Why I Did The Clean Program & How It Worked For Me

Clean Program Shake
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life weighing the same amount – around 107 pounds. I’ve always been active and eat healthy but I’m also fortunate to have thin parents who passed on good genes. I didn’t really think a whole lot about my weight until I turned 30, went to the doctor for a checkup, stepped on the scale and realized that I had gained 15 pounds.

I knew I had gone up a pants size (or two), I knew I was buying baggier clothing, I knew I didn’t feel good about myself and I knew I was in denial about all of it but I didn’t realize I had gained 12% of my body weight. I didn’t (and still don’t) own a scale so over time as the clothing got tighter, I made all sorts of excuses – “I’m just bloated, must be getting my period” or “these must have shrunk in the wash” were regular thoughts.

Now, I realize some of you may be thinking that 122 pounds isn’t terribly overweight but I’m barely 5’4 (am really 5’3) so 15 pounds makes a very noticeable difference on my frame. For me, I was bigger.

Looking back, it happened slowly. I worked out two to three times a week but if I’m being honest with myself, I wasn’t really working that hard and those pilates/barre classes weren’t doing me a whole lot of favors.  I was eating my way through town on business breakfasts, lunches and dinners, many meals of which included cocktails. And I was the first to recommend late night eats at Canter’s Deli.

A few months after that doctors appointment I got engaged and started wedding dress shopping. I could really see the weight as I stood surrounded by mirrors and I didn’t like what I saw. I hated everything and blamed it on the dresses but the truth was, I wasn’t happy with my body.  When I finally found a dress that I loved, I stood on that awkward bridal salon podium and tried to imagine myself in it without the excess weight. I couldn’t stand the thought of putting all the effort into planning a big wedding and not feeling 100%. I was also just flat out tired of not feeling good about myself. It was time to make a change.

I met with my friend Shira who is a nutritionist and she listened to me go on and on until she interrupted me and was like, “girl you need to do the Clean Program. It will help you shed the weight and it’s weight you will keep off.”  She went on to say that it’s also helps with mental clarity, improved energy, improved digestion, balanced moods, and long-term dietary changes. I went home and ordered the book, ‘Clean – Expanded Edition: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself.’ I read it cover to cover and it all made so much sense.

Here is brief description in the creators, Dr. Alejandro Junger, own words:

“Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the products we use, everyone is affected by the thousands of chemicals in our internal and external environment. These chemicals can inhibit the proper functioning of our bodies and make us feel run down. What’s more, much of the food we eat today is low in minerals and nutrients, high in refined sugars and starches, and void of adequate fiber. Many of these common foods can produce inflammatory responses throughout the body which, over time, can degrade the quality of our digestive system. These plans work by removing the most common food allergens while lightening up your diet, so your body can spend its energy cleansing and healing.

We all want vibrant bodies, loads of energy, and a clear mind. Because many of us are lacking in vital minerals, nutrients, phytonutrients, and healthy fats, the Clean Program emphasizes nutrient-dense shakes and daily meals to help rebuild your body while you cleanse. These nutrients will help build your mineral reserves, support liver detoxification, and maintain consistent energy while on the program.”

I was in!

Here’s how the 21 day cleanse works: for breakfast you have a clean shake, for lunch you have a clean meal, for dinner you have a clean shake. With every meal you take supplements. No coffee, no booze, no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, no nightshades, no processed anything and a handful of other exclusions which you can read about here.

I received the cleanse in the mail, which only comes with shake packets and supplements, and took it very seriously. I bought everything I would need for the shakes (tons of fruits, greens, non-dairy milks, super-foods, etc.), did the pre-cleanse so that once I started the actual cleanse I had the hang of it and did a ton of research regarding restaurants in LA that served “clean meals” (think brown rice with salmon and steamed veggies, no sauce, no dairy).

From day one, I stuck to it religiously.  I was not even tempted to sip champagne at my own bridal shower which took place on day 17 of the cleanse. Why would I cheat? This was after all for me. I also did everything else they recommended which includes things like skin brushing, steaming and yoga. I even took it as far as using 100% organic beauty products and I didn’t wear anything that was dry cleaned or washed with chemicals – I wanted to achieve a toxic free body.

The first five days weren’t bad but I was pretty tired and cranky without coffee. I craved alcohol and would have done just about anything for a glass of wine but I survived without it just fine. The next 10 days were the hard part. I felt really isolated not going out for coffee, meals, drinks, etc. with my friends and when I did go, it was just too hard and it was not fun. I had streaks of feeling emotional which is very common and there were days that I actually felt depressed. Also normal.  They say you feel depressed and emotional because of the detoxing. Your body is eliminating years of backed up toxins which is well, toxic. By day 15 I hit my stride and breezed through to 21. I felt as though I could do it forever.

Since completing the cleanse, I lost inches and pounds. I’ve stuck to a “clean” diet and feel great.  In addition, I started working out with a trainer to get a much more focused workout in effort to tone the places on my body that bummed me out. I’m now back to my original weight and it’s done wonders for my confidence. Have you noticed that I actually post pictures of myself again on Insta? Also, I felt 100% on my wedding day. No regrets!

geri hirsch wedding

I highly recommend this cleanse to anyone who is serious about change – hope this helps inspire you! xx


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  1. Thank you so much for this post! I’m also a big believer in clean eating. I would love to see more healthy eating inspiration!

  2. this post is exactly what i’m feeling right now, and you have given me the push to seek change. thank you.

    1. Prudence…it’s actually not that intense. The caffeine headaches were the worst part but once you get past that, you really feel you hit a stride. I’ve done it twice now and I highly recommend.

  3. Geri,
    This same thing happened to me a few years ago, I do believe that our bodies change again at 30! I’m proud of you. I’ve stuck to a no dairy, no caffeine, no soy, no meat, no gluten. It’s hard to start, but you feel amazing. ps. You looked amazing on your wedding day! Congrats!

    Keltie Knight

  4. This is exactly how I’ve felt for so long and I feel like this is the only time someone has put it into words for me. I’m 5’3″ and over the past years went from a healthy 110lbs to 122lbs and just don’t feel like myself. I’ve made endless excuses. In fact, my confidence level has diminished so much that, yes, I stopped posting photos of myself on instagram! I really want to get back to my old body and feel better about it than ever before. This post was really inspiring, thanks Geri!

  5. You and I have the same sizing and as I’m nearing my 30’s, I’m trying to get back into eating healthier and exercising more often. Thanks for sharing about this cleanse!

  6. I’m currently going through the same thing. I’ve always been at a comfortable 105-106 weight but recently I stepped on the scale at the doctors and I was 116, it was like–where did that come from!
    For me I think portion control has been harder for me to maintain and also working in an office where there’s constant parties, take out lunch etc. it’s hard to stay focused. I exercise but not as much as I could and eat better now than I have in the past. Not sure what could be best, but this is definitely something to consider!

  7. This is really beautiful. But how do you do it? You know you are going to start drinking coffee again and having the occasional cocktail or meal out. how do you stick with it now that youre not having two shakes a day?

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this!!!
    I’m in day 14 today and cried so much yesterday 😫 Was thinking to come off it but I will carry on after reading.
    How were your bathroom visits, Iv been having very very loose two’s …. Did you get this?

    Beautiful picture BTW

    Thank you again

  9. Really enjoyed your report here – thank you for your honesty and sharing your journey! I think a lot of people can relate to how lbs can sneak on – a few days of missed workouts, enjoying extra cocktails, meals out…it all adds up. And as we age, our bodies just don’t handle things like they used to.



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