What I Thought Would Be Torturous Ended Up Boosting My Mental, Spiritual & Physical Energy — Because Nothing Tastes as Good as Healthy Feels
Eating one meal a day, eliminating animal products, gluten, lactose, sugar and caffeine from my diet, learning to treat a glass of green juice floating in water like dessert, taking enzymes before, and probiotics after my meals… Going vegan. Hardcore, raw-vegan. Sounds impossible, right? This past week has proven otherwise.
My body needed a cleanse and so did my mind and soul. I needed a holistic wellbeing retreat and a week of detox promised exactly that. In order to maximize my internal and external cleanse, I utilized resources like oxygen therapy, infrared sauna and steam room provided by the wellness centre on a daily basis.
I didn’t just sleep away my days; I made sure to engage in physical activities ranging from jogging, yoga and cardio bootcamps to dance meditations. And to my surprise, each workout fueled more energy in my body, each practice prepared me for the next, both mentally and physically.
With every additional treatment, it became clearer that we can’t heal or transform our bodies unless we heal or transform our minds and souls. It’s all about our mindsets. How we think determines how we feel and act but learning to shift our thoughts towards the right direction is quite a challenge.
One of the methods I found to be really effective on letting go of the negative thoughts was meditation — Transcendental meditation to be specific. If you have no idea what that means, you are not alone, I can barely pronounce it myself. But that’s not the point. For less than an hour, you inhale and exhale from your mouth, completely detaching from your responsibilities, worries and problems. You let yourself relax, be conscious enough to focus on your breathing but unconscious enough to let loose. Once the time passes, you are a free person, free from conflict and negativity. You are who you want to be and it only gets better from there.
The most notable outcome of the process for me therefore was improved spiritual awareness and mindfulness. When your meals are pre-planned and your calorie intake is restricted (almost to meet the nutritional needs of a newborn) you realize the value of every bite you get. You begin to notice how you chew and over time you begin to chew for longer spans. Essentially, having a single meal (a raw vegan salad) a day, transforms how you approach a salad. A healthy side option for your main course turns into your only course. And, surprise! That salad keeps you full for the whole day, and then some.
Experiencing how my body could function with high levels of energy without having breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert (and a few snacks here and there) was a blessing and a curse. It was a truth that stood against everything I was taught and seen from society until now but it shifted my mindset towards the right direction. At the end of the day, I did function just as well with one meal — if not better. The output is beyond numerical changes on the scale, everything I learned fed my mind and soul.
That being said, it would be an understatement to say detoxing is difficult. Reversing your eating habits messes up with your digestive system but our bodies can adjust to everything, it just takes time. We used plant-based pills to help with our digestion until our bodies got used to the system but colema — a machine that eliminates waste from your colons and fastens the detoxification process — was also available for guests.
Additionally, we participated in raw and vegan cooking workshops and nutrition-based informative talks. In a way, we were brainwashed but for the best reasons. A few key takeaways were: minimize animal products, don’t drink water before meals, chew more, narrow your eating windows, and make yourself accountable.
On a final note, I learned to practice yoga or take an additional walk when I felt like binging shows on Netflix. And instead of eating mindlessly just because I’m watching something, I listened to my body and gave my stomach time to digest. I became a mindful eater and I intend to stay that way. Not fully raw, nor fully vegan, but mostly plant based. Because nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!