The first seven days ~ my experience on the Master Cleanse

I had been feeling unwell for some months, I’d put on so much weight that I was no longer comfortable in my body. For the past 6 months I’d been binging on takeaway and fast food.

Why I hear you ask? Well when I thought about it, it was 6 months ago that my Dad was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I lost my Mum to cancer 17 years ago, as well as two pretty significant men in my life. I’m not one of those people that lose weight when they are stressed, quite the opposite really. I turned to carbs and high fat foods for solace.

Two weeks ago I heard about the Master Cleanse. I’d tried other diets in the past and none had worked. But the Master Cleanse seemed different. Rather than a diet, it is a cleanse to rid the body of toxins and cleanse the liver and colon – something I really needed after 6 months of fast food and soft drink.

So I stocked up on organic lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and Himalayan crystal salt.

I started on Monday (day 1) and did ok, although by 8pm I was craving a juicy hamburger, but I ignored the craving, had another lemon drink and  went to bed.

On Tuesday (day 2) I had killer headaches. As the day went on I thought my head would implode. I knew these were detox headaches, as I experienced them when I gave up coffee four years ago. I made it through to 4pm and then had to leave work. I went home and went to bed and slept for a few hours. I got up again at 7pm and then went back to bed at 10.30pm and slept until 7 the next morning.

On Wednesday (day 3) I started the day with so much energy … I bounced into work and was feeling great, but by lunchtime a mild headache had come on and I was feeling tired. Oh, and I also noticed that I got a white coating on my tongue. They say  that the white coating on your tongue is a good way to measure the effectiveness of the cleanse. When the white coating fades away and your tongue turns pink it’s usually a sign that your body is free of internal waste.

On Thursday (day 4) I bounded out of bed full of energy. I was clear and focused and breezed through the day.

Friday (day 5) and Saturday (day) I was even clearer and more focused.

Today (day 7) I’m still feeling great. No cravings, no feeling of deprivation, just a feeling of wellbeing. Oh, and I’ve lost 4.2 kg.

Stay tuned to see how I get through the next week.

The Master Cleanse ~ colon and liver cleanse

I’ve recently become very uncomfortable in my body. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, was constantly feeling fatigued and generally feeling unwell.

While undertaking my certification in Vita Flex Technique (Tibetan Reflexology) I learnt about the Master Cleanse. Both were channelled by Master Healer Stanley Burroughs in the early-mid 1900’s.

The Master Cleanse is not a fast. It is a liquid mono diet which is used to regenerate and detoxify the body.

The following information is provided for your interest only. If you decide toundertake the Master Cleanse, you do so at your own risk. You should consult a health care professional before undertaking.

The Master Cleanse Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed ripe lemon or lime juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup – preferably C grade, however this is virtually impossible to get in Australia so I use the Pureharvest Organic Maple Syrup
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 300ml of filtered or spring water

Mix these ingredients in a large glass and drink a glass whenever you feel hungry (most people average between 6-12 glasses a day.

I buy organic lemon juice from the local farmers markets each week and keep a bottle at home and one at work.

In between these drinks you can drink water or herbal teas.

Now it’s important to take a good herbal laxative while on the Master Cleanse in order to keep your bowel moving to move the toxins and waste out of your body. I asked Carrie Walters, a local Canberra naturopath to recommend a good one and she put me onto Hilde Hemmes’ Laxative teabags. You just have a cuppa before you go to bed (make sure it’s just one though).

Every 2-3 days you’ll need to drink 2 level teaspoons of uniodized sea salt – I use food grade pink Himalayan crystal salt that I buy from the Woden Farmers Market on Sundays – in a litre of filtered or spring water within 10 minutes of waking (I find this the hardest part of the cleanse).  Make sure you’ll stick close to the toilet for the next hour while it cleans out your system – I have learnt the literal meaning of ‘going through you like a good dose of salts!’.

Remain on the Master Cleanse for a minimum of 10 days.

Some of the side effects you may experience include headaches, nausea, white coated tongue, black bowel movements, parasites in faeces. These are all  symptoms of detox.

The art of extreme self care ~ recommitting to myself

I’ve been reflecting over the weekend about my New Year’s resolution to take better care of myself, and boy have I let myself down. People have been telling me all year that I look tired. And I’ve had consistent hayfever, sinus and I’ve picked up every little virus going around.

