Cleanse Update: One Week


So, Team Kombucha has officially completed Week One of the CLEAN cleanse! Woohoo!

The experience has been very interesting so far and rather than just giving you my perspective, I invited my team members to contribute their thoughts for this post. I broke it down into areas that people may be curious about. (Except the section on poop… I know you weren’t curious about that, but I just couldn’t leave it out.)


The general consensus is that, while some days have been harder than others, no one is struggling with hunger as much as they thought they would.

  • “I’m AMAZED at how I am not feeling hungry. Learning to recognize that I am more thirsty than hungry, and not needing to snack.”
  • “I’m surprised by how NOT hungry I’ve been. I mean, I’m hungry for each meal but not too much in between. It’s amazing how little food my body actually NEEDS vs. how much I used to eat before I started this.”
  • “I’m STARVED when a meal comes (esp. lunch) but it’s not like I’m craving food the entire time…just usually the last 20 minutes before I eat.”
  • “I am waking up feeling lighter, not bloated and hungry, but not starving.”

I agree with all of this and no one is more surprised than me. I thought for sure I’d be all, “That smoothie was great, BUT NOW I REALLY WANT A SNICKERS BAR.” And don’t get me wrong, I still think candy is delicious, but I’m just not craving sugar the way I thought I would be.


Several of us have experienced some strange side effects, but according to the book, they’re actually not that unusual… it’s just those damn toxins trying desperately to escape. Who knew?

  • Crazy, intense, vivid dreams (are the toxins trying to escape through our brains? WTF?)
  • Back pain
  • Hives
  • “Oh, forgot one more…my husband lovingly pointed out that my breath stinks. Awesome.” (Real nice, KO.)
  • Headaches – OH, the headaches can be killer. Caffeine-withdrawal was the main culprit in the beginning, but KJ is still suffering. No Advil allowed either. OUCH.
  • Crankiness – I’ve definitely been cranky with my kids, but it’s debatable whether that’s a cleanse side effect or not. It may have just been a day that ends in “y,” ya know?  Other team members have reported feeling “blue,” or “down” as well. In the past, I probably would have M&M’ed my way through those moods, but now, I just have to own it. Yup, I’m super-cranky, how d’ya like me now?

Sad coffee


I’m sorry. I know this blog already has enough poop talk as it is. And as much time as I’ve spent discussing KIDS and poop, I NEVER thought I’d be discussing adult bathroom behaviors. But it seems most members of Team Kombucha have suffered from some… um… issues.

  • “I never thought I would be so obsessed with my own bathroom habits.”
  • I’m constipated.
  • Me too.
  • Me too.
  • Me too.
  • Me too.
  • “So, I pooped this morning (yeah me!)”

It’s as if our bodies know that we’re taking in so little food, they want to hold onto ALL of it for dear life.

So gross, I know. I’m sorry.

Moving on…


One of my own primary goals for cleansing is to break myself of some of the bad habits involving emotional eating – that is, separating hunger from joy (which obviously calls for cake) or sadness (which clearly calls for ice cream) or most importantly, boredom [which always calls for popcorn/corn chips/chocolate chips/chocolate bars/whatever the hell’s within arms’ reach]. I’m happy to say, so far, so good.

I have not eaten a single feeling since we started this thing!

On the other hand, our team members have all read tales of cleansers experiencing a sense of euphoria or enlightenment that comes from eating drinking mostly liquids and not starting the day with a strong cup of coffee. I’m here to tell you: we’re not quite there yet.

That’s not to say we haven’t made a LOT of progress in regards to cravings, but no one’s experienced that natural Cleanser’s High yet. (For what it’s worth, I’ve never experienced that fictional Runner’s High either. When does that happen? Like after half a mile? Ah, that explains it.)

Anyway, I can’t WAIT for the Moment of Euphoria to hit me. I’m going to throw on some of my old hippie clothes and spin around my yard with the Dead playing out of my minivan speakers.

Here’s what Team Kombucha is saying….

  • “No enlightenment yet, but all of my cravings have gone away and now food doesn’t seem to hold the same power over me as it used to.” (Hmmm, I don’t know… this seems pretty enlightened to me, actually.)
  • “And I’m still not feeling “enlightened.” :)”
  • “Oh yeah, and the enlightenment is a crock of poop.” (That’s the last of the poop talk, I promise.)
  • “No real change in energy. Definitely no euphoria. I am dreaming but I think that is a result of not having alcohol.” YES. This is definitely true. Margaritas definitely make me euphoric.


