Ok, so let’s get the numbers out of the way: 21 days, 12 pounds, 2 inches.

I was not grossly overweight at the beginning of the cleanse, but definitely had some weight to lose and some love handles that could stand to be shaved off. 12 pounds may not sound like a lot, but it had a huge impact on my physique and my psyche. Both changes did not go unnoticed by my circle of friends.

I have to admit that the cleanse seemed a bit intimidating on the face of it as we started. 21 days to forego all those habits of eating and consuming that we’ve become accustomed to is not taken lightly. Fortunately, my wife agreed to go through it with me, but even if she hadn’t, Kirstin created a nice community of fellow cleansers – establishing a Google group where we could post questions and share experiences and recipes. We took on the challenge of the first 10 days – all veggie diet – with gusto, pulling out the Indian cookbooks and improvising in the kitchen and it was really rewarding. Those first 10 days helped reacquaint my palette with the true richness of flavors of real whole foods. The freshness of vegetables and the aliveness of home prepared foods was refreshing and invigorating. But for me the introduction of protein on the second half of the cleanse was what has proved really earth shaking for me. Coming to understand what a proper portion/serving of meat is was invaluable. The typical American diet, even the “atypical” American carnivorous diet, is way out of whack with what our bodies need. Whether it’s at a restaurant or at home, for me a typical portion of chicken or steak was 3-4 times what a real individual serving should be. That’s just what we’ve become accustomed to here and to have my brain re-oriented as to what my body really needs was invaluable. And doing it for the 3 weeks of the cleanse really imprinted it on my brain and my body and I’ve been able to take that with me, even now, weeks after finishing the cleanse.

The supplement shakes were tasty enough, once we found a recipe that we liked. Again Kirstin’s group of fellow cleansers helped to keep them interesting. The pills were great.

The best result has been the long term effect of the cleanse. Unlike “diets”, this one has stuck. Because it helped me restructure HOW I eat, I’ve managed to shed an additional 4 pounds since being off the cleanse. I have no intention of going back, even though I’m now faced with the typical Holiday feasts, I know that I can even enjoy them for a day or so, then retreat to my new healthier way of eating. And we plan on making the cleanse a regular part of our lives, doing it at least once if not twice a year.

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