East Meets West: A Cleanse that De-Liver’d

Since my move to British Columbia, I’ve found myself deep committed to taking care of myself. Mainly, this shift was out of necessity, because your girl was hurting emotionally too much. First; find rad community. Practice yoga for the mind and body. Become daily meditater? 348 days in a row strong, check. Put a sugar addiction in place and haven’t drank since Christmas? Check, check. So, what’s the next challenge? Liver cleanse baby.

This wasn’t the first time that I’ve paid attention to this power-house of an organ. Whilst in Victoria, when I first landed on the coast, I began Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments, acupressure, and cupping. I didn’t know that the liver would be the source of so much healing. My lovely practitioner explained to me, that on a scale of 1-10, 10 being optimal and 1 being “girl you in danger”, I was functioning on a two and that it was my attitude that was carrying me through. Oaf. Symptoms of low iron and a weak liver include insomnia and fatigue, and you best believe I was going through it.

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I didn’t go into this cleanse blind. I went to a workshop run by a naturopath doctor specializing in the liver for years. I took a ton of notes and asked questions and then sought out more information via the internet if I had more queries. The liver works hard, she effects so much in your body in a myriad of ways. I guess you could say that this cleanse was a way of saying thank you and acknowledging the work. It was a reset to allow her to function optimally without breaking down and processing

My week was as follows- four days of fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains were ok, but no animal products. Not so bad. I had a lot of energy and was motivated and working out more and getting up earlier. I can dig this. The following two days, consisted of just fruits and vegetables. Didn’t. Like. I was hungry even though I was eating a lot. I was full but not satiated. Which ramped me up for the main event; fast day.

I didn’t eat from Saturday evening, around 7:30 to Monday at around 2:30. And yes, there were moments when I asked myself “why the fuck am I doing this?” I spent the entirety of Sunday alone, not because I was hangry, but because I was processing and experiencing. And peeing- a lot. The duration of the day requires you to drink at least a litre of organic apple juice. I had a gallon, plus water. Clocking me in at over 8 litres of water. It was as if I moved beyond hunger. I wasn’t weak or shaky like I anticipated. I just; was. Though I will take the accolades for surviving a cleanse while PMSing, thank you very much. That made me feel like a champion worthy of Queen singing about. I had dominion over my hormones.

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Coming off the cleanse was…weird? I still don’t know if that’s the right word to encapsulate how I felt. I was sharp and clear and hungry but tentative. The aftermath of the cleanse included eating super clean, and yes, I’ll use the word, restrictive. I wasn’t ready for that. A week afterward, your girl needed a burger. I don’t mean that I ran toward A&W’s but, I needed some red meat, specifically, to ground myself. I really wanted a steak, but that time will come. Did I disregard all the hard work, mental and physical that I did in that week? Absolutely not. Going into the cleanse, my intention was to feel better and create awareness, and I did just that. I’ve been gifted with a heightened sense of awareness and understanding of what did and more specifically didn’t work for me. And yeah, having a burger messed with my innards. They had to do a lot of work to process what was being asked. Noted.

The mental component was another rodeo unto itself. I don’t want to say that I was “good” at not eating, but that whole anorexia thing meant that I have had limiting mentalities that I will say, flared a bit. And it could have been really easy to slip back into the headspace had I not put preventive measures put into place. I had dear friends that I reached out to, people that knew my history, including a personal trainer friend who had a lot of on the job training with people who have had eating challenges, check in on me; “Hey Steens, tell me about your lunch! What delicious and healthy thing are you going to have for dinner that will nurture you?” My greatest ally though; myself. I KNEW that I NEEDED more fuel than what I was eating and I loved myself enough to ask for the support. Well played Steens.

Hundy P would do this cleanse again. It was beautiful to surprise and challenge and awakening and clarify. But I certainly won’t do it anytime soon, because, well, cheese.