Many of you have developed a nervous twitch because you have realized that you have committed to a “cleanse” but you really don’t have any idea what that means…you are already telling yourself that you will just give it a try, see how it goes, no one will ever know if you quit on day two…or hell, by lunchtime on day one. Well, here it is in all of it’s leafy green glory.
This cleanse is basic in theory but please do not underestimate the difficulty of addressing and changing eating habits and patterns which tend to seep out of all of that deep stinky sludge that is piled on layer by layer courtesy of upbringing, breakups, sleep deprivation, etc. If it was easy then we would all eat raw produce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We would never “reward” ourselves with a latte and biscotti or indulge in one extra glass of wine (OK, an extra bottle, whatever). However, most of us are nodding our heads right now and thinking about how we are never going to live without those lattes for 21 days….don’t worry, you will survive. For these reasons, I highly recommend that this cleanse involve more than eating and drinking. It is an opportunity to explore the reasons that you do not treat your body as it deserves to be treated, like the incredible and complicated, intricate and dynamic organism that it is. On a cellular level, our bodies function intuitively as atomic molecules and energy (literally electrons and protons) work to keep you alive. So, for three weeks we are going to make it a little easier for our bodies to do their jobs. We are going to input nutrients and energy that serve the functioning of our bodies and avoid the junk that we have grown to think is normal food through out the last century. NEWS FLASH, processed food, Starbucks, cereal, boxed mashed potatoes and mac and cheese may be common but they are not normal and they are not serving you the way you want to be served. They are creating roadblocks that result in exhaustion, migraines, cancer, heart disease and obesity….yep just your average American medical chart.
So, cancer, the dreaded word that we are all hoping never to hear but many of us probably will, does not like oxygen or an alkaline environment. Heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and most other chronic diseases don’t do well in that environment either, so it seems pretty obvious that we would want to keep our bodies in an oxygenated and alkaline state…what am I getting at you ask? Raw organic vegetables and fruit are your best route to staying alkaline (Don’t over complicate this…we are just talking about pH). Raw food also works to keep oxygen in your blood, along with regular exercise. It is that easy people. 75% of your diet should be alkaline producing foods and you should get your body moving at least 4 days a week for at least 30 min, but everyday is best…even if you just take a 15 minute walk. BREATHE!
Now, stress is a killer, you’ve heard that right? So imagine your total stress as a pie (pumpkin, apple, chocolate cream, whatever). Each slice is a fraction of energy that you have to give. Let’s say that kids, work, housework, emotional baggage, money, etc. all get a slice of your pie. Well, don’t be fooled, you also have slices for caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods that leech nutrients from your tissues and bones, pesticides, unfiltered water, chemical cosmetics, antiperspirants, etc.. If you feel like crap and can’t figure out why, start to take back your slices of pie and start with food, it is a lot easier than getting rid of your kids or letting your house turn into an episode of Hoarders. I find that when I eat correctly and get my ass to the gym, everything else is a lot more manageable and even enjoyable at times.
So, we have established that Jack in the Box and Starbucks are not normal just because they are readily available and convenient but here is something else that is not normal; getting up early, going to bed late, stuffing way too much into our days. We are checking email and text messages on tiny little cell phones, applying mascara and sipping that damned latte, all while driving (We’ve all done it, don’t live in denial). We are crazy overstimulated which is why it is important during this cleanse to bring it down a few notches. Please add 10 minutes of meditation, prayer or just breathing in and out to everyday, it will change your life. This is the one that I have the hardest time with. When I do this I have to get up early to ensure that I am not interrupted by my kids but that means less sleep and I never seem to get enough sleep between homework and studying, bedtime stories, cooking and making sure I don’t miss any of my favorite TV shows…see how many excuses I have…well, shut-up me….and shut-up you….just do it and we will all be happier. You’ve got to find your spirit in order to honor your body and your spirit is afraid of noise so quiet down and let the spirit creep out of the dark corner that it hides in when things get too darn hectic.
Next week we will all be writing down our cleanse plan. Each plan will be different and personal. I will offer up some components and suggestions for the plan later but just know you don’t have to figure all of this out right now….I have more to share with you and by Jan. 3 you will be ready so exhale. Here it is, the nitty gritty of what you will be feeding your face in less than two weeks.
Within the first few days of the cleanse we will get rid of meat, dairy, refined sugar, gluten, alcohol, caffeine, soy, and almost all processed food. “Is there anything left?” you are thinking right now. Why yes…there are a few remaining foods that we can eat, I like to call them the real foods, the rest is a bunch of SHIT and there is no other way to put it. We get to eat all veggies and fruits, many gluten-free grains, gluten-free pastas, nuts, seeds, healthy oils and even some honey and maple syrup in moderation. If you are not vegan now you are surely starting to panic….how do I make a meal out of those ingredients that does not taste like cardboard? It is possible, I promise. Recipes are at http://www.pepperclip.com and I will add more and share tricks along the way.
Midway through the cleanse we will go totally raw for a few days (up to 7 depending on your plan). If you want to juice cleanse during that time you can do that instead. The rest of the time we will be juicing or doing green smoothies for breakfast, mostly raw foods for lunch and whole-food plant-based meals for dinner (much of this will be cooked). Once you have removed the toxins, you will hear your body differently. Even if you do not make permanent changes after this cleanse, you will be armed with the information and experience that will allow you to make changes moving forward. I have been cleansing and evolving my nutritional needs for five years and trust me, you cannot change a life of habits and addictions in 21 days but it is the beginning of a journey for some and just another adventure for those of you that have already begun. Have faith in yourself and let go of expectations.
So by now your are more or less freaked out….or totally stoked and ready to go! Well, a word to the wise…although it is tempting to throw yourself into a holiday binge because you know that you are giving it all up in a week and a half, you will not be doing yourself a favor. (This reminds me of every time that I tried to quit smoking in my 20’s I would smoke a pack of cigarettes to say goodbye, which at the time seemed very logical). Enjoy your holidays but begin to think about the toxins that are going in and the detox that will ensue on January 3rd. If you can start cutting that latte into a half-caf now, you will thank yourself later.
You may not hear from me until after Christmas so have a beautiful holiday (whichever one you celebrate). Relish in family and friends, traditions and tinsel and I will touch base with you around the 26th.
P.S. Send me some comments so I know you are out there and I don’t feel like I am writing to a black hole.
P.P.S. After my husband edited this for me….which I always regret….he brought up a a good point….this is a cleanse….not the rest of your life. Once you have figured out how to eat for your best health, have a glass of wine and kick back with a cookie from time to time…