Every individual has different needs, as dictated by your past medical history and medications, so it's important not to begin this or any significant change to your diet without first consulting your doctor. Choose a doctor, if you can, who is well versed in integrative medicine (medicine that combines allopathic care with alternative and natural approaches) so that you have the most up-to-date and well-rounded advice.
This Jump-Start Cleanse will eliminate sources of toxins and allergens, giving the digestive system a break from working overtime to process the substances that inhibit optimum performance the most. Again, increased energy, better digestion, and relief from various aches and pains (including headaches, muscle aches, and joint pain) are just a few of the known benefits. As with each of the practices in this book, this cleanse, which you might think of as something you do for your physical body, has its emotional and spiritual components as well. As you eliminate sugar, for instance, you might experience the feelings you were unconsciously trying to escape by indulging in desserts. Since you no longer have the distraction of the whole cycle of craving a sweet—trying to resist eating it, indulging anyway, and then feeling guilty about it—you are left simply with that feeling you had been trying to avoid. Which might be uncomfortable, yes, but as discussed earlier, awareness is good. Being in touch with our feelings, even if they aren't "pleasant," is key to our ultimate well-being.
And on a spiritual level, when I first did a cleanse, I couldn't believe how difficult it was for me to give up the foods I had become attached to, even knowing that the cleanse would only last a couple of weeks. It became clear how enslaved I was by my habits inasmuch as my mood was ruled by my ability to eat the goodies that I loved and I was used to. I realized that if I was to be on a serious spiritual path, I had to look at all my attachments, including food habituations. If I was to continue growing and evolving, I had to be able to see where I was not free. The cleanse helped me to identify some glitches where I was not able to choose out of freedom rather than habit, and so I was able to focus more effort on becoming more conscious.
Stay on this program for as many days as you can, up to 21 days, as your ambition, willingness, and ability allow. Just do the best you can and don't worry about perfection. The first time around, you may go just a day or two. That's fine. Just give it a try. Take one day at a time. Don't look too far ahead. Who knows? You may surprise yourself when you find yourself on day 14!
For the next several days, up to 21, please avoid the following:
- Animal products
See what Kathy Freston eats in a typical day
Get menu plans and recipes for your cleanse