I’m on Day 2 of a 3 day kitchari cleanse (kitchari is a yummy and soothing bean and rice dish with origins to India – I also like to add avocado to it). It has been many years since I’ve gone on a cleanse. Growing, nursing and raising babies has taken too many resources to focus on cleansing.

However, as I end my tenth year of motherhood, I’m really happy to jump back into taking care of my body.

I shared with a coworker that I was going on a cleanse and she was a bit wary, indicating that cleanses sound unhealthy and a version of “diet culture.” I completely understood where she was coming from.

Like anything else, cleanses are about intention. Surely, some people have gone on unhealthy cleanses to lose weight or go down a dress size. I’ve done some strict cleanses but never with those intentions and never to the point where I would sacrifice my mental, emotional or physical wellbeing to get to the finish line.

I explained to her that cleanses do a couple things for me –

First, they help break my soft-core addiction to food where I overeat, consume too much sugar and snack mindlessly. By going on a cleanse, I reteach my body what is normal and feels good for me. It resets my food choices so when the cleanse ends, I’ll start a new cycle of making better choices.

Second, going on a cleanse also helps me get in touch with my body. It helps re-establish my baseline. If I continue to overeat, indulge my sweet tooth and snack a bunch, not only will I not feel great but also I will actually have forgotten what great feels like. Not having gone on a cleanse in ~8 years, I have wondered if my ‘good’ days are actually ‘meh’ days in disguise. It’s like doing a science experiment and removing all the variables to create the standard.

Our food choices are very personal. My sharing is not to convince you that you need a cleanse (that would actually promote diet culture and food shame). My sharing is to show that cleanses are about taking a break from our regular choices, getting in touch with your body and a way to tap into your potential.

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I write everyday because it allows me to voice what is at the surface. Once that is out of my head, I can dig in another layer deeper. My daily writing practice has been my greatest exploration of self and humanity. Sign up here to receive these thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.