Hands down, the hardest part for TK has been the challenges presented with social situations. Personally, KJ and I kept our calendar pretty open for the month of September (granted, we didn’t have any invitations but I’m sure we WOULD have if no one knew we were cleansing… RIGHT, FRIENDS??) but even staying in with friends is VERY tricky.

  • “I miss the “social” aspect of food much more than the actual food. Some examples — watching football on Sunday, I really wanted to drink beer and eat chips/salsa; I want to host a “neighbor night” but those traditionally include pizza and a lot of wine — won’t be as fun if I’m only eating soup and water.” I say serve EVERYONE soup and water… let’s see who your REAL FRIENDS are.
  • “I too agree social situations are tough, I’ve turned down a few invites to dinner to avoid bad choices.”
  • “My fave thing is to go out eating/drinking and as I do not cook, my poor non-cleansing husband has had sandwiches and cereal for a week.” MMMMmmm, sandwiches and cereal… does your husband know how lucky he is?
  • “I have been fake drinking – club soda w lime posing as vodka tonics. It is not as much fun. I also licked some salt and chip residue from a bowl of chips I had out for my football-watching guys. Sad, sad, sad.” Hey, desperate times, right?
  • “My one chance to get out of this office (AKA my ‘Fortress of Solitude’) every day is usually to go and eat lunch somewhere, and because I’m bringing in lunch I don’t get to do that. (Hence it’s more EFFICIENT, but not exactly enriching to my general well-being in terms of interacting with other human beings).  There is something about going to a place, even just a deli or pizza joint for takeout, that is ‘social’ as well as the obvious going to a bar, watching football, going to a party, etc.”

So yeah, this part sucks. If you’re a friend of one of Team Kombucha’s cleansers, please be sure to invite them out sometime in October or November to make up for lost time. I PROMISE you they will drink way too much and it will be funny.


Last but not least, I am so proud to announce that in only ONE WEEK (or ten days for the pre-cleansers), Team Kombucha has lost a total of 63 POUNDS!

63 POUNDS!! That’s an entire third grader! Or a Happy Dude! (Just kidding… but I’m almost not kidding.)

Can you believe that? NINE team members, 63 POUNDS!

Well done Lori, Scott, Erin, Amy, Michelle, KJ, Gina & Robyn!! I know it’s not really about the weight loss, but of course it kind of is, so this is just plain awesome. And thank you for all of your contributions to this blog!

Stay tuned for more updates… hopefully one that includes a EUPHORIC MOMENT.

I Googled "Euphoria" and got this. Effing Internet.

I Googled “Euphoria” and got this. Effing Internet.

11 responses »

    • Hey Rachel, there are a TON of different smoothies permitted on this particular cleanse. As long as all of the ingredients are “clean,” it’s legal. There are a handful of recipes in the book itself (“Clean,” by Alejandro Junger) and even more on the website.

  1. Go Team! As I sit here drinking my coffee (oops — sorry — don’t read that part), reading your updates, it almost makes me want to join in! It is very inspiring and I especially love that you can blame crankiness on the cleanse. But, what could I blame the other 335 days on?? Maybe I can tell my kids/husband that it was/is a pre- and post- traumatic stress disorder from the cleanse. Hmmm… that just might work! In the meantime… I look forward to reading how this all ends. Keep up the good work!!

  2. Hooray, hooray for you all! 63 pounds is seriously awesome – and that’s without bowel movements! Just think how much weight your going to lose once you starting pooping!

    On that note: Smooth Move Tea. Great name, I know. You can find it really at any store in the tea or natural foods section. Drink 1-2 cups in the evening, then drink lots of water with lemon in it, and about 12-18 hours later make sure that you are in a place where you can spend a little time in the bathroom. For example, you don’t want to be on a long walk or giving a presentation or anything like that. And I agree with the comment above – move your body around – walk, dance, yoga class, anything to get things moving with make the bowels move too. An easy one for moms is the living room dance party with the kids. And make SURE that you add a lot of fiber to your smoothies – flax seeds and chia seeds. And maybe lay off of animal protein a bit and add more veggies to your meals. Raw is always best.

    So excited to hear how the next 14 days go! You guys rock.

  3. For anyone that wants to do a similar elimination diet but eat actual food I recommend trying the Whole 30 diet. Same idea with introducing food groups back in after 30 days to gauge ur reaction.

    • Hey Rachel… Whole 30 sounds very similar to Clean. We’re eating one “real” meal a day (lunch) made up of fish, chicken, turkey, veggies, greens and beans. Snacks are also permitted (nuts, rice crackers/hummus) if you are TRULY hungry. Hope your 30 days is going well!

  4. Pingback: Resolution Review: 2013 | Who Needs a Nap?

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