Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Liver Cleanse - Week 1

So I'm doing this cleanse...thing. Now, this is not what one would normally think of as a cleanse; I'm not drinking lemon water with cayenne or juicing all my meals for a week.

Because this girl's gotta eat. I mean, lets be real. I do not enjoy being hangry.

This cleanse is a 2-3 week liver detox, supervised by my Nutritionist/Registered Dietitian, who is amazing. Everyone has been asking what I'm allowed to eat and drink. So, let's get the no's out of the way first.

Week 1
The No's: No (limited) caffeine aka no coffee. No wheat/gluten. No alcohol. No dairy. No soy. No nuts. No SUGAR.

The Yes's: lean meats, white fishes, fruit (1-2 servings daily), vegetables galore, legumes, gluten-free grains (2 to 3 servings daily).

As you can see, it's not a very restrictive type of cleanse at all. When I look at what I can eat, I think, wow, this is how I should be eating normally.  For me, the point of doing something like this, is two-fold.

1) Re-engage my mindbody connection and pay attention to how I feel emotionally, physically, and psychologically when eating whole, organic foods.

2) Get un-addicted to sugar. Oh man. I have the most wicked sweet tooth of anyone. Don't fight me on this one. Heaven, to me, is melted peanut butter and chocolate on a spoon, raw chocolate chip cookie dough, and a handful of Hershey's (don't judge the cheap chocolate) nuggets in my mouth. [My Nutritionist is cringing right now] But that's the truth. And the other truth, is that the more I eat sugar, the more I crave it.

This cleanse also implements some Chinese Medicine principles, which I am finding simply fascinating.  I've picked some particularly interesting liver-related ones, below:

  • The liver's main job is detoxification
  • Alcohol can inflame the liver. You can tell if someone drinks a lot if the tip of their nose is red. (Don't be lookin' at my nose)
  • Your liver can manifest in your nails; for example, if you look at the top of your nail and underneath, see a dark red line across, or have brittle nails, it could be a liver issue.
  • The liver and gallbladder work together in decision making. Thus, if your liver is stuck, your Chi is stuck.
  • Different locations of a headache indicate which channel is stuck. For example, if the pain is in your forehead, it's related to your stomach. 
Recipe posting will resume next week, as well as an update on week 2 of my liver cleanse. 

If you're interested in talking with my Registered Dietitian (in SF bay area), please email me.


  1. I have a problem with sugar addiction. Granted I don't eat that much, I end up replacing it with honey and other things that raise blood sugar levels just as high...grr.

    1. It's so difficult. An apple to me is not the same as a Hershey's bar :). I do believe though, that the less you eat it regularly, the less you'll crave it.

  2. wow, that looks impossible! good luck.
    i gave up refined sugar for Lent and it's been really tough! I can't imagine adding dairy, wheat, and gluten to the list- what the heck are you going to eat?!!
    anyways, looking forward to see you get creative and take on the challenge! I just subscribed to your blog! woohoo!

    1. Hi Mary,
      I ate a lot of lean proteins, beans, veggies, and a bit of fruit. I also was able to eat certain grains like quinoa or brown rice. Always good to switch things up, right? But yes, a challenge it was...especially the sugar! Kudos to you for giving up sugar for Lent!