A Cleanse Survival Guide




Good morning! It’s day #3 of my 3 Day Refresh Cleanse.  I’m still alive, so that’s something.  Tomorrow I’ll share my results with before and after pics as well as any loss that occurs(apart from my sanity).  Which means I’ll actually blog two days in a ROW.  You guys, don’t pass out.   I’m trying really hard to hang in there but ya’ll, I HATE the feeling of being deprived.  Just being honest.  I guess all people do to a certain extent but simply being told “no, you can’t eat that for 3 days” is hard!! Surprisingly, it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. This is my last day, and I made it, and I’m not dead.  Again, winning.  

I don’t typically do cleanses.  I have done a few over the years but honestly, unless you change your lifestyle, whatever advances you make during those few days of cleansing can easily be undone quickly afterwards if you pop right back into old habits.  So, how do you conquer a cleanse and not eat a cow and a few chickens and a large bottle of coke immediately following?


I don’t have this down to an art..but I’m working on it.  How to balance out nutrition so you don’t feel so deprived that you fall off the rails at the first sight of a burger, but also, where you can sometimes just eat the burger.  It’s a fine line.  So, here are a few tips to CHOOSING and SURVIVING a cleanse.

1. Choose a cleanse that contains real food. Do NOT starve yourself.

I know I keep joking about starving and such, but the truth is, I’m not LITERALLY starving.  My body is just detoxifying some stuff it ate over the weekend, and last week, and the week before that. It’s craving carbs and sugar and all the addictive foods we eat so often.  I eat so often.  So, flushing it with fruits and veggies and healthy fats is a bit of a shocker.  My point is IF you are going to go the cleanse route, choose one that contains real food.  Not just a liquid diet or dangerously restrictive calorie count.


What I appreciate about the 21 Day Fix Refresh is that it contains real foods and spaces them out throughout the day so you don’t feel too deprived.  Is it hard? Yes.  Is it doable? Heck yes.  I have even worked out both days while on it…more on that in a sec.  So, choose wisely.  Find a plan whose goal is to make you HEALTHY, not just shed a few pounds that will likely come right back without careful guidance after the cleanse is over. This 21 day fix option does both for you.  It aims to keep you healthy and refreshed while cleansing, then gives you a clear plan to follow afterwards without falling off the wagon. There are lots of good choices out there so do your research.

2.  Plan to modify your workouts while cleansing. 

You guys. DO NOT go in with the thought that you will still be able to knock out an 8 mile run with speed work while on a cleanse.  Plan to modify your workouts to a lesser calorie burn.  Just stay moving. On day 1 I ran an easy mile on my treadmill then did about 20 minutes of light work on my mat.  I went down to 8lb weights(I usually go up to 25lbs or so in my workouts depending on type of workout) and did a lot of core work and body weight work.  Nothing too strenuous because you are limiting your calories and not replenishing them based on caloric burn.  So be careful.  It’s ok to even take those days as rest days, but I found doing a little something helped me feel more like myself and kept my mind occupied.  But maybe avoid burpees, which I didn’t do. And I went to bed hungry=)

3.  Plan around life events

So this takes work.  Plan ahead.  Don’t plan to start your cleanse when you have a full weekend of events to attend or a baseball tournament(speaking from a smidge of experience in this department).  Try to pick 3 days where you can control where you are going and what you do and work it in as best you can.  I went to Starbucks yesterday to meet a friend, and I survived.  I ordered green tea and some water to mix my fiber flush with(lovely yes?) and chug a lugged right there in Starbucks.  And the tea was ok.  I mean seriously, it’s not coffee but whatever, it did the trick.  So plan accordingly.

4. Stock your fridge

So this may sound silly but stock your fridge with everything your cleanse calls for, that way, you’re ready. You’ll have all the foods you’ll need at the ready and you aren’t having to darken the doors of a grocery store when you just want to eat all the things.  Load up on fresh fruits and veggies.  I made some homemade hummus(recipe and more on this tomorrow) and it was DELISH.  And it made a butt load so I’ll be eating hummus til Jake graduates high school.  But at least it’s good for me food.


