I recently completed my first ever ‘cleanse’. I did the 5 Day Nutritive Cleanse by Young Living and lost 13.5 pounds over 5 days. More importantly, it changed my relationship with food which may be even more important.

Mixing My Shake


The Young Living 5 Day Nutritive Cleanse consists of 3 main products:

  1. Digest + Cleanse™ – This is a proprietary blend of essential oils that aids in digestion.
    • Peppermint
    • Caraway
    • Lemon
    • Ginger
    • Fennel
    • Coconut
    • Anise
  2. Balance Complete – I replaced this with Pure Protein Complete because Balance Complete was out of stock. The ingredient list is similar but Balance Complete has a proprietary fiber blend that has an extra 10g of fiber per serving. Next time this is in stock I will make sure to get some for the next time I do the cleanse.
  3. Ningxia Red – I’ve written a lot about this drink and how I use it, so I had plenty on hand.


In my final post, I listed all the changes registered by my iHealth Core wireless scale. In the week since, the majority of the drops in the other categories (lean mass, body fat, etc) have corrected back to where they were, but I have kept the weight off. In fact, I have lost another 2.2 pounds as of this morning. I did not have a specific goal going in around weight loss. I am excited to have such a significant drop in weight.

Capacity to Eat

One of the most interesting things that came out of this experience for me is a change in my capacity to eat. I have noticed a significant reduction in the amount of food that I can eat in a single meal. I get noticeably full much quicker and just cannot eat as much food as I used to. As an example, yesterday we went to Chili’s for lunch. I chose the Buffalo Chicken Salad, which, relative to my normal choice, is a lower calorie alternative. The salad is listed at 1,030 calories, but I was unable to finish more than half of it. A lunch at a restaurant like Chili’s that comes in at around 500-600 calories is pretty good. It is still high in fat, but my other meal of the day was a very lean option. I ordered the salad and had every intention of eating the whole plate. I didn’t have any bread or other appetizer and I only had water to drink. As I ate, I just became full. More importantly, when I became full, I stopped eating.

Desire to Eat

That last part above is very important. In the past, I would eat because it tasted good, regardless of how full I was. I would push the bounds of how much I could get in my body for the enjoyment of it. Going through the cleanse has given me a different mental viewpoint toward food. I know now what it feels like to eat less. I know what it feels like to eat solely to provide energy for the day (as nothing in the cleanse ‘tasted’ good.) I realize that it is a choice. I realize that it is a choice that I can and need to make differently if I am going to succeed in my goals. I can choose from time to time to make a choice for enjoyment, but I need to keep in perspective that those choices will run counter to my long term goals.

One example that really makes this real to me was a discussion we had as a family about a local pizza buffet. I love pizza. We have a local restaurant called Milton’s Pizza that has a lunch buffet with all you can eat pizza, salad, and more. I used to enjoy going there for the buffet because I would get 10-12 slices of pizza (as well as a salad in addition to unlimited refills on Mountain Dew.) I know that if I were to go there now, I would not be able to eat more than 2-3 slices of pizza. I would start with a large salad and I would have water. My desire to gorge myself is gone and with it is the desire to even go to my once favorite lunch buffet.


A lot of people say that cleanses are about detoxification. I did a lot of reading about the topic during that week. What toxins are we getting rid of? How does a cleanse ‘release’ them? I certainly felt on the 2nd day like I had been to an intense deep tissue massage and everything was sore.

I found an this article from WebMD which comes to the conclusion that a cleanse is unnecessary:

Your body is an expert at getting rid of toxins no matter what you eat. Toxins don’t build up in your liver, kidneys, or any other part of your body, and you’re not going to get rid of them with the latest detox wonder.

I also found this article by Dr. Ben Kim, which goes into detail the different kinds of toxins that can affect our body and how our body deals with them. It is a good read to understand what is meant by toxins. One thing that really stood out to me in reading this was his discussion of the accumulation of toxins in fat tissue:

Accumulation of toxins in your fat tissues is what can lead to so-called harmless conditions like cysts, lipomas, and other benign tumors. These are conditions that conventional medicine typically cite as having no known cause, but they most certainly have a number of causes, with a major one being steady exposure to endogenous and exogenous toxins.

At the beginning of the cleanse, I had a firm lump under both my armpits. I had thought this was just a result of being extremely overweight. At the end of the cleanse, I noticed (and it was visibly noticeable to my wife as well) that the lumps under both my armpits were gone.

Final Conclusion

The biggest thing I gained from doing this cleanse was a healthier relationship with food. I feel like the cleanse helped me address some of my mental and emotional issues with food. I’m not sure whether a cleanse is necessary or even useful for detoxification, but I do believe that having a period of time without processed foods, chemicals, and sugars was a good rest for my body and helped my body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Doing this cleanse was not fun or easy, but it was not as hard as I thought it would be. If I find myself getting into a bad relationship with food, I would do this again as a reset. I think it was very helpful for me on my journey.

If you would like to start at the beginning, you can go to the 5 Day Cleanse Introduction – The 5 Day Cleanse