So, here I am, day 2 of a cleanse. I haven’t done one in ages, and over the last couple of months, I could feel it. Back when I used to sell supplements for a living, I would do the great cleanse kit my company made. It was easy, lasted only 7 days, and was effective. But this time around, I am going to try and last longer than that, and just go at cleansing from the food angle. And yes, although I do eat very well, every once in a while everyone’s body can use a bit of a reprieve (read: my 1/day coffee, cheese, glass of wine (or 3) with friends on weekends, etc.).
Recently, I watched a fabulous documentary called “Hungry for Change” and if you haven’t seen it, I would most certainly recommend it. It highlights just how important it is to understand what is in your food, confirming what I’m always preaching when I facilitate: read those food labels and ingredient lists!!! If you are unsure of how to read food labels, click on this link for an interactive tool:
Anyway, there was one discussion which really stood out to me in the movie – the focus on sugar and its drug-like effects. When sugar is consumed, it causes the release of beta-endorphins in the brain, which are our natural opiates. Instantly we feel good and very quickly associate sugar with being blissed-out. And food manufactures caught on to this decades ago, secretly (or not so secretly), hiding sugar in foods to keep you coming back for more. The best way to define sugar’s effects was Dr. Christiane Northrop’s statement:
If you walk the aisles in the average grocery store, and you look at the amount of sugar in a child’s breakfast cereal, you might as well be rolling up the kid’s sleeve and putting in heroine. Because it’s the same.
So. Wow. That’s as clear as clear can be… The whole movie was that transparent but not so heavily laden with science that you need a degree to understand it. And there were many more nuggets of wisdom to run with (if you want to know exactly why MSG and aspartame are so horrendous, watch this movie). It also confirmed it is very important to cleanse regularly, thus bringing me back to the original point of this blog…
Two days after watching the movie, when I had Dr. Oz chirping away in the background while working, I heard a familiar voice coming from my TV. Dr. Alejandro Junger, also one of the experts from Hungry for Change, was on, speaking about his cleanse program (www.cleanprogram.com). Now, as per usual on Dr. Oz, there was a large focus on the potential to lose weight following this program, but aside from that, the information was amazing. It outlined the foods you should and shouldn’t eat to give your body systems a break, and even provided some pretty tasty recipes to boot (I needed those more than anything ;)).
So, although I am not following the detox exactly (I don’t feel the need to shell out $425), I am following the food guide, and so far, it isn’t that bad! It might also because I have been feeling the need to do a cleanse (read: Christmas, last summer’s patio fun, the chocolate Easter bunny my Mom still likes to give her children), so I’m not going into this kicking and screaming (which is always the best way to determine if you’re ready for change, in my humble opinion).
I would like to do this as long as possible, so we’ll see how things go. I know that the body can put up a number of protests during a cleanse (headaches, mad cravings for all things bad, audible rumbling in the lower tummy…), so I have everything crossed it goes well enough that I can last. Maybe I will write an update further along into the cleanse, and at the end to give my overall take on the program. That being said, if you are interested in doing something like this, it is always best to first speak to a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (and I know some goodies if you need a recommendation) or a Naturopathic Doctor to make sure this is right for you!