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Spring Cleaning

May 17, 2011

Just look at how elated this woman is to get cracking on her spring cleaning! You can see her beaming from behind her mop a mile away. Well, I decided to indulge in a little spring cleaning of my own this year. And I’m not talking streak-free windows. I wouldn’t even know how to begin doing that, and no, I don’t want to know.

My body, however, is something I spend a lot of time thinking about…particularly how it is working and how I might encourage it to function even more efficiently. Any time I get an unknown pain or ache in my middle back I immediately finger my liver or kidneys as the culprit for the trouble. Well, ultimately I suppose my habits would be to blame and my poor organs only the unfortunate victims of abuse. Sorry organs, my bad. That said, I figured that perhaps it may be time to give the ‘ol processing plant a holiday; thus I began a cleanse.

When I hear people talk about cleansing I immediately get nervous and start cataloging all of the delicious food that they’re not eating that I still have the privilege of gorging on day in and day out. My reaction is not uncommon. Every time I told someone that I was on a cleanse the reaction varied from curiosity to shock and horror to exuberant rounds of congratulatory words. Cleanses are bad ass, and not to be messed with. AND YOU KNOW THIS, MAAAAN (50 points to whoever catches the reference)

Well, I knew that, man…and I decided that if I wanted to do some sort of fasting cleanse (juice in my case, but you may be familiar with a water cleanse like the “master cleanse”) then I had better come up with a plan. The last time I attempted a juice fast I failed in under 24 hours. After 2 meals of juice or coconut water,  somewhere around 3pm, I got a massive headache and started to get the shakes like a smack addict that lost their dealer. Needless to say, I figured I was dying from my 18 hours of deprivation and resumed eating. With this past experience in mind I decided to alter my strategy. (Although, in retrospect I think that since my last attempt my eating habits have changed significantly and leveled out…I was probably pretty toxic at that point and assume myself much less so now) I figured if I wanted to succeed at the juice fast level that I’d better build preparatory levels in to arrive at juice fasting and git ‘er done.

My plan:

Day 1-10 — Remove all caffeine, refined sugars and dairy

Day 10-17 — The above plus no gluten products

Day 17-22 — RAW

Day 22-25 — Juice

That’s really a 25 day cleanse there, people, and I have to say that it worked quite well for me. So well, in fact, that I was able to extend my juice fast to 5 days. Comfortably. Since I’ve been cleansing for nearly a month, I’ve had many opportunities to discuss this with tons of interested parties and I’ve come to realize that cleansing is HIGHLY individual. A training buddy, Nargus (word.) who eats almost raw out of habit and doesn’t do dairy or refined sugar anyway could not do this cleanse. My friend from work, Vinny, who subsists on a steady diet of burgers, subway and ham and gov’ment cheese sandwiches would probably need to cleanse, gradually, for a year before he’d be able to do a juice fast (if ever). I’m pretty sure that he completely avoids all food that grows from the earth…so, well, maybe juice is an unlikely scenario altogether. Really, you just have to know your body and gradually take all of your nasty little habits out one by one…starting with the dirtiest crap (in my case, refined sugars) first and then eventually ridding yourself of the lesser offenders.

It’s all over for me now. Today I introduced solid foods back into my life. I was pretty excited about that because I love food, but I have to say, I sort of miss being “on a cleanse” already. I had a sense of purpose and achievement for a full month because I was so disciplined in working towards a goal. I also realized that what the body needs pretty much has zero to do with what you want. When I was juicing three fresh juices were really enough for me to feel good all day. It put some things into perspective for me. Just because I am eating healthy does not mean I need to over eat to compensate. Seriously, I do this all the time. I figure that because I’m having a salad, I should eat like I’m never going to see food again. Wrong. Not feeling “full” actually feels really good to me, and now that I’m eating solid food again, I am missing the feeling of a non-hungry, yet empty, belly. Don’t get your panties in a twist, I’m not going rexy on you or anything. I do think that I will try to not eat refined sugars ever, and also eliminate a lot of gluten based foods. That shit is just plain ‘ol bad. But, remember kiddies, everything is probably ok in moderation…I’ll probably have something with gluten in it occasionally or something with sugar. Who cares.

Tomorrow is day 2 of breaking the fast. Some other blog told me I should eat dried fruits that are soaked and lick a grapefruit or something like that. I think I’ll probably make something up like I made up all this crap you just read…cause, well, I’m creative like that. And, I’m clean. Ohhh yeah.

[Image via: Pattern File]

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