Well I did it … I completed my 5-day cleanse at Pure Joy Academy in Arizona! Oh who am I kidding, it wasn’t just a “cleanse,” it was a full-on detox complete with a liver/gallbladder flush!
I’ll admit, at the end of day one I was seriously having my doubts, especially when the intense hunger pangs kicked in. Foolishly, I hadn’t weaned my way to clean like I recommend my clients do when they start my, or any, program.
I nearly caved in and had a salad as soon as I got home that first night. I mean really, how much could it hurt to have a salad, right?
Well, a salad probably wouldn’t have been the end of the world but I’d already spent a thousand buckaroos for those hunger pangs so I decided, “Nattacia, it’s only 5 days of your life, so roll up your sleeves missy and dig in your heals – after all, you won’t starve to death in 5 days.” Although … I could barely hear my words of conviction over the roars of disbelief coming from my belly.
By the close of day 2 though I felt completely with my people … people seeking to improve their health and prevent disease too. I also was loving how much our health facilitators, Elaina Love and Chris Whitcoe, welcomed me as a colleague and valued my input. Now I know how a dog feels when it’s off-leash and running with it’s pack!
Chris said something that really resonated with me: “Sadly some people would rather die earlier than give up the foods they love or are addicted to.”
Unfortunately processed foods (anything that’s been altered from how it appeared naturally) are designed to be addictive, with flavoring/chemicals such as MSG added. Did you know that MSG was originally used to raise the appetite of seniors so they would eat? It’s no wonder it’s not easy for people to give up their cheese, baked bread, burgers and fries or their beer and vino.
So I got to thinking … I bet if you asked most people who are lying on their deathbed, which they would rather have a) more of the pizza, beer, bread, fries and thick factory-farmed steaks they swore they’d never think of giving up, or b) another 10 years of living life filled with energy and vitality, being with loved ones.
I’ve sat at too many loved one’s deathbeds to not know, trust and believe they’d choose to have more time – hands down!
What if every choice we made was preceded by this one question: “Is this choice taking me closer towards living a longer more vibrant, pain-free and disease-free life or is it merely satisfying me momentarily?” How differently would our choices be (and I do mean “our” — I’m right in there with ya on this, because temptation is bound to tap on my shoulder sooner rather than later).
But I’m feeling so great right now that I’m holding onto the saying: “Nothing tastes as great as healthy feels.” And in those moments when you, and I, fall off the wagon there are 3 Spiritual Steps we can take so we’re not completely derailed:
- Imagine fully, in your mind and body, what the sensation of eating that piece of chocolate cake is – while drinking a big glass of water. (Chances are, if you do this step you may not even need to use step 2 — cravings are often more about dehydration than an actual sign of weakness or lack of willpower.)
- Eat it slowly, with absolute awareness, and enjoy every moment of it (as our Mom used to say, “Don’t wolf your food!”) without blame, shame or guilt!
- Forgive yourself — recognize every choice is part of the process. There’s going to be bumps in the road; don’t beat yourself up, whatever you do.
That last one can be the most challenging of the 3, but do your best to get back in the saddle (spoken like a gal who lives in the city that’s home to The Calgary Stampede) and ride that horse in the direction of the health and vitality you desire. Then again …
“Optimal health … it’s not for everyone.” It’s absolutely your choice.