One of my goals for 2015 is to complete a 28-Day Cleanse for the first twenty-eight days of January.
Regardless of our approach to healthy eating, in general, I think that most of us will agree on the following:
1. Each meal we eat either contributes to our health or takes away from our health. You don’t have to be a nutritionist or dietician to know that a salad with leafy greens and a homemade low-fat dressing is more nourishing to your body than pizza.
2. Those of us seeking health know what to do. We really do! We may not know exactly how to do it, but we recognize the food that is good for us: vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. Some of us might also include meat, dairy and eggs in that healthy category; I do not.
3. We all recognize that cookies, donuts, cakes, chips, fried food, junk food and fast food—basically, all processed food—is NOT nourishing for our bodies.
I am taking on this 28-Day Cleanse to kick start my way to a healthy new me, in 2015.
I turn 50 this year, so I am paying attention to my health BEFORE it deteriorates into old age.
Which Cleanse is the Best?
There are tons of different types of cleanses out there, and I’m not an expert, but I have learned a lot about how the body is capable of healing itself and becoming healthy when given the right nutrition. I have learned this from reading, from the testimonials of others and from some limited personal experience.
In the past I have done the following types of brief cleanses:
- Fresh juice and smoothie cleanse for 4 days.
- Water fast for 1.5 days, and then later in the year, for 4 days.
- Raw food only (from veggies and fruit) for a couple of weeks-with 80% success
I have never committed to a cleanse that lasts 28 days! But I am doing it. Seems like a long time…but at the same time, it is brief compared to the benefits I expect to achieve.
Speaking of benefits, what is wrong with me that I feel the need to cleanse?
Here is my list of things that bother me:
- I have made many attempts to eat healthy over the years, and one way or another, I have not been consistent. A cleanse will help me to get rid of all the crap in my body that leads me to want chips and other unhealthy food. Out with the bad, and in with the good. My taste buds will adjust to the good food that does not have the addictive fat, salt and sugar. A cleanse will give my body a kick-start to continue to eat healthy.
- I am overweight by about 30-40 lbs. My clothes are too tight. I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. A cleanse will help me to get rid of extra pounds quickly, which will not only make me feel better, it will give me motivation to continue to eat healthy after the cleanse. I expect to lose anywhere between 15 and 30 lbs. I am hoping for a 20 pound loss.
- I am not fit. I feel lazy because it’s easier than getting off my butt to do something. My second goal for 2015 is to move every day. Combined with the cleanse I expect to feel a great increase in my energy levels. I will move toward fitness.
- My hair has thinned out over the years. I still have lots of hair, and I don’t suffer from a great loss, but I notice that over the last few years I have more and more hair being left in the shower. My hair is not as thick as it used to be. I am hoping a healthier me will lead to thicker hair.
- I take thyroid medication every day. In the past I have had my dose reduced after a period of eating only raw plant foods; a cleanse will help me to eat in a healthy manner more consistently. This may lead to my dose being reduced even more. My ideal result, over time, would be to go off the thyroid meds altogether. This would mean that my thyroid had healed. That would be…wow!
- My skin is dry in the winter. Sure, I live in a dry and cold climate when winter shows up, but I believe that my skin will be less dry if my body gets the nutrition I really need. A cleanse won’t likely make that happen on its own, but it will help me to continue to eat healthy and possibly give me the chance to have soft skin, naturally.
- The biggest warning of all, is possibly my joints. In the past, I have never had any issues. I noticed after not eating well over the holidays that my ankle and knee joints are sore. My mother has major joint issues. Yikes! I want to halt the deterioration of my joints in its tracks!
- My skin gets a bit blotchy and has occasional pimples when I do not eat well. I expect my skin will clear up and look healthier.
- I am easily stressed when I am fully into work. I am off for a few more days until I get back teaching. When working, I find it difficult to handle the stresses of life. When I eat poorly I am more irritable and impatient. I expect to feel a greater sense of calm during the cleanse. Such a result will help me see the benefits of sticking with healthy eating.
- I would like to feel happy with who I am as a person. I have felt sluggish and down on myself lately, and I know this has a lot to do with the fact that I am not living the life that I want. I want to be a healthy active person. This cleanse will help me kick-start a healthier lifestyle.
Ok, so now you know why I am doing the cleanse. Next…what are my rules?
How I will Complete my 28-Day Raw Food Cleanse
It’s pretty simple, actually.
I will eat as much of the allowed food as I want. My allowed foods are:
1. All the vegetables I am willing to eat raw. Although I’ve heard of people who do eat potatoes and squash raw, I will have to say goodbye to them for a while. I will rarely use salt on my veggies, but I will allow some on tomatoes and cucumbers.
2. All fruit. However, as much as I love avocados, they are very high in fat. Even though the fat is a good fat, I have enough fat on my body to carry me through whatever hardships I may encounter for the 28 days, so I will have few avocados.
3. Smoothies: made with only raw fruits and vegetables and water. This will include frozen fruit or vegetables. No added juices or plant milks. No added oils or seeds.
4. Fresh juice: all juices that I can make from juicing raw fruits and veggies at home.
5. Herbal teas: Any teas that contain only leaves, and no added processed ingredients.
6. Water: I will aim to drink about 2-3 litres a day. Water helps the body to flush out toxins.
7. Soda water: Low sodium soda water is a nice treat with some lemon juice or with a dash of another fresh juice. Occasionally, I may put a tablespoon of a store-bought pomegranate juice with the soda.
What is Out, and NOT Allowed? No grains, legumes, nuts or seeds. I love these foods but will leave them out until after the cleanse. No alcohol…that means no red wine at the end of a work day. For me, I will avoid any animal-based foods (no meat, dairy or eggs). I gave up coffee in January of 2014, so that won’t be an issue for me, either. Coffee is out.
I am excited and nervous about this cleanse. It is a really big commitment, and a tiny part of me is fearful I will not last the 28 days.
But right now, I am only listening to this voice: “You’ve got this, girl!”
Wishing you a healthy journey,