Simply, I haven’t been looking after myself. I’ve been running on adrenalin, and frankly I’m now running on empty.

Naughty Michelle, bad, bad, bad!

I decided it was time to turn things around and recommit to myself. So it came as no surprise to me that I found Cheryl Richardson‘s book The Art of Extreme Self Care. The book offers you 12 strategies to transform your life one month at a time, and is designed as a practical, action-oriented program, each chapter challenges you to alter one behavior that keeps getting you in trouble.

Michelle Chant & Cheryl Richardson ~ June 2010

I bought the book ~ and cards ~ on Hay House writers’ cruise in the Caribbean in June of 2010. I was lucky enough to meet Cheryl on that cruise, and this lady really does walk her talk.

So over the Easter break I’ve made some changes. Simple changes that won’t send me into a frenzy.

My first change was to have a relaxing bath every night, with candle light and music setting an ambient scene. After soaking and meditating for at least 20 minutes, I’ve been having a nice cup of herbal tea.

I’ve also looked at my health. I started with Dr Sandra Cabot’s liver check. I filled out the online questionnaire and received a personalised detox plan, including a shopping list. So I went out and restocked my fridge and pantry.

I’ve been taking long walks ~ which Trinity loves ~ and I’m making sure I meditate for at least 20 minutes a day.

So watch this space … and tell me, what are your tips for taking care of yourself?

Five ways to get a better night’s sleep

Do you need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning? Does it take 2 cups of coffee to make you really feel awake? Does it take another cup of coffee to keep you going after lunch? Do you look forward to weekends as the days when you can sleep in?  If the answer to any of these questions is, “Yes,” you probably aren’t getting enough sleep.

We spend somewhere between a quarter to a third of our lives sleeping for a reason: we need it. If you want to get the most out of your waking life, make it your goal to get the most out of your sleep. These are 5 ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Take Sleep Seriously

Most of us don’t take sleep seriously unless we have insomnia. When you realise how profoundly sleep affects your quality of life, you’ll take it as seriously as you take diet and exercise. Next time you’re tempted to stay up late studying, watching TV or catching up on your emails, resist the temptation and go to bed. You’ll be happier, healthier and more productive the next day and that first step towards better sleeping habits will set the stage for a better life.

Establish a Sleeping Pattern

The human body is brilliantly designed to naturally follow the rhythms of nature. When darkness falls, the brain begins to release restful chemicals. Electric lights, TVs and other modern conveniences short-circuit our natural bio-rhythms. While disconnecting the house from the power grid might be overdoing it, putting yourself on a sleep schedule that corresponds with the time you have to wake up for work or school is a realistic way to tell your body when it’s time to sleep.

Most of us require 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If you wake up groggy, it’s probably because you’re falling short of sleep needs. Try going to bed a little earlier. Turn off all the lights or if you need a dim light, place it near the ground. This acts like a signal to your body that the sun is setting, while an overhead light, even if dim, tells your body it’s daytime.

Exercise

Regular exercise is important for a variety of reasons, one of them being that exercise raises endorphins’ levels. The “feel good” hormones, endorphins relieve stress and induce relaxation. However, heavy exercise also releases adrenaline, so instead of going to the gym at night, get your exercise in the afternoon. Morning exercise does little to improve sleep, so if a better night’s sleep is your goal, get your exercise in the afternoon or early evening.

Exercises like yoga and pilates are ideal, so find a school near you that holds classes in the afternoon or early evening. Once you’ve learned the techniques, you can set your own schedule and enjoy group classes on weekends.

Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine and Smoking

Most of us know that a cup of coffee is the last thing you should drink before bedtime, but did you know that the caffeine continues to work for up to six hours after you drink a cup of coffee? If you drink an afternoon cuppa at 4pm, it will still be affecting you at 10pm and can make getting to sleep difficult. Alcohol does make you drowsy, but it prevents restful sleep, causing “sleep fragmentation,” a condition in which your brainwave patterns “bounce” from deep sleep to the waking or near waking state repeatedly. Nicotine is a stimulant and that “relaxing last cigarette before bed” habit is just the addiction speaking.

