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Clean Cleanse: Pre-cleanse Recap and Pesto Baked Chicken

Pesto Baked Chicken

Clean Cleanse Box

For reasons I can’t recall at this moment, I decided I would start this year off with the Clean Cleanse. Yes, I am doing a cleanse that doesn’t involve ONLY eating pasta, pizza and mac n’ cheese.

A short summary of the cleanse for those of you who haven’t heard of it:

  • It’s the cleanse Gwyneth Paltrow endorses/mentions on goop all the time
  • It’s essentially an elimination diet: no gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanut, corn, nightshade veggies, coffee, booze, and some other common allergens
  • No this is not a juice cleanse
  • You get a shake for breakfast (clean shake packets + other things), a “clean” lunch, and a shake for dinner
  • There are a bunch of other principles all based on easing digestion and helping your body to cleanse itself of toxins that I won’t go into, but if you are interested, read the website (above)

Then my start date got pushed to the end of February and here I am: day 3 of the pre-cleanse, on the cusp of beginning the 21 day cleanse tomorrow. Here’s a brief recap of my past three days, followed by a “clean” recipe – it’s actually good!

Day one:

The biggest question on my mind, will I have coffee and pizza withdrawals? And if so, how bad will they be?

8:50am – I have to hide my gummy vites from myself. No processed or refined sugar or whatever the heck I enjoy being addicted to.

12:17pm – I have had green juice and an excessive amount of almonds along with a watery cup of green tea. I am starving and my office is having a taco party. All I can smell is queso. Dr. Junger, grant me the serenity…

I survived the taco party and made pesto baked chicken with brown rice and sautéed kale for dinner – recipe below!

Day two:

9:12am – Had dreams last night about eating candy and Krystal burgers. Dream interpretation anyone? Perhaps one is not meant to dream about such things…so it’s probably a good idea I’m doing this cleanse. Time for my morning green juice.

1:15pm – I emailed a wellness coach to ask if I was allowed to eat spaghetti squash. Answer is yes, SCORE!

4:55pm – Someone ate my avocado I was saving in the fridge. I have been dreaming about that creamy heaven since I woke up this morning and packed it. Back to almonds.

I will say the coffee withdrawals haven’t been as bad as anticipated. My green tea (with caffeine) is serving just fine although not as tasty. Something I tried today was drinking lots of water and also eating veryyyyyy sloowwwwlllyyyy. (A tip from my wellness coach frand).

Day Three

Got the best sleep last night I’ve had in a while, little to no waking up throughout the night. Coincidence?

12:58pm – my coworker has mac n’ cheese for lunch. This is my first encounter with mac since the cleanse began. She was nice enough to hide it from me but I sniffed it out.

2:06pm – Mango avocado salad was great and surprisingly more filling than I thought. I will definitely use this recipe more on the cleanse. So easy! (Recipe to come soon).

So day three isn’t over yet, but for the purposes of posting this, I’ll summarize how I’m feeling. This has been hard for me for a few reasons, but mainly the fact that I have never limited myself at all when it comes to food. So now, having to cut so many things out, and say no to so many foods, I find myself craving everything. I think eventually that will subside. My energy level is generally fine, except in the mornings due to lack of coffee. The main thing that has helped me not eat a million avocados/almonds has been to force myself to eat slower. I’m so used to shoveling food so quickly that I don’t ever feel full. Good lesson to learn.

Here’s the recipe for my pesto baked chicken. Definitely try this out! It’s easy and delicious!

Pesto Baked Chicken

Clean Cleanse Pesto
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast (I omitted this bc I didn't want to go out and buy it)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, to drizzle in slowly as it’s processing
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup water (Add slowly only as needed to thin)
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor, adding the olive oil and water just enough to thin to desired consistency.
  2. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and keep in mind that it will thicken as it sits.
  3. Add on top of chicken and bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through). Or any other protein!


– W




  1. Allie says

    I’ve done the Clean cleanse like 3x (thanks Gilt!), and I totally support it. I swear after the first few days, you start to get used to it and the cleanse shakes become very comforting. Whenever I’m on it, I convince myself that I could do it forever and ever…and then it ends and I remember that dairy and coffee are great. Good luck!

    • Whitney says

      Thanks Allie! Really missing that coffee right now…but I am loving the shakes. 2 more weeks to go!

  2. Just signed up for Dr. Junger’s newsletter thanks to this particularly excellent and funny post. Go whitipoo!

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