Today marks day 61 of my journey on the raw/vegan detox program. Who’s counting? Not me, actually. I had to count to write this post. This is the 2nd time that I’ve committed to this lifestyle that allows my body to alkalize + heal most effectively and efficiently. This time around feels more seasoned and since I know how powerful this protocol can be for my body, I stay on this path day by day. After bearing witness to hundreds of people go through this program at the Optimum Health Institute, I have seen it heal stage 4 cancer, autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and so many more. Practiced for many centuries around the world, detoxification is the process of cleansing the body to promote healing and longevity. When there is a health issue aka "health opportunity" present, eating a raw/vegan diet partnered with wheatgrass, colonics, meditation, cleansing the lymphatic system, daily relaxation, visualization, and tons of greens - healing naturally occurs.
Without the usual crutches such as caffeine, wine, chocolate, cheese, and other tasty treats I often turn to as coping mechanisms, I certainly feel stripped down. There is one thing that is crystal clear, it provides many opportunities to face my “stuff”… all of it, in a raw (no pun intended), deep and intense way.
When this initially occurred in 2012, I said yes to this full-on lifestyle shift because of a “health opportunity” related to my reproductive system. Initially, I saw this as an issue, something to be dealt with, frustrated by and stressed over. But, after deciding that framing this as an issue would do nothing but pull my attention in a negative direction, I decided to adopt the coined phrase of “health opportunity” that was offered to me at the Optimum Health Institute.
Language changes our perception of everything, and the words cycling through our minds tell our body what to do. So, reframing what my body is moving through as a health opportunity was my first step in moving towards healing.
When I revisited the Optimum Health Institute this September and was reminded of the in depth research and proven results, I committed to a raw vegan, alcohol/dairy/caffeine/gluten/sugar/soy/oil free diet for three months. The primary purpose of this change is to alkalize my body, as disease can’t live in an alkalized environment. That’s a big piece that keeps me going, but I also love how it’s reprogramming my mind. It’s helping me realize that I have the power to commit to something that is honestly, so unbelievably challenging – mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s forcing me to see what I’m really made of.
With my vices stripped away I have nowhere to hide when challenging emotions bubble up. I have to face them, feel them, and fully “go there.” It can be terrifying. But, it’s also a highly transformative and healing experience. It’s interesting how the dark and light can live in such close proximity.
I am deeply committed to running this experiment and in the process it is peeling back layers I likely wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. I have no buffer and I have a love-hate relationship with that. It’s demanded that I change my pace. It’s demanded that I slow down. It is requiring that I don’t just talk about slowing down, and only do it occasionally, but fully reset the pace in which I move through life so I have the space to support my whole being in moving through this metamorphosis. It brings up a lot for me in terms of recommitting over and over again. I’m sure plenty of people can relate to this – the desire to quit something that you know you have to do, that you know is the best thing for you, but it’s so hard you sometimes feel like there’s absolutely no way you can keep going. If you’re moving through this, I feel you and have the deepest respect for the fortitude you must have for committing over and over and over again.
This program has also stirred up social struggles, specifically when I’m at restaurants, parties, or in other social situations where non-raw-vegan food and alcohol is being consumed. I often get social anxiety in these situations, where people are drinking and eating what they like - taking the edge off - and I’m not. Because of this, I’ve had to dig deep to connect, and be myself without the inhibition-reducing effects of food + alcohol. I have to stand tall in myself and trust that being me is enough.
I’m learning to be okay with where I’m at right now, and trusting my decision to do this – trusting my decision to stay committed. It’s a really humbling process. It’s given me space to look at situations, people and myself. It’s real. I don’t have much to give to people who I don’t feel connected with, or supported by, or inspired by.
This sense of fragility, and the anxiety and fear it can trigger, is really coming up with the holidays approaching. Part of me wants to run away from the food and drink that is so prevalent this time of year – I want to eliminate all temptation. But, I don’t just have myself to think about; I need to consider my family as well. Because of this, I’m going to need to get creative with my food, finding Instagram accounts or blogs that have recipes that can make this process more fun, delicious and engaging! If you have any that you love, please message me.
Beyond the struggles, there’s true magic in my devotion. For example, the essence of how I feel is extraordinary. My skin feels radiant. I’m more devoted to my intentions with the yoga teacher training I recently began. I wake up every morning to do my sadhana aka personal practice. I’m more committed to evolving as a human. And I’m no longer subjected to the mental fog that creeps in when I eat heavier foods and drink wine.
Another big part of the magic is that I feel more connected with my emotions. As I mentioned earlier, when I have big emotions I have nowhere to go but acceptance. I just have to let them move through me. I can’t stifle them. I can’t hide from them.
I’ve also, learned how to embrace my weaknesses. I’ve been programmed to repress and ignore my weaknesses, but this process has pushed me into a space where I finally feel okay with the fact that there will be plenty of times where I mess up, drop the ball, and am fully confronted with my imperfections. I’m coming to terms with the perfectly imperfect, messy reality of being human!
In addition, I’ve been pushed to question my belief that I’m always supposed to have it all together, and why I can be so mean to myself. I’ve realized how unsustainable this belief, and subsequent self-inflicted cruelty, is and am working to dissolve this by just allowing myself to get stripped down, and doing the work, which primarily consists of sitting with it all. As I do this, I feel my capacity to confront, elevate beyond “my stuff” and then, feel massive expansion.
In our upcoming Virtual Speaker Series on Wednesday, November 28, Alyssa Nobriga goes deep into how our greatest challenges can actually carve the path to the realization of our greatest dreams – I’m really feeling the truth in this.
Now that I am 2/3rds of the way through this experiment/program, I’m wondering, “Is this going to end?” or “Am I committing to a new lifestyle?” I can’t go back to what I was doing, but I know there’s some sort of balance I can find in this. And honestly, I cannot wait until the day where I don’t have to schlep my cooler, filled with raw vegan fare, everywhere I go. I won’t be sad when it’s no longer my constant companion.
For the next month, I know there will be plenty of moments where I’ll cry, and will want to give up, but this health opportunity is calling me forward in a big way. This is what I’m supposed to be doing right now. And this isn’t about me being evolved, or being “better than,” it’s about my health – this is the way for me. This is how I feel empowered with my health and living my most aligned + vital life.
With humility and devotion,
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