The WomanCode cleanse is four days long and is intended to clean your system of built up estrogen and toxins that may be disrupting hormonal balance in your body. Here is a detailed look into what I ate, how I felt, and what I learned.
I mentioned a few weeks ago on Instagram that I bought WomanCode, a book that educates women about their hormone health, helps connect our symptoms, biochemistry, and food, and offers holistic strategies to solve hormone-related problems, including everything from cramps, fatigue, and skin issues to energy, mental focus, and moods.
A brief history: I was diagnosed with PCOS by a doctor many years ago. Another doctor told me I didn’t have it. Yet another doctor told me I was borderline PCOS (is that even a thing?), so I honestly have no idea if I have it. I do know I have a history of troublesome blood sugar levels. I remember when David and I were first dating I’d sometimes get so hungry on our way to a restaurant, I’d feel like I was going to pass out. I couldn’t talk, and sometimes I’d cry. I think he thought I was a crazy person. Since then I’ve learned to completely control my blood sugar levels with eating the right foods, so it really hasn’t caused me to be symptomatic since.
However, I tend to have irregular periods varying anywhere from 28-40 days and furthermore, I feel fatigue, brain fog, cramps, bloating, and can have other stomach issues not only with period, but during ovulation, too. This means that every other week I’m generally not feeling my best. It’s not terrible, but I was intrigued enough by the WomanCode’s promises to regulate blood sugars, reduce symptoms, and embrace the different phases of my cycle rather than to push through them that I decided to give the methods a try, beginning with the cleanse.
The WomanCode cleanse, outlined in the book, is four days long and is intended to clean your system of built up estrogen and toxins that may be disrupting hormonal balance in your body. The book explains the delicate balance among our hormones and how a liver congested by environmental toxins (household cleaners, toxic makeup, body products), food toxins (pesticides, herbicides), and excess hormones (cortisol, estrogen) essentially wreak havoc on our bodies and result in issues with PCOS, fibroids, cysts, heavy periods, PMS, etc.
Vitti lays out in detail what you are to eat for each of the four days, giving small choices for each portion of the meal (for example: mung bean soup or vegetable soup). Essentially you are eating a lot of fruits and vegetables with small amounts of unprocessed grains (brown rice, quinoa) and healthy fats (ground flax seed, avocado) in designated amounts.
As with most cleanses or healthy eating, prep day is essential. I made the mung bean soup, the liver cleansing vegetable medley, washed my fruit, and made a batch of brown rice. This was imperative because when I was super hungry was when I was most likely to want to quit, so having food ready to go was cleanse-saving.
A Day of Food on the WomanCode Cleanse
The first two days on the cleanse are identical, then things switch up slightly for days three and four. These are the details of what I ate on day one, but for details on all four days, I highly suggest buying the book.
Breakfast on day one was 1 1/2 cups of fruit salad (granny smith apples and berries) with 1 Tbsp ground flax seed with a squeeze of lemon, 8 ounces of water, and a green drink. The author recommends this powdered green drink in the book but says any will do, so I chose one that I liked more. More on this green drink in the “likes” section.
She also recommends a fiber supplement with breakfast or digestive enzymes. After a lot of helpful suggestions and feedback on Instagram on digestive enzymes (spoiler alert, people love them!), I decided to do some research on celery juice. After really loving the information I found (again, more details below), I opted to drink 10-12 ounces of celery juice in place of a fiber supplement each morning.
Lunch was 1/2 cup of sprouted brown rice, 1 Tbsp of ground flax seed, 1/3 cup of cannellini beans, and unlimited liver cleansing medley (a vegetable blend I chopped up during my meal prep). I dressed it with a little olive oil and a apple cider vinegar.
A snack is allowed, but not required. However, I needed a snack every day. She suggests another serving of lunch, approved fruits and veggies, water, and hot tea. I opted for the fruit and hot tea route. In fact, I drank organic ginger tea almost constantly throughout the entire cleanse because it’s great for digestion.
Dinner was 1 1/2 cups Mung Bean Minestrone. The simple recipe is in the book and despite being warned that mung beans were not great, I thought the soup was delicious! Perhaps it was just my hunger talking? But in all seriousness, the soup was good and supposedly mung beans are great for cleansing because they are a high source of nutrients including: manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins. They are also a very filling food, high in protein, resistant starch and dietary fiber.
With dinner, you are allowed unlimited leafy greens. I joked a lot about this on my Instagram stories- UNLIMITED KALE- but I guess it was nice to have an unlimited option of something. I alternated between bok choy, kale, and collard greens. I have my cleanse experience saved under my highlights of Insta if you’re interested.
