Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So What is this Cleanse, Anyway?
For 21 days cleansers eliminate gluten, alcohol, sugar, caffeine and all animal products (beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs and dairy) from their diets. Jane, one of our regular cleansers, came up with an acronym to help us remember everything we eliminate during the course of the cleanse – GAS CAP (Gluten, Alcohol, Sugar, Caffeine, and Animal Products).
I like to think of this 3-week program as an experiment in mindful eating. In order to eat mindfully you must pay attention to what you’re putting into your mouth. That means reading labels and asking questions while shopping and dining out. And while that might seem inconvenient and confusing at first, it will provide an immediate 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 then? 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 – is it sugar or caffeine that helps you rise to the occasion? When you cleanse you have to face those things without your usual crutches. But that allows you to let the issues arise, face them, and then actually deal with them. And at SkinnyPlus, there's always someone here to listen and to offer help.
The fascinating part of the process is that after going through a bit of withdrawal (getting off caffeine and sugar often causes a lack of energy; depending on your level of usage, 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) cleansers report having more energy, focus, and clarity than they’ve had in years. And that helps them navigate those emotional minefields that lurk around their 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 emotional baggage. In 21 days cleansers dispel myths they carry about themselves (“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.”) And they realize that they're in control of all the choices they make about what they eat and drink – not the other way around.
I hope you'll consider joining us for our next cleanse (beginning Monday, January 3rd). It's the best way I know how to empower yourself one bite, one sip, one day at a time!