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Spring Cleanse: Day 2, 3 and 4

Thursday, October 1, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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Morning sunshine!

Welcome to day two of our Spring/Fall cleanse. Today and the coming weekend is about small steps and preparation.

Yesterday you committed to this process. Good for you! You also began to clear some space out of your fridge, your pantry and your day to take better care of yourself. If you share your fridge with others then let them know you are taking a wee break from some things and much as you appreciate their generosity you would appreciate them not offering to share with you this month.

Now you have space, let's fill it with things that will nurture your body and you soul. Firstly, know that we don't need to change our eating this weekend. The changes to what you eat won't start til Monday so you have this weekend to stock up on delicious, healthy options. More on that below. But first, what changes are we making this weekend?

What we will start to be more loving about this weekend is:

  • what we drink; and
  • how we think.

Let's start with the most important part – our thoughts. If you are anything like me, right about now you might be thinking "Why did I do this?" You might be worrying that you won't be able to give up coffee or wine or chocolate. You might be worrying that you will "fail" at this cleanse, like you have "failed" at efforts to clean up your diet/lifestyle before.

Well firstly, you cannot fail at this cleanse. There is no rigid standard against which you will be measured. If you commit to making some changes that better serve your body, mind and spirit you have already done yourself some good.

Secondly, one thing I know to be true is that where we place our attention is where our energy will follow. What we pay attention to thrives. So I invite you to experiment this weekend. Whenever your attention wanders to the things that you have chosen to take a wee break from (wine, coffee, soda) notice what is happening. Notice where your attention is and decide whether that is where you want your energy to also flow. My guess is the answer is, not so much! So let your attention flow, instead, to the goodness of this gift to yourself. Think about what an act of kindness this is, and about the new stores of energy you are likely to begin to find within a short period of taking such good care of yourself.

So – first focus this weekend is on your thoughts and attention. Find out what works for you. Some people like to write up postive and affirming phrases and stick them around the house. Some people like to write out their thoughts in a journal, releasing the entrapping negative thoughts and working your way around to supportive and affirming thoughts. I personally find that just noticing the negative thoughts is often enough to remind me that I don't have to attach myself to them or identify with them.

So, your are directing your attention and energy towards the pleasure of doing yourself the favour of this cleanse and gratitude for your ability to do so. What else?

The second focus this weekend is on drinks. We are taking a break from caffeine, processed sugars, artificial sweeteners and alcohol. So, starting on Saturday morning, take a break from coffee and black tea, from all sodas including diet sodas and from all alcohols. Ideally throughout this cleanse you'll be drinking lots of water and as much herbal tea as you like. If you currently drink quite a lot of caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, colas etc) then you might like to drink green tea. It does contain caffeine, but much less than coffee and at this stage the important thing is to take a break from the coffee so if green tea will get you there then go ahead and drink it.

What about decaf?

There are some brands of decaffeinated coffee that are done with the Swiss Water Method. But the problem with coffee is not only caffeine, it is also a diaretic and it is acidic, so it  destabilises the akaline balance in your body. For this month, take a break. Just for the month I highly recommend taking in no coffee at all. Just try it. I never though I could do this, my boyfriend certainly never thought I could do this. But once I tried it for a month there was no going back. I've now been totally caffeine-free for six months. Give it a try, see how it feels for you.

As far as alcohol goes, the cleanse is alcohol free. But when I first did it I knew that giving up wine would be the biggest challenge for me (after coffee) so I decided that once a week, on a Saturday, I would allow myself a glass or two of the nicest red wine I could afford. I don't think it prevented the cleanse from working for me, and you may identify one thing that you want to retain as a very special once weekly treat. It might be a small bar of dark chocolate or a glass of red wine, but let's agree that it probably wouldn't be both. We are all about giving our body a really delicious break for a month, so let's not sell ourselves short…

So this weekend we are kicking off the cleanse by taking a break from coffee, black tea (NB: most chai is made from black tea, I make my own with red bush tea and it is delicious!), sodas and alcohol.

What about food?