5.  Tell a friend

You may not want to announce this kind of thing on Facebook, or maybe you do.  Whatever you decide to do to publicize(or keep it private) this information is entirely up to you, but tell at least ONE person what you’re doing. That way, you know someone is there to keep you accountable.  It could be a good friend or a spouse but let someone know your goals, why you are doing this and what you hope to get out of it. That will keep you going when you want to quit or cheat.

6.  Stay busy

So this sort of goes along with the workouts and planning, but it’s really important to keep yourself busy. Don’t run yourself into the ground, but keep moving.  Sitting around at home will just make you crazy and want to eat. So,  plan some activities that keep you going so you aren’t thinking as much about what your mind and tummy tell you to eat.

7. Drink LOTS of water


This may be an obvious observation, but please hydrate.  I carry my YETI around with me and it keeps me drinking all day. This is so important for flushing those toxins out of your system.  Drink drink drink!!! Start with 8 oz as soon as you get up and then drink through out the day.

8. Go to bed early

You’ll be a little tired those first two days, so plan to have evenings where you can go to bed a little early.  Plus, it’ll keep you from binge eating late at night.  I fell asleep on the couch by 9 two of the three nights.  Get some rest, sleep in if you can and enjoy taking some time for you.

9. Finish what you start

I tell my girls in boot camp all the time to “finish it!!!!”  I’m pretty sure I’m not yelling at them hehe. You’ll have to ask them. But my point is, finish strong. Don’t quit at the end.  Maybe it’s my years of racing or just spending so much time working out and training solo.  You have to have a mentality of fight to the end, and that’s what I try to push them to do.  So, when you are cleansing you are going to have to push yourself. You DO have the will power.  You DO have what it takes to do hard things and to finish them strong. Now, this morning did I put a sprinkling of half and half in my coffee even though that’s technically not allowed? Why yes I did. But I have stuck to this thing like glue, and plan to for the rest of today, and I didn’t get all I was allowed for dinner last night, so I added this little tsp of heaven.  So be it. Do I consider that failing? No.  Because you do what works for you, BUT, to the very best of your ability, stick to the plan you choose. You will feel SO good knowing you did something hard and that you completed it, I promise.  You can do this!!!  Seriously, if I can do this , anyone can.

Ok. So that’s it for today, but I’ll be back tomorrow with my official results, a couple of pictures and maybe a few more tips to survival as well as what I ate while on this cleanse.  Happy Wednesday friends!!

Do you cleanse?  If so, what have you found works and what have you found that doesn’t??



2 comments on “A Cleanse Survival Guide

  1. hey Gina! I’ll email you some additional info but as far as coffee…..I’ve been drinking mine. You are supposed to have it black if you choose to have it on the refresh but I have added a dash of unsweetened almond milk or low fat milk and today I even added a splash of half and half. Gasp. I still feel the benefits, and am MUCH less bloated than a few days ago so I say do it. I figured that I had no plans of doing away with my coffee after the refresh, and didn’t want to add caffeine withdrawal headaches to a hungry tummy. I think it’s fine=) Just don’t load it with sweeteners and cream. A splash of low fat milk was fine for me for 3 days, and I didn’t even end up drinking half of my normal cup. And yes I’d wait til after your 5k.

  2. I want to do this. I NEED to do this but I am worried. Mainly because of not being able to have my coffee and coconut creamer in the morning. Granted it’s only one cup but I’m afraid of the headaches that’ll come if I don’t have it. Would it be pointless to do the refresh if I continue to drink my coffee? I can adjust the food part and I definitely would love that hummus recipe! I am also afraid I shouldn’t start until after June 11 (modifying my workouts). I guess you can say I’ve been training to speed up my 5k (which is June 11) so right now I have speed work and tempo runs along with the other runs during the week so maybe adding a refresh wouldn’t be the smartest idea right now. Plyo day 1 will begin TONIGHT 🙂

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