There are 5 food categories that are eliminated from your diet for the 3 week cleanse: animal products (including dairy), sugar, gluten/wheat, caffeine, and alcohol.
You will eat: grains, beans (legumes), nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.
Freston says, "I want to prepare you for the physiological downside that SOME people experience for a few days. Many people experience no physical problems or actual signs of withdrawal, but some do: If you are in the latter category, please remind yourself that this (headaches, anxiety) is a signal of addiction ...these bad physical feelings pass within a few days...
"Giving up gluten will not cause a physical sense of withdrawal, because you are likely to experience an almost instant relief from digestive problems (if you have them). The difficulty you may have, though, is in finding things that don't contain gluten. Breads and other products made with rice, corn, quinoa, potatoes, oats and buckwheat are good bets....just getting out of the bread habit alone will have you feeling leaner and cleaner in no time." It is often the breads we eat that tend to cause weight gain and fatigue.
"Despite what you may have heard, abstention from animal products will not deprive your body of any essential nutrients, and you won't feel tired or weak. There are plenty of proteins and amino acids in plant-based food, without all the unhealthy fat and additives. However, if meat was the mainstay of your diet before, you might feel a little lost and left out. This is good. It shakes things up!"
"While I want to warn you that you may have cravings, I also want to stress that there are many, many people who don't have a hard time at all, and also stress that almost everyone feels lighter and more energetic within a day or two - I hear from people constantly who say they didn't even realize that they could feel so good. Their lethargic way of being had become their constant; with the cleanse, they realized that they could have more energy, need less sleep, and feel lighter and clearer, just by breaking their reliance on foods that are not right for the human body.....you will find your own natural balance. You are giving your body both a good detox and a chance to release itself from the vicious cycle of addictive eating or drinking.....
"Why twenty-one days? Because that's about how long it takes for your tastes and cravings to begin responding to healthier and simpler foods. So what you are left with after completion is a whole new and healthier routine, balanced blood sugar and freedom from old addictions......This cleanse has no strange concoctions to drink, no pills to purchase and it is medically unassailable. Nevertheless, do consult with your doctor before beginning, especially if you have existing conditions."
Reasons to do this cleanse:
* as a detox
* to lose a few pounds
* as an opportunity to reboot to a healthier, more simple eating plan
* to re-discover that you are more powerful than the food
* to nourish your body in a more humane way
* to have more energy
* to align your eating with values of kindness and integrity
* to discover emotional material you may be covering over with food
* to give your body a break from its heavy workload
* to begin to think more deeply about where your food comes from and its journey to your plate
Some of the positive changes you can expect:
* more energy
* clearer skin and eyes
* weight loss
* cessation of certain aches, pains, and digestive ailments
* release from addictive habits
* a profound awareness of your personal power and the effect you have in the world.
Some suggestions to make this more than a just a food experience:
* listen to your inner voice, your fears, etc.as you do this cleanse. What are you learning about yourself?
* pay attention, eat mindfully
* keep a journal about the feelings that arise - if you choose
* be compassionate with yourself and if you slip up, just move back onto the plan
* increase your blood flow and natural endorphins by taking a brisk walk every day
* remind yourself withdrawal symptoms are just proof how addicted your body is to a powerful substance
* drink lots of water and herbal teas to help your body flush away the toxins it will be releasing
* take 15 minutes to meditate or sit quietly enjoying nature
* each night plan what you will be eating tomorrow
Some suggestions for your grocery list for the cleanse:
* Irish steel-cut oats (oats do contain some gluten, but most people can tolerate the minimal amount)
* mixed-grain hot cereals
* rice cakes
* rice crackers
* flax crackers
* gluten-free bread
* sweet potatoes, yams
* grains: brown or wild rice, quinoa, corn, millet, etc.
*seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, sesame
*nut or seed butters
*non-dairy protein powder (soy, pea, hemp or rice-based)
* beans and legumes
* "faux" meats
* artichoke, rice, or quinoa past
* pasta sauce
* vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, eggplant, collard greens, squash, tomatoes, etc.
* mushrooms of all kinds
* salad leaves of all kinds
* frozen fruits for smoothies
* lemons and limes for sparkling-water cocktails
* herbal teas
* non-dairy milk such as rice, almond or soy
* sweeteners: agave nectar, stevia - use sparingly
* extra virgin olive oil
* seasonings: garlic, ginger, tamari
* flours to cook or bake with: bean, pea, soy, potato, buckwheat, arrowroot, rice
* corn chips (no wheat flour)
* soy cheese (rennet-free)
* vegetarian stock for cooking and soups
"When I'm on the cleanse I no longer think about the foods I CAN'T eat. Instead I look forward to my favorite snacks. I get excited thinking about the big salad I will make for lunch. I'll throw everything under the sun in there and then top it with some crumbled veggie burger patties. If I'm hungry between meals, I eat some mixed nuts, tamari almonds, a nutrition bar, or a piece of fruit. I can't wait for dinner, when I get to dig into a luscious fajita with black beans and guacamole with salsa. Or maybe a hearty lentil soup with some flax crackers on the side. And I make sure to have a variety of vegetables or salad a few times a day."
There is so much more to share from the Kathy Freston book, but that is enough for one posting. If you need ideas for how to prepare and cook the ingredients on Freston's list, check out http://www.vegweb.com/ for good recipes.
I am certainly not an expert in how to do this, but since I have initiated a 3 week joint experience, have read the book, have talked to people who have done the cleanse, I will be happy to answer questions you may have by looking up the answers in Freston's book. Ask your question in the comments and I will do my best to provide an answer in the comment section for you. In the meantime, get to the bookstore and purchase her little book - it will be your support during the next 3 weeks! Good luck. Tomorrow I will post a few good and simple recipes you can use on the cleanse. If you have any to share please, please do so!!