Good Sunday morning to you all!
Ah, it feels so good to be writing again! Just be warned, there is a lengthy post ahead!
Two updates: I’ve got a lot of recipes to share with you, AND I have finally completed (the first draft) of my Health Through Indulgence book! I have been working on it for over two years now. I have definitely learned that in order to finish a book (or any big project, for that matter), you need to consistently dedicate time to it regularly. Otherwise you may end up rewriting much of it because ideas tend to change while learning new things. It has been quite the process, but an overall fun experience that I’ll surely be revisiting again, soon!
The book will be filled with beautiful recipes that will suit your entire family, as well as the base information I’ve used to guide my clients along with all of the gems I’ve collected over the years that have changed my life along with countless others. I feel that everyone will benefit tremendously from reading it. I wrote it with my readers and clients in mind, and I hope it really drives the message home that health is all about valuing yourself enough to make certain things a priority, as well as being gentle enough with yourself that you don’t deny yourself or judge yourself for not being perfect. We’re all on an individual journey.
Living healthfully is a way to celebrate yourself each and every day with great food, fun exercise, creativity, and enthusiasm for life.
Recently I had a bit of an epiphany I wanted to share with you all.
It has to do with health, indulgence, and cleansing (shocking, no?).
Prior to pregnancy, I was a pretty “hardcore cleanser” or “advanced cleanser” if you will. What this means is I did a lot of juice fasting, saunas, colonics…all of that fun stuff, in an effort to experience the greatest health I thought possible.
Post pregnancy, I’m a bit different.
Let me explain.
Green juice is still heaven, colonics (I believe) are necessary for most people to be healthy, eating a lot of raw vegetables is perfection, and eating to optimize digestion are all things I would never move away from.
At least not permanently.
During pregnancy and post pregnancy I miscombined many meals and on some days I didn’t even eat mostly raw. I even (gasp!) – skipped my green juice a few days!
I’ve been experimenting much more than usual in an effort to figure out what will result in me feeling best in my skin, post baby. It’s like I have a new body and tastebuds along with a new baby!
And my intuition has NEVER been stronger. My instincts were telling me that a change was needed, and so I followed it.
So what have I left behind from my pre-pregnancy days? The biggest change is that, I’m eating during the day. And I’m eating a LOT. I’m LOVING it, too.
Pre- pregnancy, I would consume one liter of green vegetable juice without any fruit or other form of sugar throughout the day, and then have a dinner that was vegetable based. I would sometimes have fruit, but overall, I avoided all sugars in an effort to starve yeast or cure myself of candida.
Looking back, I think this approach I took was too extreme and felt restrictive after a period of time. I think a lot of my overeating and emotional eating that has been such an issue for me these past few years was due to feeling restricted throughout the day and also that I had a lack of variety in my diet. This isn’t the first time I’ve experienced this sort of diet prison, but I was surprised to find myself there again. It certainly wasn’t my intention. I got into raw foods and juicing in an effort to feel fantastic, not deprived and unwell.
Even though I loved the food I ate, I was very scared to venture outside of the dietary box I had created for myself. A lot of this was also done for the sake of “cleansing”. I felt that I had symptoms that were the result of yeast overgrowth, and I was under the impression that this can take a very long time to cleanse, and that it is something that should always be kept in check. This is an idea that is very emphasized by many leaders in the raw food community.
Now I’m eating fruits, soups, smoothies and salads during the day. I even have breakfast when I’m hungry for it, which is most days. I share my meals with my daughter, and I really love it. It is so much fun to make banana ice creams with her (my absolute favorite dessert, ever!), and give her little bits of what I’m eating. Over eating and emotional eating is happening so rarely because I know that I get to eat more than once every twenty four hours. When I do overeat, it’s just because I am adoring my food and the experience of eating it so much that I just want it continue. I don’t think this is a bad thing. It’s actually quite liberating.
I feel much more relaxed around food, and I don’t have any more weight loss goals or fantasies about getting into my size six pants again. It’ll happen when it happens. I’m not going to put any aspect of my life on hold until I get there. Why I have taken these things so seriously for so long is not something I understand completely. I think it’s great to go after goals, but not if it means sacrificing happiness, pleasure, and balance.
While I do think that following a diet that is focused around vegetables and low on sugar, even fruit sugar, is best for most people, especially people who are new to eating a plant based diet and who have weak digestion, I think that cleanses are meant for the short term. We can use cleanses to take us to a higher level of cellular health during the cleanse, which can lead to improved diet and lifestyle afterwards, but improved diet and lifestyle does not mean less food and more exercise.
