Things to think about before you embark on a cleanse or any change in your eating habits.
What is a cleanse? It is taking the opportunity to clean your insides and give your digestion and major organs a break from the constant onslaught of crap by eating cleaner, maybe less processed, lighter diet, or eating more veggies and fruits, Mother Earth’s Natural Detoxifiers and Medicine. I don’t know about you, but I want to live until I’m 100, practicing yoga and riding my bike until the end. I want to do what I can to live my life to the fullest and I feel like that starts with what I put in my mouth, as it so directly relates to how I feel and my health. I’m not sure western medicine, doctors and insurance companies as we know them, will be able to save us from degenerative diseases. They’re not right now. I want to do what I can to prevent these diseases and I think Mother Nature has provided us a little support in doing so with her luscious bounty. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now. I just thought I’d share all this for those who are interested. Feel free to stop now before you succumb to my ramblings any further! Stay tuned for next weeks episode. I’m sure it’ll be less soap-boxy, more roxy-boxy.
- Do you want to? Seriously? Why? Think about these things before you jump on this train. Because you’ll need to remember it on the day you feel like shit. Yea, there will be at least one of those days.
- If you’re doing it because you don’t like the way you look, you might want to reconsider.
- Eating is a must. Fasting is for the birds.
- Ease your way into it. Don’t expect to go from walking to running overnight. Your first try at detoxing or cleansing might be to just give up something that you tend to overindulge in for a few days. Then maybe longer. If you’re into Ayurveda you might go for a short khichadi cleanse. Only move on to more challenging cleanses or detoxes when you are truly comfortable with the previous one. For many people eating a clean, vegan diet without processed foods is just too challenging and different than what they’re used to.
- Get support. I have tried juice fasting, no carbs, competing with my boyfriend, you name it, but only when I did my first group cleanse was I able to stick to it and realize the benefits that I didn’t even think I needed. Get a nutritionist or an ayurvedic specialist to help you with your first efforts. Even better, get a friend to join you.
- Don’t be such a hard ass. If you don’t like something about your cleanse, change it. That doesn’t mean you should just jump ship and eat the first pizza you stumble upon. If you don’t like khichadi, eat a different bean, grain, veggie with your own spices. If something is really grossing you out, or really pissing you off, don’t do it. But before you jump ship think about what you can do that will still be nourishing and healthful and allow you to keep aligned with your goals of cleansing.
- Soup is salvation. Avocado is dreamy. Rice cakes aren’t just diet food. Veggies will become sparkly again.
My Results After 14 Days…
My skin is clearer and more radiant, I lost 5 pounds and 5 inches from my body, my digestion feels great and more consistent, my chronic sinus induced sore throat is gone, no cravings for crap UNLESS I go too long without eating or have other stress on my plate. It was very enlightening to notice that I crave lower quality foods when I’m stressed, or when I don’t plan well. It was also a great surprise that my throat feels so much better. I have had a chronically hoarse voice for the last two years and have had a difficult time figuring out why. All of these things I didn’t realize were problematic until I felt what it is like to be free of them.
My meditation practice felt easy and my mind more clear. The internal and mental benefits are not to be ignored. I feel more at ease in my life. I’m not letting the little things get me down.
The jury is still out as to whether I really needed to lose any weight in the first place. We’ll see how much my “pleasurable 5 pounds” stay off and how much my eating habits change over the long term. I suppose even this is a baby step in the right direction. It’s been a week so far, I have not had a problem eating three meals a day, smaller portions, and am eating more fruits and veggies and minimizing cheese and wheat. I haven’t even brought cheese into the house yet. Now, that’s a true feat that’s bound to end sooner rather than later.
If you want to know exactly what I did to reap these benefits, see the resources below. I participated in the Longer Cleanse with Dr. John Douillard, an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Chiropractor based in Boulder, Colorado, land of No-Gluten as he describes it.