This is the third year that I've done a spring ayurvedic cleanse, aka panchakarma, but the second time I've done the Colorado Cleanse (a version of the panchakarma). Usually cleansing comes easy to me, until this time...
Since I've been eating a little bit of everything these past few months, and getting lots of joy out of it on many levels, limiting myself to this diet for two weeks was a struggle, to say the least! I felt hungry and deprived of eating yummy fun food!!!:(
During the cleansing process we get in touch with the emotional and psychological aspects of how we relate to food. There is no snacking allowed so as to regulate our blood sugar levels, and we eat the same thing at every meal for an entire week (kitchari) which gives the digestion a break and delivers healing herbs to our bodies!
One of the benefits of this protocol is to take us away from the auto pilot habits of grabbing and going! It creates discomfort within that though, which helps to strip you down to your emotional state of being and how food offers that source of comfort and joy that we are all seeking.
If you're new to eating whole, clean foods, this is a necessary thing to raise awareness and take the first steps of establishing a healthy relationship with food.
But here's the thing, I've gone through so many years of eating clean, whole foods that my diet basically consisted of a cleanse in and of itself! Now that I've incorporated a little bit of everything into my diet, and have felt so much happier and peaceful, I realized that I probably didn't even need to do a cleanse this time around in the first place, because I've found such a good balance! What a miracle!
During my macrobiotic days, I finally came to realize that I was practicing eating a 'healing diet', and I wasn't trying to heal anything anymore, so I could finally let go of it since it was only causing me to go in the opposite extreme of 'cleansing'! Now that my diet has evolved, I'm realizing that the old ways of feeling like 'I should cleanse' are still lingering and that that was really why I chose to do it this time! I honestly don't even feel like I needed to cleanse because I have really started to find that balance! HA! But I guess I did need to to realize this epiphany!;)
Cleansing and dieting could be lumped into the same category because they are both short term concepts that take us from one extreme to the other! (Check out my Dieting Domino Effect Post for more on the matter) I mean, the first thing I did after this cleanse was eat my cravings of Newman's O's cookies, pizza, and amy's organic coconut ice cream! Not to mention that we cheated on our cleanse last week at an event! Cheated! On a Cleanse! The thought of cheating on a cleanse is not even an option! Who do I think I am?! But you know what, there is no 'Cleanse Police', right?! We did the best we could in trying to also live our life, and that's healthy balance I think!
While I do believe that cleansing comes in very handy if you're looking to hit that reset button, or you've gone too far and need to reel it back in, it's really just short term, and the real work exists when you come out of it! How you function in your daily life is the real challenge! How can you find balance in nourishing yourself, having fun and being conscious of how you treat your body?
I feel like I've finally found a balance that works for me, even though I may need to cleanse every so often just because of the modern world we live in with all of it's toxins, but drinking water, getting good sleep, breathing long and deep, taking triphala each night, and practicing yoga are all daily detox-ers anyways though, that I practice regularly!
This cleanse helped me realize how much I love cooking my own food, the importance of staying hydrated (drinking half of your ideal body weight in ounces along with hot water to stimulate the lymphatic system) and how important it is for me to eat an early/light dinner so I can get a good night sleep! I think it's a great tool to fall back on but I am so glad I realized that it's not something I feel like 'I Should' be doing every spring or fall!
I am so grateful that I am in tune with what does and doesn't work for me and what is truly important to my well being! Food is everything, there's no escaping it, it's what we revolve around, and it's amazing how many people do not have a healthy relationship with it! It is an intimate relationship and propels how we are in this world! I hope you too have found a healthy relationship with what's on your plate, and if not, I hope cleansing and eating whole foods will inspire you to develop one!
In good health!