We had a lovely weekend, saw family and friends, had great food and a few events squeezed in to make it fun. It was also an eye opening weekend for me. Over the past few weeks I have been talking (read that as whining!) to friends about how I'm feeling flat and blah, in need of a tune up. Now this is something I advise others on all the time, but when it comes to myself I avoid the subject, until now.
Whilst enjoying a rest after the kids had gone to bed hubby and I were looking at photos, I don't see these ones regularly as they are at my parents house. After about a minute of "how cute were the kids" he came out with "wow, you've aged.... having kids has aged you!" Usually this sort of comment is followed by a rapid pillow to the head, but this time I stopped to think. It has only been 4 years since the birth of my daughter, surely I haven't aged THAT much?
Recently I have been very focused on work, and with a few upheavals around home, probably not taking the best care of myself. Dark rings around the eyes and continual hormonal breakouts when you are not a teenager, should signal there is something amiss.
The upshot of this weekends' revelations? Time to clean up the diet. I'm not a stickler for a perfect diet all the time, but sometimes you need a tune up. I love the idea of a juice cleanse - but seriously who has the time and energy to spend 3, 4 or even 7 days focusing on only juice? Not me, with kids and a busy life its has to be sustainable.
So the plan for the next 4 weeks:
Week 1-2 Remove: Dairy, refined sugar, wheat, grains, alcohol, soy, corn, artificial sugars, anything fried, and caffeine.
Add in: Lots of water, plenty of vegetables, more green tea, daily green smoothies, raw fermented vegetables, some fruits, probiotics, liver and adrenal supporting herbs.
Weeks 3-4 : start adding back in some dairy in the form of milk kefir, natural yoghurt, sourdough, gluten free grains (quinoa, buckwheat, millet, rice).
Once finished I plan to continue with only having coffee twice a week and see how I feel with the introduction of my other treats. If they really don't work for me, then it might be time to delete them permanently! A diet diary works well for this stage. I know they can be a pain to use, but such an effective tool.
The reasons behind doing a cleanse can vary, mine is to reset my body. To get intune with how I feel eating certain foods and how they effect me. Weightloss isn't my aim as I'm happy (finally!) with my weight. This is more about having a healthy glow and a feeling of vitality that doesn't require caffeine or sugar.
I generally have a good diet so these next few weeks won't involve a drastic change, its tweaking. I also don't have any major health issues. If you have any health conditions, chronic or otherwise I strongly suggest you be guided by your health practitioner before taking out any major food groups. A professional can also help you to focus on other issues that may impact getting a great result.
TOP TIPS FOR DOING A CLEANSE
1. Be mentally prepared, if you aren't ready to do this then you will fold by 10am when the tea and biscuits start calling on the first day.
2. Be organised. Have all the food you need for the week - snacks included, ready to go and know how to cook them. When you are feeling like a treat, crowd it out with something in your plan. I make a green smoothie for breakfast then freeze 2 more portions so I don't have to make them everyday.
3. Tell people you are doing a cleanse so they don't offer you things you shouldn't have. Doing this can also help hold you accountable. This kind of support is essential.
4. Drink lots of filtered water. We never seem to stay hydrated at the best of times, and while the liver, kidneys and digestive system are clearing out you need water to do this.
5. You must poo! I know no one likes to talk about poo, unless you're a naturopath or a gastroenterologist - but if you aren't eliminating at least once a day you are harbouring a lot of waste. Warm water and lemon in the morning, exercise and plenty of vegetables/soluble fibre keep the bowel moving naturally. If this doesn't help please see your health practitioner.
6. Exercise and movement is essential. It helps to shifts toxins through sweating, boosts endorphins in the brain and helps to maintain bowel health. If you are feeling flat and a bit tired don't punish yourself with a difficult spin class. Go for a walk instead. You will only feel flat for a few days, then you should have more energy than before. A few days off a heavy exercise regime won't hurt.
After 4 weeks I aim to feel energised, clear minded with great skin. To gain a better awareness of the foods that are suitable for my body at the moment and to reset my tastebuds.
So, despite being told "you look old!!" I'm taking it as a positive. Making me take the step to positive change. I needed the push.
What would you need to hear to consider doing a cleanse to reset your body, diet and lifestyle?