And I’m not talking about the upcoming time change next weekend. I am talking about a little reset to mitigate our unhealthy habits over the last couple of months.
Have you also gotten sucked right into the vortex of skipping breakfast, fast food at your desk for lunch, raiding the candy bowl in the office in the late afternoon, and then ordering out for dinner now that you are back at work, the kids are back in school, deadlines are looming, and we are ramping up to the holiday rollercoaster (food and emotions – oh my?)
And you thought…I just have to get back on track. I know I am eating poorly, am exhausted and now I have trouble sleeping too. Maybe a cleanse will do the trick. What comes to mind when you consider this? Do you conjure up images of protein powders, supplements, juices, detox teas, or cabbage soup?
Have you “googled” detox, cleanse or reset? What popped up? I bet fasting, juicing, and supplements did. Also getting toxins out by avoiding some types of foods and drink, even some references to colon cleanses, enemas and laxatives. It runs the gamut and it can put you off, I know.
I don’t know if these things work. But they are not on my radar as something I would promote for your health and wellbeing. I will share with you “why” in a minute.
However, I do know what works to help you get back on track with eating better, more regularly, and reducing your intake of harmful products. It is a whole food cleanse, which I have been a fan of since I first tried one back in 2016.
The goals of a cleanse at the outset are:
1. Remove sugar, gluten, dairy and processed foods from your diet for five days and observe how you feel.
2. Follow a shopping list, meal schedule and recipes to ensure you are eating a whole foods healthy meal 3 times per day.
3. Prepare food for yourself and your family at home (although there are tips included for eating out, if you can’t avoid it).
4. Engage in self-care practices such as baths, dry brushing, journaling, and light movement during the cleanse (nothing too rigorous).
5. Belong to a community to give you the support you need during the cleanse.
6. Observe bodily changes such as weight loss, clarity of thought, energy renewal and better sleep – all of which can occur during this cleanse.
7. Observe other changes that can occur, such as headache (caffeine withdrawal) or aches and pains (detoxing).
All of these activities really incorporate mindfulness into your relationship with food. Many of us have complicated and conflicting interactions with what, how and when we eat. Some of us, when stressed, reach for the comfort food of choice (sugar, caffeine, gluten, dairy, and processed food). Guilty!
When we make a conscious choice to eat purposefully, even if only for a few days, we decide to care for ourselves.
When we replace our standard American diet (SAD) with nutrient-dense foods, we are choosing to nourish ourselves fully.
When we go to the store with a list, and only buy the items on the list, we are choosing to eat differently, anticipating a different outcome.
When we follow a meal plan, we know what to expect and are prepared for each meal, instead of defaulting to a less than desirable choice, such as chips and dip.
When we prep our meals for ourselves and our families, we are infusing our meals with love and care.
Cleaning, chopping, sauteing, and blending ingredients, in itself can be a meditative practice.
When we treat ourselves to a delicious lavender-infused bath or foot soak, instead of some ice cream or chocolate, we choose a different reward system.