How I Fell in Love with My Cleanse

I can’t remember exactly when I finished my 21-day cleanse. I felt so good I didn’t want to stop. So I didn’t. Oh, I’m adding some foods I had omitted but not all. The first couple of days were tricky. It’s hard for me to get up real early. I hang out doing delicious movements to keep my psoas and core loose and moving (cause I can assure you they would have been welded together by now if I didn’t.) By the time I come down for breakfast it’s late. So I had to learn to navigate the clock:  they recommend 2 – 3 shakes a day; I had 1.5 shakes twice a day. Worked for me.

Getting the shake down was an interesting process. I remember one morning looking at sewage sludge. It tasted like tart sludge. I guess when you mix dark-colored blackberries, raspberries and blueberries with deep green powder, off-white rice protein powder and purified water, you’re not going to make light and lovely celestial shades.

It began to look better when I added either a small organic banana or small apple to fewer frozen berries. The color and taste improved immensely:  less dark, more sweet (berries can be quite tart.)

My next logistic hassle was what foods to actually eat. There was a limited list of veggies, chosen for their high nutrient content, as well as organic brown rice and lentils. I needed to have at least twice as many veggies as fruits per day, which wasn’t a problem, I only had fruit with the shakes. Raw veggies were advised over cooked, but cooking was okay if only for a very short time.

When I got tired of grumbling to myself I figured it out. We (hubbs and I) made great salads with all kinds of greens and accoutrements. I shredded raw beets, cabbage, zucchini and carrots into the salads. Microplaned garlic or chopped in fresh onion. Raw mushrooms and finely sliced celery were added to radishes, jicama, cukes, tomatoes, parsley, chives, cooked asparagus (and sometimes a few raw tips) and, of course, mixed salad greens, spinach and avocado. After some days I began adding a little brown rice to it. Of course, a little organic olive oil (the chaste kind, you know, extra virgin) with a little fresh lime or lemon juice squeezed on top and tossed with a couple of shakes of Real brand salt (it is real salt, not baked at 3,000 degrees, not bleached, without sugar, dextrose or any number of chemicals often found in box salts. Celtic Grey is another terrific salt.)

What a thrill! I’ve never been on a cleanse that allowed olive oil, citrus, tomatoes or salt. Yippee! This was a luxury cleanse! I added plain, baked sweet potato twice (I know, you’re thinking I’m a real daredevil. Guess I just can’t help it!)

Mustn’t forget the cleanse supplements. I used the Standard Process formulations – actually, this is their cleanse except for the shake. I had to substitute because their shake is whey-based and I’m dairy intolerant. Most shakes either have a whey base, or there is some amount of sugar in them (often in the fruit flavor that’s added,) and some have synthetic nutrients, a thing I can’t abide.

One of the really wonderful things about a cleanse is getting a clear baseline again. In other words, as I go through the year I gradually add a little too much olive oil to dishes, and get very heavy-handed on the spices. And doesn’t winter just bring on a need for lots of good, homemade bread? And cupcakes? And . . . and . . . and. But no matter what, even if I ate a perfectly perfect diet all year round, the brain habituates: it stops noticing what we do habitually. I start to lose my ability to discern what I need and don’t need; I start to lose balance and am drawn to foods that are wrong for me.

When I feel clean inside, I’m back to neutral, zero, my intestines and colon are not mucked up. My liver and gall bladder have had their workloads reduced. I feel lighter and able to discern what I need vs. what I want out of whim, desire to be entertained, or an emotion (emotions created the comfort food industry.) I am in a much better position not only to choose healthy foods, but to feel and appreciate their affects.

Detoxification:  It is said that toxins adhere to fat and cleansing helps to break up and release those toxins. The intestinal lining gets a rest and the intestines and colon get rejuvenated. It is also said that personal growth work (working on editing our behavioral and/or emotional patterns) is aided by this process.

Bottom line:  I feel great, my energy and mood are upbeat, and my energy is more even than it normally is (I’m a peaks and valleys person, as opposed to some close family members who have even energy from morning to night.)

An Aging Gracefully Bonus:  My early-boomer joints function more smoothly and energetically without swelling.

So I’m going to continue my shakes and lots of salads while I add other cooked veggies, lentil dishes and occasional poultry – till my body says it needs a change.

Question for You:  What do you do to clean out toxins and help your body feel rejuvenated?

Thanks for dropping by. Do share your comments.  Next time:  Part III:  the conclusion of my interview with Dr. Ananda Kramer on Digestive Harmony and the Ancestral Diet.

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