Typically we publish a workout-centered post on Saturdays – you know the drill. But today I was given the freedom to talk on something else. I’ve chosen something relevant to me right now in my “journey to health,” which is a cleanse I’m currently enduring.
Before you roll your eyes, lock up your kids and call me a fanatic, hear me out. Prior to this cleanse I was entirely adverse to anything with the word ‘cleanse’ in it, and have always viewed anything with the label an unsafe fad or trick to help you fit into your skinny jeans or “finally break the bondage of that grilled cheese addiction.”
This cleanse, however, is different. It’s been more of a learning process than a diet, and it’s allowed me to change the way I view food and how it nourishes me. It’s also helped me realize how I’d unknowingly grown so unaware of how food and the body work together to achieve optimum health.
Run by pals and nutrition coaches Jo Schaalman and Jules Peláez, the Conscious Cleanse is all about healing your body with food, in part by giving your digestive system a break from the heavy foods it’s used to. While the cleanse does require some purging of things from your diet – like gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine – it offers so much more than it takes away.
As I’m writing this I’m on day five and feeling great; not at all deprived like I expected. I’m noticing change in the small places: My head is clearer, my intense junk food cravings have vanished, I require less food than I did before, I have more energy. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like not to be bloated. I’ve even been waking up 10 minutes before my alarm goes off each morning. It’s like my body knows it’s had enough rest and it’s letting me know.
Another perk? I think I’ve lost a few pounds (though I don’t weigh myself), which isn’t even the point but a welcomed bonus.
In short, the Conscious Cleanse has allowed me to feel connected with my body and food again in a healthy way, and help me put away much of the obsessive “I must have chocolate right now or I’m going to explode” type of behavior. I feel I’m taming my body – it no longer controls me.
So what happens when it all ends ends next Sunday and my cleanse comes to a close? Part of me wants to continue eating this way because I know I’ll feel good. Another part says it would be unrealistic, that I’d be chasing after a “high” I’m not meant to hold onto.
Whatever comes after Sunday, I’m grateful for the experience and cannot recommend it enough for anyone out there who is feeling a little less than themselves lately, who forgot that food is meant to nourish and repair, not stuff and bring guilt and misery, or who want to lose a few pounds or feel good for once.
While I wasn’t expecting it going in, the Conscious Cleanse has made a believer out of me. Moving forward I’ll try my best to remember food is medicine, it is meant to be savored and enjoyed, and that listening to my body is more important than anything a health or diet book can ever teach me. I’d say that perspective alone is a pretty good parting gift for a skeptic like me.
Though I was given the chance to try the cleanse for free via a blogging opportunity, I was not paid or even asked to share my opinions in this article. It is simply an overflow of my renewed perspective on health and life right now.
April 20th, 2013