We start that on Monday. Don't worry about it yet. But now is a good time to make sure you have some healthy supplies in the house. This is not a 'hard core' cleanse. We will be eating three meals a day! But we will be taking a break from processed and pre-packaged food. This months is all about whole foods – vegetables, whole grains, pulses, beans, nuts and seeds in particular. So stock up. Some of my pantry staples include:

  • garbanzo beans (and a jar of tahini for making hummus!)
  • black beans
  • lentils
  • brown rice (sacks of it!)
  • wholemeal, rice and quinoa pasta
  • qinoa!
  • oils (olive, coconut and avocado in particular)
  • nuts (almonds, brazil nuts etc) and nut butters, which can be homemade
  • seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame etc)
  • lots of vegetables including: avocado (if it is in season then it is in my vege basket), onion, garlic, chard, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, celery, carrots, beetroot, lots of fresh ginger, cucumber, lettuce, rocket, fresh herbs etc
  • not so much fruit – I love fruit but it is very high in sugar and on this cleanse we'll be aiming to have no more than one or two pieces of fruit a day – preferably lower GI (more on that in a few days)

You might thinks of other things. Like bread… I don't really eat much bread  but if you are a sandwich l,over then you'll want some bread. At the minimum find a wholegrain bread. If possible then experiment with gluten free breads. Most importantly, check the ingredient list. You don't want a bread with lots of sugar in it! If you haven't already done so then now is a great time to experiment with flat breads: pita bread or mountain bread.

It will be up to you whether you want to go completely dairy, wheat/gluten or meat free on this cleanse. I'll be taking a break from wheat/gluten and from meat (which I don't eat anyway, so that's a bit of a cheat!) but I will probably have a little goat cheese and yoghurt because they seem to do me good and I've experimented in the past with cutting them out without any noticeable benefit. If you've never tried gluten or dairy or meat free then now is a good time to try. You might be surprised what a difference it makes.

Okay! That is more than enough information for one day! I won't be back with new 'instructions' until Monday. For the weekend we all have our mission: what we drink and what we think, plus stocking up for next week. Also, keep up the daily silent time. This is such a powerful tool in the cleanse that I really want to encourage you to make time for it. It might be five or ten minutes but it is probably the most valuable five or ten minutes of the cleanse each day. Again, get curious about it. I'm not going to convince you of anything. Just give it a try, every day for the month of October, and see what you think.

Most of all – talk to me! Let me know what you are thinking, feeling and doing. Let me know if any of this doesn't sound like it is going to work for you and I'll work with you to find the right alternative. It is so great having your company this month and I love knowing that we are all going to be feeling so shit hot in a matter of mere days. Woooohooo!

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12 Responses to "Spring Cleanse: Day 2, 3 and 4"

  1. Imohena says:

    Hi sweetie,
    I am a bit worried I will struggle in terms of variety. In Goma I have no brown rice, no qinoa, no wholemeal, rice or qinoa pasta. Very little in the way of green veges (but lots of avocado yay!). no nuts or seeds either.
    I guess I make do with what I can. Any extra suggestions for someone in a warzone would be great.
    x

  2. B says:

    OK! I’m already worried that I’m going to fail giving up coffee! This Saturday? As in tomorrow? I’m going to try and stock on green tea today!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Good Morning!
    Is today my last coffee day? I feel really sleepy, it’s 6am and I want some so bad! Obviously coffee will be tough.
    On the others, I do not drink any alcohol or sweet drinks so easy! But as for the food, I am allergic to legumes soooooo this will be hard to get the protein in…but I have done a massive cleanse before and did just fine, I guess I will do loads of rice! Well.. not too much I guess…. I am excited for this though…
    Wish me luck this weekend!

  4. Lubna says:

    I gave up coffee since I began my sabbatical, ie from mid-Sept. It is doing me good.
    Oh, you must not skip youghurt, yoghurt does a lot of good. I have substituted my coffee for lassi (blended youghurt, with water, make it as thin or thick as you like, with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, or if you want it sweet – with cane sugar).
    Also I am lucky to get coconut water in India, very easily. It really flushes out toxcins from the body. If you can get fresh coconut water, do have a glass every morning on an empty stomach.

  5. Lala says:

    i’m with you!!

  6. Anne-Marie says:

    I’m just drinking my first [AND ONLY] cup of black tea for the day. I don’t do coffee, but boy do I do tea. I can’t give up black tea cold turkey – it will give me massive headaches for days. So, one cup in the morning for now, and may be I will stop altogether in a week or so.
    Just about to head off to work with the following in my bag: a bowl of chickpea stew leftover from dinner last night; banana; kiwifruit; some dates; raw almonds; tamari roasted pumpkin seeds; peanut butter sandwich [on homemade bread]; and a carrot.
    Yip, writing all day makes me hungry 🙂

