Simplify

Hey everyone, it’s Karl, the ‘occasional husband.’ Well, not occasionally a husband, but occasionally on this blog. hehe I’m going to be here a good deal over the course of July, as it is Jamianne’s and my bi-annual cleanse. Twice a year, usually once in the winter and once in the summer, we do a food toxin cleanse for two weeks. (Yep, we’re freaks. And we love it! If you’ve ever eaten out with us, you know. 😉 ) However, this time, we are trying something different. A food toxin cleanse, material cleanse, and financial cleanse, for the entire month of July. Basically a month of simplicity. The world is things, and food, and more things, and more food. And then, just for good measure, a lot more things, and a lot more food. And we’ve been finding that the instant gratification of these things is, well…instant. And ‘instant’ is pretty awesome…until the next instant. 🙂

Our current life diet consists of some type of odd mix of veganism/rawism/gluten-free-ism. The vegan part is the no dairy, no eggs, no honey, no meat, and no animal products. However, we still eat the lighter fish. The raw part is the focusing on fruits and vegetables, while eating no preservatives, no processed sugar, and nothing artificial. And the gluten-free part, of course, is nothing with wheat, barley, or rye. Usually, for our bi-annual cleanse, we go stricter than our life diet: two weeks of just fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, with nothing in a package; or, the master cleanse…more commonly known as the lemonade diet. However, this time, we are going to do the entire month with the stricter diet, and adding to it the material cleansing.


(I did a google image search for ‘vegan’, just to come up with some type of funny or amusing picture to break up my long-winded writing. And this came up. So, I guess if you go vegan, you will automatically be good-looking, get a date, have awesome tattoos that will of course be painlessly applied due to vegan power, and awkwardly toast your vegetables with vegans of the opposite gender. Now, what can be bad about that? 😉 )

The wonderful thing about a food cleanse is what it does for you mentally and spiritually. Every time I do it, I realize how dependent I have become on food as a source of happiness. And this past year, I have been noticing more and more how that goes beyond food in my life. I’ve been looking around our little apartment, packed to the brim with stuff, and realizing how much instant gratification has a hold on me. We work hard, and then feel like we deserve a reward. So we buy meaningless things in order to try to add meaning to how hard we work, and end up years later with a bunch of years of hard work that funded the purchasing of a bunch of things. Meanwhile, life continues to move onward. And I don’t want to miss anymore of it. Food cleanses remind you, both mentally and spiritually, of an idea of life that we may have long since forgotten. That life in and of itself is a gift, and we don’t necessarily need to fill it with things to enjoy it.

So, July is a month of simplicity. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots, legumes…sure. After having done the diet we’ve done this past year, that’s the easy part. This is the hard part:

1) Each day, we’re going to get rid of at least one group of things. Movies I bought because Target told me it was the last time they would ever be on sale, books I bought to feel cool but never really had any intention of reading, decor that we bought to feel better about not having a house yet, etc.

2) Some type of planned physical activity every day. It is amazing how much this translates into everything else you do that day…especially mentally. This could be weights, jogging, dancing, yoga (don’t laugh, it’s really hard! haha), tennis, or anything planned. Meaning, not something where you can lie to yourself and say, ‘Ya, I probably walked at least 2,000 steps at work today in between offices and meetings. If every step I take equals a yard, then that’s over a mile! Wow, I did good today. In fact, come to think of it, I’m hungry after that workout. I think I deserve a frappucino. And you know what? I’m not going to take that close parking spot. I’m going to take the far spot, and then even ask them to go easy on the whip!’ (You know we do this.) Nope, real planned workouts.

3) Outdoor meditation. For me, this will probably mean walks late at night with my Bible and with God. Jams and I are believers in Jesus, and probably what you’d call spiritual or religious. We’re not really sure how it looks to other folks. haha But for us, getting outside of the lives we’ve created, and back into a bit of what He created, whilst cutting out everything but natural food and getting rid of needless material possessions, is something to which I’m very much looking forward.

4) Being French. In many places in Europe, they don’t have refrigerators. They shop in the morning or throughout the day for what they want to eat that day. Not only does this provide them with much fresher, much more natural food, but it also keeps them from overeating. I don’t know how it goes for you, but here’s how it goes with me. Even with our healthy vegan/gluten-free life-diet, it is possible to overeat. People usually hear ‘vegan’ and think skinny and healthy. Nope. It is possible to be, and I have been, a very bad vegan. 😉 And one of the main contributors to that is bulk food. Even something healthy let’s say, like organic, in the shell, peanuts. The way life was intended to be, I’d have to pick those peanuts. Which means, in one day, I would probably be unable to pick as many as would fit in the $4 bulk bag that I can buy of them. Hence, my body probably wasn’t constructed to eat that entire bulk bag. And I don’t intend to. I go to the store, see the huge bag at a good price and think, ‘Great! I can have peanuts all month!’ The problem is, they’re there, and before I know it, I’ve bought 4 of those bags that month because I keep eating them just because they’re there. So we’re going to try this month to do as much daily shopping as possible. It’s a little more difficult for us being in the suburbs, as our only walking distance stores are Vons and Wal-Mart. Ya, not exactly mecca’s for organic produce. But Vons does have some (albeit incredibly overpriced), so we’ll see what we can do without spending tons on gas driving to Henry’s every day.

