Once upon a time, in another era of my life I feasted on tiramisu for breakfast, lunch… AND dinner. Oh my! Was I on a continual sugar high.
- I looked forward to the next delicious, but not nutritious meal.
- I looked forward to the smooth, velvety and creamy cake escape.
- I looked forward to being filled and fueled by emptiness.
- I looked forward to the soothing feeling of contentment, even though it was fleeting and temporary.
- I looked forward to getting it my way and getting away with something not socially acceptable. I was being bad, bad, bad. And nobody could stop me.
- I looked forward to not thinking about proper meal planning. This was easy: go to Costco and get a large double pack tiramisu cake. Who needed fresh fruit, crunchy vegetables, brown rice…balance shmalance! I was on the indulgence train.
- I looked forward to not having to face my feelings, emotions, reality, life, choices, relationships and ME!
- Sugar had become my drug of choice.
- Sugar had become my self-medicated means of managing life.
- Sugar had become my feeling suppressant.
- And, unlike cocaine, sugar was(is) socially acceptable and readily available. It is in everything – even salad dressing – yes, let’s sprinkle some sugar on our kale and spinach.
Then by the Grace of God, that “Still Small (but very persistent and instant) Voice” within became louder and more pronounced. The scale also had a word or two with me and gave me an unapproving look, as did my clothes which became much more snug. I reached a point where I had little respect for me. I was also disappointed in myself for the lack of discipline and wise stewardship toward the Divine Gift of my Body.
Around that time I was receiving Reiki healing treatments. During one such healing session I was lamenting, complaining and whining about certain patterns/paradigms of behavior on my part, others’ toward me, and my inability to break thru. The Reiki practitioner suggested that I do a twenty one day food cleanse/fast of eating only healthy, whole, wholesome and nutritious food: Clean Food. She also said that fasting brings about miracles. She was right.
The lists below are a hybrid of the original suggestion by the Reiki practitioner, and my modifications over the years as I have strived to eat healthy, whole, nutritious, nourishing, alive, and integrity food.
That meant that for twenty one days, I was to cut out:
- white flour and/or yeast food
- white rice (white flour and white rice have no nutritional value – they fill the void in the belly but do not nourish and fuel the body with wholesome nutrition)
- white flour pasta
- fast food
- GMO food (GMO online definition: “The abbreviation for genetically modified organism. A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not normally found there.”) GMO food really messes with the biology of one’s body. I call it “chemical food”.
- sugar, corn syrup, artificial sweetener
- alcohol, caffeine, pop/soda
- processed chocolate
- processed, MSG, and/or preservative food
- dairy, cheese, butter, ice-cream
- lunch meat
- red meat
- salad dressing (most have sugar)
- mayonnaise, ketchup (sugar)
- blue/green/yellow food coloring colored food
- processed fruit juices
I was in shock and had thought to myself, “what was left to eat?”. My ego rebelled and tried to convince me that I would starve, be malnourished and possibly even DIE if I attempted this Eating Clean journey. Yes, the ego can get very melodramatic and scare us off before we even try.
It took me three months to mentally prepare, convince, and psych myself up for the fast/cleanse. It also helped that 2012 Easter Great Lent was approaching and that was a strong impetus. I felt like there would be others fasting and I would not be alone in denying goodies to myself. O woe was me!
The hardest part of the Eating Clean journey was deciding to do it. The mind debate and the ego temper tantrums that revolt against any drastic change can create very dramatic life/death consequences and doomsday scenarios in the mind. I had to convince myself and my mind that I was not going to “die”. The adage of “don’t believe everything you think” was being whispered to me by Heavenly Angels, over and over and over and over. They are so patient and graceful with us.
Plus, a huge dollop of GRACE helped.
The first two weeks were extremely challenging. In those first two weeks I just kept focusing on what I was denying myself, what I was missing out on, and my food “hardships”. Yes, the ego loves to really highlight the struggle rather than shine a light on the good that will eventually ensue. However, by day eighteen or so I was on a roll and liking it. I was beginning to feel good about myself and the journey I was on. Around that time I heard in my Heart “I fasted for 40 days would you do 40 days for Me too”. Ah! Really Jesus! It was less of an invitation and more of a Divine Directive. Again, the inner resistance, but I did. It helped that I was journaling and mediating daily by this point. Ironically, as I got into the thirty plus days of the fast, my ego kicked in again but this time with a Tarzan complex. My ego thought let’s see if we an go more than forty days. We did. We went for forty four days!
