Saturday, May 4, 2013


This morning begins my second-to-last day of my three week cleanse (for details on how I'm cleansing, please read this post). In all honesty, I am feeling great.

Although there have been times of feeling less-than-amazing, this cleanse has not been particularly difficult (except for the first couple of caffeine-free days). Changing my diet to a sweets-free/grain-free/ dairy-free/caffeine-free way of eating has been surprisingly easy. The cravings I thought would come have not [although I have had some impulses to eat the rice I was serving my children]. I haven't even missed my favorite nighttime snack [toast with lots of butter, almond butter, honey and cinnamon. It's been replaced with an apple and a spoonful of almond butter. Also delicious.]

I think the ease of this cleanse has been the result of several factors. First and foremost, I was just really ready for this. I've known since fall that Yasmina would wean over the winter and that I would cleanse this spring [you don't want to cleanse, thus releasing toxins into your breast milk, when you are breastfeeding]. And since the fall, I have been undergoing my own evolution, gaining insights on myself and striving to release ways that no longer serve me. It is a constant dance, this evolution of being, but with this cleanse I have found the physical release of old and unneeded energy. Habits I found impossible to break a month ago have easily slid out of me. I feel rested, renewed, and in touch with the power of my own energy in a way I've never felt before.

One of the best rewirings that has happened during this cleanse is my new priority on resting. During the first week, I would often feel very tired and fuzzy-headed [which are normal signs of toxins leaving the body]. Pre-cleanse, that would have been my sign to brew a cup of yerba mate and push through. Now, instead of fueling myself with caffeine, I lay down for a few minutes or just sit and relax [what a concept!] I am now making it through the day without those feelings of sleepiness and cloudiness. I am listening to my body. In the evenings, when I am tired, I relax for a little bit and go to bed early [previously, evenings were my get-things-done time]. Now I have more energy during the day to accomplish what I need to [and what I'm not able to accomplish, I'm better about letting go until the next day].  I think this is possibly the first time in five years [since having children, that is] that I feel well-rested.

Another vital reason this cleanse has worked for me is that I am cleansing, not fasting. Although I am careful to stop eating when I am comfortably full, I in no way deny myself nourishment. And what I eat is undoubtably deliciously satisfying. I'm eating plenty of protein (nuts, seeds, grass-fed meat, fish, eggs), although I have found I'm naturally eating less meat that before. I still have my beloved butter, plus delicious coconut oil and olive oil to help my veggies taste rich and satisfying (and did you know that the saturated fat in butter and coconut oil is essential for absorbing calcium and the fat-soluble vitamins [vit. A, D, E, K]?) And I have found that I really prefer to eat extra vegetables rather than a grain (rice, bread, etc.) with my meals. Another thing that is probably left out of most cleanses is salt, and rightly so because most salt is refined of minerals and full of additives (aluminum compounds, dextrose, bleaching agents. This information comes from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon). Here we use an unrefined, natural sea salt that is full of minerals and very nourishing. No need to be stingy with it.

In case you are curious what one of my cleansing meals looks like, here is a sample of the possibilities:
  • grilled grass-fed pork chops; spring onions, garlic, little broccoli shoots, baby greens (kale, pac choi, spinach) and fresh oregano sauteed in butter and salt; "rainbow salad": grated carrot, sliced radish and celery, with dressing of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt
  • grass-fed hamburger patty topped with guacamole; sauteed broccoli, spring greens, spring onions, and garlic
  • sauteed onions, garlic, sweet potato, broccoli, and carrots. Towards the end, add a touch of broth and ume plum vinegar. When done, stir in a can of sardines (or other fish) and chopped parsley
  • sardines (or other fish) on a bed of lettuce, watercress, parsley, and cilantro, with pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of salt
  • one or two eggs gently fried in butter with sauteed garlic, mushrooms, and kale, garnished with chopped radishes and sliced avocado
  • add carrots, parsnip, and collard greens to a pot of cooked black eyed peas [with a splash of ume plum vinegar] to make a soup. Add sauteed onions and garlic. Puree part of the soup and mix back into the pot. Garnish with any or all of the following: pickled red cabbage, avocado, chopped parsley, grated carrots
  • cooked red lentils with spinach, garlic and a splash of apple cider vinegar, topped with an egg and avocado (I like this one for breakfast)
  • smoothies: coconut milk, banana, kiwi, frozen peaches, spirulina; or two bananas, kiwi, frozen blueberries and frozen cranberries, spirulina
As you can see, I've been eating deliciously well during this cleanse. Cutting out grains has inspired me to be more creative in the kitchen, and I've discovered many combinations that are becoming staples in our home. I am finding new ways of eating [and living] that serve me much better than my ways of old. This does not mean than in a few days time, when my three weeks are over, I will never eat a piece of bread again. Of course I will. But I've discovered that I don't need my daily toast with breakfast. I've discovered that when I'm needing a little treat, a spoonful of almond butter satisfies me just as much as something sweet. I've [re]discovered ways of nourishing myself truly and deeply. And I am feeling damn good [did I mention those eight hours of sleep??]. 

May our blessings continue on. 


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