to cleanse or not to cleanse?

Last month, a few colleagues did the 12-day Wild Rose Cleanse. The reviews poured in: “I feel fantastic.“ “This cleanse has changed my life.” And the one that really got my attention: “I’ll never put milk in my coffee again!”. Coffee with milk is what gets me out of bed each morning, so I had to see what the buzz was all about.

wild rose cleanse participant
Did lululemon's Public Relations manager, Jenn, make it 12 days without bread?

As a former NCAA Strength and Conditioning Coach with a Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Health Studies, my school of thought is our bodies work fine on their own, thank you very much, and don’t need help from supplements to clean themselves out. Plus, I’m always skeptical about extremely modified diets.

I scoured the web for info and dissected the diet (no sugar, bread, pasta or dairy products). Would this end my uncontrollable infatuation with sugar? Was this the path to long-term healthier eating? Oh – and did I have the mental toughness to get through 12 days without bread?

wild rose cleanse cookbook

The first 4-5 days brought headaches and fatigue. I barely made it through a normally-easy 30-40 minute run. At first, I didn’t mind the food, but buyer beware: my life was consumed with searching for cleanse-friendly food and food prep. I didn’t have any crazing cravings, but missed milk in my coffee and toast with peanut butter. I felt better at days 6-10, but nausea, headaches and irritability set in again on the last few days.

In the end, I made it through: mental toughness proven and clearer skin to boot. The first thing I ate at the end was pizza – and it was the BEST pizza I’ve ever had.

While I won’t be doing a cleanse again in the near future, I learned some healthy recipes and discovered new grains such as millet. It helped to subdue my sugar cravings, but I still love my carbs….and that is reason #88 why I run!

End Notes: Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any type of cleanse, as there can be health risks involved.

learn more

Here are some links to some Wild Rose Detox media reviews:

Today's Parent
Canadian Living

read more related posts:


Great post Jenn. I’m intrigued – reason #88 why you run? What are the reasons 1-87? :)

Comment by Carolyn — July 1, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

Jenn I didn’t know you were a Strength & Conditioning coach! Congrats on the cleanse!!

Comment by Whitney — July 1, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

Awesome post! As someone who also completed this cleanse, I share the same outlook as you!

Comment by Carmen — July 2, 2010 @ 6:37 am

I felt so great after the same cleanse! It was a wake up call to eliminate certain foods in my life.

Comment by Shawna — July 2, 2010 @ 9:06 am

I did the Wild Rose Cleanse earlier this year and lost 13 pound and, more importantly, felt much less bogged down and ‘heavy’, if you get what I mean. I’ve been thinking about doing it again!

Comment by Lindsay B — July 3, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

Oh, and a suggestion for those who miss peanut butter: Almond butter is a GODSEND. Spread it on plain rice cakes for a great snack!

Comment by Lindsay B — July 3, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

Excellent post – with so many cleanses/detoxes out there, this helps shed some light on the realities of them. I did a 90 day detox last year to attempt to correct a gluten-intolerance. Felt a thousand times better and live gluten free now, on an 80/20 scale. I think the reason for the detox is what makes it a success.. or not. Congrats on your personal strength!

Comment by Nicole — July 3, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

This is a horrible post; there’s absolutely no substance to it. I had much higher expectations.

Comment by Vanessa — July 3, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

Can someone please let me know where I can purchase the Wild Rose Cleanse (12 Days), thanks!

Comment by Barbara — July 3, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

I have been doing the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox for 6 years now (once per year) and it has always been the hardest thing to start but the results are always amazing…it’s strong stuff, and I’ve heard that most people can’t get past day 4…when I read the “12 day cleanse” title, I knew it had to be this one…it’s just the right amount of time.

Comment by Ashley — July 3, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

I have to ask? Why would you bother to spend 12 days cleansing your body and then eat Pizza. I am honestly very curious, I eat gluten-free, vegetarian, organic on a daily basis. I too run, but I eat clean daily to feel better daily, I drink my coffee black, I don’t do dairy and I do not cleanse because I don’t understand the purpose of cleansing if you eat clean on a daily basis.
I do admire your 12 days of sacrific, I just don’t understand the whole purpose behind cleansing if people are just going to go back to eating the same way they did before a cleanse.
If we worshiped out bodies and treated our digestive system the same way we treated out LULU clothes or our cars, we would have No need to cleanse in the first place.

