It has been three years since I’ve attempted the “cabbage soup cleanse”. I wrote about it in January of 2012 when I attempted and completed the 7-day cleanse with my college roommate. I attempted it twice after that and failed after day five both times. My issue? I hate the soup. No I loathe the soup actually. In fact, I hate it so much that sometimes I still get sick to my stomach when I taste cooked green pepper. I was also completely, 100% miserable on this cleanse…
SO when my co-worker told me she was attempting the cabbage soup cleanse (for the first time ever), I was determined to find a way that I could complete the full 7 days again. I told myself that the key would be modifying the cleanse to what I could manage.
Here’s the original cabbage soup cleanse:
Day 1: Soup and fruits (no bananas)
Day 2: Soup and veggies (one sweet potato for breakfast)
Day 3: Soup, fruit and veggies (no bananas)
Day 4: Soup, bananas and skim milk
Day 5: Soup, chicken and tomatoes
Day 6: Soup, fish / steak and veggies
Da7 7: Soup, veggies and 1 cup brown rice
*Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day + you are allowed plain green tea and black coffee + no sugary fruits like pineapple + no starchy vegetables like corn.
There are quite a few alterations out there, but this is one of the most basic.
Knowing my downfalls, I set out on this cleanse with a few modifiers for myself that made it possible for me to stick with and complete the full 7 days. The point of this cleanse isn’t to make yourself as miserable as possible. My goal this time around was to find a way to stick to the cleanse as close as possible without wanting to kill myself.
Here are my modifiers:
- From past experiences I couldn’t manage eating veggies and cabbage soup for breakfast. I also struggled on just soup and veggie day. For my modifier, I allowed myself to eat fruits and veggies every single day. On days where it was just veggies I made an effort to eat more veggies than fruit, but still allowed myself fruit when I wanted it.
- Another modifier was I allowed myself was to have one can of pure coconut water for the week, but when it was done that was it. This would allow me something to make smoothies with. Plus since you are allowed black coffee on this cleanse, I mixed my smoothie (strawberries, half an apple, spinach and coconut water) with some instant coffee and it was a beautiful thing.
- Another modifier was a splash of balsamic vinaigrette on my spinach. This one is on the honor system. I used it VERY sparingly. Like we’re talking a quick little wrist flick. Enough to get SOME taste, but also so little that I still wanted more. It was such a little amount I didn’t feel guilty about and it made eating my spinach tolerable. Again – the point of my modifiers was to be able to make the cleanse manageable enough for me to stick with it for the full 7 days.
- Sparking fruit water. Yep. I drank 77 ounces of pure, regular water every day, but also allowed myself up to two bottles of sparking water (zero calories, zero sugar, zero caffeine, and zero sodium). This killed my sweet tooth and the carbonation made me feel full. This was by far, the best modifier I came up with and my secret weapon.
- My soup was modified. I steamed veggies and drank a can of V8 with it. This was my soup. My veggies (AKA soup) consisted of onions, a can of diced tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower.
Some people I talked to gave me a hard time about my modifiers. “Well you’re cheating then” they would say. This comment really made me angry. Since when is someone else involved in my diet? Since when does someone else tell me what I can and cannot eat? After failing two other times at this cleanse, I knew I needed to modify a few things to stick with it.
This morning (day 8) I was down 6 pounds. Three years ago when I completed the cleanse I was down 10 pounds. My co-worker (who also had a few modifiers – like when she took some medicine and needed to eat something ASAP so she got a smoothie) was down 8 pounds as of this morning. You can modify a few things and still stick with it. This does not mean you are “cheating” you are simply not allowing yourself to be completely miserable. There’s nothing wrong with that.
I get that some people really want to follow it to a T and that is great and I wish them nothing but success during their 7 days. However, for someone who knows her body well, this is what I could manage and I am happy with my results.
Honestly if I had the same modifiers again, I feel confident that I could complete another 7 days, which is great news considering I’m getting married in less than 4 months! The good news is I am in a really good place with how I look right now – and being able to finally complete this cleanse again without being a complete psycho is just icing on the wedding cake 😉
What are some other modifiers that you’ve tried to make this cleanse more manageable? What worked and what didn’t work for you?