The best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Contact a herbalist near you and find out which herbal tea blends are best for relaxation before bed.

Unwind Before Bedtime

Our lives are so busy, we find it hard to keep up with all the things we have to do. If you spend your evenings catching up on your bills, worrying about something that you put in the back of your mind at work or even watching a suspenseful or violent movie on TV, you’re creating stress at just the time you should be putting the day’s stresses behind you. Make evening a time of relaxation by reading a good book, listening to music, meditating or doing something else that you enjoy. There’s plenty of time tomorrow to face the world and if you wake up refreshed, you’ll see everything in a brighter light and be more productive, too.

Meditation in particular has been shown to be a great way to bring greater balance into life. As little as 20 minutes twice a day is enough to increase endorphin and other “happy” hormone levels.

Finding that happy, healthy glow again

My hectic lifestyle has been taking its toll on my body over the past few years, and with some close friends going through some pretty serious health scares recently, I’ve been compelled to take back control of my health.

My good friend Jennine of Avalon Essences Wellness ~ an amazing and talented woman ~ has been making some changes in her life recently. What can I say, she glows. She radiates vibrant health and vitality. She has lost a lot of weight. She just looks amazing. She glows.

“What are you doing?” ~ I begged her to tell me her secrets. And guess what? She did.

Apart from being an talented aromatherapist who hand blends her own aromatherapy skin care range and essential oil perfumes, Jennine recently became an UltraLite detox and weight loss practitioner.  So in her loving way, she sat me down and expounded the benefits of detoxing to me.

So why do we need to detox?

Our bodies are continually loaded with toxins and detoxing helps the body to remove those toxins, helping you to lose weight, feel healthier and recover from any lingering health problems.

Some common sources of toxins include pollution, cigarette smoke, pesticides, alcohol, caffeine, and a diet lacking in nutrients. When toxins build up in the body, problems such as weight gain, poor skin, headaches, fatigue, bloating, lowered immunity and a feeling of general unwellness occur.

The good news is, there are plenty of good detox methods out there to help get rid of these toxins.

Jennine told me about a foot detox. The foot detox involves simply placing your foot into a basin of salted water that contains ion generators.  The ion generators are then supplied with very low electricity current that causes positive and negative ions to be produced which then attract oppositely charged particles in the body.  The process works by attracting charged toxic substances and then drawing them out into the water.

I’d heard of this method before and I was keen to give it a go, so I booked in for a course of detox sessions with her.

The treatment was very straightforward, my feet were immersed in a foot spa while Jennine added a special salt and monitored levels throughout the session. I just sat back and relaxed for around 30 minutes while the foot spa did its thing.

The ionised water reacts and begins to darken, showing excreted toxins and lymphatic fat. I was mesmerised as I watched the water change from crystal clear to a light gold, which deepened into a dark gold and finally a dark brown. Ewwwww!

The process is designed to stimulate circulation, allowing cells to release toxins and begin re-balancing the body. I noticed an improvement in my sense of wellbeing from the first treatment. Over the course of treatments, I began to feel more alive, and was able to ease into my detox diet.

The symptoms of many common ailments can be combated through this treatment including:

  • Arthritis ~ mobility of joints can be improved
  • Insomnia ~ a clearer, lighter mind helps to relax
  • Circulation ~ cleansing of the body improves circulation
  • Headaches ~ relieves headaches and hangovers
  • Metabolism ~ enhances the body’s performance
  • Skin problems ~ clears the skin and improves skin-tone
  • Menstrual pain ~ reduces pain and discomfort
  • Your wellbeing ~ improved energetic flow
  • Liver and kidney function ~ refreshes vital organs
  • Balance in the whole body ~ the body works in harmony

Now, as those of you who know me, know I have a way to go in my quest to regain my vibrant health and vitality, this was certainly a great kick-start to get me on my path.

I’m now taking myself through the Discover the Secret Messages of your Body program again ~ that’s called walking my talk people. It’s helping me maintain the right mindset I need for this journey, and its helping me to discover the triggers that trip me up.

If you need a kickstart to get you back on the road to a healthy you, I urge you to pay the gorgeous Ms. Jennine a visit, for a course of detox foot spa treatments. And while you’re there talk to her about the Ultralite program. Visit the Avalon Essences Wellness website for more details.

