At the last meeting of the Group Cleanse at All Wellness we were excited and giddy. It was bitter sweet, like graduation. Some in the group look forward to returning to old eating patterns: dinner with family, pizza, eggs for breakfast… For others there is no turning back. The Cleanse created new sensitivity. Our bodies had built up a numbness to all the bad food we’ve eaten over the years. Now that we are clean, we are much more sensitive to what causes problems and to what makes us feel good.

Personally, I find the vegan aspect of the cleanse very appealing. But after 21 days of sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free living, I wanted to experiment. I went to Burlington to Healthy Living for breakfast. I had an almond scone. It was still warm! Its bouquet was breathtaking. It was moist and flaky and had a sweet glaze drizzled along the top of its delightful, cratered, nutty crust. It could distinguish each of its heavenly flavors: wheat, sugar, butter, almond, butter, salt, butter, and maybe a hint of lemon. I was transported, like a starving castaway, to the middle of a fantasy about the most magnificent bakery in France or somewhere succulent and sexy where food is exulted to the height of passion. It was absolutely exquisite.

Until I swallowed. It felt like my teeth, mouth, throat and gut were covered with WD40. That little slice of heaven felt like a lard ball in my stomach. I felt my whole body slow down and congeal. It was comical. Was it worth it? Would I do it again? Maybe. My love affair with the senses of smell and taste might be a little stronger than my disdain for lard balls. But next time, I will be prepared.

My indulgences will be peppered with the knowledge of the effects of culinary bliss. I will indulge much less often. But I probably will indulge. One of the wonderful aspects of the Clean Program is its flexibility. One of the tenets of the Clean Program is letting go of toxic emotions, like guilt. If you fall off the wagon, just turn around and get back on – with new knowledge.

By cleansing, I learned one of the wonderful aspects of the human body: resiliency. I have been a coffee addict for years. Today it tastes like gasoline, though its aroma still sends me. Recovering from caffeine addiction gave me a most memorable two-day headache, but I recovered. Sugar holds no attraction for me, cheese even less. My body bounced back from the depths of mindless satiation to feel the best I can remember feeling.

I’m sure I will drink champagne at my mom’s house closing and I know there is a picnic in my future that involves chips and salsa, but I will not go in for the total retox. I will never return to my former unconscious relationship with food. The group cleanse just made me feel to good to go back to another way. I encourage you to try it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Comment to this post with your questions or contact Laura at All Wellness to learn more about how you can feel and look better. Everyone should feel this good.

Clean food resources:

Clean Program
Clean Program Support Community
Gluten-Free Girl
Living Tree Community Foods
Mark Bittman, Part-Time Vegan – A Gluten-Free Guide
Bob’s Red Mill

image credit: goodlifeeats.com