Well, I’ve done it: I finished my 7-day Purify Cleanse yesterday and I’m happy to report that I’m feeling pretty darn amazing. Well, except for that chocolate cupcake I had last night (hey, give me a break, I threw a dinner party and resisted all the other non-cleanse-worthy foods … plus I had to celebrate being done, right?!).
Ironically, the chocolate cupcake was a great lesson for me. Even though I wanted to eat it (because I have a weird obsession with chocolate, which I have never quite been able to shake), my body didn’t feel so great after eating it. In fact, my heart raced for about 40 minutes afterwards, and then I got super tired and had to go lie down … a classic sugar rush and crash. The chocolate cupcake, in other words, embodied why I enjoy cleansing and need to cleanse, even though it’s hard to go for a week eating only plant-based foods. Cleansing teaches me to feed my body what it actually wants and needs, rather than crap I’m sometimes tempted to feed it (which, in my case, is usually sugar and chocolate).
Now, I’m not saying that you should never splurge. I don’t believe in harsh, restrictive dieting because I don’t think it works over the long-term. I personally eat chocolate several times per week, always in moderation, and always at a time when I can truly sit down and savor the taste. The rest of the time, I try to eat a mostly plant-based diet with some healthy protein thrown in.
The cleanse is not a diet for me. I don’t do it to lose weight, or to look better (though some people say that’s a major benefit of cleansing and do it for those reasons). I personally cleanse because it forces me to take a step back and treat my body with more love and care. A detox helps my body reorient toward the healthy, plant-based foods that it needs. After cleansing, I find that I crave more plant-based foods, partly because my body becomes more adjusted to eating healthier and partly because I’ve learned to listen to my body’s signals better. I actually feel significantly better, energetically and mood-wise, when I eat mostly veggies.
Now that’s not to say a cleanse doesn’t bring some side effects along with it. I find that I’m occasionally irritable, and occasionally tired. My skin sometimes breaks out. On the plus side, my sleep is generally deeper and more satisfying, and I get a very wholesome enjoyment out of spending so much time in the kitchen, working with fresh foods and cooking for myself and my husband. Usually, any negative side effects pass quickly, and I always finish out the 7 days feeling better than ever.
So the chocolate cupcake was more than just a little splurge last night. Though I enjoyed it, I’m actually craving my fruits and veggies today — even though I’m technically not cleansing anymore (by the way, I’ve posted 3 more veggie-licious cleanse recipes this morning for those of you who are interested … check the Recipes section for the yummy details). The cupake was, in essence, a gentle reminder that nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.
Until next time,