If you’d like some extra support, talk to me about the 28-day Discover the Secret Messages of Your Body Soul Coaching® Program.

Bring your body to life

The next time you experience any significant emotion, whether it’s happiness, depression, anger, irritation or sadness, immediately observe  where you sense that feeling most in your body. It may be your jaw, stomach, arms, chest or elsewhere.

Notice the physical sensation of it: tight, light, tingling, churning, heavy and so on. Then simply be present to that physical senation. Hold the intention to move towards it, not away from it.

As you do this, you may notice that over time the sensation shifts or emotions may surface. If so, just keep tracking the feeling in your body and keep feeling it. You may notice your body wants to make some kind of movement. If so, allow it to move, but slow the movement right down into micro-movements so the feelings held in the movements are felt fully.

To really connect with your feelings you need to be ‘grounded’. Being grounded is about being fully in the present moment, which requires performing body exercises and using your intention to bring your energy out of your head and into your legs and feet. When you are grounded, it begins the process of opening up energetic and emotional blocks in the body to encourage the free flow of energy throughout it so it can freely flow through the heart. It’s believed that it’s only when we are grounded that we feel safe enough to really open our hearts and be fully present.

It’s fascinating how, during a grounded exercise, unresolved stuck feelings will automatically surface and we will feel deeper levels of hurt, anger and pain. When we have fully felt and expressed our pain from a very safe, present and grounded place, we can then experience the world with an open heart and a more authentic sense of self.

This process of living permanently from a more grounded state of awareness requires daily practice and takes time. When you open up blocks in your body and bring the energy out of your head and your feet and legs, your experience of reality shifts. Such shifts may include the following:

  • Ongoing worries disappear and you feel more focused on the here and now. From this state you may feel less reactive to a situation that may have been triggering you.
  • You may simply feel more; emotions may come up from which you previously felt disconnected. These can be negative emotions such as anger or sadness, or sometimes repressed fears, but when you allow yourself to feel them and/or safely express them, you allow your heart to open and experience more loving feelings.
  • If you were previously anxious or fearful, you may feel safer and more comfortable.
  • You may feel more open, wanting to move towards people and wanting to connect with them.
  • Occasionally for some, a lot of repressed feelings that surface may produce anxiety. If this is the case, go very slowly, breathe gently and slowly, or stop and do a gentler grounding exercise.
After doing these exercises over several months you should feel more present and safe and more confident to take action in your life.
You can find an exercise to ground yourself and fully experience the present moment here.

Listen to your body

Searching for the perfect diet? Always worrying about counting calories and fat grams in order to control your weight can become difficult and tiresome. And, is there really a “perfect diet” out there anyway? After all, 95% of diets fail because diets don’t work. Why else would people have to keep searching for new ones all of the time?

When was the last time you truly had fun dieting? Most likely you won’t remember it as a pleasurable experience. After all, it doesn’t feel so great to be getting hungry for lunch but forcing yourself to wait an extra hour. Do you remember feeling irritable? Did you get a headache or was your stomach growling? And, didn’t those “forbidden” or “off limits” foods seem to be calling your name even more than ever? Gosh, that doesn’t seem like very much fun, does it?

The reason diets don’t work and aren’t much fun is because your body needs food for energy, just like a car needs gas to drive. Food is fuel for your body! Your body knows what it needs in order to keep running efficiently–it needs the fuel of vitamins and nutrient rich foods from a variety of food groups. That’s why it’s important to listen to your body and respond to its natural hunger. It will tell you what it needs. And if you don’t listen, it will find ways to keep reminding you–like headaches, a growling stomach, and obsessing about food.

  1. The first key to listening to your body is being able to detect when you are getting hungry. If you are indeed truly hungry, and not just looking for food to cure your boredom, stress, or loneliness, then it is time to refuel.
  2. The second key is being able to know when you have had enough. Listen to your body. When you begin to feel full, you will know that you have had enough to eat. The goal is to feel content–not uncomfortably stuffed but not starving either. Sometimes this means eating 5 or 6 smaller meals a day instead of 3 large meals. And, remember it takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize it’s full. Also, be aware of what you are eating–sit, chew slowly, enjoy the tastes, smells, and textures of your food.
  3. The third key is moderation, nothing to the extreme. Often people hear this advice and think it means they can eat whatever they crave, all the time. Obviously we cannot survive on potato chips or peanut butter cookies alone. And if you tried, chances are you’d probably start to crave some pasta or fresh fruit after awhile. These cravings are your body’s way of helping you get the nutrients it knows you need.
If you are trying to get in shape but something seems to be blocking you, or you feel that it’s time to do something about your health, but something seems to limit you, talk to me about the Unlock the Secret Messages of your Body Soul Coaching® program is a powerful 28-day jump-start program for radiant health and glorious vitality. Read more about it here.

