To Cleanse or Not To Cleanse?

So if you hop on JetsetCastle a good bit, you know that this is a blog about many things… mostly travel and experience-related topics, but all centered around inspiration.

Taken on the beaches of the Whitsunday Islands in Australia

I am inspired by food and health, and to me, those go together with travel… with work… with love…and with all aspects of life.  Our lives are inter-related in every aspect, the sum of many individual parts.  Having fantastic health and strong confidence are both things that allow me to think with big vision, to be spontaneous and to take trips across the world by myself.  So, tonight’s topic isn’t about the pastries I ate while in Lisbon a week ago, although they do deserve a post of their own- it’s about cleansing.

About every 4-6 months, I come to a place where I need to push the ‘reset’ button in my body and mostly, my mind.  While it has been onset before by summer soon approaching

Hooray for summer!

or not being able to slide so comfortably into my favorite jeans, for me it is mostly gauging  the state of my mind.  When I feel like I need sugar daily or I can’t pass the goldfish and trail mix at work and not have a handful– and this continues day after day- it’s time for a mental cleansing.   Yes, I do lose a few pounds and trim up during a cleanse.  But I am not Beyonce getting ready for Dream Girls or Irina Shayk getting ready for my Sports Illustrated cover shoot.  My long-term goal is not to drop a ton of weight fast, as most times that isn’t sustainable.  Of course losing a few pounds is nice (I’ve lost 4 pounds in 2 days), but cleansing starts me on a path of balance again.

When I do start eating whole foods again, it’s easier to pass on the dessert or the white bread basket at my favorite Italian restaurant because if I can go 3 or 5 days with only juices, I can do about anything.  There is a feeling of empowerment in cleansing or any kind of fasting, as it breaks you down a bit and builds you mentally back up.

I do love my sugar! Sometimes when you love something so much, a bit of separation is necessary-

The hard thing is, what program do you choose?  There is so much information out there that conflicts with each other, any many of it comes from reputable sources– your Dr., a nutritionist, a good friend who is self taught.  How do you know what is good?  That Master Cleanse that Beyonce did (water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper) for 14 days is for the birds.  I’ve done it for 10 days before, and seriously- what nutrition is the body getting?  And, being hungry for 10 days is not too fun, I’ll be honest.

After “Master Cleansing” (Master Starving!) in 2007– you can tell I was super skinny, but that kind of weight loss isn’t sustainable…

I started out this cleanse with the Blue Print Cleanse.  You can order this online, and for us

Blue Print Cleanse

New Yorkers who are very much into cleansing, we can buy it at Whole Foods.  I did this for Day 1 and 2, intending to use Blue Print for all 5 days.  I spoke with Brooke Alpert of B-Nutritious in New York City, and she said that she really recommends Organic Avenue because it has much less sugar (natural, non refined sugar, but sugar nonetheless).  She also recommends  not cutting out solids entirely:

“If you’re drinking fruit juice, then you are simply drinking sugar – even if it’s mixed with other veggies. I’m fine with liquids for a day, especially to give your digestive system a rest if it has been feeling a little “funky” after traveling and indulging, but the solids are super important- yes for your metabolism so you’re not in a starvation state but also to be sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients that you need to be functioning efficiently. Our bodies have amazing detoxing systems and only drinking liquids doesn’t allow them to work as well as they should!

Organic Avenue Cleanse

I also happened to have a Dr’s appointment tonight with an internal medicine physician who I very much respect who also doesn’t recommend only doing juice for several days.  If needing a ‘mental’ reset, he recommends a 24-hour fast (water only) followed by a healthy, balanced diet.  He also recommended this book, In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, which I haven’t yet read but looks like it’s right up my alley.

So, tomorrow I am changing it up a bit: I’m starting with a more dense drink from Organic Avenue that is more of a smoothie, having 4 additional juices and substituting 1 of the juices for a raw, vegan Organic Avenue Salad.  This would be more of the LOVE Fast than the LOVE Deep.  I feel great about that- I am resetting my body and my mind, eating raw and I’ll have a bit more energy.

In my everyday life, my goal is to practice the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time, to eat fresh & organic vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats– and then for the other 20% of the time, to give myself the freedom to have frozen yogurt or chips or trail mix.  I think that is a balanced way of living (at least for me) that is doable and sustainable.

Because let’s face it, it’s all about being healthy, but it’s also about enjoying life and seizing each day.  Cheers to your life and your health- Carpe Diem.

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