Tag Archives: Cleanse

Balance: Dealing with that Desire and Aversion Thing

Happy GoatsI’m journeying through the final hours of a 14-day cleanse.    The desire to massage away my daily chocolate cravings and generally reset my body chemistry motivated this attempt.

The last intentional cleanse I undertook was Kris Carr’s 21-day Crazy, Sexy Diet alkalizing regimen, which fundamentally simplified my vegan diet, boosted my self-confidence, and gave me a taste of  what vibrant health can be.

A few years and lots of change have passed since then, and somehow in that gap of time and events, I forgot about the emotional and spiritual re-centering that can accompany physical purification.  It’s an obvious reality, really, and an odd one for me to forget; perhaps a sign of how much I have truly needed to trace what has become an insatiable, distracting chocolate desire to its roots!

The Buddha teaches in his Four Noble Truths (at least as I understand them) that the cause of suffering is craving or thirst, which is expressed in the constant pursuit of external things, ideas, and experiences that appear to bring happiness, contentment and peace.   Frustratingly, the delivered satisfaction and relief are only temporary. This is chocolate’s bittersweetness.

Craving is fed by ignorance of, discomfort with, and distance from who we are.   The Buddha prescribes the Eightfold Path, leading to Enlightenment or Awakening, as the path for healing this dis-ease.

Cleansing, I’ve realized, works along these lines, simultaneously coaxing the body into balance, while providing space for gentle self-observation,  release from extensions and a subsequent re-centering.

What I’ve  found at the center during these two weeks has been me.  And perhaps more importantly me being ok, even happy, with me.   A healing, chocolate-free  enlightenment of sorts.

About the image of the goats, which starts this post:  I snapped their picture while journeying along a winding state highway to a house-warming last Sunday.   They seemed so happy with themselves, balanced on their traffic-watching log ,that I felt inspired to include them.

Food: Loving to Eat Well When the Emotional Munchies Strike

Garden Peas and Chard I Love to Eat.

Breakfast. Lunch.  Dinner. Snacks. Hors d’oeuvres. Tasty, fresh food is a treasure, especially when shared with friends.   Over the years I’ve focused on bringing more vitality, joy, and wholeness into my diet. I prefer eating vegan. Mainly because I feel clearer, lighter and leaner; also because of my concern for animal suffering.

Eating vegan isn’t the best choice for everyone; I get that. What does seem key is stoking the instinct for what truly nutrifies, particularly when contrary, munchie forces are at play.  I suggest as well that experimenting with food excels as an actionable metephor for finding and choosing what fortifies and alternately de-energizes many aspects of ourselves: our creativity, relationships and Heart’s Desires.

This past week I started the 3-week alkalinizing experience outlined in Kris Carr’s book Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat your veggies. Ignite your spark. And live like you mean it. My friend, Carrie Marry, who offers intelligent, heart-full health coaching, turned me onto this resource a few years back.   The book contains a lot more than information on alkalinity, but this is the part I use.

There are two main things I appreciate about Carr’s approach. One: I (you) actually get to eat. No days and days of just drinking lemon water or juices. The focus is on food choice.   On a day to day basis I find my food selections stand pretty solid. But undertaking this 21-day alkalinity shift shows me where I am weak. And this brings me to appreciation number Two:   I value what I call the agonizing liberation. By that I mean those cellularly palpable, difficult, revelatory moments when I’m craving the easy fix . . . the popcorn stress snack at work . . . the emotionally comforting chocolate . . . the quick energy boosting slice of small-batch brick oven baked sourdough dipped in olive oil.  Not that popcorn, chocolate or hearty bread necessarily constitute poor choices. However, the habits and feelings that sometimes push me toward them indicate deeper, entrapping imbalances.

In these cleanse crises, I try to exercise evolutionary strength. I make myself pause. I let my body remember the tastes it truly desires:  Fresh. Centering.  Vitalizing. I recognize the stresses and needs pushing toward the surface and affirm that they are better faced from a healthy foundation. I put down the popcorn, sip my luscious green smoothie, and reach for the quinoa salad.  Yum.