Spring is a great time to do a dietary cleanse.
I’m on day 3 of a 10 day cleanse, and I’m feeling compelled to write about one of my favorite benefits of doing a cleanse that isn’t usually talked about as much as weight loss and detoxification.
There’s been a lot of buzz about fasting & cleansing over the last number of years, and It seems that it's becoming more popular. I've done various types of cleanses from juicing only, to raw foods, to the master cleanse where I'm only taking in the delicious drink of lemon, maple syrup, & cayenne for 10 days. It can have amazing physical effects in detoxifying & cleansing your body. It can help to clean out your digestive system, and be a good physical reset. It can be a great jumpstart in losing weight and can have a lot of great health benefits. Although it's maybe not for everyone, I really love to do regular cleanses.
When you hear about cleanses what is most talked about is detoxification and weight loss. Yes, those two things generally happen and they are big reasons why many people choose to cleanse, including myself. However, there is another major reason why I cleanse that I want to focus on today, and that is this:
It resets my relationship with food.
How? Let me tell you.
Here’s what I think is the biggest piece. It resets how I respond to my cravings. It gets me back in the habit of making me think about what I am eating, how much I am eating, and why I am eating it.
Doing a cleanse makes you hyper aware of what you are putting into your body and why. As healthy as I usually eat, I still struggle with mindless eating sometimes, emotional eating, or just wanting a distraction from what I’m doing. We can easily get into the habit of eating for a lot of other reasons than nourishment. It resets that for me. Doing a cleanse retrains my brain to question what I am putting in my body and why.
It retrains me to ask myself in the moment: Do I really want this? Do I need this? am I really hungry right now? Is this an appropriate portion size? How will I feel after I eat this?
After the cleanse I’m in the habit again of checking in with myself about my cravings and asking what my body really wants rather than just caving right away and putting food in my mouth.
Because I am kicking out all sugars during the cleanse, except some fruit sugars, it resets my relationship with sugar. I loose the sweet cravings. We know how addictive sugar can be. While my sugar consumption is fairly low compared to the average american, it is admittedly one of my biggest weaknesses. Sugar can be a slippery slope. The more we eat, the more we crave it. Kicking it out of my diet entirely for a period of time releases me from the cravings for it, and resets my relationship with sugar when I feel it becoming unbalanced.
Cleansing also resets what kind of foods I crave. If I am drinking a lot of green juice, my body tends to crave greens & fresh food more. I come out of my cleanse craving big salads over pizza. Just as you tend to crave more junk food the more you eat, you end up craving fresh healthy food the more you eat of that too.
I’ve done multiple different types of cleanses, and whether I am limiting my food intake, or doing juices and liquids only, it always provides me with this benefit of resetting my relationship with food, and it’s a really good thing for me. I do eat a very healthy diet, but I’m just as guilty as many in falling off the wagon with good habits every now & then, and cleansing for me is a great way to get back on track and continue to build a healthy relationship with food, among all of the other amazing cleansing benefits.
It's a great way to celebrate spring after a winter of eating heartier foods, and ease into the summer full of an abundance of fresh foods!
Wishing You Wellness!
PS- By the way, I am trying a new cleanse this time with some nutritional products that caught my eye because of their amazing ingredients. If I end up loving them, I’ll be sure to let you know. So far, on day 3 I'm feeling really really good and I’m very impressed!