This is the fifth successful time I’ve completed the Master Cleanse. For me this time around I needed to hit the re-set button after months of indulgent eating, drinking wine for dinner, truck stop food, and habits verging on early onset diabetes. Sometimes that is what happens when you are in love and nightly meals include socializing and drinking and saying “yes” to all things, and then having a second helping. (I think they call this “happy weight,” which is great. For a while.) I was eating what my main man was eating, and that is just too much. And I was feeling it. Not just with the weight I gained, but the emotional low of making poor decisions and the general sluggishness of my erratic blood sugar. I love the Master Cleanse for the mental clarity it gives me. It is so nice to take a break from food. I suffer from food guilt, eat when I’m bored, and have a tendency to overeat in social settings. Sound familiar? The Cleanse helps to re-focus my good food intentions. Over the 21 days, I lost over ten pounds, but the reason for the Cleanse is not to “diet” but rather I enjoy the experience as a personal, spiritual exercise. I love reading about the original reasons for the Cleanse and using the guidelines as a wonderful tool to help direct my own behaviors. It is nice to have a little reminder every once in a while about health and diet. Read more about the Master Cleanse.
There are also lots of blogs and information online–these are great inspirations during the Cleanse when you get hunger pangs, anxious, or bored. The last section of the file has a ton of information about using clove oil to help you quit smoking, the myriad of uses for Apple Cider Vinegar, food recipes, and skin-care suggestions. I’ve referred to this many times when I’m not even on the Cleanse.
Coming out of the Cleanse is really important, just as important as the Cleanse, really. So this week is Vegan Week. I’m also avoiding wheat/gluten. I may introduce it later at some point but for the next month or more I’m leaving it out. Next week I’ll be avoiding carbs and eating more protein (Meat Week!) I find alternating these two kinds of “food groups” allows me to have the best of both worlds. I suffer from food guilt and I find that this freedom is the best remedy to ease feelings of guilt and the vicious cycle of food that I often find myself encountering. Some foods that are special occasion “treats”: pizza, nachos and burgers. I’m thinking Christmas dinner will be a burger with bacon and a (gluten-free) bun. These are foods that I can have maybe once a month or so, not once a week like before. I love these plates of simple American decadence so I won’t leave them out completely.
Other great habits I’m establishing this week include a dose of probiotics, plenty of pickles and fermented foods: sauerkraut & kombucha at almost every meal. I also started drinking chia seeds in water again. I soak about a teaspoon in filtered water overnight and drink it first thing in the morning. I’ll refill it and drink it during the day. A great way to get extra fiber and protein.
I am finding that Udo’s Choice Super 8 Hi-Potency Probiotic to be one of the best probiotics I have encountered. I am really pleased with the results. My gut is happy & efficient. I take one after breakfast and lunch and dinner. I’ll be taking these forever. It’s good to note that to maintain the life of probiotics once ingested, take after meals when stomach acid is low and won’t destroy the essential cultures.
Keep them refrigerated.
Also, try these super simple Sweet and Spicy Pickles to spice up salads, sandwiches, pizzas. Whatever. Pickles are great supporters of healthy digestion, helping to break down fats, and stimulating salivary and stomach acids to break down food more efficiently. I was craving pickles during my Cleanse, so I am happy to finally indulge in the sour foods again.
One large onion (you choose: red, sweet, yellow, white). Halve and slice thin
2 cups vinegar (I use Apple Cider Vinegar, but red wine is also suggested)
2/3 cup sugar
2 jalapenos or other pepper/chile of your choice. Stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin rings
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt)
Place onion in heat-resistant bowl. Dissolve sugar in vinegar with peppers & salt over medium heat. Pour over onions and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, drain some liquid and put onions in large jar.
Add cabbage, ginger, carrots & cauliflower if you would like. I eat pickles and/or sauerkraut at almost every meal.