Starting on Monday, I’ve decided to do personal spring cleaning- a cleanse. By cleanse I do not mean a juice cleanse or the cleanses you hear about in the media designed to lose weight. Mine won’t be anything super intense or fancy; just back to basics, something to reset my system for the new season, which will hopefully lead to a clean fresh feeling and allow a good base to sort out digestive issues. I want to get back to simple foods that heal and nourish. My aim is not to lose weight but to lose toxins and stressors!
It also seems like a really good time to get right into my “time for myself” endeavour. I have been doing really well with it and while not always achieving my goal of 30 min, I have been incorporating techniques daily that allow for self-reflection and quiet. A cleanse seems like a perfect time to really push myself to get 30 minutes everyday, especially since I want to achieve all the benefits possible from a cleanse. I also want to go beyond the concept of just connecting with my mind and body and also do cleansing thoughts. When I began incorporating more me time it started as a way for me to tune into how I was feeling mentally and physically. Now I want to work towards creating a more positive mental space. I want to practice techniques that will lead me to more complete self acceptance and happiness. I will definitely go into more detail throughout the process. To help me with this I’m going to use some of Kris Carr’s positive affirmations from her 21-Day Cleanse in her book Crazy Sexy Diet. Hopefully I will be able to achieve some mind-body harmony :)
I thought it would be helpful to outline some basic goals for this cleanse. They are as follows:
- Get rid of my sweet cravings, especially following a meal- I naturally have a sweet tooth and it has grown quite large as of late. By reducing my intake of both processed and natural sugars I hope to reset my taste buds and system so food taste sweeter while using less sugar and to reduce cravings
- Eliminate gluten from my diet
- Increase water consumption to at least 2L/day
- Reduce bloat, especially that which tends to plague me in the evening
- Develop strong “self-love” skills- this doesn’t mean my goal is to completely love myself every second or every day, but rather to improve on my ability to deal with and turn around negative thoughts and practice compassion
- Yoga once/day
- Increase raw food consumption
- Focus on whole unprocessed foods. Goes without saying but thought I’d include it :)
I have some basic guidelines I am going to follow for the cleanse and as long as I do my best to stick with them, I think I should be able to achieve most of those goals. I’ve thought about this for quite some time and I feel I have developed a really solid plan that is both realistic and achievable while still gaining great results!
I’ve decided to go for 4 weeks with a couple different stages. First I’ll eliminate grains, soy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol and added sweeteners for 2 weeks. This does not include psuedograins like quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth or dates and stevia. I decided to remove grains in an attempt to help with some bloatedness I’ve been experiencing. I’m keeping psuedograins in for a couple of reasons- first they have amazing, gluten-free nutritional profiles and because I believe including them will enhance my adherence to the cleanse. I don’t think a complete elimination of psuedograins is realistic for me. I’ve decided to allow dates since they provide sweetness in a pure, unprocessed form and also contain lots of fibre and valuable nutrition. I’ve also elected to include stevia as it is a non-caloric sweetener that has no effect on blood sugar. Both will be used sparingly.
In the third week I will allow back whole, unprocessed gluten-free grains like rice, oats and millet as well as caffeine in the form of tea and chocolate (but NO SUGAR so still no chocolate bars, etc.). I’ll drink caffeine-free teas and herbal teas in the first 2 weeks, but avoid white, green and black until the 3rd. I think the chocolate will be really hard to give up but I’d like to give my system a complete break for a while.
The fourth week I will start to add back in unrefined sweeteners- agave and coconut sugar to start since they have a little effect on blood sugar.
And while I think the cleanse itself will last for 4 weeks, this doesn’t mean that as soon as week 4 is over I’m going to start guzzling coffee and wine and eating loads of chocolate and sweets. I want to try and incorporate principles from the whole course of the cleanse into my normal eating routine. I don’t want to shock my system either!
I will also try to incorporate more raw foods- my goal is 2 raw meals a day and at least 1 raw snack. I will re-evaluate this after the first week since I have never really kept track of how much raw food I eat- I don’t know if I am aiming too high or low! This should only be enhanced by the fact that I have a new Excalibur 2400 4 Tray Dehydrator on route to my house as we speak!!!!
In addition to these eating guidelines I’m also going to experiment with some of these techniques:
- dry skin brushing
- tongue brushing
- lemon water
- 8 hours of sleep/night
- positive affirmations and mantras
While I haven’t tried creating any new recipes that adhere to my principles, I do have a few here on the blog that will work :)
First 2 weeks
- hemp seed fudge bites
- banana and tahini breakfast porridge
- avocado mango salsa
- energizing green smoothie
- maca hemp seed milk
- spiced hazelnut milk
- raw cinnamon rolls (subbing agave with more dates?)
- easy on the tummy bowl
- kale avocado pesto
- sweet cashew cream (with stevia)
- banana bread smoothie
- tropical oatmeal
- banana, walnut and date oat parfait
- chocolate cheery almond granola (with stevia)
Wooo that was a long and wordy post! Thanks for bearing with me! I would love to hear any further tips or ideas you all have! Wish me luck :)