Guess what’s just a little over a month away? That’s right. The all-American “eatfest” we refer to as Thanksgiving. That means family dinners and parties. It also means the beginning of the holiday season – parties, food, friends, family, celebrations, more food, and expanding waistlines!
I read somewhere that it’s not the food that you eat between November and December that counts as much as the food that you eat between December and November. Ready to make a commitment prior to the holiday season, I recently picked up and started re-reading the book, Quantum Wellness by Kathy Freston.
Kathy begins the book by describing its title. She explains that quantum wellness “is about the tiny little things that we invest our energy in every day and every moment.” She explains that the book is not about deprivation or huge life changes but about “leaning into wellness…taking baby steps toward the changes we want to achieve.”
Kathy talks about her eight pillars of wellness which include: meditation, visualization, fun activities, conscious eating, exercise, self-work, spiritual practice, and service. She assures us that we don’t have to do all of these at the same time, but to be aware of them and the opportunities they have to improve our lives.
And then she talks about her cleanse. When I first read this book a year ago I really liked it, but thought there would be no way I would consider trying this cleanse. Let me tell you a little more about it and you’ll see why I landed on this conclusion. Kathy describes a cleanse as a “short-term fast, during which you give up certain foods (or sometimes all food) for a period of time.” She explains that monks in India have been doing this for years. Intellectual powerhouses like Hippocrates, Paracelsus and Pythagoras all practiced regular fasting. Even one of my favorite health food authors, Joel Fuhrman recommends it. But that doesn’t mean that I had to like the idea of it. Or do it myself.
Why in the world would anyone want to do a cleanse diet? Kathy answers this question by including a list of cleanse diet benefits. A cleanse diet can:
- Maximize our bodies’ ability to health, regenerate, and operate at optimal capacity
- Increase energy
- Enhance immune function
- Improve mental clarity
- Produce Clearer skin, fresher breath, and brighter eyes
- Enhance sense of well-being
- Weight loss.
This list of benefits sounds enticing along with the fact that the Quantum Wellness Cleanse is only 21 days. Kathy describes it as a “short-term vacation for your body, giving it time to rest and detox.” During these 21 days, Kathy suggests that you not consume the following: sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, or animal products.
I’ve got some of these down already. I don’t eat animal products and I’m only a mild consumer of caffeine and alcohol so these should be no problem. But gluten and sugar? That seemed downright unreasonable.
At least I felt that way until recently. That’s when I read about issues related to gluten sensitivity. This condition afflicts millions of people around the world and is considered one of many auto-immune diseases. I read recently in a post by Dr. Mark Hyman about the dangers of gluten. He recommends that the best way to tell if you’re sensitive to gluten is to remove it from your diet for two to four weeks and see how you feel. That was beginning to sound suspiciously like a cleanse diet.
Even Oprah followed Kathy’s Quantum Wellness cleanse for 21 days. And this got me to thinking that maybe I could do a cleanse diet myself. Who knows, maybe giving our bodies a break from these difficult to digest foods can reap benefits other than reducing our waistlines?
I’m planning to give the 21 Day Cleanse a try and see if it sets me on the right track leading up to Thanksgiving. I have nothing to lose (but a few pounds) and a lot to gain (like feeling better).
If you find yourself wondering (like me) what someone on the Quantum Wellness Cleanse Diet could eat, Kathy has written a corresponding book called the Quantum Wellness Cleanse. It’s full of motivational stories, ideas on what to have in your pantry, what hunger really means, and some tasty recipes.