And by the way, this is of course how we view ‘being French.’ Looks pretty awesome to me!

hehe Plus, we just saw Midnight in Paris, which was fantastic. I like France.

5) Financial cleansing. We are going to spend nothing in July, but the essentials. That means our weekly date nights? Have to be something free, or very negligebly (I think I made that word up) priced. We did this in April, and it is absolutely stunning how fun life can be without spending any money. Any leftover money at the end of the month goes towards savings, credit card bills we racked up last summer when I was out of a job, and maybe some new clothes that don’t have holes in them. I know the whole bohemian hipster style thing is in, but there’s parts of my body over which there should not be holes in my clothing. 😉

6) And then of course, natural growing foods only, and nothing in a package. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and roots. Does anything else grow naturally? If so, we can eat it. 🙂

So that’s July. And we are stoked for it. The benefit to not just your weight and health, but to you as a person on these cleanses, is fantastic. I am a different person since I did my first lemonade cleanse 3 years ago. More about that, and our whole story of how we got to be the freak eaters that we are and why people laugh at us when at restaurants, as the month progresses. Stay tuned for that, more on working out, eating healthy, eating ‘actual’ food, simplifying your life, and enjoying the little moments. We’re going to be posting daily for the month of July. (Hey, we’re not eating, and we’re not buying stuff…what else are we gonna do? 😉 ) For now, I’m about to go eat an organic pear, lift some weights, and try to remember why I ever bought Music and Lyrics on dvd.

This is your life.
–her gluten-free husband

Comments

  1. Cam here Karl,

    interesting stuff… I am a plant breeder so wondering of your Brand of Veganism allows Gm foods? just out of interest…

    Also, what are you detoxing when you detox? presumably your kidneys and liver work ok, so do you think there are toxins in you normal diet that are accumulating somewhere? I think the whole month detox life fast is great – I am just skeptical on the science of the food detox bit.

    …but, hats off to you!

    cheers

  2. Hey Cam! 🙂 I didn’t know you were a plant-breeder! That’s awesome. And no, we don’t do genetically modified foods. But I’m sure we ingest them accidentally at restaurants sometimes. haha

    As for the toxins, what we’re detoxing is all the non-digestible or difficult-to-digest artificial flavors, preservatives, and especially sucralose and artificial sweeteners. Wax on apples, fillers they put in food, gm-stuff…all the things your body has difficulty digesting and just hangs on to. There’s different views on all that stuff, which is cool. I’m no doctor, but I do know that before I did my first detox (master cleanse lemonade deal), I could not lose weight, even when working out and eating nothing. Now, it literally falls off…when I actually work out. haha There’s also other…ah…grosser ways to know that you’re actually detoxing things.

    In theory, the body shouldn’t need a detox if you eat perfectly. But so many things are so processed and have things added into them, that it’s almost impossible to do so without importing seeds from Ecuador and growing your own food. hehe

    Just our current theory drawn from different medical journals and studies and such. We could definitely be wrong, and we’re still learning! But we feel great, and personally I’ve gone from 6 feet, 235 and flabby to 6 feet, 190 and just slightly flabby. hehe So, it’s working for us at the moment.

  3. fair ’nuff… I am skeptical but that’s ok… If you feel good doing it then more power too ya! and certainly if you get to inspect gross stuff and draw conclusions, then its science and must be ok…

    and yeah, I’m a plant breeder so i get interested in how people view food, plants and technology – it is going to impact us more and more in the next 50 years….

  4. Very cool! Ya, I agree from the little bit I’ve been trying to read, that it will definitely impact us greatly in the future.

    I guess how I view it is that I’m trying to be as nature-based as possible. Stuff without lab chemicals. I, as always, could be way off! haha Out of curiosity, could you tell me a little more about plant breeding? I’m totally interested!!

  5. Cam

    That’s a dangerous question Karl… how long have you got?! 🙂 I did 4 years of post grad study in it and have now been working in the field for 6 years. The simple thing is that Plant Breeding is the start of the human food chain. Everything we eat either is plants, or got its energy from plants, including sea food if you include Plankton as plants… And almost all the plants we use in agriculture have been improved by selective breeding by mankind in the last 10,000 years to make them yield more, hold their seeds until harvest, more disease resistant, taste better…etc. It is no different now, except we understand more about how plants work, so we can improve them quicker, even using traditional techniques. The important bit for humans is that by 2050 the worlds population is going to top 9 Billion and the need for plant based food and protein is going to exceed what we now produce. Where will this come from when good ag land is decreasing and the climate is changing? Plant breeders have to keep improving the plant varieties to keep up with climate change and to keep producing more yield with less resources…

    I could type for a few years but will stop now. You probably stopped reading at “post grad”. There’s good books on the subject…

    cam

  6. No, that was great!! I’ve been coming at this whole food thing for the last couple years from a completely layman’s perspective, so I love just learning and soaking up everything I can.

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