So I am at the end of the second day of my three day fruit cleanse. I was first introduced to a fruit cleanse about a year ago. My former manager, an avid sailing yogi, experienced her first fruit cleanse at yoga bootcamp with Baron Baptiste. When she brought up the idea one day in the office, I decided to join her. I was less concerned or aware of the benefits; I really saw it as a challenge. Little did I know that a year later, I would be practicing my third cleanse.
The rules are simple: eat nothing but fruit for 3 days. For me, that means eating any assortment of oranges, apples, grapes, grapefruits, pears, strawberries, bananas, and the occasional pomelo. This also includes tomatoes and avocados which are the savory savors of the cleanse. :) However, actually going through the cleanse is not as easy or delicious as it sounds. The three main challenges (isn’t it strange how things come in three’s?) are overcoming: 1) our habits; 2) our aversion to limitations; and 3) our propensity for distraction.
our.habits: Like I mentioned in the last post, we have many lifestyle habits, especially concerning food. Breaking our habits is extremely hard and requires a lot of willpower, especially when it is self-induced. This cleanse provides a little bit of structure to test our willpower. We can rationalize the hell out of it but at the end of the day, we never really NEED anything. This is something I try to remind myself, whether I am on a cleanse or not. Tonight, for instance, I was rationalizing that my Teddie’s All Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter would be appropriate for the cleanse because peanuts are legumes, which are technically fruits. But I reminded myself of the reason I was doing this in the first place and settled down to a dinner of avocado, strawberry, and tomato salad with thoughts of peanut butter cookies dancing in my head. It is a long road to breaking those habits, but I see the cleanse as a pit stop to revisit periodically to get me back on track.
our.aversion.to.limitations: When you used to ask your mom for cookies before dinner and she said no, how much more did you want them? We don’t deal well with limitations and never will. This cleanse is all about retraining our minds and allowing ourselves to see that limitations will not ruin us. We don’t need to eat 3-6 different meals each day to survive nor do we need to eat everything but the kitchen sink for every meal. Actually, it is easier on our digestive system to limit the variety of foods that we eat in one sitting. And remember, there is always tomorrow to enjoy those cookies.
our.propensity.for.distraction: Food often serves as a distraction mechanism. Either from itself (at the buffet, how many of us actually taste our bland cubes of jello atop overly spicy chicken wings atop soggy French toast atop greasy lo mein noodles?) or from other issues (at a family reuinion, how many of us stuff our faces instead of partaking in a conversation of how well cousin Johnny is doing in med school?). Going on this cleanse gives us a bit of breathing room allowing us to focus on other aspects of our lives. Focusing on other things will be easier because frankly, by the afternoon of your first day, eating fruits will be so monotonous that you will only eat when you are hungry. Lessening the distractions of our days helps us not only to take a step back and be more aware of ourselves, but also start to observe what is going on around us- details that we’ve previously overlooked.
A fruit cleanse is a vehicle that brings out and makes us aware of our attachment to food. It seems simple enough but this cleanse that appears to only limit us physically challenges us very much psychologically. Giving ourselves the opportunity to check back in with our body is crucial to our mind.body connection.
Until next time, be strong and be aware.