Vitti recommends eating dinner 3-4 hours before bed, which gives your body time to digest the food but (supposedly) you aren’t hungry enough to want another meal. LIES. Sorry, that was my hunger talking again because I went to bed early most nights just to stop myself from eating again. And two of the nights I snagged a few berries anyway.
Days three and four slightly alter your meals (quinoa instead of brown rice, a small amount of avocado or nuts added in, less beans, etc). It’s amazing how much it excited me to switch things up on day three. The half avocado I got for lunch was the highlight of my day!
I was frustrated that there is no explanation in the book about why you are eating these particular foods or why you are eating them in that particular portion size. I was hungry during this cleanse, even though I’m not sure you are supposed to be. However, I really wanted to do it right so I hesitated adding anything else in (even an extra serving of mung bean soup).
Day one sucked. I don’t have any other words for it. I was CRANKY as can be. Whiny, kind of hungry, so unsatisfied, and honestly almost quit. I started on a Sunday and I think having to skip out on family pancakes and my Earl Grey tea just bummed me out. I found it much easier to stick with it on weekdays.
The inability to workout (at least for me). My energy levels were pretty good, but I did not have the will or strength to workout. I didn’t even attempt Burn, but I played tennis one day and felt exhausted from it so I kept my activity to light walking and laundry.
Feeling deprived. This is why I’m not a cleanse person. The moment you tell me I can’t have XYZ, it’s all I think about. I hate the feeling of deprivation, but in this case, I’m glad I stuck it out.
The food was good. I’ve always shied away from juice cleanses because I have the need to CHEW. So I appreciated chewing and enjoyed the variety of vegetables and fruits.
Actually using my ground flax seed. I’ve never used ground flax seed as much as I have over this cleanse and surprisingly I really liked the texture and nutty flavor it added to the fruit. To get the benefit of flax seed (beyond fiber), it must be ground, however it doesn’t typically have a long shelf life (about one week past the written expiration date), so I’m thinking I might get a seed grinder so I can grind my own as needed. Bonus- it grinds coffee beans too!
Green Vibrance Powder. I had a friend ask me what was in this drink mix, but I told her the shorter list may be to list what wasn’t in it. It has over 70 ingredients including fruits, vegetables, enzymes, probiotics, and more to fill nutritional gaps. It doesn’t taste great, but it isn’t bad. Plus, I felt a definite burst of, can I say vibrance?, after drinking this each morning. I love it.
How “empty” I felt. By day three I just felt so much slimmer. Not because I lost weight, but because I had absolutely NO BLOATING for four days. I didn’t even think I was very bloated beforehand, but it was a noticeable difference that my stomach felt the same at night as it did in the morning. It blew my mind and I liked it very much.
How it re-calibrated my hunger. I already mentioned I did feel hungry which was not fun. However, it also made me realize that a little hunger is OK. I thought I was pretty tuned into my hunger cues before, but I think the cleanse help reel in my natural impulse to snag something and eat it just because I happen to be in the kitchen.
Celery juice. I know, I didn’t see that one coming, but it’s true. I think the celery juice made for a great start for the day. In the book Medical Medium, Williams says celery juice, “is one of the most powerful and healing juices we can drink. Just 16 ounces of fresh celery juice every morning on an empty stomach can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week.”
Celery contains compounds called coumarins, which are known to enhance the activity of white blood cells and support the vascular system. It also helps to purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron, which all help to nourish the blood. Celery juice is also rich in organic sodium content, which gives it the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and hold them until they can be eliminated safely from the kidneys. It stimulates stomach acid, reduces inflammation, and supports the liver.
I don’t have a juicer, so instead I bought organic celery hearts, washed and roughly chopped it into pieces and put the pieces in my Blendtec with a splash of water. Once blended, I squeezed it through a nut milk bag and I was left with anywhere from 8-12 ounces of fresh celery juice. I drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, then eat breakfast about 20-30 minutes later.
Moving Forward From Here
The day after the cleanse, I found myself still sticking with the basic outline because I felt so good and did not want to lose that feeling. I plan on adopting some of the principals from the cleanse into my daily routine, such as celery juice first thing in the morning and Green Vibrance right after breakfast. I am going to aim to make lunch my heartiest meal and go light on grains and sugar in the evening.
I also am going to follow (albeit not perfectly) the recommendations in the WomanCode as to which foods to eat and which preparations are best during each phase of my cycle.
It sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Eating different foods during each phase of your cycle? I think so, too, but I think if I take a relaxed approach it won’t be too challenging to incorporate these foods each week.
Several of you also recommended I download the FloLiving app, which I did. I am liking it so far and it is helping me track my cycle. Additionally, it offers holistic advice on which foods to be eating and lifestyle tips to support each phase.
I’ve said over and over again I’m not a cleanse person and although I did not find this experience enjoyable (just ask David who received the brunt of my hanger), I did find it very valuable. If hormones and female health interest you, I highly recommend reading The WomanCode. In full disclosure, I found the first 70ish pages to be repetitive and somewhat “fluff,” but the core of the book is educational, enlightening, and empowering.
I hope this review has been helpful and if you have any questions or other resources worth considering, please let me know in the comments!
Emily Garnett says
OK, I am definitely going to get on the mung bean and celery juice train!
Valerie B says
How long does the celery juice stay good? I also don’t have a juicer, and that process could work in meal prep but never on a busy workday morning!
Brittany Dixon says
I have heard (but can’t verify) that you can keep it 1-2 days in the fridge, so it sounds like making it the night before would work just fine to me!
Gosh, does your history sound just like mine……hopefully yours turns out better than mine did two years ago.
Best of luck to you.
Brittany Dixon says
Now I’m curious what happened to you two years ago?
I think its best to keep things positive for you since we all have different bodies and everyone with this type of system/cycle don’t turn out like I did. I will say, they never pinpointed my PCOS much like yous, but if i would have met my surgeon back then I would have done things SOOOOO differently.
Stay healthy….and happy!
Hi Brittany when did you do your 4 days detox on your cycle? I always want to ask Alisa Vitti this, when is the best time to do it regarding to our cycle. Thanks
Brittany Dixon says
I was not having a regular cycle when I did the detox, so I just started it. I was not on my period when I did it.
Woo Woo! All aboard the pseudo-science train!
Yes, I felt the same way when reading this.
Agree! So disappointed to see this. It’s a diet. Boo to diet culture and pseudo science!
I have been looking for natural things to do to improve vein/blood health, thank you for posting about the celery juice! I’ve never had great veins, (it runs in the family,) but after having my baby 10 months ago they got so much worse. I have a large varicose vein in my leg and actually developed a clot in it last month. Thankfully it wasn’t a dangerous clot but of course I panicked at first. I would really like more kids and want to try and prevent further damage. I think I’m going to give celery juice a shot 🙂
Are you on any type of hormonal birth control? Just curious because you said you track your cycles. Do you do natural family planning?
Brittany Dixon says
No, I’m not on any hormonal birth control so tracking my cycles has been eye opening!
So glad you’re trying the celery juice! I have tried it before (fell off the bandwagon, but just got back on recently) and it is great. I am just curious, are you still going to continue with your turmeric tonic as well?
Brittany Dixon says
I probably will alternate between both! I’m getting fond to too many drinks between the celery, the tonic, and the green drink- haha. I won’t be doing all everyday, but will be switching between them.
Thanks for the book recommendation! I’ve been considering doing some type of reset/cleanse once I finish breastfeeding (hopefully in the next 2-3 months!) to try to get things back in order and jump start some final pregnancy weight loss. I’m attracted to this as I love brown rice and beans! I ended up having c-sections so I had my tubes tied after baby #2 and I must confess my only thoughts so far about my period after it resumed around 6 months post partum have been a general dislike for that time of the month. I love to find extra uses for my french press and I think it would work great to strain celery juice! Do you think that would work or is the final product extremely pulpy?
Jessica Locke says
Thanks Brittany! This was a great review and explanation! Seems like given your history this was worth a try for sure. Glad your overall experience seems positive – and who knew celery juice was good?!? The next time I’m at the grocery store I’ll give it a second glance 🙂
So now that you have done the cleanse for four, your cycles should be better/less irregular? That is what the book says it will do? Granted I tend to be naturally skeptical about things like this, but I am just wondering how changing the way you eat for four days can have a long term effect…
Sorry, four days *
For what it’s worth, I just bought a Breville juicer on Amazon, used like new for $75, regular $100, and love it! Easy to clean and compact. You might want to invest in one if you end up making a lot of celery juice. I really like a glass of cold carrot juice after a good workout. I am going to experiment with roots like ginger and tumeric also. For whatever reason my periods and bloating are much better after having kids. I rarely even need Ibuprofen anymore and the bloating is not as bad for as long (and only once a month). I use a copper IUD, so no hormones. Good luck on your quest!
