This. Changes. Everything. The 3 new Game Changing Habits I learned from going on a 28 day Raw Fruits and Veggies Cleanse
If you read my last post, then you know I’m on a search for more quiet in my life. Inner quiet. Peace. An escape from a mind that feels like it’s in an intense, never ending game of ping pong. It’s a doubles game. With lots of noisy spectators.
And I’m the ball.
What I probably haven’t shared with you up until this point is that over the course of my life, I have suffered from debilitating bloating and stomach pains.
The stomach stuff has been an issue for me on and off since I was a kid. But in the last 6 years, a new ailment has come to call. I have random patches of itchy skin on my body. I’ve been told it’s not eczema or psoriasis. Rather, it’s an extremely dry skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. There is no cure, and it’s usually brought on by stress, and in some cases, food allergies.
I’ve tried every cream, every voo-doo magical elixir, every diet, every thing you could possibly imagine in order to cure this condition, which literally keeps me up at night scratching until I bleed. Nothing has worked yet. Actually. That’s not true. It stopped about six months into my pregnancy, and didn’t return until I was three months postpartum. Apparently my body had other things to tend to during that time, and had no time for a measly patch of dry skin. Hallelujah! I thought I was cured. Turns out, it was just a vacation.
Anyway, the reason I’m telling you this is because three and a half weeks ago, I decided to try something new. I decided to go on a raw fruits and vegetables cleanse. A neighbor friend of mine told me about this guy, The Medical Medium, who apparently is able to hear a voice as clear as day that tells him what’s medically wrong with people. He calls him Spirit. Sounds crazy, I know. And yet aside from him being a New York Times Bestselling author, and being endorsed by a lot of celebrities and MDs (which helps), the thing is, when you’ve tried everything and you’re still suffering, well, you’ll try anything that holds even a glimmer of hope for a cure (and some sanity). Happily what he had to recommend didn’t feel so crazy: fresh fruits and vegetables? Sounds perfectly sane to me.
And besides – is it so crazy that a man has seemingly supernatural powers that allow him to hear a voice that actually helps people get better?
No crazier than the biomechanics of every facet of the human body: how the heart pumps blood and disperses it throughout the body, and somehow, without it, we would die. How the lungs take in and filter air, and breathe out CO2. Without them, we would also die. How the brain – a sponge-bob-square-pants looking slimy thing fires neurons that cause us to think and feel.
It’s nothing short of miraculous, but how did all of that get there to begin with? Scientists have mapped out the human body. They know why it does what it does, how it works, and in many cases, how to fix it when it stops working.
But not one of them knows how any of it got there.
With that line of reasoning, I drank the Medical Medium koolaid, ordered the books, listened to the podcasts, and within days, I was drinking celery juice every morning, and found myself on day one of a 28 day raw fruits and veggies cleanse.
The first week was rough. It was confronting. It was revealing. Like water escaping through cracks in a porcelain jug, exposing them, so too did the cleanse expose my cravings. I anticipated that I would miss my nightly 6 pieces of 85% dark chocolate (boy, do I still miss those). I knew I would be jonesing for my almost nightly dinner of some variation of roasted broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. And I knew I would probably get a little cranky because of the wrench that was thrown into my already pretty clean routine.
But what I wasn’t expecting was the emotional detox. It seems as though as my body was detoxing from the foods that had been clogging up my liver (yes, even good fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut and olive oil can be too taxing on your body in large quantities), but I also seemed to be detoxing on an emotional level. Memories from throughout my childhood would randomly pop into my head. Nothing particularly jarring. Just memories. Enough to transport me back into another place and time, to look within, to question, to show me the fabric of my being.
As my body and mind detoxed, rather than go completely nuts and succumb to the calls of the chocolate and ice cream, I decided to give myself a little support. This was a wave I wanted to ride out for the full 28 days, and I was desperate to do anything to help me to the other end.
I decided to do three things on the regular:
- I would meditate for 5 minutes a day – first thing in the morning or at some point throughout the day.
- I would do a “brain dump” right before I went to bed, writing down all of my worries, concerns, to-dos that didn’t get done, and anything else that might threaten to rob me of my sleep.
- I would do the 4-7-8 breathing technique from Dr. Weil as often as I could remember to throughout the day, and especially when stressed and just after I had turned off the light after my nightly brain dump (see the link for details).
The detox was stirring up that ping pong match that had been going on in my head, making it louder and crazier than ever. In my search for answers for my physical symptoms, it was clear I needed to address my desire for inner peace and quiet too.
A long time friend of mine has always suspected that there was an emotional component to my bloating, and I expected she was probably right, but I never really addressed it.
And here it was, punching me in the gut.
Turning my diet on its head by eating only raw fruits and vegetables has done more than stir up emotions, expose my cravings and reasons behind them, and cause me re-evaluate the way I consume food. Perhaps it’s greatest gift of all is that it has caused me to have to sit with the discomfort that I normally weasel out of by eating something. Anything. Chocolate. Vegetables. A salad. A vegan gluten free, no-refined-sugar muffin that I hand baked myself. Procrastination hits me, and my first stop is the fridge. Stress? Let’s get Mexican tonight! Screw it!
I stress eat everything from roasted broccoli to chocolate cake. But the results are always the same, whether it’s greens I have indulged in, or something sweet. The thing is – it doesn’t matter how healthy the food is that you’re eating. What matters is your reason for eating it. And I have been eating emotionally on and off throughout my life, and more intensely and frequently for just about as long as my skin started itching.
I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
When you eat something your body doesn’t need, you tax your body, and you eliminate the possibility for you to work through something that you probably need to work through.
Well, at least, that has been my experience.
So here I am, 6 days away from the finish, and I’ve not had a lick of bloating since I started. My skin is still itching, so that’s still a problem, but thankfully, I wasn’t expecting a miracle (and actually, since I started taking this nightly multivitamin by Mary Ruth’s organics, it has gone down significantly. I have no idea why, but it’s improving the quality of my sleep too, so I’m hooked.). One out of two ain’t bad.
If you’ve got any health conditions or ailments, or even some emotional issues you know you need to work through, consider doing the three things I mentioned above, and if you dare, consider trying this cleanse. If not for 28 days, maybe for a week. Or two. Or just one day a week. Do what you can. Try it on for size.
You never know what might be on the other side.
* Photo Credit: April Wong @ A Love Creative