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We are 4 days into the first-ever Spark! Wellness / Choosing Raw cleanse, and what do I, a level-3 participant, have to say? That this is the best thing ever – I should cleanse more often!
Admittedly, I am only on day 3 myself – I had to skew my start-date just a bit due to international travel and my inability to adequately pre-tox. But, I am going strong, feeling great, and ready to plough through the remaining days of what is, for me, a much-needed, focused effort on taking charge on my nutritional well-being and health.
I am sure most of are enjoying your repsective cleanse experiences as much as I am – each for your own reasons. Judging by the comments on the level-3 forum, while some of us are experiencing a few road blocks and frustrations that are common to detox, on the whole, this cleanse is enabling us to do the very best for ourselves and our bodies, and is worth the frustration of having to resist our favorite indulgences for some time, and teach our bodies to embrace what is needed for our true nourishment.
Why am I loving this cleanse?
- First and foremost, it is an exercise in building discipline. Knowing that introducing ‘cheat foods’ or foods that are totally not allowed at all can interrupt the cleanse process makes me all the more willing and determined to stick to Gena’s carefully planned out regime. I certainly want to make the most of these 10 days, and know that my body needs it, so there is more at stake and less of a reason for me to cheat. Hopefully, and ideally, this exercise is helping me to build the same discipline for when I am not cleansing, so that I can resist and/or moderately eat certain foods more regularly and without succombing to cravings.
- I am enjoying my meals. Knowing that every last bit of food I am consuming is packed with nutrients that I need (instead of fillers and additives, as with processed foods), I find that I am enjoying my meals and appreciating the wonderful fruits of the earth that were designed to so efficiently and thoroughly nourish our bodies. It’s so refreshing to have in front of you only whole, natural foods, not pre-prepared, processed complete meals.
- Gena mentions in our cleanse packet that food preparation in a high-raw diet is an opportunity for ‘culinary artistry,’ and I am finding just that! While Gena has provided a delectable bank of recipes based on her tastes and preferences (no garlic and onions!), I have been able to make my own versions that suit my tastes (lots of garlic and onions!, among other things). I have already created several soups and juices that I will continue to make in the future for myself and others.
- I found my new quick-and-easy packaged snack: Larabars. I have known about them for quite some time, but I always would shy away from them because they were packaged, and would opt for fresh fruit as a snack instead. While I realize that they are technically ‘processed,’ they are only minimally so — they truly represent a convenient, nutrient-packed snack that contains only natural ingredients (read: nuts, fruits, and a few spices). Try them if you haven’t done so already! My favorite flavor: peanut butter and jelly, which is the new kid on the Larabar block!
Happy cleansing, cleansers! I hope that you are finding this experience as rewarding as I am finding it to be.
If you could not make the informational call about our 10-day cleanse, you can listen to the recorded version by using this information:
Wow, that was helpful!
Like many of you reading this, I am participating in the upcoming, first-ever Spark! Wellness / Choosing Raw 10-day Cleanse, to which I am eagerly looking forward! I am a level-3 participant, having eaten a plant-based diet for most of my life, and having a preference for raw foods. I am now ready to try an even higher-raw, all-vegan diet!
Of course, I had a few questions ready for Andrea, Hadley, and especially Gena, who is leading my level of choice, but I didn’t even need to ask them, since so many of you did the asking during this evening’s informational call!
I found that the call truly set forth expectations for each level of the cleanse levels, covering nearly any and every perspective of cleansing, from the time it takes to prepare your foods, to your energy levels, to supplements, water-drinking, needed equpiment for food prep, and more. My key take-aways, in summary, are as follows:
- Tone down your activity, since you may find it more difficult to keep up with your normal exercise routine if it is too vigorous and you are not nourishing your body in the same way it is used to. Of course, you very well may find yourself very energetic and able to do more than usual, but proceed with caution. Your body will be experiencing a change, and will have its own adjustments going on.
- For my fellow level-3 participants: a blender and/or juicer will come in handy, so if you want to make the investment, borrow a friend’s, or dust off your old one, go for it!
- You should not and will not feel deprived on any of the levels of this cleanse. It is not a ‘fad’ detox or a quick-fix diet. It is a way of jump-starting your body to achieve lifelong, healthy changes to your well-being.
