How I Survived a 72-hour Cleanse

Let me begin this post by being totally transparent. I am not a doctor. I know, we’ve discussed this in the past, but because we’re delving into the world of health, I figured i should get it out in the open. Just in case you had forgotten and were under the impression that I could somehow advise you what is best for your health and well-being.

This past Saturday night, I ate an entire container of cookie dough while I watched Bad Moms with my husband. To be fair, it was “healthy” cookie dough, made from dates and other natural ingredients, but it was the exclamation point on the end of a  run-on “you deserve a treat” sentence, complete with a “your pants are all a little bit too tight” parenthesis.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling all kinds of blah. But please don’t hear me saying I think something is wrong with my body. I am healthy and as happy with my body as most moms-of-two, but I know you know the feeling I’m talking about. If you don’t – that’s really super.

So I decided I’d like to try something to revitalize my healthy eating routine, something like… a cleanse! Ew, a cleanse, really? Yes, really! But why? That sounds so terrible I could cry a million tears right here and now. It probably will be! Won’t it be expensive? Nah, I’ll just make everything at home! No, you won’t. No, you’re right. I won’t – but I’ll try! 

Whoops, sorry about that. My inner-dialogue was showing there for a second. My B.

Now that I’m on the other side of the longest 72-hours in history, here’s how it all went down:

Eat as Many Fruits and Veggies I Want

I read a lot of things telling me to limit my fruit intake or “not drink juice too fast”, but I ignored them because that sounded hard. And I was already trying to do a hard thing and that was just too hard of a thing to add on top. So I headed to the grocery story and loaded up on:


Sweet potatoes




Frozen veggie mix

Green onions




Frozen berries




Blood Oranges

I Drank a Million Glasses of Water (and Juice and Smoothies)

Ironically, during the first afternoon of my cleanse, my oldest was watching an episode of Magic School Bus and I overheard one of the characters say, “Arnold, you’re not actually hungry, you’re thirsty!” Point taken PBS. So I upped my fluid intake.

Also, I noticed that if you eat a smoothie with a spoon, you can trick your brain into thinking it’s a different food, so “HA” brain!

I Got Creative in the Kitchen

Here is a brief breakdown of some of the “recipes” I tried when I couldn’t stand the thought of eating another raw carrot

Sweet Potato Oatmeal: Nuke a sweet potato. Add cinnamon and sliced banana. Boom. Breakfast.

Veggie Stir-Fry with Cilantro Lime Rice: Pulse cauliflower in food processor with handful of cilantro and juice from 1/2 a lime. Heat veggies and combine. Garnish with chopped green onion.

Sweet Potato Toast with Wilted Spinach and Guac: Slice sweet potato lengthwise and toast in toaster. Heat spinach until wilted. Mash 1/2 avocado and combine with 1/2 tsp garlic. Spread guac on avocado “toast” and top with spinach.

I Stayed Busy and Painted My Nails

Thanks to a conversation with my friend Virjinia (who, if you want some serious healthy lifestyle tips, you should definitely check out!) I tried to stay extremely busy. My kids are on spring break, so we played outside a ton, built forts, had playdates and crafted a spaceship. And when all else failed, I peeled my nail polish and applied another coat.

Turns out, it wasn’t actually that terrible. Other than being bored of eating some of the same things over and over, I wasn’t all that hungry – but when I was, I ate something. I’ve done “intermittent fasting” (2 day per week eating >500 calories) in the past, in the hopes of  lowering my cholesterol and I spent those days very hangry. This was nothing like that. Over the course of my fast, I felt alert, my mood was brighter and I felt far less sluggish.

The end of the story is, I’m not exactly sure what these 72-hours did for my overall health (again, not a doctor). But I definitely feel all kinds of cleaned out and would like to think that this will act as a springboard toward continued whole food eating moving forward.

But that’s definitely not to say I’m going to be turning my nose up if that very sweet friend of mine makes me another batch of “healthy” cookie dough…




  1. I’m not working on Tuesday….so you are safe! ?

  2. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for quite some time, and posts like this keep confirm how much I should. Really good information, and done this way doesn’t seem totally impossible. You’ve inspired me!

    • You are so sweet! If you take the plunge, please let me know! I’m here to talk you off the ledge if you need me 😉

  3. Oh boy I think i’d struggle so hard with this! I’m right with you on eating a whole tub of cookie dough except mine is actually the cookie dough!

  4. You gave some great tips! I never thought to add sweet potato to my oatmeal, but it sounds so yummy. And your tip about eating a smoothie with a spoon makes so much sense. I will have keep this article in mind if I finally take the plunge and do a cleanse myself.

    • hahah “cleanse myself” that makes me think of “Frost yourself” from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days 😉

  5. I love this! I’m so glad you shared this. Your recipes sound absolutely yummy! I was SO productive during my juice cleanse lol.

  6. Thanks for sharing your experience, I know some people think detoxes are the worst but this is actually totally doable!

    • You’re right – it’s totally doable. Not my favorite 72 hours ever, but honestly I FELT good. I wanted to eat all the snacks, but I was never hungry and my mood improved dramatically!

  7. I am gonna follow this, this is exactly what my husband I was talking about few days ago. Great post, thank you for sharing.

  8. A cleanse does sound terrible but your recipes actually sound good – I’m going to save them for later!

    • hahah I’ll take that!! The sweet potato oatmeal thing came at a moment of complete desperation, but ended up being SO yummy!

  9. lol I have done this type of 72-hour cleanse a hundred times over, I am convinced it has to be doing something. Come on, all those veggies and fruits has to be adding a few years to our lives.

  10. I started one today and can’t WAIT to feel better. Pray for me! 😉

  11. Loves the recipes you included. Like the sweet potato oatmeal. That’s such a great idea! Sounds yummy too!!

    • It actually was pretty good! Like not, a delicious bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch good, but good enough to do again on a non-cleanse day!

  12. Congratulations on making it through!!! I don’t know that I could do it but you’ve got me wanting to try!

  13. I’m all about healthy (and unhealthy!) cookie dough, but this cleanse also sounds amazing and doable. I want to try!!

    • Let me know if you give it a whirl! Sometimes it’s so helpful to have someone to vent to when you’re craving ice cream at 10 pm (Like me literally right this second!!!)

  14. I don’t know if I’m going to try a full on cleanse but I’m definitely going to try those yummy recipes!

  15. Thank you for sharing your experience! Congratulations on making it through

  16. You are so awesome! If you feel like you’re at your wits end, I’m here to be on the receiving end of a snack craving freak out!

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