A Cleanse for the Heart

Instagram photo

January is a month heavy on new resolutions, talk of starting over, doing things differently. In my last newsletter I explained a bit about why I don’t often make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, most of my year-planning and resolutions happen at the end of my commercial fishing season in Bristol Bay. The transition back into the work routine after Alaska is a bigger indicator of a “New Year” for me. In fact, as I’ve discussed with some of my fellow fisherfolk I’m not alone in this.

But this last year was a little different. 2012. My divorce was finalized, I launched a new business (very quietly), a sister got married, another got engaged, I was hospitalized for joining the Rhabdo Club (rhabdomyolysis), and I got my family to play the Game of Strangers! These were a few of the key events. And especially after the hospitalization, I thought my liver and kidneys could use some TLC.

Dr. Melissa McClintock is a naturopathic physician I work with at the clinic. She and I have discussed working with a 10-day metabolic detoxification for patients, and I went for it myself! (The cleanse is from Metagenics, a company I totally dig.)

Here’s the thing about cleanses. They work. And they can work on more than your physical body. Although my body felt great and I was glad to feel so light and clean, the biggest change I noticed was in my mood. By the end of the cleanse I felt like my emotional body had been deep cleaned! All the crap I’d been lugging around that had me feeling mopey and sad was simply gone. I felt more energized, happier, more alert and alive and grateful for the beauty around me.

The photo in this post was taken on my way back home after snowshoeing in the mountains. On the drive up to the snowfields, there had been heavy fog. Suddenly, we broke through and the gorgeous warm sunshine hit our faces. Someone said, “I forgot how wonderful the sun feels!”

Just like we can sometimes forget how good the sun feels on our skin, I’d forgotten how wonderful it felt to be free of emotional weight.

My experience this month only deepened my belief in the food-mood connection, as well. I realized how stable my mood was (as long as my blood sugar was well regulated) eating select whole foods on my modified elimination diet. I was also reminded how often I can eat out of boredom, how little I pay attention to enjoying and savoring the food. Hold on, isn’t that what I preach?! I’d forgotten how certain foods, no matter how much I love them, are mild irritants to my system. That irritation can build up over time. Irritation is irritation and it will show its face one way or another over time. The cleanse was a nice reset.

Winter can be a good time to detox. I might specifically suggest that you think about a cleanse late winter into early spring. Capitalize on the upward energy around you.

A detox program can be a wonderful way to literally and figuratively let go of things you’ve been holding on to. You might not even realize you’re still holding on. But when you’re ready to let go, and your food and body work together to move things through your system, you might feel like you’ve come out of the fog and into the glorious sunshine.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kellie February 1, 2013 at 6:18 am

Dearest Amy,

Thank you for sharing your sweet reflections. I love your thoughtfulness in discussing your cleanse, particularly the powerful emotional aspects cleanses trigger; cleanses are powerful + just like most ‘power tools,’ can be used mindfully or abused.

Lovely, lovely post.

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Amy February 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Kellie, thanks so much. And I love the “power tools” reference. So true!

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Dyana February 1, 2013 at 7:28 am

this is such a different way to talk about cleanses (non punitive, should-y). thank you for that. i deeply appreciate the way you keep a hand held behind you, in a gentle way, while moving forward. you are a shero.

Reply

Amy February 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Dyana, thank you! If it’s punitive or should-y, I’ll get cranky about it. (That kinda screws up the desired results.) What I did was aligned with my super conditions. Thanks for helping me with that!

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