- Our cleanse leaders were also certain to remind us all of something important: *As with any exercise routine, change in diet, or other regime that you are undertaking, be sure to check with your doctor first.* I have done this already, and strongly advise that you do, too, especially if you have any pre-existing conditions or health concerns.
Stay tuned, and the recording from this evening’s call will be provided for those of you who couldn’t listen in live.
I should also add, which I just learned today, that Veg News made mention of this cleanse, in what is an inspiring article for looking at the new year.
Our three-level group detox is beginning just twelve short days from now, and our informational call to answer your questions is taking place TONIGHT!
If you have lingering questions about the detox that you would like addressed, or if you just would like to listen and get more information about what to expect for our 10-day cleanse, please dial-in at 8 PM this evening, January 6th with the following number:
+1 (712) 432-0111
When prompted, enter your “Participant Access Code,” 403732, followed by the # key.
Looking forward to having you then!
Questions about what to expect for our upcoming January Cleanse with ChoosingRaw.com have been pouring in! See below for some more recently asked questions, in addition to the previously-listed FAQs and their answers.
For those of you that will be joining us for the cleanse, these questions and answers will help you to establish your frame of mind as you begin preparing for your cleanse. If you have not yet committed to the cleanse, look to these FAQs as a source of information, and please free to contact us with any further questions.
Q: Must I use only organic foods and products as part of this cleanse?
Answer from Spark!: In an ideal world, everything would be organic and all-natural, and hormone and pesticide-free products would be available at a reasonable cost, or consumers would not have any issue with making an investment in their health in buying the best, most whole and nourishing products at a premium price. However, this is the real world, and buying all organic all the time can prove to be pricey, especially since conventional produce is often so much more wallet-friendly. Having said this, it should be your goal to include as much organic in your cleanse regime as possible; eating non-organic, however, will still allow you to reap the numerous benefits of the cleanse.
During the cleanse, the instructional and support materials provided to cleansers will advise on the produce and other products that must critically be bought organic, and those for which the organic label does not matter as much. This will be your guide to buying smart so that you can reap the most benefits of the cleanse while making minimum impact on your wallet.
Q: How and where can I procure organic, natural produce inexpensively?
Answer from Spark!: There are ways to buy organic without burning a huge hole in your wallet. If you live in New York City or in any major city, there are usually co-ops where you can buy an annual membership and have access to abundant all-natural and organic products at a reasonable cost. Also, for city dwellers and in certain suburbs, if Whole Foods is too expensive for your wallet, Trader Joe’s sells organic produce, though you have to look closely and be sure to choose organic and not conventional. Another fantastic source of fresh, organic produce at a reasonable price is through Fresh Direct, which procures local, fresh products from nearby farmers and provides them to New Yorkers at a fair price, AND delivers to your doorstep. Additionally, outdoor famer’s markets, like the one in Union Square in New York, and Green City Market in Chicago, offer hard-to-find items that are grown and harvested fresh, locally, and without pesticides and hormones.
Q: Is it possible to combine levels of the cleanse? For example, if I cannot decide between level 2 and level 3, may I do a combination of both levels?
Answer from Spark!: The levels of the cleanse were designed by health counselors Andrea, Gena and Hadley to provide three distinct ways of cleansing depending on your past experiences with food and your choice for cleansing. Throughout the course of the 10-day cleanse, each counselor will be responsible for one group level of the cleanse, and will guide the cleanse participants in each of these levels with ongoing support and guidance based on the particular regimes for each level. For these reasons, it is best to stick with one of the levels, either 1, 2 or 3, to maximize your investment in this cleanse and reap the most benefit from the support and guidance provided by Andrea, Gena and Hadley.
Q: Must I have a juicer in order to participate in the cleanse, especially level 3?
Answer from Spark!: While a juicer is a great piece of equipment to have for your vegetable juicing needs, and could possibly serve you well if you continue to make juices like those provided on the sample menus, it is not necessary. A blender will do just fine. In the case where you use vegetables that might be a little hard to blend, steaming them lightly before blending is helpful. If you have it in you, you can also chop veggies into smaller pieces before blending, which makes the blending process a bit less taxing on your equipment.
As more questions are asked, we will be sure to post them here.