After sharing briefly about a cleanse I was doing outlined in the book The Woman Code by Alisa Vitti, many people asked if I’d share a more detailed account of my experience and what meals I ate during the cleanse – specifically if they were vegan-friendly. Consider this my review.
There’s a whole slew of reasons to do cleanses and that’s not what this post is about. This post is about this cleanse in particular, why I chose to do it, what meals I ate, and what my overall impressions of it were.
I’ve never done an all juice cleanse, only whole foods-focused cleanses with an end goal of either detoxifying the body or healing a certain symptom. In this case, I was cleansing because I – like many women I’ve spoken to – have suffered from hormonal imbalance and wanted to try a dietary approach to begin healing my body – emphasis on begin. I don’t think this is the cure all answer for getting your hormones back in order or to eradicate symptoms you may be having, rather it’s a reset for your body to hopefully better support natural hormone balance moving forward.
The primary symptoms I’ve experienced off and on over the last two years have been hormonal acne along my chin and neck and hair loss, which I talk in detail about here. I won’t go into the various other treatments I’ve tried for these symptoms (none of which have been successful anyway), only that I was at a pretty desperate place with my skin and this cleanse sounded like it would help jumpstart my body in the right direction.
The Woman Code Cleanse
The cleanse outlined in the book lasts 4 days and is whole foods focused. While it does recommend salmon/fish as a protein, you can easily sub legumes to make the cleanse vegan-friendly. I’ve enjoyed it both ways, having now done the cleanse twice over the span of a couple months.
From what I understand, Alisa does not go into detail about what you can’t have during the cleanse (i.e. alcohol, caffeine, etc.), but rather shares what you can eat. To me that means “consume these foods and beverages and leave out the rest.” Others may interpret that differently, but I thought it was worth clarifying.
In addition to eating the meals outlined below, I chose to avoid: sugar of all forms (natural and processed), alcohol, caffeine, coffee (even decaf), and any drink or food not listed in the cleanse.
The meals are pretty straight forward and essentially repeat themselves over the course of 4 days with minor variations (i.e. add avocado to a salad, or, eat 1/3 cup serving of beans instead of 1/2 cup).
Because these are not my recipes to reshare, I don’t intend to fully list out each recipe, but rather share photos and give you a general idea of what you’ll eat if you decide to try it. For the recipes, simply purchase the book. It’s affordable and one of the best investments I’ve made in my personal health. Over the last two years I’ve referred to it a number of times for troubleshooting and fine tuning.
Alisa recommends prepping your meals ahead of time so you always have something healthy to eat.
I chose to do the cleanse on a Monday – Thursday, so I made a big pot of the mung bean vegetable minestrone on Sunday and enjoyed it throughout the week (I even froze some leftovers so there was so much). I also prepped a big cleansing salad (pictured above as well), and a large fruit salad.
All of the recipes have specific ingredients, each with a purpose, so I followed the recipes Alisa provided to a “T” in order to get the best results. Here’s what I ate.
For breakfast I enjoyed a generous serving (~1 1/2 cups) of this fruit salad, which was tossed with lemon juice and flax seed, as well as a green juice. On the side I also enjoyed a cup of hot water with lemon, which is also very gentle on and detoxifying for the body, especially in the morning.
Alisa permitted snacking on this fruit salad, the vegetable salad, and tea, but I usually found that this meal, plus plenty of water between 9 am and 1pm left me satisfied.
For lunch Alisa recommends a generous portion of the cleansing salad, brown rice or quinoa (I chose quinoa), and either salmon or legumes.
The above photo is actually a serving of some leftover chickpea curry I’d had from the day before, but the other days I opted for lentils or salmon as my protein.
As recommended, I dressed the salad with a splash each of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
For dinner each night I had a bowl of Alisa’s mung bean vegetable minestrone, which may not look (or sound) like much, but is actually quite delicious. It’s hearty and comforting and provides plenty of plant-based fiber and protein. Sometimes I left it as is, or would add steamed kale, fresh parsley, or fresh garlic.
In the evenings after dinner I enjoyed a cup of dandelion detox tea or more lemon water. Alisa recommended eating dinner 3.5 – 4 hours before bed so the body has time to process the last meal of the day. I liked this routine because I went to sleep satisfied, but woke up the next morning ready for breakfast.
Overall , I really enjoyed this cleanse. The food was simple and satisfying, and the instructions were very easy to follow. I honestly didn’t feel deprived since I was eating such wholesome, satisfying meals. I’ve actually adopted some of the principals from the cleanse into my everyday routine now, such as green juice with breakfast and shying away from grains and sugar in the evening.
In addition to feeling nourished, I also felt like my bloating was greatly reduced, my digestion improved, and my skin cleared substantially. The week prior to the cleanse I had a pretty bad breakout and by the end of the cleanse it had virtually vanished.
Thank you so much for reading about my experience. I hope you find this review helpful. I was not paid in any way to share about this book or the cleanse, and have never been in contact with Alisa or her team. I just wanted to shed a little light on something that I found incredibly useful and healing for me.