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Writer-s-Bloc

Be active, not reactive

Detoxes and cleanses. What’s going to change?

New year, same me, but only after a butt load of work, practice, and patience to change the old me.

In my last column, I talked about not jumping in with new year’s resolutions that involved sugar detoxes, cleanses and diets that promised three weeks to a flat belly.

Please, don’t get me wrong; I’m not opposed to cleanses or detoxes.

Three weeks to a flat belly? I guess it depends on how “not flat” the belly is and why it’s important for it to be flat in three weeks.

I am all in favour of reducing sugar and processed foods, setting aside time to rest and improve my digestion, and supporting my body’s natural detoxification processes.

However, what doesn’t work for me are cleanses, detoxes and diets that are reactive, instead of active.

What is the motivation for a cleanse, diet, or detox? What will it change?

Is it reactive, as in: “Oh, my gosh, I totally fell off the wagon, pigged out, threw in the towel and now I need to diet/detox/cleanse to undo all the damage.”?

Then what happens after the 10, or 21, or 30 days? Or on day five when you walk past Cinnabon in the mall? Can you white knuckle through it and beyond? What habits have changed long term?

Or is it active? Is it an active part of a healthy lifestyle commitment? Are we eating, or learning to eat, a balanced diet throughout the weeks and months that

  • we don’t feel a need for a detox
  • an occasional “cleanse” is part of that balanced lifestyle, as we get to know and listen to our bodies, not a hardcore change on Jan. 1.

I’m not saying you won’t benefit from a reactive sugar detox or cleanse. Any time we reduce a toxic load or give our digestion a rest we benefit.

I’m also not saying it’s impossible for these new year's diet resolutions to stick for some people.

I’m only speaking from my experience. Mine wasn’t only new years related – it was every Monday. Or every time I over ate and beat myself up and tried to follow the next quick fix diet.

However, only eight per cent of new year’s resolution are successful. I’d guess that percentage is lower in diet related resolutions.

Changing one thing at a time has an 80 per cent success rate.

It's interesting that we’re even talking about this. We live in a society of such excess that we need to teach ourselves moderation and balance.

Moderation and balance applies to everything, doesn’t it?

I also had to learn to trust my body’s ability to heal and find its own balance to really be free from the control food had over my life, and come to a point where it’s just food.

I choose, and 90 per cent of the time they are good choices. It’s second nature by now.

Freedom 365.

For me, it didn’t happen from a sugar detox or cleanse.

This is why I said in my first sentence “but only after a butt load of work, practice, and patience to change the old me."

Long-term change requires more than short-term effort.

Maybe some of you can relate.

Brigitta Beer is a holistic nutritionist based in Kelowna. After healing her own body and mind through real food, she is spreading the message of food freedom and achieving improved physical, emotional, and mental health through good nutrition. She can be reached at [email protected].

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