Every BODY is Different

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.

~Kahlil Gibran

Real Women ~ Dove Campaign

It is important to remember that every body is different. Even if everyone started eating the same things and did the same amount of exercise for a whole year, we would not all look the same at the end of the year. This is because each person’s genetics influence their bone structure, body size, shape, and weight differently.

Your “ideal” body weight is the weight that allows you to feel strong and energetic, and lets you lead a healthy, normal life. When searching for your ideal weight, don’t rely on charts, formulas, and tables to dictate what’s right for you. Instead, eat balanced meals full of nutritious foods and enjoy regular, moderate exercise. Avoid comparing your body with your friends’ bodies or the people you see in advertisements and on TV.

What is Body Image?

Body image is…

  • How you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind.
  • How you feel about your body, including your height, shape, and weight.
  • How you feel in your body, not just about your body.
  • What you believe about your own appearance (including your memories, assumptions, and generalisations).

Negative body image is…

  • A distorted perception of your shape – you perceive parts of your body unlike they really are.
  • You are convinced that only other people are attractive and that your body size or shape is a sign of personal failure.
  • You feel ashamed, self-conscious, and anxious about your body.
  • You feel uncomfortable and awkward in your body.

Positive body image is…

  • A clear, true perception of your shape – you see the various parts of your body as they really are.
  • You celebrate and appreciate your natural body shape and you understand that a person’s physical appearance says very little about their character and value as a person.
  • You feel proud and accepting of your unique body and refuse to spend an unreasonable amount of time worrying about food, weight, and calories.
  • You feel comfortable and confident in your body.
  • People with negative body image have a greater likelihood of developing an eating disorder and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, low self-esteem, and obsessions with weight loss.
Try to remember that we are all naturally different which means we all have special qualities about us.

Make a list of your strengths, and leave a comment on my blog about what you like and what makes you unique.

Rescuing my inner goddess

Photo of Michelle by Hilary Wardhaugh www.hwp.com.au

Helloooooooo ….

I can hear a tiny voice from the depths of my Soul while I am meditating. I reach deeper, and then I hear:

Is anybody out there? I’m trapped! Help me!!

At first I am confused … who is this?

A little further into the meditation it dawned on me: it’s my inner-goddess.

“What’s wrong? How can I help?”

I’ve been trapped in this body for SO long. Please. Stop punishing me. Please release me!

So it’s time.

Over the coming months I will be writing about my weight-release journey, and my quest towards better health and vitality.

Now as you may know – or not know – I am a Soul Coach. I guide people on a journey of self-discovery and self-awareness. I like to think I help them to rediscover the sacredness of their lives.

As a Soul Coach, I’m also certified to deliver Denise Linn’s health and Vitality program Unlock the Secret Messages of Your Body.

So it’s about time I put my money where my mouth is, put myself out there, and say to the world: It is time to unleash my inner-babe!

Increasingly I’ve been becomingn more and more uncomfortable in my body. I cringe when I see photos of myself, get puffed walking up stairs, and am tired of the aches and pains of carring all this weight around.

The journey began by jumping on the scales.

When they didn’t collapse under me, I peaked down .. OMG … are you ready? My starting weight is 101 kg.

Not healthy, seriously not healthy.

So aside from coaching myself through Denise’s health and vitality program, I have undertaken the journey with five amazing people, all with their own reasons for doing the program.

I’m 156cm tall (yeah, I’m a shorty), and reasonably small-boned. According to Weight Watchers my healthy weight range is between 49-61kg. So Here’s my long-term weight release goal.

To reach 60 kg by June 2012

There. I said it. It’s out there. I’m going to release 41kg out into the Universe, and I don’t want them back.