Cleaning from the inside out.

I’ve got some time tonight before I have to go back to work.  Thought I’d go into a bit more detail about the body cleanse I did last week.

Supportive Husband Guy and I went to the Mother Earth News Fair this past fall.  It was a wonderful weekend of learning, encouragement and enough ideas to keep my busy and in trouble for years.  One of the seminars we sat in on was a Cleanse & Detox 101 by Dr. Jacelyn Chasse N.D.    Now, I know I’m going to miss things that she talked about but I’m just going to mention what I have from my notes.  In combination with the information I gathered from Dr. Chasse it was the perfect timing for me to explore spiritual fasting.  I am a believer and follower of Jesus.  I was feeling pulled toward exploring spiritual fasting for probably more than a year.  Always having trouble with blood sugar maintenance I’d been resistant.  A friend directed me to a fast that allows one to eat.  I know it sounds contradictory.  It’s called the Daniel Fast.   Being a new year and feeling lots of positive potential for this trip around the sun it seemed a good time to explore both a cleanse and a fast.

What I actually did.

Because I know my body and I know the grace that is offered by Jesus I modified both the cleanse and the fast to fit my lifestyle and my bodies needs.    The most glaring modification of the cleanse was still having my morning cup of coffee.  That’s a major modification of the fast as well.  Why did I keep the coffee?  I’m likely a coffee addict but I also learned a long time ago that the caffeine was a self-medicating effort on my part to manage my own ADHD.  It’s BAD when I don’t have caffeine in the morning.  I’ll give you a glimpse into that humorous picture another day.  So, I kept my coffee.  The other modifications were mostly to the fast.  Being my first time fasting in anyway, I kept a bit of healthy dairy, and raw sugar.  Both of which were consumed in very small quantities and pertained almost exclusively to my morning cup of coffee.  Oh and the fast is supposed to be 3 weeks.  I did it for one.

Modifactions aside this is what my week cleansing and fasting looked like.

-No meats.  I can’t afford to buy organic meats on a regular basis for the size of our family.  Since meat is up there as the #1 food to consume organic I just dropped it entirely.  I did eat of beans, nuts and legumes.  I didn’t eat eggs this week because while I usually have good free-range “organic” eggs I didn’t have any in the fridge this week so I just went without.

– No alcohol.  I usually have a glass or two of wine or a few beers throughout the week.  Not this past week.

– No sugar.  According to Dr. Chasse, honey or maple syrup would be okay in a small amount.  According to the Daniel Fast no sugar means NO sugar, including honey, nectars, syrup etc.  I only used raw honey in my coffee.  No other sweeteners were used.  This was really beneficial to me.  Prior to Christmas I  had really slipped into a sugar habit.  Last week I broke free.  I feel so much better without it.  Just the thought of having a big slice of cake makes my stomach swirl and churn.

-Attempted to eat as whole and organic as possible.  Now, my budget and the fast that is January in Pennsylvania meant I didn’t do tons of organic produce but I did eat relatively whole and I read the ingredients for anything that I ate pre-made.

-Drink lots of water!  Dr. Chasse suggested drinking half your body weight in ounces of water on a regular basis.  For a cleanse increase by 30%.  “Water” meant any healthy liquid.  I actually drank water and green tea only.  I’m about 150 lbs so for me that means 70 ounces of water daily or roughly 100 ounces during a cleanse.  I thought this was going to be hard.  It wasn’t.  I have a 27 ounce water bottle.  It just meant making sure I drank 3 of them and then with meal times I was at 100 easily.  If you find it difficult to drink enough fluids a cup with a lid and straw makes it so easy.  Just take it with you everywhere!

– Eat 8-10 servings of fruits and / or veggies a day.  This was so easy with eliminating meat.  One green smoothie alone is 4 servings!  Foods to focus on and try to include were lemons, limes, beets ( I have these in the pantry but didn’t get to them), carrots, artichokes.

-Sweat!  I had this one covered.  My work outs had me shooting sweat off my body.

-REST.  This was the most challenging part for me.  I have 3 kids, a husband with odd work hours and a work at home job.  Sleep is important to me but not always easy to get enough of on a daily basis.  Not to mention my youngest child ruined my sleeping habits.  Almost 7 years later and I’m still waking between 3 and 4 like he used to wake me.

There are supplements and vitamins that can encourage a re-start of your bodies systems but I’m not going to get into them today.  I take a blend of supplements, herbs and vitamins regularly that I know work for me.  I even got the doctors seal of approval for what I take and what I need for my body.  I’ll share if there is interest but at least two of them are not suitable for everyone and should be done with the guidance of a medical professional.

This was a fantastic experience for me.  I broke free from some unhealthy food bondage.  I drew closer to my King.  I found out I will be keeping some of these things as daily guides.  What am I keeping you ask.

Almost no sugar.  I just don’t want it right now.  I fear if I allow it back too easily I’ll just slide right on down that hill and have an easily upset stomach again.  I’m also going to keep a very  minimal meat diet.  I really enjoyed the vegetarian and vegan meals.  We had one tonight ant is was so delish!  Lemon in my water is sticking around too.  I had some water yesterday without a slice of lemon and it just does not compare.

So that’s what I’ve been shooting for diet wise.  Again, when I say “diet” I am talking about general nutritional guidelines NOT what you do to lose weight.  Weight loss is not a goal of mine through this process.  If it happens fine but I am shooting for health, not a particular size or weight.

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