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The Conscious Cleanse: Lose Weight, Heal Your Body, and Transform Your Life in 14 Days (Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)) Paperback – December 4, 2012
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About the Author
Jo Schaalman is a Nutrition Therapist who leads nationwide nutrition and yoga workshops focusing on transformative healing and optimal health. Through her personal journey of debilitating allergies and a devastating bike crash, she has learned how to heal herself. She shares the wisdom she's gained in healing and nutrition through her popular yoga classes and the Conscious Cleanse program, helping people find their optimal health. She has worked closely with great mentors such as yoga master Ana Forrest and Dr. Theron Randolph, both cutting-edge healers in their fields.
Julie Peláez has been a certified Bikram yoga instructor for nearly a decade and is a Holistic Health coach. She studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition with experts like David Wolfe and Dr. Andrew Weil. She is grateful to bring her passion for vibrant health, raw food and personal transformation to her work as a health coach and to the Conscious Cleanse. Julie hopes to inspire people to journey inward, to discover their own truth in service of living a purpose-driven life.
Josh Dinar is cofounder and publisher of DiningOut magazine, a network of North American regional dining publications. He has written for many publications and websites, including SKI Magazine, Delicious Living, Natural Foods Merchandiser, and Wild Blue Yonder (Frontier Airlines' in-flight magazine). He has authored a pictorial history of Denver entitled Denver Then & Now. Josh is on the board of directors of Lighthouse Writers in Denver and is a co-owner of H BurgerCO, a small chain of American grills in Colorado.
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My wife and I are just wrapping up our first experience with the Conscious Cleanse, so this review comes straight from the trenches. While weight loss is NOT the point of this cleanse, my wife has dropped from 150 to 141 and I from 238 to 225 over the past 14 days. Pretty amazing.
One of the things the authors have you do is complete a 16-point wellness evaluation (rating things like allergies, energy, mental clarity, and stress level) on days 1, 7, and 14 to see how you progress over the course of the program. We already ate a reasonably healthful diet pre-cleanse, but I’m happy to report we logged improvements in over 80% of the categories. Again, pretty awesome.
We almost universally enjoyed the green smoothie breakfasts and (predominantly) salad lunches. Dinners were hit and miss, which contributes to my 3.5 star rating. It seems as though the recipes provided (which you don’t necessarily have to follow, though it takes the guesswork out of the equation) did not go through testing by actual chefs/cooks before going to print. My wife and I are both skilled in the kitchen, and found many of the ingredient proportions and portion yields to be off (the Curried Carrot Soup, for example, which is delicious, does NOT yield 8 bowls unless you’re eating out of ramekins). Further, eating begins with the eyes, and when your dinner for the night is an unappealing puddle of watery white glop covered with a thin brown “gravy” (I’m looking at you, Cauliflower Mashers with Mushroom Gravy), it’s hard to feel particularly satisfied. This recipe was, by far, the biggest loser of the bunch.
Another thing to consider, and I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from taking the plunge, but you should know this up front: you will be spending a LOT of time in the kitchen over the next two weeks. You will be washing, chopping, tossing, and blending until you want to run as far and fast form the kitchen as possible. My wife and I have no children and she works from home, allowing her to do some daytime prep. And STILL it was exhausting for two people who are, as mentioned, skilled in the kitchen. This will be a part time job for the next 2 weeks, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Energy levels have fluctuated. Some days we’ve felt like we’re walking on air, others like we’re running on empty. I’ve continued to hit the gym 3-4 times per week during the cleanse, but have noticed I’m not achieving the same power output. During the second week, I started supplementing with an organic, raw, all-veggie protein powder that seemed to help, but I’ve definitely felt a bit protein-deficient despite the veggie protein and limited lean meat the cleanse allows.
Similarly, our moods have run the gamut. We’ve definitely been “hangry” at times and I’ve literally found myself dreaming of cookies and fried seafood and pizza. Most of the time cravings can be fended off with a handful of walnuts, some peppermint tea, or even plain old water, but I tell you, I’d about kill for a burger and a beer and a night out with friends right now. Which brings up another thing we didn’t consider ahead of time: our social lives have been non-existent for the past two weeks. You will be a hermit during the cleanse. Fair warning.
All in all, we’re very glad we did this and will definitely carry a number of the precepts into our everyday life. The authors might have benefited from more targeted recipe testing as well as a little less pseudo-science (with a couple of exceptions, such as your armpits, you do NOT release toxins--or in fact, anything besides water and salt--when you sweat and, contrary to what the authors say, plain water is NOT the only thing that counts toward your daily fluid intake), but overall the concepts laid forth in the Conscious Cleanse are logical and sound. At the end of the day, you get out what you put in.
We’re on to the reintroduction phase next and based on our answers to the wellness evaluation, do not expect to find any significant sensitivities to the ingredients we’ve “kept off our plate” during the cleanse. Still, this is a unique opportunity to step away from the Standard American Diet (which carries a fitting acronym: SAD) and find out whether any of the foods we routinely eat are actually making us sick. We’ll see what happens.
Hope this review helps others who are considering embarking upon this journey. I’d recommend it, but it’s no cake walk. (Please forgive the pun…I just really want some damn cake!)
This book and 80-20 way of eating and living consciously has changed my life for the better in so many ways... I literally have told everyone I know about this book!
The first few days of the cleanse are always SO TOUGH (even though I eat really healthily in my daily life), but once day 4 and 5 arrive, I sleep better, the colors I see look brighter, my taste buds are more alive and I have more energy. Also, I love this cleanse because I CAN EAT AS MUCH FOOD AS I WANT, just as long as they are "cleanse friendly foods."
If you stick to it, you will see changes emotionally, physically and spiritually (no joke!). For each day, write the journal entries that Jo and Jules prompt, make new recipes, plan ahead so you don't get super hungry and grab the kind bar, or the oreos... and do this with a friend or 3, and text about your struggles and successes, all day! The community support is huge for me and makes this cleanse, even fun, at times..! (once my sugar and caffine detox goes away ;)