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