How The Clean Program Came To Be And How It Works
The Clean Program is the brainchild of Dr. Alejandro Junger, an accomplished Internist and Cardiovascular Fellow based in New York City. He has affiliations with the Cardiology Departments of three hospitals, the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, the Hi-Desert Medical Center in California and the Desert Regional Medical Center also in California.
His avid curiosity about weight loss has brought him to explore the possibility of using detoxification as a method to bring about excellent results within a few weeks. This program is also the net result of Dr. Jungers personal journey, which involved battling the effects of moving to a different country , particularly those involving the sudden onset of IBS and subsequent depression.
The principle behind Clean is simply referred to as Functional Medicine, which entails addressing a particular condition by getting to its root cause. Since the build-up of toxins in the body is mainly caused by poor dietary practices, the only sensible solution is to rectify such habits and institute new parameters for healthy eating.
In order to bring about the desired results, it is necessary to make drastic changes, especially in terms of nutritional intake. In a nutshell, this program is a 21-day cleanse that involves cutting out foods that are deemed unhealthy and introducing more nutrients in the body. The Program supplies the following items that are necessary to institute such changes:
Two: Restoration Of The 12
This phase is all about training the body to recognize when digestion ends and detoxification begins. That is, the body stops digestion 8 hours after each meal and moves on to the cleansing process. This stage is highly important as it ensures the removal of toxins from the body before they cause any damage to the system.
How The Clean Program Cleanse Works
For 21 days you are supposed to replace two meals of the day, preferably breakfast and dinner, with a shake, made with a cleanse shake packet. Your third meal of the day, typically lunch, can be anything using clean approved foods. An example is hearty salad with wild salmon, which is a go-to for me. At all meals you take one clean program supplement packet as well as one probiotic to aid in the digestive process.
Overall I didnt find it difficult to get through the 21 days. Of course when social events came up, I simply switched my dinner shake to lunch and made to sure to eat clean program approved foods when I was out. I had fun experimenting with smoothie and shake recipes and used recipes from the Clean Programs blog as well as Spinach 4 Breakfasts for my lunch meal. I also found myself full throughout the day, without the need to snack between meals, which is a very typical habit for me. By the end of the cleanse, I felt so good that even after it ended I have mostly continued starting my day with a smoothie and eating foods from the approved list. .
If youre interested in hitting the reset button for you body, now is a great time to try the Clean Program. As summer settles down and youre able to get back into more of a routine, why not start fresh with a 21-day cleanse and get your body back on track too! No better time than now. Click HERE for details.
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What You Can Eat
While there are certain foods you can’t eat on the Clean program, you have a wide variety of nutritious options so you won’t feel deprived. Most fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, squash, broccoli, asparagus, mango, pineapple, berries, pineapple, apples and watermelon, are included on the Clean plan. You can also eat many grains, including brown rice, millet and quinoa, as well as lentils and beans. Fish, lean game meat, lamb, duck, chicken and turkey are also permitted. Approved beverages include water, green tea, rice milk and almond milk.
What’s The Story With Snacking
Everybody needs snacks. When participating in the cleanse, it’s important to snack when you are truly hungry, rather than eating out of boredom, habit, or thirst. Snacks are especially helpful for those who are more active on the cleanse. Any foods on the Cleanse Diet can be enjoyed as a snack between meals.
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More Weight Loss More Inches Less Bloat
As you know, my boyfriend was doing this cleanse with me. On day 9 he excitedly called me to let me know that he was a few belt loops smaller and was able to wear a shirt that had been hanging in the closet untouched for months!
As for me, I dont wear belts much, but I noticed that all of my shorts, especially the fitted workout shorts that I wear for yoga and Barre3 classes were really starting to have some excess room. I think a big part of it was cutting out the foods that had previously made us bloats like dairy, wheat and alcohol and beers! The bloating reduced immediately!
What To Expect During The Cleanse
Being that Iâd never done a cleanse of this magnitude I expected a few waves of cravings but I was unprepared for how much of a toll it would take mentally, because Iâve never associated food with my mood.
âIf this is your first cleanse, you may experience some physical and emotional effects. Breakouts, fatigue, even mild flu-like symptoms may occur within the first few days,â Clean 21 details in a blog post. âYou may also find that cravings and mood swings hit once youâve given up caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Give yourself time to settle into new habits giving up junk and processed foods for the first time is a major life change.â
Working from home can get a little mundane and I usually use eat or snack to break up the day a bit, so not being able to do that in the ways I was used to made the days feel really long. Thankfully, it didnât result in a lack of productivity in my work, but more than usually Iâd fervently count down the hours until I could just get in bed and sleep.