In this Eating Clean journey I completely overhauled my food relationship and pantry. I discovered new food, a new way of eating, and as a result a new way of relating with my self and others. I felt stronger. I had more clarity. I was more emotionally balanced. I slept better too.
As my nourishment become wholesome, so did my life and relationships. As I dropped unhealthy food, so too did unhealthy relationships drop. As I dropped artificial food, so too did anything artificial drop from my life. The food that I could have on the twenty one day Eating Clean journey was as follows:
- all the fruits and veggies I wanted (preferably organic)
- a meal could include a whole head of broccoli or cauliflower or another veggie of choice
- brown rice as it takes out toxins
- quinoa as it is a grain with high nutrients and protein, plus it grows in high altitudes and is a hardy grain. I needed to get my attitude into the higher altitudes and become more hardy. You are what you eat.
- almond milk (non-sweetened kind)
- brown rice crackers
- quinoa crackers
- rye crackers
- brown rice or bean chips
- wholesome rye bead
- Ezekiel or Essene bread
- extra virgin olive oil, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon juice as dressings or garnishing
- sparkling water/mineral water with lemon
- kombucha (“GT” makes a high integrity kind – they are fanatics about keeping the energy clean and pure and wholesome in their distilleries. Also, the original scoby is traced back to a Buddhist nun. Now that is some Omsomeness! )
- sweetener options: agave nectar, pure honey
- smoothies – live and wholesome ingredients
- cacao powder: pure and non-alkaline or non-dutch processed
- nut butters for protein
- tart cherry concentrate to add to water or sparkling water
- wild caught fish
- chickens raised with respect (no hormones nor antibiotics and room to roam)
I have over the years modified the above list to include the following:
- eggs from pasture raised chickens (no hormones nor antibiotics, natural feed, and chickens who roam outdoors under the sun, chickens that can stretch their wings, chickens that can scratch the earth and feast on grass, worms, and bugs)
- beef or buffalo that is raised with respect and in pastures (no hormones nor antibiotics, natural feed)
- whole/fair trade food: In this way I am contributing in a small but significant manner to someone else in a different part of the world receiving a living wage/salary. I am contributing to their dignity and giving value to their work. Imagine if everyone did that.
- ANIMAL FRIENDLY PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS and home cleaning products: Use products that do not test on animals. Products that are FREE of cruelty and meanness. Keep in mind that energy does get transferred into the products and then into the energy field of the user and their home.
I have observed that when I began to eat whole and real food that I did not need to eat as much. The food that I began eating was filled with nutrients and my body became satiated and nourished with less food. Thus, because of the greater quality in the food, the quantity of food that I ate was reduced significantly. I also stopped taking vitamins.
Initially when I began the Eating Clean journey I balked at the price or cost of food, especially the organic food. But then on the inside I heard a Voice say, “You are focusing on the wrong point. How much does it “cost” to fix a body ailment in the conventional medicine route? How much agony and uneasiness is there in that journey because of unwise stewardship.” Got it. Point understood. Thank You!
Also, around that time in our church we had a visiting Priest from Haiti who was collecting money for the orphanages. He used to be a C-level executive before he got “the call”. I remember him saying that what was once his monthly expense report for travel, meals and entertainment, was now his whole annual salary for his mission work in Haiti. In his homily which centered around his journey and the conditions in the orphanages, for some reason he said, and I still remember it many years later, “Eat at Whole Foods. It is good/wholesome food. It is good for you” What! Really! Did I just hear that! Those words washed over me and took root in me.
After my cleanse was over I did allow myself an occasional treat of what I then called “junk food”. Over time I revised the term with a euphemism of “fun food”. Today, I turn to “fun food fixes” less and less, and if I do then it means I have some serious soul searching that I have been avoiding.
As I began eating whole food, my conversation and relationship with myself and others began being more Whole, Wholesome, Gentle, Graceful, and Real. I encountered other people, articles, and conversations who were on a nutritional cleanse and that gave me a boost to continue on. I call them Divinely anointed and appointed conversations.
Thus, if you want a more simple, pure and nourishing life, start with how you nourish your body. You and your life are a reflection of what you eat!
God’s Good Graces and Delicious & Nutritious Food for You, Abundant Grace, Wisdom, & Love for the Journey, Irena As I Am and Mudryk the Angel July 13, 2018