A Fool’s Guide To Fasting

I’m just out the other side of a failed attempt at a liver cleanse and fast. The aries in me thought it would be a wonderful idea to go on a strict cleanse as we approach winter. A boldly naive move some might say, but I don’t tend to take the easy road. Oh no, everything has to be a little bit extreme or its not worth doing apparently.

So lesson well and truly learnt! Do not cut down your calorie intake, carbs, proteins and all the other lovely things we need to keep warm and energised through the winter months.

And despite me only lasting 7 days of a 30 day cleanse, I did learn a whole lot from this experience which I wanted to share with you.

Do Listen To Your Intuition

Both in terms of when deciding to go on a cleanse or start a fast, and also about when to stop. I could feel myself losing energy, and yet was determined to keep pushing on through. It was only when people were remarking about how skinny I was getting that alarm bells started ringing in my head.

I’d originally opted for this specific cleanse on a friend’s recommendation. I’ve been having some skin problems the last few months following my decision to come off the contraceptive pill at the end of last year. I’d been doing some research and saw that poor diet, lifestyle choices can sometimes result in an overactive liver . This can then lead to skin outbreaks, and weight loss among other things. So when I discovered this 30 day cleanse it seemed like a no brainer.

Why not try switching the foods you eat, rather than jumping straight into the deep end

The cleanse involved removing quite a few items from my diet which was quite a shock to the system. Everything from fats, proteins, grains, pulses and carbs had to go. Basically anything that gives your body more work to digest. It recommends that you up your intake of detoxing ingredients like beets, celery, grapes, citrus, leafy greens, pineapple, apples and carrots etc.

At a time of year when warming root vegetables, stews and curries are my favourite things to eat, I found the diet incredibly hard to manage. The fruit juices, salads and light soups were not filling me up and my mood had dropped. I decided that although I felt like the cleanse was the right thing to do initially, my intuition was now saying it would be best if I parked the cleanse until the spring. That way the warmer weather would compliment the lighter ingredients in the diet.

Do seek medical advice before starting a cleanse

I decided to get a blood test after the cleanse just to get a second opinion. This is perhaps something I would do before starting a cleanse of this nature in the future. To ensure that I’m starting from ground zero, rather than minus 2 for example.

I can totally see the benefits of fasting having tried a 16:8 intermittent fast previously, which seemed to work really well. I believe our inner voice always tells us when its time to cut back or make some lifestyle changes. Christmas and the New Year can be a time of over indulgence. Maybe by incorporating more of the detoxifying foods into your diet, you’re taking extra steps to help your liver do its thing while you’re busy enjoying yourself.

G x

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