Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Pre-Holiday Conscious Cleanse

I did my first Conscious Cleanse in January, right after the holidays. At the time, it was a very last-minute decision. And it was good that I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, or I may have not done it. The idea of giving up a bunch of food and following rules may have seemed too daunting at the beginning of a new quarter when I was very busy at work. I truly didn’t need more on my plate. Ultimately, I decided to do the cleanse because you are actually eating real food with a huge focus on vegetables.

The January cleanse was the best thing I have done in a long time as it helped me confirm my intolerance to wheat and eggs and truly changed my life. Prior to the cleanse, I was feeling uncomfortable pretty much after every meal. There were also quite a few times I was experiencing pretty strong pain. Why I didn’t investigate what was going on earlier, I truly don’t know.
One thing that made the cleanse very doable was that I got to eat real, unprocessed, easy-to-prepare, delicious food.

Once the cleanse was over and I got to reintroduce foods to determine if I was sensitive to any of them, I actually didn’t want to reintroduce them because I was feeling better than I had in as long as I could remember. But eventually I did go through the food testing phase and found out I didn’t react well to wheat and eggs. Other foods I had eliminated during the cleanse, like dairy, were fine. It was nice to add a little cheese and yogurt back into my diet.

Second Cleanse
When I did my second Conscious Cleanse in June, things were a lot easier than the first time around because I already knew the principles of the cleanse and actually followed most of them. I also didn’t have to give up coffee since I never went back to drinking it after the first cleanse. Giving up coffee had been very tough during the first cleanse. I had been drinking way too much, and I’m glad I got over it as I tend to increase my coffee consumption more and more, especially when things get stressful. It’s best for me to stay away from it, and I’m still amazed how much energy I have without coffee.

While the second cleanse wasn’t as life changing as the first one as I already knew what foods were problematic for me, it was great to clean up my eating some more, and it was wonderful starting the summer feeling my best. I realized that I truly didn’t “need” that piece of chocolate every day around 2 p.m. In addition, I let go of my condiments, something I tend to overdo easily. I also found alternatives to the dairy in my diet and thereby ate more vegetables. I also learned that I could go to parties during the cleanse. I just brought some cleanse-friendly food to share and focused on people instead of food.

During the June cleanse I lost 5 pounds and since have lost another 5 pounds by making little tweaks, based on the Conscious Cleanse, to my diet. While weight loss wasn’t my objective, it’s a nice extra benefit, and I feel truly myself right now.

Hubby also did the June cleanse and ended up really liking it. He didn’t discover any food sensitivities, but he noticed that he feels his best when he eats mainly veggies. He still starts every day with warm lemon water or lemon elixir (water, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper) and a big green smoothie. He even continued this when the kid and I were traveling this summer. It made me feel good that he started the day in a healthy way and that it was so easy for him as he had gotten used to it during the cleanse. In fact, he is looking forward to the next cleanse as he knows that a bit too much chocolate and other treats have snuck back into his diet.

Cleanses Throughout the Year

I think it’s a good idea to clean up your eating once in a while throughout the year. It’s really helpful to take a really good look at what you are putting into your body and to simplify things a bit. I don’t think it’s necessary to always do a formal cleanse, but I do certain things (many of which I learned from doing the Conscious Cleanse) to clean up my eating every few months.

I especially think cleansing before the holidays is an excellent idea. Going into the holidays with reset taste buds and a focus on whole foods and vegetables is just what I need this time of year. But the Conscious Cleanse is about more than just food. During the cleanse, cleansers are encouraged to work on all aspects of their health, from creating more me time to cleaning up their surroundings to feel calmer. The holidays are such a busy time, and I tend to feel overwhelmed. Once I feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to not make the best food choices. This year I’m determined to enjoy the holidays feeling my best.

What makes the Conscious Cleanse so doable for me is that Jo and Jules provide lots of support throughout the process, which I find tremendously helpful and encouraging. There are daily emails, six teleseminars (you can listen to them live and ask questions and they are also recorded), a private Facebook groups with current cleansers, and you are always welcome to send Jo and Jules an email whenever you have a question.  Basically, there are constant reminders and affirmations that you will be successful and that you are not alone. Before I did my first cleanse, I really didn’t think that the support would be a big deal, but it truly made the experience easy and enjoyable.

The next Conscious Cleanse starts on November 2, and registration is now open. There is a $25 early bird discount valid through Friday, October 11, 2013 when you use code EBCC113.

Questions: Do you sometimes “clean up” your eating? If so, what do you do? Have you ever done a formal cleanse? If so, what was your experience? Have you ever thought about doing a cleanse? If so, why, and what are your expectations?

Be well,