38 More Days: The Dr. Oz 3-Day Cleanse


These blog posts originally appeared on Thoroughly Modern Mommy in April of 2014. Here they are for you in one convenient location. Enjoy!

Day 1:

I didn’t have coffee this morning.

I can’t really wrap my head around that. But it’s true. I had one cup of green tea. All in the name of art. (And, you know, getting healthy and stuff. But it’s easier for me to commit to things if it’s in the name of an artistic venture. If that sounds crazy to you, you’re probably not an artist.)

I have decided to do a cleanse. I have never done anything like this before. So I’m a little nervous. And I wanted to be careful to choose one that didn’t sound like something through which the human body should not be put. So I chose the Dr. Oz three-day cleanse. It’s totally food-based. I recognize the things I’ll be putting into my body over the next three days. In fact, you’ll recognize them too. Here they are laid out on my table.


Yummy, right?

I’m not terribly concerned about hunger. I am not a huge eater anyway, and the smoothies seem pretty substantial. I am worried about no coffee for three days though. And I also hope that drinking my tea plain, rather than with a slice of lemon and stevia as suggested, is acceptable. Because I absolutely cannot tolerate any sort of fruit in my tea. Seriously. It’s a thing with me. And I figured the stevia couldn’t possibly be doing anything beneficial. And I like plain green tea. But if this whole thing is a bust, we’ll blame the tea.

There are a few things I’m really looking forward to with this challenge:

  1. Seeing what sort of benefits it has on my body. I’m hoping for some belly loss and improved energy.
  2. The evening bath each night. That’s a nightly ritual for me anyway. I’ve always been a bath person. But this one is with Epsom salts and lavender. And it’s mandatory. The things we do for our art, right?
  3. I know exactly what I’ll be eating and when and how and all of the ingredients are on hand. That’s pretty exciting. It occurs to me that with some planning, this could always be true. WHY HASN’T ANYONE TOLD ME THERE COULD BE SUCH PEACE OF MIND IN MEAL PLANNING???

(Lots of people have told me. Especially Flylady. For years.)

Day 2

Yesterday I completed day 1. It really wasn’t as hard as I thought. I wanted coffee. But didn’t feel like I NEEDED it. (Often I think it’s not so much that I need it. It’s that I really really like coffee.) I wasn’t hungry. In fact, I was too full. I had sort of a late breakfast and a pretty lazy day which led to a really late lunch. I had to start the dinner shake before I had even had the snack and couldn’t finish it. The plan is to have four shakes a day. I had 2 1/2. But I’m really small and don’t have a huge appetite. So I’m hoping that doesn’t make a difference. I am shooting for all four today though, because as my friend Andrea pointed out, I am a perfectionist and enjoy sticking to the exact plan.

The shakes themselves are pretty tasty. Breakfast is raspberry and banana-based with almond butter. Lunch is the one most people don’t like- it has a lot of celery and kale, but tastes mostly like apple to me.

Then there’s dinner. That’s the one I couldn’t finish. It’s blueberry which is great. But has cayenne pepper. Weird.

Energy-wise, I feel so full all the time I’m having trouble getting motivated to do anything. And by the end of the night yesterday I couldn’t even think about fruit. I am thinking about salty/ savory foods a bit, because this is all just sweet. Sure there’s cayenne pepper in the dinner shake. But it’s with blueberries, so….

Did you ever wonder about Pinterest? Like, did you ever want to put something on there that’s totally absurd just to see if people do it? I know it happens. I’ve seen it happen. People are really gullible.

Am I one of those really gullible people???

My belly is really full of fruit.

Day 3

I’m just. So. Full.

Yesterday at 8 PM I had just finished my lunch shake. I knew I couldn’t consume one more ounce of blended fruits and vegetables. But I knew I should probably have more calories. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt full and hungry at the same time before, but there it was.

So. I broke the shakes down into ingredients and just ate them plain. Not all of them. But I had a banana and a spoonful of almond butter as a snack. Then I made a salad with the ingredients of the dinner shake. Not only was I able to finish it that way, but it tasted a lot better, too. It looked a little something like this.


Ok it looked exactly like that.

The only issue was that I didn’t get all of the coconut water and cayenne, which is what I used as dressing. And a lot of the flax seeds sank to the bottom. But I felt so much better, and my digestive system appreciated having something to break down.

Today is my last day. My husband has asked me to bring him coffee from Starbucks, and suggested we all go to the diner for pancakes. I am ready to get back to life. I am noticing a flatter belly though…

Full report and wrap- up tomorrow. After I have my coffee.

Day 4

I’m sitting here enjoying my first cup of coffee in three days. The last time I went that long without coffee I had the stomach flu. This experience was considerably more pleasant.

First, the plan. I want to give credit where credit is due. So. You can find the whole plan here on the Dr Oz site. (That way you are getting the information from the correct source.) Everything you need is right there!

