So what do you do when you’re in the middle of a Detox and you cannot take it anymore? This post is about one the first cleanses (Crazy Sexy Diet) I did a few years ago. It’s about the hard parts and what enables you to get through when the going gets tough. The 21 day cleanse I did was an amazing experience for me. I enjoyed the healthier, crazier, sexier version of myself so much that I continued on after the initial three weeks. I even stayed on the detox for months and, although I have tweaked my diet here and there, I am still on it for most of the times. It has also been something to fall back upon when I notice that some of my old habits are creeping back in. My Crazy Sexy Detox sparked my hunger for knowledge about food and healthy living. If you need inspiration to move towards a healthier lifestyle or if you have gone back to your old, unhealthy eating habits, a detox can be a great way to start over again or get you back on track. Do you need inspiration to go on a detox or to help you get through your detox? Make sure you keep on reading!
“I am in day 14 of a 21 day detox cleanse, the Crazy Sexy Cleanse and struggling. It’s the end of the middle part. By now it should be getting easier. However, with the finishing line in sight I am really wanting it to finish. Recently my cravings have gone up. Each coffee shop is pulling me in with the promise of a nice, hot cup of delicious strong Italian espresso. I go back home and make myself a green cappuccino instead. At a restaurant this weekend, I found myself going nearly short-sighted as I was peering down the wine list instead of at the menu. In the face of all these temptations I am determined and sticking to my plan for a crazy, sexier, healthier me.
As Kris Carr, author of the Crazy, Sexy Diet states: ‘You are what you eat’. If you eat crap, you will feel like crap. You might have heard this before. However, she adds a whole new dimension by adding: ‘You are what you don’t poop’. In other words, if you haul too much crap inside for too long, it will build up inside of you. You will start to feel like crap more and more as your food is not being eliminated properly. When too much waste stays behind, your diet starts to systematically clog your system, resulting in inflammation, illness and suffering. The standard diet of most people doesn’t promote proper digestion. Our insides get too toxic, too acidic. Our whole body is thrown off balance. Some common signs that your body is off balance and you might have a build up off toxins, are low energy, fatigue, sore muscles and joints, digestive problems, break-outs and irritability.
To get back to that optimal balance, a detox can be very effective. In Carr’s own words, the Crazy Sexy Diet “emphasizes balancing your body’s pH by eating more lush whole foods, low-glycemic fruits, raw veggies, alkalizing green drinks, and super powered green smoothies. By increasing the amount of alkaline foods you eat while decreasing acidic foods (animal products, processed sugars and starches, etc.), you reduce inflammation and boost immunity and overall strength. […] Eating more of the alkaline foods floods our bodies with oxygen. Healthy cells need a slightly alkaline, oxygen rich environment.”
The 21 day cleanse in a nut shell
Say a big Yes to:
- Lots of fresh, alkaline veggies, preferably raw and organic (at least 80% of your diet).
- Fruit (in a small dose as fruits are naturally high in sugar)
- Green juices & smoothies
- Whole (gluten-free) grains like quinoa, wild rice and amaranth
- Nuts and seeds
- Lots of purified water
- Super foods and supplements
- Moderate exercise (35 minutes of yoga, walking, cycling)
- 15 minutes of meditation each morning
Say a firm NO to:
- Eggs, dairy and meat
- Processed foods
- Caffeine (no coffee)
- Refined sugar
- Artificial sweeteners & other chemicals
(For the complete program, check out the book or the Crazy Sexy Diet website.)
Surviving the Middle
There’s a reason why the middle part of any project or process is always harder than the beginning or the ending. Right in the middle of my cleanse, I take a yoga class with Marc Holzman. His class beautifully reminds me of where I am. His class is part of a series of classes of a yoga challenge and he addresses the middle stage of this challenge. Marc’s class theme is “Abhyasa”, which means regular practice over time with devotion. Marc places his theme in the context of the Hindu triad of Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Within the Hindu tradition, Brahma is seen as the God of Creation, of Manifestation. He creates the world. Vishnu is regarded as the God of Maintenance. Vishnu preserves, sustains the world. Shiva is the God of Destruction. As a whole, the triad represents the beginning, the middle and the end of the life cycle.