Comment by Kelly Moore — July 3, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

Why is Almond butter ok, but peanut butter isn’t?
I love Trader Joe’s roasted unsalted chunky almond butter – $5/jar!

I’m with you. I see no need for a cleanse. Obviously it’s everyone’s individual choice, but if you eat healthy stuff to start, what is the purpose. I also run and do spin classes. When I eat, I take in to consideration what nutrients my body needs to support me throughout my athletic endeavors. While I have the occasional ice cream or other unhealthy food, the bulk of my intake is fruits, veggies, and healthy sources of protein. I drink plenty of water. I run 3-4x/week and ride my bike or spin another 1-2x/week. I could not maintain that level of activity if I was dealing with headaches, nausea, and fatigue while on a 2 week cleanse.

Comment by Amanda — July 5, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

I am on day 2 right now, and I have to admit that I am feeling a bit crumby. I had a motherload of a headache last night and it is still lingering. I cannot decide if I can have an advil or not to help me with it. I should be eating breakfast right now, but I am scared to take the little pills that seem to be causing my headache (and a bit of nauseau). So I guess I may have to come back and let you know how it progresses from here. I am desperately crossing my fingers that the benefits later in the program are worth this journey. The food is not a hard transition (though I do miss my black tea and milk in the morning), as I mostly eat pretty clean to begin with… but I guess I will see where this goes. Wish me luck…. I think I am gonna need it! :)

Comment by Jessica — July 8, 2010 @ 6:54 am

Jen, thanks for sharing this post with me. I’ll definitely bookmark it so, I can read more and more.

It’s interesting that you tried this cleanse. During the G20, when all of us were feeling terrible, one of the female officers talked about doing a 10 day cleanse. I was intrigued until I was told I would have to monitor my diet. WHAT??? Are you kidding me? I thought I would just have to take a shake, here and there, and voila…needless to say, it didn’t happen.

For me, life is about balance and I feel that I have that going on. With eating correctly, exercising and keeping a clear head my body feels great. Which reminds me, time to get my gear on for a Lighthouse run. :)

PS thanks for being my tester

Comment by Jett — July 10, 2010 @ 5:14 am

To-day is day one on my Wild Rose herbal cleanse.
I ate oatmeal porridge for breakfast ( after taking all the pills), then tofu scramble for lunch.
Felt very hungry so ate a whole avocada which immediately made me feel nauseous,with stomach pains, dirrhoea for the rest of the day.
Now, I feel too sick to eat dinner, and am afraid to take the pills again ( since that may be what is making me so ill.)
Don’t know whether to continue or not.
Does anyone have any suggestions ?

Comment by Salt Spring sickee — October 25, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

I’m starting the cleanse next week and I workout at least 6 days a week, this is crucial to my happiness (I’m sure most people on here can relate). With that being said, does anyone know a good snack to have before working out that would be acceptable while on the cleanse ?

Comment by Keshia — December 2, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

I am 18 years old I was looking at health food store and came across the wild rose cleanse.. I asked the lady what she reccomended the most and she said she loves this cleanse. I am on day 2 and have bought tuna and big bag of almonds, also been eating veggies like carrots and celery. I feel good but low energy and really craving carbs and meat … I will follow up in couple days

Comment by Lexxa T — November 18, 2011 @ 11:19 am

this is day one for me on the wild rose detox. I read the book about all the foods to eat and I must say, i cant have my life revolve around the food with working 15 hours per day. So, i will proceed with my usual diet which consists a lot of fruit, vegetables,salad, meat…mostly healthy stuff. i will write quick blogs following the progress if anyone is interested. I’m deciding to do this because I have been looking for this to see how people feel day to day ( natuas, headache, cranky). I’m a bit worried about the feeling sick part but i will see.

Comment by Dean — November 22, 2011 @ 5:50 am

I have done this cleanse many times and I felt fine throughout it except I had to cut down on the poop pills, they were a little too much. I also swore I would stay away from all the bad stuff when I was done but the only thing I stuck with was no cream in my coffee.I still feel that this cleanse is good for your whole body, it gives the digestive system a break and your liver because no alchohol allowed. I found whole grain rice cakes with salmon were a great snack.

Comment by Cathy — January 23, 2013 @ 3:00 am

I am interested in doing the cleanse as I am getting married in 6 months and need to lose weight pronto, the only thing is I am nursing my baby, is it safe to do the cleanse?…baby is 14 months old,only nurses twice/thrice a day

Comment by sunshine_mama — January 23, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

Hi sunshine_mama,
I’ve started doing some research on cleanses and my recommendation is before changing your diet or starting a cleanse, it’s always best to consult a physician.