Next, some tips.

First, I just noticed that Dr Oz says you’ll spend $16 a day. I’m not sure where Dr Oz gets his groceries. I didn’t even go to Whole Foods. I went to Stop and Shop and bought organic, which I find to be reasonable. Even then, I spent around $150 for the three days. He may not be including the supplements, Epsom salt, and lavender. Maybe he figures you already have those things. I did not. The only thing I had was Cayenne pepper, because Cincinnati Chili is a regular staple in our home. Also, berries are out of season, and very expensive. But I suppose if you have lots of supplements lying around and your fridge is already stocked with coconut water and almond milk and almond butter (which was $11) and you’re just buying the fresh fruits and vegetables… then sure, Dr. Oz. Sixteen dollars a day.

Next tip, the lunch shake.

I guess a lot of people don’t like it. I did. All a matter of taste. But it did take me three days to figure out how to get it to blend properly. The cucumbers and celery tend to jam up the blades. I finally realized on the last day that these need to be cut up pretty small. Then I blended just those two things then added and blended the other solid ingredients one by one.

Speaking of chopping…

A lot of people did all of the chopping/ prep ahead of time. I’m just not that girl. But I can see where that would have been a good idea.

As for the snack shake, I only had it one day. (Day three, when my body was a little more accustomed to having alllllllllll that fruit.) I read another review that suggested having the breakfast shake as the snack. I agree in principle. It is the tastiest and lightest. However. If it is any time other than the few weeks a year when raspberries are in season, it is also the most expensive shake. I spent $15 just on raspberries for four shakes. Just something to think about.

Also, I’m a grazer. So rather than having shakes specifically at meal time, I was just sort of always working on one. (I was home a lot for the past three days, making this easier. But I grabbed them and carried them with me a few places, too.)

My final tip, and keep in mind I am not a nutritionist and I am certainly not Dr. Oz, is that I went rogue after a day. Yep. I’m a rebel. I never fully finished the plan each day. I got so full from the shakes I just couldn’t drink any more. So the second and third days I had the dinner ingredients (which I thought were a little gross as a shake) as a salad instead. And on day three I even had things in a different order. Because I am a rebel. And because it was lunch time but my daughter ate all of my green apples and I was hungry and couldn’t wait for my husband- who said she could have the apples- to go to the store and replace them. I figured it was the principle we were talking about here, especially since the snack can be any shake you want. So it must not be an EXACT science. I decided if it was a matter of getting that nutrition into my body, or not getting it into my body, I’d skip the blender and go in the order that worked for me.

And now (drumroll) the results.

I have to say, I’m a fan.

I’m going to stay away from numbers here. If there is one things trying to conceive taught me, it’s that I can become obsessed with numbers. And when the numbers have to do with my body, they often have little effect on the intended results. So I’m being careful during Project 40 not to have everything come down to weight and BMI.

So here’s what.

I feel better.

I am in a good mood. I have what feels like natural energy. (And that’s coming from a coffee addict with no coffee.) I worked on some overwhelming household chores last night (sorting toys….) without complaint. My stomach feels like it has flattened. It looks like it has flattened. I just…. feel better.

I did have a few of the side effects that Dr. Oz warned us about. Nothing major at all. I was a little sleepy and grouchy until about halfway through. I also had a mild headache. And it took my stomach about two days to adjust to all that fruit. I for sure felt nauseous for a while. But after two days that all went away and was replaced by feeling pretty great.

I learned a ton over the last three days. I’ll try to break it down as effectively as I can because I am a teacher.

  1. I can do it! I have never done such a specific dietary plan before. I was daunted by the idea of no coffee, no meat, no dairy, no bread…. But I did it. And after about a day I didn’t even crave those things. I had thought of doing a vegan week this year for Project 40 but wasn’t sure I could manage. Now I know I absolutely can. (I didn’t even realize until it was almost over that this was a vegan plan.)
  2. Planning is key. I know I do better when I have a menu plan for the week. I know that. I need to remember.
  3. Almond milk is awesome. So is almond butter. (And coconut water) We’re lucky that the only food allergy we have in this family is Food Dye. This cleanse introduced me to a few things that will stay in my diet.
  4. Whole food smoothies are the bomb. I’ll be having them for breakfast and snacks in the future. They won’t make up my entire diet. But they’ll be sticking around.
  5. I care what I put in my body. This was the biggest lesson of them all. I feel better. (“So much better! Thank you doc for taking all the ouchies away!” Yep. A Dr Oz/ Disney Jr mash-up. You’re welcome.) And I want to continue feeling better. So everything in moderation. But there will be some changes coming.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: 31 More Days: Clean Eating | Thoroughly Modern Mommy
  2. Trackback: 18 More Days: The 5 Squares Juice Cleanse | Thoroughly Modern Mommy

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