Being one who naturally seeks organization and cleanliness in my surroundings, I recently became fascinated with the concept of cleansing the inside of my body. nutraMetrix offers a seven day digestive, liver and colon maintenance kit-all I needed to do was add lots of water. With spring just around the corner, it was the perfect time to rid my body of accumulated toxins. The cleanse kit arrived on a Tuesday and there seemed no better time than the present to kick off this new adventure. Wednesday- took my morning supplements, the fiber powder and the release tablets with a giant glass of water. I don't usually drink a lot of water, first thing in the morning and almost had to excuse myself from yoga class, but made it through. Found myself thinking about what I would treat myself with for lunch and what to fix for dinner...driving by HyVee, did I bring my list? Do I always think about food this much? Guess I didn't realize how often my mind obsesses about the next meal or snack....hmmm...kept myself busy with a deskful of paperwork and chores during the afternoon hours. 5pm...my body is not sending strong signals of hunger, but my mind has all kinds of ideas about what to eat. I find it interesting that the body has such minimal needs, while the mind nags endlessly. Made it through the evening class, and found time to sip a hot mug of water before bedtime. Thursday- up early for class and then off to the day job. Feeling pretty good considering it's been about 36 hours since I have eaten. Lunch time was a challenge, watching others eat... as the afternoon wore on, my muscles starting losing strength and my thoughts began to blur. Kept an apple in the car- after climbing in at 5:30pm held a brief converstion between body and mind just prior to eating the apple. Honestly, never enjoyed an apple that much in my entire life! Each juicy bite bursting with crispy sweetness. I contemplated what I had learned about myself and how to continue with the cleanse during the commute. Upon arriving home, still feeling weak, consumed a banana and a handful of dates. Made the decision to continue with fruits and vegetables for the duration of the cleanse. Friday- banana around 11 and an apple at 3:30. Not even a twinge of physical hunger....hmmm. The mind is having a greater challenge with this cleanse than body. Body feels light and energetic; mind wants a taco pizza with sour cream. Noticed some digestive growling, most likely due to the high fiber drink each morning....excuse me! Sauteed vegetables for dinner, very satisfying. Saturday- hit the ground running and paused for an apple late morning and the banana early afternoon. With warmer temps we decided to grill for dinner. My plate was filled with nature's color- yellow squash, green zucchini, red onion, and mushrooms...crowned with a couple juicy strawberries for dessert. Eating less has been a mental struggle; breaking habits that took years to form will not be broken overnight. On the flip side, my body feels light and energetic. Pushing away from the dining table has proven to be a very thought provoking experience, will I to return to pre cleanse eating patterns? or choose a new path? Sunday- have a breakfast group that generally hits HyVee for hash brown, cakes, eggs, etc after church. I actually enjoyed a glass of water and passed on breakfast and ate one kiwi around noon. Steamed asparagus with shallot pepper and fresh lemon midafternoon. The evening meal landed at 9pm, but was SO worth waiting for! My favorite spring salad. Homemade poppy seed dressing (substituted agave for the refined sugar) with romaine, blueberries, strawberries, fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges and warm toasted whole pecans. Can you be uncomfortably full after salad? Now clearly noticing the difference between body urges and conscious mind nagging. I do get hungry, but is it really for food? new appreciation for fruits and vegetables emerging. Quite powerful to move them from sides to the main dish; each plate this week has been filled with vibrant color, direct from nature. No thawing, minimal cooking and almost zero leftovers. The advantages of a simple diet are becoming clear... I stepped on the scale today. Losing weight was not a consideration prior to cleanse, just a welcome side effect. (Remember, when you deprive yourself of food, the body goes into starvation mode, and actually preserves stored fat- and begins to break down muscle- read, not a good idea!) Monday- supplements in the morning and another wonderful romaine salad for lunch at work. Others were envious of the colorful plate I savored for lunch. The spring like temperatures this week warmed the inside of my car and provided me with baked apple and a warm banana to snack on for the commute from day job to the lounge. Full evening of activities, and arrive home after 9:30pm. Just enough time to catch up on email and prepare for Tuesday. As with any change, there are moments of clarity and times of confusion along the path. Overall, this was an incredible learning experience. Physical emptiness is a sensation that many of us have long forgotten. The biggest benefit of the cleanse for me, was learning how little my physical body really needs to sustain the body systems. I became aware of how demanding my mind becomes at times. The increased awareness acquired during the cleansing process, helped me notice that some of the foods I commonly enjoyed pre cleanse, left my body feeling swollen and/or uncomfortable post cleanse. At this moment I am strongly considering NOT returning to old eating patterns; my body likes the less is more attitude. Although losing weight was never a goal during the cleanse, it happened, and it felt GOOD. I like the smaller, lighter me... Beth Powell will be conducting a 30 minute overview of the cleanse process at the lounge, April 27 (8-8:30pm, following class). Discussion will center around the various methods of cleansing, the benefits of a cleanse, and how often to cleanse. Workshop is FREE to members and $5 for non members. Share your comments and/or personal experiences with cleansing below!