the two-year-old at the next table completely destroy her cupcake was vicarious thrill enough.  I guess I never realized before exactly how violent children are when they’re trying to clean their own hands.

One of these things I had (tea), the rest I needs must pass on.

After breakfast, I took myself shopping at my other most favorite store, BCBG.  It was so dangerous, now that everything fits me sensationally.  The seasonal BCBG collections can be hit or miss, but naturally since I feel like a bombshell, I loved everything on the rack this spring.  It wasn’t very expensive, but I did spend more than I should have on the dress below.  There will be no shopping for months once I get back to Abingdon, and this dress was absolutely made for my reinvigorated body.  It is my cleanse graduation present, and I wore it out of the store.

This photo doesn't really capture the dress's full magnitude of awesome, but you get the idea.

I worked in a coffee shop all afternoon, where I just drank a lot of tea and water.  Breakfast had been on the late side, so I didn’t need food again in the afternoon.  For supper, I went with my friend Evan to Essence of India in Lincoln Square, a reliably yummy Indian joint.  I ordered coconut curry with vegetables (totally allowed) and asked for brown rice, which they didn’t have.  So I skipped the rice and ate only one piece of naan (incredible, seeing as how I’d mainline delicious naan if that were possible).  No dessert, no mango lassi, no samosas.  And eating curry with a spoon and no starch to cut it really brings out the flavors; I realized that I need to tone down my heat request from medium to low if I’m not going to be cutting the spice with any rice or bread.

After dinner, we went to see the second preview of my show Devour, which was even BETTER than the first.  It was so much fun and I felt really energized and social, so I joined the cast and crew and some audience members at the bar next door afterward.  I had one drink, but stopped there (I can’t promise that will happen again tonight, at the opening night party).

And that’s all she wrote, at least for the first and most intense part of this metabolism reboot.  I’m sleeping like a baby, my cravings for sugar and bread and coffee are almost entirely gone (and completely manageable), my skin is glowing, and I look and feel fantastic.

I can’t tell you how many pounds I have lost, because I don’t own a scale and don’t really believe in them.  But I will tell you this — my favorite go-to belt that I always back when I travel because it goes with everything, no longer fits.  I tried to wear it yesterday, and even the smallest notch results in a hula-hoop effect around my hips.  Everyone in Chicago keeps telling me I look fantastic, and the clothes I try on in stores look great.  I also have the below pictures as testimony, though I apologize for the poor quality and incongruity of the last two.  Turns out it’s really hard to take photos of yourself without a tripod or a Miles of some kind.


The Finish Line

Was it worth it?  Yes, completely.  Would I recommend it?  Yes, totally.  If not the Clean Program, than any kind of well-thought-out cleanse that resets your body and forces you to focus on how you’re treating yourself for an extended period of time, in a responsible way.

What are your thoughts?  Anyone cleansing right now, or had results (good or bad) with cleansing in the past?  Chime in in the comments.

Hey, You!


Remember, friends, I’m blogging every day for the month of May, and setting the goal of generating three comments per entry.  If you leave your two cents in the comments below, you’ll be entered to win a fantabulous prize collection on June 1st.  Click here for all the details, and again, thanks so much.


  1. Jean

    Glad you are feeling great! You are looking GREAT! I know this weekend and next week will be a great success! Have fun!

  2. Erin

    As a fellow cleanser AND a fellow BCBG whore, I am very proud of you and I totally approve of your graduation dress. Way to go you!!

  3. Ashley

    The blue BCBG dress looked so great on you. Sorry I didn’t tell you in person, but you do look great. Very proud of you!

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