Monday, August 22, 2011

Arise and Shine....a Cleansing Journey

So I am beginning my cleanse today.  What is a cleanse?  You might ask....well it is 28 days of fruits and veggies plus a few herbal supplements.  Why would anyone do that?  This will be my third time cleansing and I can honestly say my motives are purely about health and wellness and not to lose weight.  

About 12 years ago my Grandfather (my Dads, Dad) fought and beat colon cancer.  At the time I remember thinking that cancer is not something that younger people usually get.   Then about 5 years ago my mother called me and told me that she had colon cancer.  She was only 50 when they found it.  Just recently my other Grandfather was diagnosed with colon cancer (My mothers Dad).  What are my chances of getting it?  Well, I'm not really sure of the exact statistics, but it does not look really very good for me.  
After my grandfather was diagnosed, my sister and I decided to do a cleanse and "clean" our engines to speak.  She had some experience with the Arise and Shine cleanse and said that it worked very well for her in the past.  I wasn't sure if I could do it or not.  I mean 28 days of not being able to enjoy ANY of my favorite things like dairy, bread, a cold beer, meat, caffeine, salt....I mean REALLY!!!   But then I thought to myself, "I have two young kids and if I get colon cancer and die I won't be enjoying anything at all".  So I did it.  It was a sacrifice, but one worth making, and it really wasn't all that bad once I looked back on it.

About two months ago I got a virus.  It was pretty bad and towards the end I ended up in the hospital thinking I was having a heart attack.  I really believe that sometimes we can weaken our immune system to invite these nasty viruses and bacterias to take hold in our bodies by living stressful, crazy lives.  

I recently picked up a Betty Crocker Cookbook called "Cookbook for Women - A complete guide to Women's Health and Wellness at Every Stage of Life".  In the book are wonderful recipes, relaxation techniques and tons of great information.  The most intriguing thing I read was about Challenges in our daily lives verses Stress.  "Challenges in daily life are beneficial", it read, but "When there are too many challenges at one time, you may feel overwhelmed and experience symptoms of negative stress."  "Stress is the body's response to the perception that you are somehow under attack.  That feeling may arise if you sense a threat to your physical or emotional well being.  When the brain senses a threat, it signals the release of stress hormones that prepare the body for fight or flight.  These stress hormones release a burst of glucose that gives the body energy to deal with the threat at hand.  Stress can cause physical reactions that make it harder to fight infection and for cells to use their nutrients wisely."  She goes on to say that "When you become overstressed, you tax your immune system and you can get sick." 

That is what happened to me and that is why I am beginning my cleanse today.  I will check in periodically to let you know how I am doing, but I would really appreciate any supportive words you can give. 


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