Thanks to our friends at FYSHA, I took part in a special offer: The 14-Day More Energy Cleanse from The Blissful Space*. I like to do a cleanse about once a year or two as a way to decrease my reliance on negative habits that have crept up and increase or reintroduce healthy habits that may have fallen by the wayside.
This year’s cleanse was a guided one with Rebecca Allgauer as my trusty health coach. There are many things I’ve come to expect from a cleanse, and these were all included but what I really enjoyed were some surprising aspects and realisations.
Here are my top 5 Surprising Things I Learned While Doing a Cleanse
1) A holistic cleanse is not all about what not to eat
This one is a doozy for me. I’ve made no secret of my love for coffee and giving it up for 2 weeks isn’t the big deal. What interested me was that I drink coffee as entertainment and I use it, and other foods and drinks that drain my energy, when I’m bored, lonely, tired, or frustrated.
With Rebecca’s encouragement, I journaled and tracked my emotions when eating and not eating. Wow - did that exercise really give me insight into some patterns and reactions that weren’t serving my overall health.
Of course, increasing the amount of healthful, nutrient dense foods I was eating helped immensely, but increasing my awareness of my eating and my emotions, from a place of curiosity and not guilt or judgement (thanks for this perspective, Rebecca!), was my most satisfying and unexpected achievement.
2) This one is not a surprise: I don’t drink nearly enough water
What did make me curious was how often I simply forget to drink water. Even with my cute new water bottle, without being reminded, I likely won’t drink from it. There were days when the 500ml of water I drank upon waking would’ve been the only fluids consumed had I not been encouraged to track my water intake. Now, I’ve set reminders into my phone to drink water throughout the day. This is something I would not have thought would work for me, but it truly does.
3) You don’t need to be sick to start taking care of yourself, but I was and that worked, too.
Coincidentally I was in the midst of recovering from prolonged Covid-19 symptoms when I started my 14-Day More Energy Cleanse. I wasn’t sure the timing was right because I had below zero energy. I couldn’t even walk 10 minutes or carry all my groceries from the supermarket without being out of breath and needing a nap. I wasn’t able to work for almost 4 weeks. I did the cleanse anyway because I knew that adopting healthy habits could only be a good thing.
My long recovery was the source of depressive feelings and anxiety which, without a cleanse guiding me, would’ve had me turning to unhealthy habits of excessive caffeine for energy and wine plus comfort food. Throughout my health struggles, I took solace in knowing I was doing everything within my capabilities to support my body and mind. Plus, it was a source of relief to have a health coach to chat with and my support network giving me back up. Which leads me to…
4) It’s important to know we can ask for help
This is a life lesson that applies to many situations but let’s apply this to our own wellness – both mental health and physical health. Just like if you broke an arm: you’d go to a doctor; have someone help you in your home or with day-to-day tasks; and maybe do some physio afterwards. When trying to sort our balance in food, exercise, emotional wellbeing, and self-care, we shouldn’t think we must do this alone.
I had previously set massive health goals for myself, thinking I could achieve them with only having assistance from Google and YouTube. I was then hard on myself when I wasn’t successful. During this cleanse, I was prompted to write down who my supporters were. Mind blown.
Of course, I had Rebecca as a health coach but then I realised I had other friends and family members who could support me and help me stay accountable. I came to understand that without this key element, I would’ve easily reverted to old habits.
My suggestion is to clearly communicate your wellness plan and needs to your people. Then reiterate those needs if you’re feeling anxious, frustrated, unmotivated or – and this is important to me because my food issues cause mood swings – misunderstood. For me, letting my nearest and dearest know that I could use their help ensured I didn’t feel alone in navigating tough personal changes.
5) If I don’t put my wellness first and invest in it, no one else will
Communicating needs leads me to a very important realisation: I need to advocate for my health. I need to show up for myself. Again, nothing new here but, like many people, I struggle to apply these concepts in real life and that’s because it’s hard to do. I can think of at least a dozen times this month I’ve actively encouraged those around me to make self-care a priority! Put you first! But when do I actively do this for myself?
Whether it’s the demands of a job, friends needing a hand or family members being a priority – heck, my dog eats breakfast before I do! – somehow, I manage to put myself third. So far this strategy has not won me any medals and it has only lead to me feeling depleted.
A simple example of a simple change: I cannot tell you how much money I spend on fruit a month but it’s not a small amount and yet I maybe eat one banana out of the bunch and never the strawberries because I wanted my family to have healthy snack options. During my cleanse, I actually ate the fruit I bought first instead of letting everyone else snack on it/being left with the bruised banana and some boring apples.
All in all, doing a spring cleanse has been a good experience. While I might be starting from scratch in rebuilding my physical fitness and stamina after my recent illness, I believe I have found lasting tools to create real and positive changes to my health and wellbeing.
I hope you’ll join me on social media to continue the conversation!
*This is not an ad. I paid for this cleanse as part of my own health & wellness regime via a special offer for those who have subscribed to FYSHA’s email list. This is an honest review of my personal experience with cleansing. If you are considering any lifestyle changes such as those mentioned above, please do so in consultation with your own healthcare providers as this is not intended to be medical advice.