  7. Marianne says:

    Hi lovelies,
    I’ve been replying to some of you in separate emails but I want to say one
    thing here – this is the cleanse that works for me. If you want to join me,
    come along! Join me on the cleanse that I am doing, adapt it a little to
    suit your body and your circumstances or do your own cleanse – the one you
    know works for you. The main point is that we know that all over the world
    we are doing this alongside each other and we can come here to cheer each
    other on.
    I believe that the cleanse I follow is doable for anyone, anywhere (I know
    I’ve done it in the mountains of Afghanistan in the middle of a massive food
    shortage) but anything I offer here is always only and invitation, never an
    insistence. If you believe that you need a little animal protein to keep
    yourself well then adjust for that. If you can’t eat or can’t find any nuts
    then adjust for that. If you don’t think you will benefit from giving up
    coffee or tea ‘cold-turkey’ then adjust for that, start out by cutting back!
    I’m my case I went cold turkey from being a total coffee fiend to no coffee
    or black tea. I did feel some side effects for a few days, but they were all
    over within a week and I start to feel better than I ever had. So that’s
    what I offer you, as an invitation – never an insistence!
    Also – if you have suggestions for me or for the others share them here. I’m
    not an expert, just someone who has studied a little and practiced different
    forms of cleanses for the past decade. This is what I have learned works for
    me but since we all have different beliefs, and since our beliefs determine
    our biology, this might not be the right fit for everyone. Share here what
    works for you.
    And most of all, have fun. Make those ten minutes of silence a real gift of
    love to yourself. If you like candles light a candle, if you like incense
    burn some incense. If you love the beach and are lucky enough to be close to
    one, then go sit on the beach. Make it a little date with yourself.
    Peace out!
    On Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 7:32 AM, wrote:

  8. Hi lovelies,
    I’ve been replying to some of you in separate emails but I want to say one thing here – this is the cleanse that works for me. I’m sharing it with you with an invitation and never an insistence. If you want to join me, remember it is your choice to follow the cleanse that I’ve found works for me, adapt it a little to suit your body and your circumstances or do your own cleanse – the one you know works for you. The main point is that we know that all over the world we are doing this alongside each other and we can come here to cheer each other on.
    I believe that the cleanse I follow is doable for anyone, anywhere (I know I’ve done it in the mountains of Afghanistan in the middle of a massive food shortage) but anything I offer here is always only and invitation, never an insistence. If you believe that you need a little animal protein to keep yourself well then adjust for that. If you can’t eat or can’t find any nuts then adjust for that. If you don’t think you will benefit from giving up coffee or tea ‘cold-turkey’ then adjust for that, start out by cutting back!
    Also – if you have suggestions for me or for the others share them here. I’m not an expert, just someone who has studied a little and practiced different forms of cleanses for the past decade. This is what I have learned works for me but since we all have different beliefs, and since our beliefs determine our biology, this might not be the right fit for everyone. Share here what works for you.
    And most of all, have fun. Make those ten minutes of silence a real gift of love to yourself. If you like candles light a candle, if you like incense burn some incense. If you love the beach and are lucky enough to be close to one, then go sit on the beach. Make it a little date with yourself.
    Peace out!

  9. pen* says:

    oops. i went on auto pilot,
    and drank my first cuppa coffee before my brain engaged and i remembered about the cleanse today! 🙁
    okay, will just have to make today a day of cutting down…
    and, although i am not trying to make excuses already (or am i?)
    we are going on holiday this week and,
    i’m worried that will lessen my often weak resolve to stick with this…
    oh well, i can but try…
    thanks for the motivation marianne.
    i will give it my best shot! 🙂
    ps. i LOVE the beach, and will actually be close to one next week… can’t wait!

  10. asiyah says:

    I’m pretty excited about this. I’m commuting to another city where I will stay for 4 days of the week and last week was the first week. I bought some processed food b/c it’s easier but realize that it was a bad idea…Veggies next week!
    As a sign of encouragement, my stomach hurt all day yesterday after having a cup of coffee. So green tea for me this morning!

  11. JennyB says:

    I am going to write down as much positive thinking stuff that I can this weekend, that is for sure! I can manage that! Black tea will be hard to give up, but I understand why it must go. Sadness! I love my ice tea. I will make it work!

  12. JennyB says:

    Okay girl, as you know I am a week behind, so I just finished this part. I totally rocked leaving out tea and alcohol for five days! It was hard too cause last night, my co-workers busted out really good wine at work and proceeded to drink it — it was after work hours, but we all just sat around gabbing and drinking — except I didn’t drink a drop! I was so good! Everyone was quite impressed. Oh, and I haven’t actually missed caffeine, which is amazing. Now, granted I have had to go to bed at 10:30 pm every night, but potentially I should have been doing that in the first place! I think my skin is starting to look more glowy and stuff! Swear. Next up, I am going to the grocery store and Farmer’s Market to stock up on all the good food I need to focus on eating the rest of the month!

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