If youâre anything like me and foresee yourself struggling to complete this cleanse, donât completely give up or beat yourself up over not being able to complete the cleanse.
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Day Five Through Day 22
As the days wore on, I was able to keep up with the program. Every morning I drank the shake and took my pills. Every mid-morning I had a snack of more almonds than is really allowed. Every day for lunch I ate skinless chicken and steamed veggies or fish and veggies or a big salad full of veggies. Every mid-afternoon I had another pile of almonds. Every evening I did another shake.
And every day I cheated with a piece of chocolate candy.
A word to those of you who are married : I’m a single woman who lives alone but I’ve noticed that my friends who are married have a much harder time dieting because their lives are so entwined with their husbands. My friends, for example, drink a lot more than I do because each evening they share a couple glasses of wine over dinner with their families. I rarely drink alone. So my advice to those of you doing this who are married or who have a family is to ask for their support through this cleanse. If they agree to “have your back” as you go through 21 days of clean eating, then they will feel a sense of accomplishment with you when it’s over.
One hard thing about the Clean Program is feeling like a buzz kill when out with friends. Here they are, drinking wine and eating rich foods, and you are relegated to soda water with a splash of lemon. My friends were very nice to me, however, and I think people were generally impressed that I was sticking to a program.
How Does The Clean Program Work
The Clean Program is an elimination diet, according to the program’s website. Over the course of 21 days, you’re instructed to drink two shakes and eat one meal a daypaired with supplements and probiotics.
A daily diet plan on the Clean Program includes: a smoothie, supplements, and probiotics for breakfast a “clean diet meal” for lunch and another shake and more supplements for dinner.
The program also suggests following a “12-hour window” rule between dinner and the next day’s breakfast, to signal the body to go into “deep detox mode,” according to the Clean Program’s website. Basically, if you have your dinner shake at 7 p.m., the program recommends you don’t have your breakfast until after 7 a.m. the next morning.
You’re also encouraged to fill up on foods like veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats, but are urged to avoid gluten, dairy, processed foods, soda, alcohol, and coffee.
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What Should You Know About The Clean Program
The most important thing to know about the Clean Program is that its not a crash diet. It wasnt designed to be a temporary fix-it plan and the programs goals arent centered around weight loss . Clean is a detoxification program, and the goal is to remove toxins, restore nutrients so that the body can naturally heal itself and thus rejuvenate not only your body but also your mind. The program aims to reset your body and assist in jump-starting your journey to a long-term healthier lifestyle.
Our Experience With The Clean Program 21
To explain the Clean Program in the simplest way, Id say its like hitting the reset button for your body. By giving yourself 21 days of eating clean, and food approved by the Clean Program, your body rids itself of built up toxins and will naturally eliminate unnecessary cravings and overeating.
The Clean Program, created by Dr. Junger, wants you to take clean eating a step further by eliminating all potential allergens and difficult to digest foods from your diet for 21 days. This includes gluten, dairy, soy, corn etc., which are all known as potential allergens. You must also eliminate foods that are high in starches, such as potatoes, white rice, etc., as well as though high in natural sugar, which cause blood sugar to rise . Click HERE for the full elimination list.
Its very important to note that the focus of the Clean Program is NOT weight loss. Instead, this cleanse is about detoxifying the body and repairing the digestive system, although weight loss is most often an added bonus. But the real focus is on HEALTH, remember that! Its a true lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
I first found the Clean Program through healthy blogger sisters , who are both huge advocates of the program. On their own blog, they provide healthy and clean recipes, with a whole section devoted specifically to the Clean Program. Here are their thoughts on it:
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Preparing For The Cleanse
A little preparation can go a long way, which is why we set you up for success with everything you need to get started on the 21-Day Program including a shopping list, recipe inspiration, FAQs, and more.
When you take time to ease into the Cleanse Diet with a few days of simple pre-cleansing, you will experience better results. The pre-cleanse is comprised of three meals a day based on the Elimination Diet. By the end of our 21-Day Cleanse, you can have more energy, fewer cravings, and see overall improvements in your general wellbeing.
Start our 21-Day Detox today to see how you can benefit from hitting the reset button on your health.
Life doesn’t stop while you’re on a cleanse, and spending time with friends and family is important. By letting others know what you are up to, you’ll get an additional layer of support during your clean diet program.
The Elimination Diet + The Clean Program Pre-Cleanse
What To Expect On The Clean Program Elimination Diet
On the 1st of April, I started Dr. Alejandro Jungers Clean Program. In a nutshell, The Clean Program is an elimination diet which puts your bodys detoxification system in high gear. Heres what it looks like:
- smoothies for breakfast and dinner every day
- supplements after each meal
- no dairy
- no gluten
- no nightshades
- no sugar
Despite having a really clean diet to begin with, I was nervous. Basically, it meant not really having dinners out with friends for 21 days. It would mean there would be tons of substitutions every time I did go out to eat. But all of that paled in comparison to the coffee restriction.
