Let me just say that I'm not a person of extremes. I believe in balance, listening to our body, and finding a wellness regimen that's a sustainable lifestyle. I'm not a vegetarian, though I believe in the power of eating a plant-based diet. I practice yoga, but only three or four days a week if I'm lucky.
That said, I've never been a huge fan of giving things up for no specific reason, or doing long cleanses just for the sake of it.
But a lot has changed.
Even though I consider myself to be fairly healthy, I found myself with a nasty infection that was wreaking havoc on my stomach. So I turned to my friend and MBG Wellness Expert, Dr. Frank Lipman.
Dr. Frank didn't know what caused this infection (it could have come from food or anything), but he suggested that I give up gluten and go on his cleanse. So that's what I did, and I immediately felt better.
I was a fan of Dr. Frank's cleanse anyway, but this time the effects were even more powerful. What I love about his cleanse is that it's a great way to "lean-in" to a healthier lifestyle, as it goes beyond just shakes or juice. The cleanse provides a framework for a healthy lifestyle because you're allowed to eat; however, gluten and dairy are no-no's, as is most meat. The best way to sum up the cleanse is that it is a diet and lifestyle based on eating "close to nature."
I firmly believe that long-lasting change only occurs when it's based on lifestyle. Otherwise it's just a few days or weeks of deprivation and then we find ourselves going back to our old ways. This isn't what Dr. Frank's cleanse is about. Plus, the shakes are downright delicious (I add almond butter and frozen strawberries to almond milk).
I don't think I have a gluten intolerance, and I don't eat that much gluten anyway (with the exception of a weekend indulgence in vegan doughnuts and cookies). However, as Dr. Frank has frequently said, "I've never had a patient tell me they feel worse after giving up gluten." You know what? He's absolutely right.
It's about a month later and my stomach infection is long gone. I still have gluten here and there, but for the most part I try to avoid it. I feel totally renewed.
My former college basketball coach, Armond Hill (who's now with the Celtics), always used to say that he'd never encourage us to do something that he wouldn't do himself. And I'd never encourage our readers to try something that I wouldn't personally do. So after giving up gluten for two weeks and doing Dr. Frank's two week cleanse, I feel pretty awesome. I think you might feel pretty awesome, too :)