“The romance of unhealthy foods is powerful, as evidenced by the 65 percent of Americans who struggle daily with being overweight and obese. But it is essential to break the cycle of dependence on saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and excess caffeine and alcohol. Research going back decades has shown us that we can not only be healthier, but actually reverse even severe chronic disease by changing to a plant-based diet: vegan best, but I'll settle for primarily plant-based.”
(Woodson Merrell, M.D., Huffington Post)
When I first went to Dr. Sullivan, a naturopathic doctor in Washington, D.C., I sensed that something was wrong in my body. My stools were infrequent - once or maybe twice a week - and were painful and difficult to pass. I was feeling anxious and rushed all the time. We talked about everything that was going on with me at the time. I was newly married, I was spending 70 hours each month in my volunteer work while working full-time, I was the primary cook of a carnivore, and I was 26. Nearly everything about my life was new and demanding.
She prescribed a detox diet - 100% plant-based, whole foods, preferably organic, certainly all natural, and no processed foods. I went into shock. I had no idea how I was going to do it or, honestly, if I really needed to. I wasn’t sure that I believed in naturopathic medicine and it certainly was different from anything I’d ever known. But, I was desperate to find relief from regular digestive upset that didn’t require traditional drugs and that would allow me to heal naturally.
But, it was 100% effective to uncover that my diet was killing me and clogging up my digestion system, which would only continue to deteriorate as I aged. By the end of the detox diet, I was going to the bathroom after every meal.
Here is one of the primary reasons that we, The Jealous Vegan team, are cleansing in this month: to reset our bodies and our digestion. Food is medicine and its power to heal, correct and slow down the progression of illnesses is staggering and undeniable.
This is our list of reasons to reset:
Rest & repair your body. When the body isn’t using energy to process food - most notoriously, animal products which can be difficult to digest - it can focus on healing and repairing. Healing can take place more intensely all over the body, not just the digestive system.
Break your cravings. Cravings are an indication that something is needed in the body. They are coping mechanisms, such as stress eating, and they are also red flags that nourishment in some form (emotional or physical) is needed. Often, cravings are for foods that are not healthy - potato chips, sweets, pig feet, etc. Detoxing is one way to intercept your body and eliminate the cravings while, most importantly, uncovering the real reason that the craving exists, if you are attentive to the changes in your body and in how you feel after detoxing. Team mate, Lisa, talks about her personal experience with this in our podcast episode, Spring Break For Your Body.
Massive Hydration. Detoxing reduces or eliminates added sugar and salt while adding the benefit of, in the case of juice cleansing, massive hydration to the body. This is good for digestion, clarity in your skin, reduction in cravings, and a flatter tummy due to the absence of bloating.
Natural Nutrition. Detoxing brings in quality, plant-based nutrition, which you already know is good for the body, mind, and emotional health. April talks about feeling calm when she decided to go 100% plant-based. Lisa talks about noticing a reduction in anxiety when she sticks to her plant-based diet.
Lose Weight. You will literally feel lighter and the scale will likely reflect this too. The primary causes are the absence of waste hanging around in your digestive system and increased hydration. So, the weight loss will be temporary but cleansing feels really good - you can feel and see a difference. However, once you return to your “normal” diet - and this might be a good opportunity to decide not to return to your normal diet if it’s animal-based - the weight will likely return.
Opportunity For Unobstructed Listening To Your Body’s Wisdom. As you are cleansing and just after, what are you noticing? What are you craving? Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? And if/when you decide to return to your regular diet, what do you notice? Does dairy disturb your stomach? Do you feel hydrated or are you parched? Is your mind foggy? How does your elimination cycle change? These are all powerful messages from your body’s wisdom about what is good for you and what isn’t. Are you willing to listen to it and decide right now to do something differently?
We encourage you to join the dialogue and tell us how your cleanse was and what you learned. Follow @TheJealousVegan on Instagram or join our Private Facebook group. You can announce to your friends and family that you’re joining the challenge and committed to doing some spring cleaning. As a result, You’ll have us and a strong community of well-wishers supporting and encouraging you along the way.
Wishing you peace, love, and good health!
Learn to listen to your body and change your health forever.
For Community Discussion:
What’s the difference between “vegan” and “plant-based”?
Why should you care? Join The Jealous Vegan Private FB group and let’s discuss how to get present to your own needs and live your best life!
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