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In today’s post I share 5 lessons I learnt doing my recent 7-Day Health and Vitality Cleanse.
As you may know I have just fulfilled one of my 2012 Health Wishes and completed a 7-Day Health and Vitality Cleanse.
Part of my post divorce –looking-after-self-starting-over- again goal was to do a detox and cleanse myself from the inside out. As a yogi I know the value of using yoga breathing exercises and certain yoga poses to naturally cleanse and strengthen the body and mind; plus the various teachings and energy based training courses I have been on over the past through years, all emphasis the value of eating healthy.
I Wasn’t Happy With the Way I Was Eating
However, with one thing and the other, my personal relationship with eating well had slipped and I didn’t like the way I was eating and using foods. On a spiritual level I know food is there to nourish our body so we can serve and follow our path; yet I was getting lazy, snacking and not making time to eat well. So, for me, going on a detox or doing a cleanse was on my To-Do List and would help kick- start my desire to cultivate a more loving and nurturing relationship with myself.
There are lots of great health retreats out there, and as much as I am welcoming abundance into my life, My Bucket List Dream Retreat Place Jaisiyaram Ashram in India is currently out of reach; so whilst that’s manifesting I was glad to join Kate, of Green Organics, 7-Day Health and Vitality Cleanse at home.
10 Days On, What Have I Learnt?
Here, in no particular order are five of the lessons I learnt during the Cleanse.
Eating Well Lesson #1 Keep It Real
For me to sustain and build upon the good habits started on the alkalising cleanse I know I have to keep it real. I know I have to make sure I eat regular meals, make time to prepare food, sit down and eat my meals and not rush up as soon as I’ve finished eating to jump to the next task on my To-Do List. In fact, one of the changes I am making is to do away with a formal goal-setting/To-Do List and to learn to tune more into my inner guidance about what, when and where I need to be and do. Keeping it Real means accepting the fact that there will be days when I eat foods which I know aren’t necessarily healthy or good for me-yet the longer I go without eating, for example wheat or diary based foods the easier it is becoming for me to say No and seek suitable alternatives.
Eating Well Lesson #2 Self Love V Self Discipline
Whilst on the cleanse, a friend said “wow you’re so disciplined”. Her words stayed with me as I don’t regard myself as being particularly “disciplined”. I have personal ethics and values which I try to live by but I wouldn’t say I was ‘disciplined’. We spoke about this and at the end of the day; the path I’m on is one of Self-Love. I want to live long and be well. I enjoy the choices available to me when I feel energised, alive and alert. The foods I eat affect my moods and hormone levels. I have a choice. I can either eat foods which I know serve me and help me feel alive and energised or eat foods which I also know, from bitter experience leaves me feeling flat, tired and heavy. The choice is mine.
These days I am learning to love myself on a deeper level and that means treating myself well. Feeding and nurturing myself with foods which nourish and support my desire to feel energetic and on top of things is a priority.
Eating Well Lesson #3 Motivation
Motivation is everything. For me to stick with and maintain some of the Eating Well habits I started whilst on the cleanse, particularly eating my last meal before 6.00-7.00pm and having a green smoothie for breakfast or snack, then I need a strong enough “Why?” In this case my Why? is all connected to making the most of my time here on this Earth. I want to be strong, vital and alive for as long as possible. And to do that I know I need to take charge of my own health and do what I can to maximise my energy and vitality levels.
Eating Well Lesson #4 Vision
Coming off the Cleanse I felt very clean, clear and confident. I stand taller; eyes sparkle and I receive very flattering comments about how well I look. I am not vain yet as I approach my 50th birthday, I want to maintain my youthful looks, clear skin and wrinkle-free face as long as I can. I enjoy the sense of freedom I get from being able to bend over pick things up from the floor, run for buses and generally have a pain-free body. Therefore, it is important for me to take what steps I can now to reduce the amount of unhealthy fats and acidic foods I eat so I can age gracefully and contribute as long as I can to society and not be a burden to my children. My mum is 79 and is going strong and I want to have that sense of energy when I am her age.
Eating Well Lesson #5 Listen To My Body
One of the greatest benefits of going on the cleanse is I am listening more to my body and am cultivating a greater awareness of what is going on inside. For example, for two nights in a row, I was tired and struggling to complete a piece of written work. Instead of listening to my body’s need for rest and go to bed, I ignored all signals, made myself a late night snack, carried on working till past mid night and woke up the following morning feeling bloated heavy and tired. If I had listened to my body, I would of switched off earlier, had a leisurely shower, maybe read a bit or listen to some music and woken up feeling refreshed and revived and completed the same piece of work in the morning with renewed vigour and energy. So, in terms of keeping it real and being forgiving of self, I am learning to “manage my time” better and embrace all moments of my life and see each action as a sign post to how I wish to be.
As you can see, I’m still processing some of the emotions and experiences gleamed from the Cleanse. The above five lessons – Keeping it real, self-love, motivation, vision and listening to my own body, aren’t new themes in my life, yet doing the cleanse, the energy and sense of vitality I felt was a wake-up call and timely reminder that it is ultimately up to me, with support and guidance to live in a more peaceful way with my body and the environment. The more in tune and at peace I am, the more responsive I will be as a person.
And, what about you? What, if any is your experience of making a few changes to the way you eat and exploring your relationship with food? What do you think of my five key learning points? I’d love to know your thoughts and reflections. Feel free to share your thoughts below and in doing so, your words will inspire someone else to live a healthier more radiant life.
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Images, with thanks, from flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcisler/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/
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