And this is where my cleanse comes in. Marc relates this cycle to the resolutions we make in our lives and how we can make them stick. We can decide to quit smoking, to lose weight or study more but how can we make those changes last. Starting something new is often easy. You are excited, all pumped up and fiery. The ending is pretty easy too. You can already see the finish line. The middle part, however, is always the hard part. It’s at this stage that you need to draw on your strength and keep your eye on your goal in order to sustain your practice.
Halfway through my cleanse I notice that I am getting impatient. My impatience forces me to take a look inside. What do I draw upon when the going gets tough? The fact that I am getting impatient already answers a big part of my question. I need to cultivate more patience and get back to my devotion, to that initial fire that got me started on this cleanse in the first place. How do I usually survive the middle? What does it take to commit to something for the long-term?
My yoga practice is perhaps the best example of something I have sustained over time but it definitely wasn’t easy in the beginning. So what do I do to sustain my yoga practice? For me, yoga is about engagement, discipline, re-committing every day. It’s re-committing to my intention every day. It’s focusing on the bigger picture, on what yoga means to me at a higher level, to see the big in the small.
Sometimes it comes easy. It requires no effort at all. At other times, I need to actively re-kindle that fire inside and create space for my practice. It’s about actively stepping on my mat, studying, doing my meditation. I need to draw in, go back to my intentions. Sometimes, I just need to get on with it. I need to get my ass away from my computer and onto my yoga mat. And, by doing just that, the fire and devotion kick right back in. At other times, I can also be too fiery, too psyched up about something new in my practice, like a new pose that I want to learn. I can go over board and even start to practice too much. That’s when I need to consciously slow myself down, take a step back and focus on cultivating patience and compassion. My yoga practice moves endlessly through this cycle of beginning, middle and ending. The way I respond to beginnings, middles and endings teaches me so much about myself and helps me to grow and evolve in my practice. I know that at the beginning of something new, I can get over-excited. My enthusiasm, my passion, is a driving force, a strength, but also a weaknesses. It gets me going but it doesn’t serve me if it burns me out.
Marc reminds us in his class that Abhyasa is regular practice with devotion and patience. Without patience, it’s impossible to sustain anything. My 21-day detox cleanse gave me a brilliant opportunity to confront myself with my default behavior, with how I deal with beginnings, middles and endings. At the initial phase of my detox, I got too fiery. I went a little over-board. Instead of slowly weaning myself off of my old eating habits, I went cold turkey. On top that, I started to make the most healthy but foul-tasting green juices. They were so bitter that I could hardly drink them without pinching my nose. I can tell you that they don’t go down well on an empty stomach. Too much fire will kill your devotion, and, in my case, my appetite.
In order to sustain anything, you need to have compassion for yourself too. You need to nurture yourself, feed yourself. In my cleanse, this meant making some adjustments along the way. It became important to me to prepare my food with care, as an act of self-love, creating lovely juices that pleasantly surprised my taste buds. I learnt from my bitter juices that you need to add some sweetness too. If you want to sustain anything, you need to be able to swallow it on a regular basis over time (without your face literally turning green). You also need to have some fun while you’re at it. And when you get to that middle part and feel like quitting, you need to re-kindle that fire inside, stoke it up. So that’s what I did. I added some fire. I re-committed. I added some fun. I became creative in my cooking and juicing. I added some love. Preparing my food and juices with love, to nurture myself and please myself. I added some patience. I allowed myself the time to figure things out, to go wrong and turn my kitchen disasters into learning experiences. By now, I am well over my 21 days and have decided to continue on. Because I like the crazy, healthy, sexier me. I have more energy than ever before. My skin glows. I love the food. I enjoy starting my day with green juice. And I really enjoy making them! So why call it a day?”
Want a summary of my top 10 tips to survive a detox diet? Read more here.