Heres the thing: Im not dependent on caffeine, but I LOVE the taste and ritualistic feel of my morning bulletproof coffee. Saying bye to it for 21 days seemed outright depressing. But in the name of health , I was in.
Because The Clean Program has so many rules, I had to pick a time when I wasnt traveling. This was the most difficult part because Im rarely home for 3 weeks at a stretch. But I found time in April and made it happen.
Even though I had fears and doubts, I knew that my body needed a reset. Id just gotten back from Italy, and was bloated beyond belief. My stomach was in constant agony, even though Id begun eating normally. My skin looked dull, and I felt tired. I wanted to give my body a clean slate. So on the 1st of April, I embarked on a 3 week journey to getting my body back to peak condition.
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The Clean Diet: A 21 Day Detox
The Clean Program is a 21-day detox diet that was designed by Dr. Alejandro Junger, a New York City cardiologist, and leader in the field of integrative medicine.
Junger developed his program to treat chronic symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, headaches, depression, fatigue, weight gain, and insomnia. He says these problems are due to a build up of toxins and that his plan addresses this factor so as to restore the optimal functioning of the body.
The Health Problems That Respond To The Powerful Medications And Surgeries Of Modern Medicine Are Only A Small Fraction Of The Total Number Of Health Problems In Our Population At Any Given Time
Finding ways to improve results kept me hopeful despite the health news, full of reports on the rising epidemic of diseases connected to diet and lifestyle. Fatigue, allergies, digestive disorders, heartburn, depression, insomnia, aches and pains were seen as the expected wear and tear of age. My specialty, heart disease, together with cancer, were, and still are, the leading causes of death in America. Paradoxically, I found that there were higher disease rates in industrialized countries than in developing nations. The more technologically advanced we became, the sicker we got. It didnt make sense that everybody was sick and on medications.
Modern medicine can save your life by reopening a blocked coronary artery, stopping a heart attack, or reconstructing someones bones in the orthopedic surgeons modern operating room. Yet the health problems that respond to the powerful medications and surgeries of modern medicine are only a small fraction of the total number of health problems in our population at any given time. The remaining majority, the chronic illnesses, or diseases of modern life, are only silenced by the same approach. Symptom control is the goal and it is still mostly unsuccessful and expensive.
Our medical system is not working. The need was growing, and continues to grow, for a solution other than more chemicals and surgery.
How do toxins accumulate? Where do they come from? How do they affect our health?
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The Clean Program And Why I Keep Coming Back
Eight years ago I was introduced to cardiologist and functional medicine practitioner, Dr. Alejandro Junger, and his 21-day cleanse, the Clean Program. At the time, the longest cleanse I had ever done was a 3-day juice cleanse from NYCs Liquiteria, so truthfully 21 days sounded like an unfathomable mission. That being said, those who know me well know, I love a challenge. I accepted, and my then boyfriend now husband and I decided to cleanse together. My life, the way I looked at food and my understanding of digestion and gut health changed forever.
It was through this cleanse I first realized that there was an actual direct correlation between what I put in my body and how I felt overall. Until then, I had no idea how many things were so heavily impacted by our guts AKA our second brain. I also finally understood why my grandmother has avoided common foods like tomatoes or red peppers all these years. Everything from mental health, to immunity to skin issues all depend on a healthy functioning gut. You are what you eat.
Not only did I make it through the 21-day program but I took the information and tools and successfully made several lifestyle changes. I have continued to do this cleanse annually around the same time each year . I truly feel better while on the cleanse and the changes in my mood, my skin and my sleep are very evident.
I genuinely believe that committing to detoxify your body will change your life like it changed mine.
The Best Cleanse Tip I Learned
One of the tips that Junger gave to avoid cravings on the cleanse was actually pretty shocking. He told me that most humans do not know what real hunger is and that most of the time when we feel hungry, it is just pure emotion. Well, I can’t argue that because I eat and crave sugar throughout every emotion. Happy, sad, annoyed, irritatedâyou can bet I’ll be at the kitchen table with a snack. For some people, food is a numbing concept.
“When you get hungry, reevaluate,” he suggests. “When you get the sensation, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensation. Close your eyes and question if it’s really hungry. When you put your attention on it, you start distinguishing the quality of this sensation. Is it in your chest, or is it the discomfort? Your sensation is like a source.”
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