Justina Rapala Nielsen is the founder + CEO of Marketing and Public Relations firm Forte Mare out of Los Angeles, New York, and Australia. Like all hard-working, superwomen who never seem to get enough hours in the day, she found it hard to find time for her own wellness. After months of a few months of debating to commit to a 30 day cleanse, she finally realized she owed it to herself and her body to reset + restart for a pure body upgrade!
“I wake up and I’m annoyed. I get to work and I become irritable. I’m impatient and my mood swings like a pendulum. Something is off and now I’m just tired of it, even after a solid 8 hours of sleep a night.” – this is what was in my head a couple months ago, right about the time when I caught up with Kiki, Klean LA Founder. “You should do our cleanse, think of it like a disciplined reset,” she said.
I have to be honest, cleanses and detox’s petrify me. As a busy business owner of a Marketing and Public Relations firm Forte Mare, I can’t even commit to a daily run, yet alone 30 days of pure and healthy discipline. Having attempted a 3-day juice cleanse a few years back, I realized by day 1 that I hated it. I quickly learned that my body needs regular fuel to focus, to be happy and to live. Feeling hungry is one of the worst feelings, as it does not allow my mind to function properly and process as fast as I need to.
In spending a couple weeks going back and forth with Kiki, we decided that I was to start my cleanse the day after my mother left from visiting with us for over a month. I couldn’t think of a better time to focus on myself and detox. We all love our mothers, but 6 weeks in the same household could definitely lead to an unwarranted chemical imbalance. The week before my cleanse, Kiki and I held our pre-cleanse consultation, something she offers to all of her first-time 30-day deep cleanse participants. It was clear that I was to expect change, and though change can be hard, change is good.
I kicked off my cleanse on a Monday – the start of a new week, and soon-to-be a new “detoxed” me. During my cleanse planning, I decided that I was going to follow a ‘5-2’ schedule where I am on the meal program for 5 days, then 2 days of cleansing, then again 5 days of meals and then 2 days of cleansing, finally finishing strong with 2 straight weeks of meal days. This strategy allows the body to familiarize itself with the cleanse meals and take that time to adjust, whilst slowly detoxing. This 5-day adjustment period is followed by a shocking 2 cleanse days. This repetitive system of allows the body to adjust to the program and by round 2 it is an easy task, which quite frankly it was. By the second 2-day cleanse session, it went by like a breeze.
So what was the most interesting thing I learned? That when you participate in the 30-day program you end up eating more than you could have ever imagined a cleanse would have you consume. The great news is that I was constantly satisfied, which is a rare thing during any sort of ‘diet’ so to speak. My husband was very often jealous of my meals and amazed at how much food I was allowed to consume. The principle is simple: eating smaller portions, more often, allows the body to constantly be on burn mode. Burning fuel is good as it burns the fat and keeps the engine going. The first 2 cleanse days were not too bad actually, but it was the day following the first set of cleanse days that I had a feeling of rage. It’s like the little sugar and wine devil inside me was screaming from the torture of being deprived its evil little goodies. I was irritated, I was angry and all I wanted was a big, fat glass of wine. At that moment I had a choice, cheat or be disciplined. I chose the later, because ultimately the pain of regret is always greater than the pain of discipline.
By the second set of cleanse days I was feeling AMAZING. My bloating had subsided, I could see immediate results in my thighs and stomach, my energy was consistent and my focus was laser sharp. I was feeling less angry at life in general and happy in my own skin. During the last couple weeks, I felt in control and actually cheated – I had a glass of wine one evening and another glass during a lunch. But those glasses actually felt like part of my meal plan. I don’t encourage anyone who is on the cleanse to cheat, by my body was feeling good and I felt confident in my decision. My only complaint was that by week 4 of my cleanse I was feeling kind of bored. Not bored from the food, but bored from knowing what to expect: 3 meals a day, 2 shakes and plenty of water. Each day I stayed on a rigorous schedule and thus the on-the-hour meal consumption left no sense of food romance towards the end of my cleanse relationship. But once again, when times get rough, you reach inside and find that spark and that motivation to continue because what’s worse…the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? I think we all know the answer to that one.