My husband and I recently began monthly “healthy habit” challenges to establish certain wellness practices that we wanted a more regular part of our lives. Each month, we decide on a practice, set up a simple daily habit and hold each other accountable to do it every day for a full month.
Earlier this month, we were both getting the springtime itch to do a whole-foods cleanse. But since we were having such success with the month-long model, we decided to weave cleansing into our healthy habit for May. I reflected on these two models of cleansing and thought I’d share a little insight as to why you may choose one over the other.
Why Choose a Short-Term, Whole-Foods Cleanse
The benefit of a short term cleanse (which generally lasts between 3-7 days) is that you focus on detoxing your body through a high intake of cleansing foods over a short period of time. It’s perfect when you need an “about face” in terms of how you’ve been eating. A nourishing cleanse breaks the pattern of poor eating in a swift and powerful way.
Because it is just a few days, it is often not long enough to trigger a lot of psychological cravings around the foods you are avoiding. A short-term whole-foods cleanse is a great kick start for seasonal transitions, weight loss plateaus, or times when you feel in a rut with poor food choices.
Why Choose a Month-Long Healthy Eating Challenge
A month-long healthy eating challenge is a different way to support your vibrant living goals. Instead of crafting exactly what you will eat over a small stretch of days, you’ll focus on just one area of your diet you want to bring in and re-establish healthy habits around.
Without a doubt, the key to our month-long challenges have been their simplicity. So when I began looking through my cleanse course material, I decided the best habit we could establish for the month was simply to increase the amount of fresh produce we ate each day.
To keep this as simple as possible, we decided our daily goal was 8 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, personally, I wanted to create qualifiers to keep me in line, so I added, for myself, that I would emphasize fruits and vegetables which were excellent cleansers by nature and particularly good foods for the springtime.
The month-long challenge is a great choice if your priority is to bring a specific healthy eating practice into your life and give it enough time to establish firmly into your daily habits.
Photo by mhaller1979
Your Body Remembers How Good Healthy Food Feels!
I have been floored by how different I already feel only 7 days into this challenge. Of course, I shouldn’t be so surprised- I know how much a diet high in fruits and vegetables increases your feelings of calm, clarity and energy…but my body had forgotten. Kind of like exercise. You know in your head it is good for you, but you get powerfully reminded of just how good when you actually get out there and do it!
Tap Into the Power of “Crowding it Out” to Avoid Cravings
Many of us have a long history of dieting, and as soon as we begin to think we are restricting our food choices all sorts of psychological alarms start to go off.
With a month-long challenge the only focus is getting your quota of fresh fruits and veggies in everyday (you are not focusing on what you can’t eat at all). In this way, you begin to experience the power of “crowding it out”- where all the good stuff that you are bringing in really does leave very little room for the junk.
Either way, cleansing foods are a fantastic way to usher in the spring and get you back into feeling more vitality and well-being- whether they come in a short-term or month-long model.
On May 20 I’ll be teaching a free webinar called The Ultimate Road Map to Your Whole Body-Whole Life Cleanse. If you are interested in learning a whole new way to think about the power of cleansing in your life, this would be a great webinar to attend. It’s free to sign up, just click here.
Have you ever tried a cleanse? Tell us about it, the good, bad or the ugly!