Pushing the Reset Button: Taking Time to Cleanse

Posted on 07 February 2011

Over the holidays I did a Three Week Body Cleanse guided by my friend and Health Coach, Holly Gonzalez. I chose a tough time to give up coffee, alcohol, sugar, soy, gluten, nuts, and shellfish, and yet, the timing appealed to me. I wanted to make it through Christmas and New Year’s with a new feeling of energy and clarity. And, before the new year began, I wanted to push the reset button on how I take care of my body and my self. So I did!

I have to admit that while I used to be a pretty good cook, in recent years, I’ve been a more than a little lackadaisical about meal preparations. Living alone, it’s been easy to skimp on grocery shopping, cooking and sit-down, at-home meals. It’s easy, in fact, to get by on almond butter and rice cakes, oatmeal and eggs. But it’s boring. Not very well-rounded. And honestly, not very enlivening.

So the fact that Holly’s cleanse came with a 72 page book and a ton of recipes was key for me. I shopped for portabello mushrooms, quinoa, sunflower seed butter, leeks, shallots, brussel sprouts, and lentils. I bought coconut milk, ahi steaks, and a slew of organic veggies. And in the last weeks of the year, I cooked. For me! It was nurturing to do so. It required that I make myself a priority. And while it’s far easier NOT to do that, it was a good reminder that I can, that I want to, and that I feel good when I do.

The cleanse was a time of detoxing. Four days of headaches, largely prompted by caffeine withdrawals, I’m guessing. One day of feeling really stupid. An afternoon of complete emotional meltdown and anxiety. And then… I started to feel really good. Awake. Alert. After that, I could hear my body better — sense more clearly what IT wanted, not what my mind thought it wanted and not what my rather lazy pattern of self-care had been dictating. My body wanted greens, water, and soup.

During the cleanse I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and there I found time to listen to other parts of me. Beyond the mind-racing, I heard myself on a deeper level and felt that inner stillness of peace and reassurance: I’m alright. I can take care of myself. I felt more grounded and centered. I felt smart and inspired.

I dropped five pounds too. Just happened. And I’m not complaining about that!

When the cleanse ended, I added foods back in slowly. And I paid attention to how I felt as I did so. I’ve had coffee again, and I notice that it doesn’t feel good in my stomach. I’ve had foods with cane sugar again, and they taste too sweet. I keep avoiding gluten, and feel better for it. And, I’m keeping the quinoa as a staple, starting each day with my smoothie of spinach, banana, berries and rice milk, and loving my sun butter. After such a spell of enlivenment and clarity, I’m reluctant to go back to anything less than that.

I’m talking about food, health and the body here. But I’m aware that it’s a broader subject. To cleanse is to purify, to clean, to purge. I purged foods and drinks that don’t support my body’s health. I could also talk about purging old stories, patterns and thoughts. Or purging possessions and clutter that take up more space than feels good. Or purging connections to people and places that are unhealthy and draining. Or purging from the outside influences of TV, news, and social commentary that drag you down. Yep! I’ve done all of those things at different times, with lasting benefits and an evolution of healthier routines. Then, as life goes, I cycle back from a new place and eventually feel the pull to cleanse again.

To cleanse is to wash yourself clean of that which doesn’t serve you. To cleanse is to create space for something new. To cleanse is to let go and then re-emerge.  And, yes, to cleanse can be uncomfortable at first, but then, my friends, cleansing reinvigorates you, and let’s you start again from that good-feeling, clean-feeling place of new.

So, I ask you:  What do you feel like letting go of? What parts of you would like to emerge enlivened and new?


Note:  If you feel like doing the cleanse I did, Holly will happily give you a half hour of her time to talk to you about it first!  Email her at holly@yourwellnesstree.com.  She’s amazing!  You’ll love her!

2 comments to Pushing the Reset Button: Taking Time to Cleanse

  • Hi Jessica,
    I found your blog while looking for SunButter recipes: What a treat to discover your beautiful perspective! ‘Glad SunButter fits your style. Looking forward to following your inspiring posts.

  • Marianne says:

    Inspiring! I love cleansing ~ this sounds like a beautiful and nutritious experience!

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