~ Siya
Social Media Educator

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — January 24, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

Hi sunshine_mama, I have the product in hand right now and it specifically states “DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, OR NURSING, HAVE INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, or if you have kidney disease”. I would not recommend this therefore.

SOURCE: Product

Comment by Miz — February 26, 2013 @ 9:48 am

Hi everyone, I have the wild rose herbal d-tox in hand at the moment and am procrastinating taking it. I was on Accutane for 4 months for severe acne and now I’m finally clear. But my question is, will this cleanse the Accutane out of my liver? It was very crucial to my liver but with many blood tests during my medication I was fine. If anyone knows information about this please inform me right away. Thanks in advance!

Comment by Deanna — July 27, 2013 @ 11:08 am

Hi everyone – I’m on day 2 of my cleanse. I’m finding the laxative part very difficult while being at work. I’ve spent a better part of both days in the bathroom. Will also cut back on the poop pills. I’m hoping I will feel great after 12 days and look foward to standing on the scale!

Comment by Laurie — August 15, 2013 @ 11:17 am

Starting day 4 of the cleanse and I started it because over the years I have had skin issues on my shoulders and back of ugly blemishes. I have so far not seen much of a difference but it’s still early. I do find the cleanse is cleaning out my system (bathrooms need to be handy) but I am already noticing my surgar and carb cravings are almost gone. I don’t need the sweets and flour foods I craved prior to this. I am also a beer lover and I don’t have any desires to crack open a beer. Looking forward to feel the progress of this cleanse. Especially for my skin.

Comment by Clint — August 21, 2013 @ 7:06 am

Day 5 and I actually found the blemishes on my skin are starting to go away. I think this is working! Bathroom necessities aren’t quite as frequent either.

Comment by Clint — August 22, 2013 @ 6:49 am

Day 6 – Had a bad sugar craving today but I am hanging in there. I now know what my worst enemy is for bad eating habits…my job! There are always luncheons, potlucks or just people bringing in bad food. I had three lunches to deal with this week and I made it through them all. It’s been tough today. The bathroom trips aren’t as bad today but still not back to normal. Weekend is going to be tough…will check in on Monday.

Comment by Clint — August 23, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

Hey Clint,
Keep up the great work! We are here cheering you on!

Comment by lululemon athletica GEC — August 24, 2013 @ 10:28 am

I am just finishing day 4 of the cleanse. Energy has been pretty low but I know I will feel better in the long run. I still choose to put a splash of 1% in my coffee but have decreased my coffee consumption. I am also choosing to have natural PB. I have to realistic about where I am financially. It makes more sense for me to eliminate most things and change my pantry as I can afford to. I used to buy almond butter and am considering it again. I think that cleanses have to make sense and actually fit my life.

I had no idea though just how bad my snacking had gotten! I thought I was doing good until I realized there was some serious denial taking place. When I am done this challenge I am looking forward to getting back to eating the way I was before my injuries and weight gain. I am also looking forward to the cleanse and subsequent diet changes to help considerably with my chronic pain. I am so thankful I have done this. i keep almost giving up but then remind myself why start if I don’t finish a waste of money, time and effort. I am also looking forward to getting back to the gym and pool as my pain allows. I know the reduction of sugar and wheat will help considerably in pain reduction and increase of energy. Now just to make it for the last 8 days! LOL

Comment by Shauna — September 1, 2013 @ 11:01 pm

I just finished day 12 of the cleanse, I found myself to feeling refreshed each morning after I go to bed for the night. It’s a wonderful feeling, I always get the boost of energy feeling once I wake up. I never feel sluggish or have that extra need to snooze for an extra 5 or 10 minutes to wake up and get ready for work. I learned a lot from this cleanse, this would be my first time cleansing. What surprised me was the fact on how easy it was for me to give up sugar, dairy and wheat for the 12 days even though it was something I indulged at least every day. Wow, the end result? 8 pounds lost! I did have some minor abdominal pain in the beginning but it went away on its own. I didn’t have any weird mood swings, just an extra boost of energy. It’s undecided if I’ll cleanse again once spring arrives but it’s something that i’ll have to consider.

Comment by Ally — November 12, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

I found peppermint tea helped settle the stomach as well as help with the sugar crave.

Comment by Ginny — January 12, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

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