It's time....sigh...for a cleanse.
This is the least enthusiastic I've ever been before a cleansing diet/detox/fast. But I know I need it, and I really feel it's the right time.
It's important to wait for the right time, but to also be honest with yourself about when that time is. I'm certain that, if I wanted to, I could come up with some viable reasons not to do a cleanse right now. But I know, I feel it. I see the little poochy belly thing, I've noticed the slipping of sugar into my diet here and there, I've felt it in my joints. So, I've decided it's time.
Poor Jason is along with me for the ride. He does get a choice of course, but he's the "sure, why not, sounds good" kind of husband (lucky me!).
So here is what we are doing:
Cleansing diet for four days
This cleansing diet consists of tons of produce. Cooked or raw, no matter, just lots of it. Fruit and veggies alike, along with a minimal amount of vegetarian oils like olive, sesame, coconut, etc.
No to everything else. No meat, no diary-- NO BUTTER!...sigh. No nuts, no grains, no sugar, alcohol or coffee. Yes to spices and herbal teas. No potatoes, but yes to yams. That's it.
We will be eating a lot of raw fruits, sauteed veggies, salads, and simple soups cooked in vegetable broth. With a little creativity and a lack of laziness, four days of this diet can go by quite smoothly.
We will also be taking certain supplements to aid the body in the massive internal cleaning it has the potential to do when we're not clogging it with chemicals and excess.
We will continue to take our Vitamin D, K2, and Krill Oil supplements as we usually do. We will add in Selenium and B complex. We are also taking two forms of seaweed: Bladderwrack for natural mineral supplementation and thyroid support and Dulse (from the Maine coast) to help bind the nasty foreign bits in circulation (like various heavy metals).
We will also be drinking a lot of water and herbal tea. There will be pitchers of Uber Herbal's Liver Lover tea blend available for us to drink all of the time. You can find Uber Herbal's delicious tea blends at their Etsy shop here, as well as at their tea and toast bar. (Don't talk to me about toast right now!)
Juice fast for two days
Intentionally, this is timed for the weekend. We have piles of produce (I recommend as much locally-grown produce from the Saturday market as you can get, followed by affordable bags of this and that from Trader Joe's). We will continue the supplementation, tea and water, but forgo the solid food for these two days.
Five sixteen ounce fresh juices for two days. This can be a little fruit along with the vegetables, but mostly vegetables. And you have to actually drink it.
My biggest challenge with juice fasts is always in actually drinking all of the juice. If you've done a juice fast, you may know what I mean. At a certain point, it gets easier to just not drink anything. But, drink we must. And, it's only two days.
For inspiration, I recommend watching the film Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead if you haven't seen it. You can watch it online here for free. There are many, many other inspiring films about health and wellness, even about juice cleansing. If you look, inspiration is out there. And it is so very helpful.
In fact, merely writing this article has helped me change my tune about our cleansing diet. I'm bordering on excited, even! After we are finished, I'll be sure to share our experience with you, and share what our next steps will be to keep up our health through good habits.
Many...or most?...people I've been speaking to over the past couple of weeks have been having a rough time. Illness, surprise financial challenges, general stress and busyness--these "obstacles" can make it difficult to manifest that calm, grounded pleasure in life we're generally striving for.
The push and the pull. Pushing toward healthy habits, being pulled into stress. Pulling yourself out of a funk, being pushed into a crisis to manage.
Without some slack in your rope, this pushing and pulling turns into a violent jerky dance until you feel like a marionette at the mercy of some unseen hand. But there are no strings, only a mental thread, a story line where we tell ourselves that the way things are is not the way things should be.
We need to give ourselves some slack so we aren't being jerked all over the place in response to life situations we can't change.
All of these flowery things we would apply to our enemies in order to be a better person. And if we are our own worst enemy? Bingo. Take it easy on yourself. Treat yourself like you would a little child learning a new task. Congratulate yourself for the small victories, acknowledge any accomplishments, and encourage yourself to try again if something doesn't go right.
When a situation is really entirely out of your control, remind yourself that you do have control of how you respond. And if your response isn't the way you would intend it to be under a different set of circumstances, apply the above flowery sentiments and move on.
Lastly, turn to others for support if you can. When the rope is tight and you're just trudging through the mud, barely able to pull your weight and the day, days, weeks all feel so heavy and tight, remind yourself that there will be an end to the muck. Look to the left or right, and you're likely to find someone trudging along next to you. A good friend can help cut that rope for you, and a burden shared is much less heavy.
So it has been a couple of weeks since our last entry, since my commitment to renewing old healthy habits. Did you attempt to pick up any healthy habits of your own? How did it go for you?
Well, for me, it was hard!
I committed to three things. Cooking and organizing our meals wasn't too challenging. We've been eating very healthy foods and meals (by most standards) for years, so it was just a matter of renewing a little discipline and committing a small increase in time spent on preparation.
Another goal was to spend more time outdoors. Easy peasy! Baby and I have spent at least 10 minutes outside every day--often we have spent over an hour, mostly finding leaves on the lawn or hiking about and admiring other people's doggies in the park. Breathing fresh air, slowing down, sitting on the earth--this has been a nice addition to our day.
The most challenging commitment has been renewing the habit of doing yoga and meditation before bed. After a day of work and an evening of baby-wrangling, followed by that meal-preparation I committed to, I just want to sit on the couch and watch some videos online before I go to sleep.
But that's not what my body wants. Or my mind.
I have found the past few weeks to be challenging and stressful in various vague ways...too much to do and not enough time with less endurance than I'm accustomed to.
So I have felt the need to support my body and mind.
more tired than usual
forgetful and a bit scattered
difficulty quieting my mind
This is how I know I need to not give in and lump-up on the couch.
So, Jason and I found a compromise with our time. On weekends, we veg out in the evening, and on work nights, we do 30-60 minutes of yoga followed by meditation before bed.
And that has been such a wise, wise choice. After our routines, my body feels so melty and nice, I sleep so easily and deeply, my mind finds its calm, and my body's flexibility and balance is being restored.
It has been well worth the effort and the sacrifice of some couch potato time. The biggest benefit is beyond the calm, the flexibility, and the health--it is the pride I take in having chosen healthy habits that are truly beneficial to me.
Easing back in to these habits, we have found other healthy habits naturally reinstating themselves without any effort! In the next week or two, Jason and I will begin our internal "Spring cleaning," and will share these habits with you as we prepare to do more concentrated detoxifying.
I hope you have been able to reinstate an old healthy habit or two, or to pick up a new one.
If not, now is the time to start! No one is stopping you but yourself.