We have all been Bridget Jones at one time or another. Something seemingly tragic happens and through no will of our own we are huddled under the covers, watching British romcoms, drinking wine, and shoveling chips into the gapping whole in the middle of our face. Okay, that description may be very specific to me, but I’m sure you’ve experienced some version of it.
Unlike Bridget, I have a very low tolerance for feeling sad (and generally unhealthy). In my version of the film, I would skip all of those days of moaning around drinking and venting to friends, and go right to eating properly. It may seam vein, but let me explain…
We have this incredible and powerful ally at the base of our brain stem, The Vagus Nerve. Without getting too scientific, one of the jobs of the Vagus Nerve is to regulate hormones. Did you hear me ladies? H-O-R-M-O-N-E-S. What we tend to blame once a moon cycle for our ‘moods’. Even irrational moon cycle behavior can be made nonexistent by keeping the Vagus Nerve happy.
How? you ask. By eating properly. Notice I didn’t say ‘diet’. Personally, I believe diets are ridiculous, unfounded, and generally a waste of time. (Plus, I love food and I get very hangry if I don’t eat, so for the sake of humanity, I don’t diet). What I do, do is a seven day nutritional cleanse. I eliminate all inflammatory foods and begin to eat for optimal health. I didn’t say just ‘good’ health. I said ‘optimal’. I eat like an athlete preparing for the biggest game of my life. And in a way I am– fighting sadness, depression, or martyrdom is a fight. Make no bones about it.
I am a vegetarian and lactose intolerant, so admittedly, I don’t have a lot of foods to remove (mainly Cuban coffee, bread, nightshade vegetables, and the occasional two or three glasses of wine). Generally, I tell my students to remove the following little by little over the course of a week: dairy, coffee, black tea, gluten, nightshade vegetables, processed foods, and alcohol. I’m also careful to mention that if at any moment she falls of the wagon, to simply get back on as soon as possible without any self-judgement.
I didn’t come up with this list all on my own. I stand on the shoulders of the following giants: Dr. Perlmutter, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Junger. After a week of elimination, I begin the official cleanse. I follow Dr. Junger’s book “Clean” very carefully for seven days. Although, Dr. Junger recommends 21 days, he is careful to mention that a person should start with a number of weeks that feels good to them and then increase the number of weeks from there.
Currently, I am on day 7 of my cleanse and I’m feeling incredibly happy and healthy. I’m relaxed, clear headed, and not quick to react. I do a cleanse about twice a year (Spring & Fall), so I’m positive it’s not a fluke. This time I ordered Dr. Junger’s 7 Day Program because I knew I was headed into a busy month and would need the extra support and accountability from his team. And I may continue for another month or at least until my birthday on April 6th. I have to allow myself a glass of wine, but I may not even want it.
Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any questions about starting a nutritional cleanse? Have you tried a cleanse in the past? If so, which kind? And how did you feel?
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor am I endorsed by The Clean Program. My claims are based on self-experimentation, extensive research, and my studies under Dr. T Colin Campbell and his faculty at eCornell. Please check with your doctor before beginning any new nutritional program.)