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Health & Fitness: The Cleanse Experience

KIM DUKEBy Kim Duke

As a professional in the fitness industry, I am always looking for more ways to keep my clients and myself looking great. I have a clear understanding of how strength training and cardio training will rev up your metabolism and help you to build a strong body and heart, but as a personal trainer, I have had to learn a great deal more about nutrition and supplementation.

Personally, I always thought I ate really well. But recently I challenged myself to cleanse my body of carbs (any processed, refined or simple carbohydrate that creates inflammation, spikes your blood sugar, and increases your cravings). It seemed very simple — for five days I needed to eliminate breads, grains, cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar, candy, soda pop, juices and booze.

“So what’s left to eat?” you may be asking yourself — protein, veggies and water. I love those three things … this should be easy. Easy, it was not. 

Day 1: started okay, but as the day grew longer, all I could think about was eating or not eating, or if I should eat my cat? I was going thru withdrawal removing toxic substances, which include, but are not limited to, foods, drinks, thoughts, emotions, people, etc.

Day 2: I had a headache and felt achy?! According to the literature that accompanied the cleanse, this was all to be expected. In my head, I’m thinking, “Maybe for everyone else! But, I am such a good eater?!” Or so I thought.

Day 3: I was done with the headache and the aches, and actually felt so clear headed it was unnerving. I was finally getting it. A clearer picture of what simple or processed carbs can do to even the healthiest of people emerged — how starting the day with cereal and fruit was really just getting the vicious cycle started. I understood that cheating was cheating you. That certain food groups needed to be eliminated altogether.

Day 4 and Day 5: Were great! I felt light on my feet. I slept better than I ever had. I was ready to go further with this and adapt a cleaner eating lifestyle. Slowly, I have added whole grains and fruits back into my diet. I need these. We all need these for energy and fiber. I have no desire at all to grab a cookie for a sweet craving or to pack a sandwich for lunch anymore. I have eliminated cold cuts altogether (highly processed) and added grilled chicken, eggs, grilled steak or seafood. I eat a ton more veggies and steer clear of “fast food.”

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