Have a great day - eat something healthy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Invitation

This blog isn’t just about cleansing, but that’s where it’s going to start. Because cleansing is quickest way to clean up your diet, eliminate bad eating habits, and take control over your relationship with food. And a new cleanse will begin on April 18th.

I’m not talking about one of those crazy fasts where you drink vinegar and lemon, or some powder mix that you get in a box at Walgreen’s. This is about eating real food. Real real food. But it's also about forgoing certain types of foods. For 21 days we’ll be eliminating gluten, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and all animal products (beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy) from our diets.

So what’s left to eat? You’ll be surprised at the possibilities! I’ll post a shopping list and a host of recipes (all taste-tested and approved by my omnivorous husband) – so you’ll have everything you need to set yourself up for success.

This cleanse is an exercise in mindful eating, which boils down to being aware of what you’re putting into your mouth. That means reading labels and asking questions as you shop and dine outside your home. It might seem inconvenient and confusing at first, but it will give you a connection with your food and bring you into the act of eating.

That connection might bring up a host of other issues that you have around food. Maybe you eat when you’re sad. What kinds of foods do you crave at those times? What can you do to address the sadness instead of washing down your feelings with a bag of Cheetos? Maybe it’s stress that brings you to the trough. Or sugar or caffeine that helps you rise to the occasion. While you’re cleansing you’re going to have to face those issues without your usual crutches. Let them arise and see what happens.

The good thing is that after you go through a bit of withdrawal (getting off caffeine and sugar often causes a temporary lack of energy; cutting out alcohol can have a similar effect because there’s sugar in many types of booze; and gluten and animal products are tough and tasty habits to break) you’ll have more energy, focus, and clarity than you’ve had in years. And that will help you navigate those emotional minefields that lurk around your favorite go-to foods and beverages.

Good things come out of doing this cleanse, whether it’s losing weight, feeling more awake and aware, or dropping some emotional baggage. You’ll dispel myths you carry about yourself (“I’m addicted to chocolate,” or “I can’t fall asleep without a glass of wine,” or “I just can’t lose that baby weight.”). You’ll learn that you’re in control of all the choices you make about what you eat and drink – not the other way around. And you’ll learn, like I did, that it’s much easier to be skinny when you’re not eating all the stuff we’re eliminating… More on that later.

I hope you’ll consider joining us for the next cleanse. If you do, here’s to making the choice to empower yourself one bite, one sip, one day at a time!

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