- Cleanse Rule #1: No meat or dairy This was actually the easiest practice for me, as I have been flexitarian for almost a year. Giving up cheese and eggs was difficult, especially when eating out. But for the vast majority I did eat vegan* throughout the weeks (except for pizza in week two... twice). My overall ability to avoid meat/dairy: ***
- Cleanse Rule #2: No alcohol This rule was dead in the water. The first week I was limited myself to two drinks, twice a week. It loosened up from there. But overall I did drink mostly red wine and cut back the overall quantity. My overall ablity to avoid alcohol: **
- Cleanse Rule #3: No gluten Gluten, for those who aren't familiar, is a component of wheat. The first week I avoided gluten entirely. It was incredibly hard to follow this guideline when eating out. After one week without gluten, I realized don't have an allergy to gluten, and I incorporated it back into my diet. The most frustrating part of this objective overall was the fact that whole wheat products offer a fair amount of protein and fiber, unlike most gluten-free alternatives. My overall ability to avoid gluten: *
- Cleanse Rule #4: No added sugar This was perhaps the most beneficial rule for my personal development. Reducing sugar intake was very benefitial, considering my family history. But rather than deem sugar off limits completely, which would trigger an insatiable craving, I limited sugar to a special Saturday afternoon treat. This is a habit I plan on continuing post-Cleanse as well. My overall ability to avoid sugar: ***
- Cleanse Rule #5: No caffeine Of all the rules, this was the one I blatantly ignored from the get-go. I was not about to give up my Honey Vanilla White Chai, and considered my daily ritual benign. My overall ability to avoid caffeine: **
* Once wheat was included in my diet in weeks 2 and 3, breads consumed contained trace amounts of dairy.