By Amanda McQuade Crawford
Do you ever wonder why you don’t feel terrific all the time? Using food or other substances to fill a void? Well, the sad news is that this doesn’t fill you up as much as it may feel like you’re slowly poisoning yourself after awhile. Sounds like it may be time for a cleanse!
Perhaps you don’t feel overstuffed as much as you feel somehow dissatisfied with how your clothes fit lately. Perhaps the mirror tells you that, far from being the fairest in the land, you need a time-out on lemon water today. I feel that people are designed to take advantage of RENEWAL in life. Often a good cleanse or detoxification can be the first step in healing ourselves.
Most mainstream medical thought doesn’t treat healthy people with a sluggish feeling by gentle detoxification. Yet in all traditional cultures, including the grass roots culture thriving in pockets of your area as well as far-off locations, cleansing is practiced because we feel better when we do it. Even our human ancestors switched easily from burning starchy foods for fuel, using insulin as the main hormone, to burning fat during seasons with less available fruit, very little food at all, or mainly meat.
The Benefits of Cleansing
A few of the reasons people enjoy a natural cleanse:
• To help support skin clarity and radiance.
• To promote circulation
• To assist detoxification
• Painlessly helps alleviate occasional constipation.
Other purposes of a seasonal, dietary cleansing program are to:
• Support weight management
• Remove mucus
• Give the digestive system a rest
• Utilize live foods for rebuilding
• Use herbs to tone, balance, optimize
Time to Reduce the Clutter?
I do not believe that this miraculous body is severely filthy or dirty inside. It just gets cluttered, as does my closet sometimes, my house or even my garden when I notice it is time to weed and thin so the plants are their healthiest. During any of these humble housekeeping activities, getting a fresh look and stripping back to what is essential for life gives me energy, just as cleansing or detox brings vitality and relief from a dozen ills to many people.
Have you ever felt, in the still of the night after a big celebration, or in the early morning before a regular day of work, that you are not firing on all cylinders? That you have, to continue with an automotive metaphor, “carbon on the valves” Something a good 120 mile chase across miles of empty desert could burn off? We may not be machines, but even healthy humans need to get a good internal cleansing from time to time.
And you know when, don’t you? We “empty out” in order to regain the vibrant rush of life force we all once had. Cleansing or detox is nothing to be afraid of, and isn’t as hard as racing a sluggish car across sand dunes. Amble easily along with me on a journey of “detoxification” with healing foods and herbs.
Starting the Process
For most people who want to “clean house,” I focus on renewal though simplicity. When we feel sluggish, our body needs – not stimulants – but rest from heavy food. This is the body’s chance to clear out debris from the usual way we eat, whether all-natural or commercially conventional, or a mix of both. Our body is then capable of cleansing itself. And detoxification with cleansing herbs does not need to include harsh laxatives, diuretics or metabolic stimulants.
When we make the effort to detoxify, many of us can first feel worse before feeling better. Empty cells…lousy feeling…and one big piece of cake could make us feel SO much better. This is carb/insulin addiction talking. You CAN break the addiction… without breaking into the bakery late at night.
Just be patient, and don’t throw away the good effort you made the first day or two simply because you have a headache. Typically, this “down time” only lasts one day. Then the rewards start coming. The key is to pace yourself. Ease into it. Ease out of it. Our system of nutritive powdered herbs gently stimulates the body’s built-in methods for cleansing and renewal.
And when we return to “normal” eating after a cleanse, it can be much easier to make healthier choices. Even if you do not overeat, there always seems to be some holiday right ahead, or vacation just behind, or some opportunity to eat more than we need. There are ways to have your cake and eat it, too. I believe balance and contentment with what you eat is part of a meaningful life. Some have so much less; we can be grateful we have abundant choices that are better for us and for the larger human family.