Of COURSE each and every person is different, as is their current health situation, so you can only decide for yourself along with a knowledgable professional who knows your health history.
The main thing I wanted to focus on with this post is fear and isolation. Fear and isolation are two things that you should not feel around food. These are also two things that can frequently accompany cleansing, especially if you’re living in a location where you constantly need to prepare your own fresh juices and meals. This can lead to what I call “diet prison”, and it can quickly remove you from the experience of life. Unless you are living in a big city with organic salad bars, fresh juice bars, and great body work specialists (and the cash to support it all), it’s going to be difficult to not get mentally and emotionally wrapped up in all you have to do to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
It’s OK to dine at non organic restaurants and have some wine with friends. It’s also ok to go to the market every day to pick out the perfect fruits and vegetables that you desire. It needs to be FUN, it needs to fuel your SOUL, and it needs to make you feel EXCITED and ALIVE! There’s no room for anything less if true health is what you desire. Remember that while it’s ok and even admirable (in my opinion) to prefer a homemade meal, it’s not necessarily healthy or beneficial to feel scared of eating anything else. We can’t eat perfectly all the time, and we can’t feel perfect all the time either.
Food is a gift from the earth that is our birthright as human beings to enjoy. It’s not meant to be over analyzed, weighed and measured. It’s not meant to create a feeling of guilt or lack.
Modern eating is the opposite of healthy, so some analyzation and nutritional education is absolutely necessary, but after a certain point it can become an obsession that is clearly counterproductive to living a healthy, happy life.
Food is meant to nourish our bodies, and does not need to be eaten just to provide a cleanse. The body cleanses every day. Cleansing is a natural process that a healthy body performs optimally. However, when we eat poorly for years and years and decades and decades, we become congested and toxic on a cellular level. At this point our organs can no longer function optimally. So for many people taking the time to really focus on healing the body and resting the organs is ideal. This is when things like fasting, juicing until dinner for long periods of time, and very frequent saunas, colonics, and enemas, can be helpful and most beneficial.
But we have to be honest with ourselves about when it is making us feel whole, and when it is breaking us and leaving us depleted.
If you have a history of poor body image, disordered eating, excessive dieting, or of being over critical of yourself, it’s important that you realize you may not be in the best space to judge for yourself whether or not you are doing what is best for your body. I know that might sound harsh, but the fact is that those who have deprived themselves in the past for an extended period of time usually are not very good at judging their hunger. They can often let themselves go hungry, and then either over eat to compensate for it later, or just get used to the feeling of hunger, and even become addicted to it. That addiction is very real and very harmful to the body, mind, and spirit. This is how the disordered patterns get started.
I’ve shared my personal experience here because I have talked with a lot of you who feel unsure of what you’re doing with raw foods and cleansing. You don’t really feel your best and you’re not sure you see light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time you can’t imagine going back to eating the way you did before you got into green juice and salads. I feel you. Completely.
It is possible to heal both your body and your relationship with food. It’s totally possible. It’s not always easy, but sometimes it is. And when you’re in a place of ease and you’re at peace with your body and with food, life is brilliant. But we can’t expect to heal anything if we are in a place of fear around food, and of mistrust with our body.
Our bodies are brilliant, beautiful, genius creations. The more I learn, the more in awe I am of it and the more heart broken I feel that I rejected my own for most of my life.
The feeling of freedom that comes with balance between food and your body is not far away. If you can take the time every day to tap into your body, and to be present with how you feel in it, you’ll see that the eating habits that have left you feeling debilitated in the past are not who you really are, they are just coping mechanisms that you learned at a time when they were needed. But now you don’t need them. Now they are just habits to change.
Now you can be free. Just be willing to release your fears around food and also be willing to live your life again.
No more fear, no more isolation. There is simply no room for it where there is true health.
I have a lot more to come on this topic that I talk about with many of you so frequently! Until then, always keep these things in mind:
If you’re struggling, you don’t have to do it alone.
Health, freedom, and joy are a reality for you once you decide that is what you want.
There is no room for fear and isolation when it comes to genuine health and wholeness.
Of course, my views regarding eating patterns are my opinion. One truth that seems to be absolute is that no two people have the same path to healing. Take what resonates with you and helps you and leave the rest.
Much Love to you and thanks for reading this whole post – if you got that far!