There is so much to love about this time of year: bright blue skies, fresh flowers, gardens, pleasant temperatures, soft grass…
Spring represents rebirth, renewal, a freshness, life, and newness. We all tend to do spring cleaning for our homes this time of year in attempt to match the natural beauty emerging outside. With cleaning in mind, the Godfrey’s are feeling the desire to do an internal clean out… a cleanse.
Don’t cringe just yet. Well, Ok…to be honest, I am cringing as I write this because I am now officially accountable to God only knows how many people! But seriously, it is time. The holidays are pretty much behind us, minus a couple far off birthdays and an anniversary, so it is the perfect time to remove the toxic buildup that has gripped hold us since November!
I never have been a believer in a quick fix, especially when it comes to diet … and now as a mother of an autistic son, this has been permanently engrained into my belief structure!!!
I actually did my first “cleanse” last year in attempt to support my husband who was doing one as a way to support his mom in her attempts to achieve a more pain free existence (just so you know it worked!). I honestly was not happy at all about “being hungry” and “eating subpar food” ---remember, I am a food snob! Looking back, I think that most of my fears were tied to “losing control” and “so many unknowns”.
The cleanse that was chosen (for me) was CLEAN –Remove, Restore, Rejuvenate. I have heard of many different cleanses and was so skeptical, but after reading the book CLEAN www.cleanprogram.com, I totally became a believer in the healthful benefits of giving your body this time to clean out, detoxify, and reset. Of course one of the appealing factors to me about the CLEAN protocol is that you need to do a preliminary clean out of many foods before actually beginning the cleanse. I love this practice because it very quickly highlights individual foods or food families that are actually irritating to your body and mind. It is a quite accurate food sensitivity test requiring no blood work! And what are some of those foods that need to be eliminated right from the start? Glad you asked! GLUTEN! CASEIN! DYES! SOY! PROCESSED FOODS! ALCOHOL! CAFFIENE! ……(there are more)
This was just so affirming, and well, a bit easy for us since we live our life on “AIR” (www.theairdiet.com/store). I love the education given by Dr. Alejandro Junger, M.D. in the beginning sections of his book. Not only is it informative, it is incredibly motivating! After reading his book, I was all-in for taking part in the cleanse.
So who needs a cleanse? EVERYBODY! Seriously, we live in a horribly toxic world and our bodies and minds are screaming at us to make a change. “Complaints such as headaches, bowel, irregularities, allergies, weight problems, depression, anxiety, and pain are largely caused by failing detox systems. Looking older, feeling more tired, and losing the radiant luster of health are also related to this overburdened state.” (Alejandro Junger, M.D., CLEAN, 2009, p.11)
Is this an easy thing to take on? No. Is it worth it? Yes. So this is why we are doing it again! I like this cleanse because it is not a quick fix: it is 21 days (actually longer when you count in the preliminary clean out of food irritants). This is long enough though for these health giving behaviors to become habits. Healthy habits … part of your lifestyle. This is a good thing.
So when do we start?
Well, since I already adhere closely to The Air Diet, and therefore do not need to weed out tons of items from my diet, I have been slowly removing my additional irritants, such as wine (you moms…caregivers know….NO EASY TASK!) and caffeine (tears). I may not be a pleasant person right now (heehee) but there is a better version of me around the corner!
This weekend I am going to be doing some serious menu planning and shopping to make the first week go smoothly. It is a bit challenging to get started, but if you can make it through week one YOU WILL DESIRE TO KEEP GOING! The challenges are of course dealing with change of routine, hunger, and the symptoms of detox…you will not feel good as the nasties escape you! I also find preparing separate meals for my kiddos is hard to do when I am not able to grab a bit here and there! It’s a challenge, but it makes me aware of how much of that I actually do during a day.
Oh yes, my kids will not be doing this. BUT…. They will benefit from our cleanse, directly and indirectly. Let me tell you, THEY NOTICE what I am doing and WANT to be a part. When the sound of the vitamix revs up, they are very aware that something delicious, creamy, and cold is about to emerge from that pitcher, and they want some! They may not know initially that it is Kale, chia, berries, herbs or some other terrifying vegetable, but they eagerly try it. That is awesome!
So sell it! Be excited about it. Let them take part in the tasting and preparations.
Juicing was new to me until I needed to incorporate it as a daily meal for me during the CLEAN detox. My children were fascinated with Rainbow Juice! Beautifully colored juice that came straight from beautiful, raw vegetables. THEY DRANK IT! They enjoyed making it too (may need throw in some ear protection from time to time for sensory issues…the reality may hurt, but got to laugh sometimes! So silly to have ear protection on while juicing!)
Not only will you be teaching them healthy dietary practices, you will be filling their little bodies with amazing nutrients every cell in them craves… even if it is only a little: That is LOVE IN ACTION!
As parents of children on the spectrum, or even of typical kids, we can be easily exhausted by the demands placed on us every day. But our children need us now and in the years to come. Think of this cleanse as a gift to yourself. You deserve to feel healthy, energetic, and hopeful. By giving yourself this reset, you will most likely have more positivity, energy, and patience, to share with your family, and find more pleasure in your daily living.
So join me in this. Start eliminating those irritating foods causing inflammation, disease, and discomfort. The Air Diet – recipes & tips for success in your allergy-free kitchen will provide you with a great framework to begin this cleanse. You will find that because you feel so much better after your cleanse, you will desire to continue your healthy lifestyle for you and your family. The Air Diet cookbook contains many delicious, nutrient packed recipes and encouragement to help you continue that healing, healthy path for you and your family.
If you are interested in some guidance or sharing this 21 day journey, comment below or contact me. I can share recipes & tips, and we all can help support each other during the cleanse.
Best wishes for happiness, health, and hope!
Laura M. Godfrey