Does the book provide any science at all to support its claims? You mentioned that the author didn’t state why she chose the foods in the cleanse but I’m wondering if any peer reviewed research was sited.
I just saw your instagram story saying this post was unexpectedly controversial. I don’t know how my original comment was interpreted but I didn’t mean it as snippy at all. I was honestly interested and asking! I enjoy reading about things even if I may not necessarily agree.
And much love to you and your family regarding your dad ❤️
Brittany Dixon says
Hi Amy! I wasn’t referring to your comment, but the ones above saying they were disappointed to read this. I don’t really know how to respond to those because I’m just a health-minded mom trying things out and sharing my personal results. I would have responded to your question, but a lot happened last week and I didn’t get to it. To answer it now- I don’t recall any peer reviewed research, but if I’m being honest, I wasn’t looking hard for it either. I enjoyed reading her insight and felt it was intriguing enough to warrant giving it a try.
You’re so sweet to clarify, and I totally get your curiosity. I’m always up for answering questions or engaging in conversation with similar or completely different viewpoints, so never hesitate to comment. And thank you for the love sent to my family right now <3
The way you described flipping out before a meal is almost the exact situation I was in with my husband a loooong time ago. He just couldn’t understand how I couldn’t make it between meals, how I would only focus on food when I was hungry, and would be at the point of tears. My doctor said it was just hypoglycemia! But I’ve also controlled it well with diet.
I read this book a couple years ago and really liked it, but I listened to an interview with the author by Jess Lively and I think you should definitely check out HER podcast/blog… she’s really into Law of Attraction and I think it’s something right up your alley! Totally life changing once you get the hang of it… you’re so positive already, but it’s amazing what putting some deliberate intent into your thoughts can do 🙂 Love love everything you put out there and seeing your beautiful family.
Brittany Dixon says
Hi Elizabeth! So good to hear from you <3 I have listened to Jess Lively before, but it's been a while so thanks for the reminder to check her out again 🙂 Hope you and your family are well!
Kelli H says
Acupuncture could really helhelp regulate your cycles too. I did that to help me get pregnant. Highly recommend Acupuncture. Also I loved this book.
I’m so glad I came across your post on this. I’ve been somewhat on the same journey. I was diagnosed with PCOS many many years ago, when I was in my early 20s, and then another doctor said I don’t have it and I was exactly told by someone else that I’m borderline! (#shrug) – I’m 31 now and have been living with missing period for more than 2 years, hah!
I read womenCode long time ago but never got into trying the detox and the diets. I have a somewhat healthy diet overall, well depends on how we define that but I also don’t deprive myself of things I like and try to keep it balanced. A few days ago I decided to do the detox mainly because of my skin breakouts that just started about 1 month ago out of the blue. So I was trying to figure out why and thought that my hormones are affecting it for some reasons now.
I’m on day 2 and felt so far very similar to your experience. Yesterday (day#1) really sucked that I kept asking myself if I should continue!! I felt deprived, hungry and lethargic to the extent that it’s been affecting my productivity with work. I’m very active overall but have been having no motivation or energy to workout, at least so far. Today (day 2), I decided to have green tea with my breakfast just because I love my hot teas in the morning and I thought since green tea is _ok_ in the afternoon, it would be fine in the morning. Not sure… Hopefully that doesn’t count as cheating and doesn’t defy the purpose! I wonder if you did something like that? I asked the question from Alisa on the website but it’s too late now anyway! 🙂
I agree with you on the point that the book doesn’t explain much why certain foods are ok and whether the timing of them is important. Like tea in the morning? fish/grains etc for lunch vs. soup for dinner. Can they be swapped? I don’t know.. I also added a bit of banana to my breakfast fruits mainly because I don’t have much choices and am not a big fan of grapes and pears. But I thought in terms of sweetness banana is not any more than grapes or pears.. I found these unanswered in my mind and went with some of my own judgments.
I’m also curious did you see any change in your skin or weight? I’m slim so hoping I won’t lose weight..
Overall, I don’t want to give up, although so far I don’t like how I feel and lacking of energy and motivation to workout which is part of my daily routines. But I think I’ll keep going with it to see if it makes any difference.. That way I’d know for future! I see it more as an adventure, a new experience..
Again loved reading your experience through this and feeling I’m not alone in these feelings 🙂
Nikki Gordon says
Hey! Do you happen to have a link to the green juice powder you liked? Or did you just switch to celery juice?
Brittany Dixon says
I did mostly celery juice, but now also use organifi green juice for a quick nutrition boost in the mornings.