April 3rd – April 7th I joined people around the world on a 7 Day Food Matters Cleanse. This journey is led by James Colquhoun and Laurentine Ten Bosch producers of the 2008 film of the same name, Food Matters, and creators of FMTV. This all liquid diet consists of smoothies, detox tea and beverages, and soups whose ingredients have been blended.
Initially, I considered the cleanse because I thought it would be a good thing to do for my health. I’d stepped up my workout routine in March and I figured this would be a good way to continue moving in the right direction. Exercise + good nutrition = healthy body. As I pondered the idea my thoughts moved from engaging in the cleanse for prideful reasons to it being a spiritual journey.
Lenten season is practiced by Christians around the world. This is my first year observing Lenten Season. I joined an online group led by Yoga Instructor Sherrell Moore-Tucker. In this group, she suggested that instead of thinking what to sacrifice for Lenten season that we ask, What does my soul need? I knew that my soul needed my body to align better with my spirituality so that my spirit, soul, and body would be of one accord.
During this period of time, I also heard Dr. Caroline Leaf (neuroscientist and author of the 21-Day Brain Detox Program) issue the reminder that your spirit controls your soul and your soul controls your body. This means that when you say things like I can’t help myself you’re giving your body credit for something it can’t do without the soul’s direction (attitude, mind, emotions, and thoughts). The soul, in turn, dictates how your body responds including what you eat, drink, smoking, addictions, physical relationships and so on.
My Food Journey So Far
As I write this I am on Day 4. So far my experience has been positive. The online support is great and it’s a judgment-free zone. In the 7 day food matters cleanse there are no absolutes. If someone is having a difficult time the group rallies around them with support, alternative food suggestions, and more. This has been helpful for me during times when I really hated the smoothie selection for a meal, disliked the aftertaste of something, or was fed up with having soup for dinner and I wanted to chew.
I’ve been thinking about the act of eating and this is what I miss in order.
- Food textures
- Multiple colors on my plate
This 7 day cleanse has revealed more than I anticipated. I am practicing discipline, self-control, patience, and mindfulness. I only eat when I’m hungry because I have to prepare each meal. There aren’t any pre-packaged meals or fast food. I recognize when I’m full and I respect the sensation. I’m not interested in drinking more than I have to, it just sends me to the bathroom more often.
I look at the bigger picture. At the end of this 7-day journey, I will be happy because I’ll know that just like I handled this experience I can handle other things in my life that make me uncomfortable, go against the norm, and require my time and energy.
What does my soul need?
My soul needs to know that it has permission to do what is best for me physically. It needs me to exercise routinely, it needs me to nourish myself with healthy life giving food. My soul needs me to make decisions that align with my spirit, express my faith and honor God.
Question: What habits do you engage in with your body that you’d like to get rid of? Where do you stand spiritually with these habits?