Here's the thing about wellness: it's a continuum. We get better at it as we go. We get more informed, build esteem, and find what works as we keep putting one foot in front of the other. We develop new tastes and discover different and interesting foods, and we move into a new rhythm. And with every day that we say, "Okay, I'm bigger than my old habits," we rise to our greater selves. We soar. Consider this cleanse a gift you can give yourself anytime you need it—a gift that will improve your overall wellness, not only by giving you the best possible nutrition but also by getting you to look at everything that comes up during the process: emotions, struggles, triumphs, new tools, and fresh ways of understanding how connected everything is.
You will discover how some of the foods from which you are abstaining have been affecting your body and your mental state. You'll discover some of your emotional attachments to conditioned ways of thinking; for instance, when you're unhappy, do you go for the cookies? Don't dismiss that as typical—it is, but it's also something that you can overcome if you want to, at least for twenty-one days, and you're likely to feel a deep sense of satisfaction when you do (and rightly so). And that may also spur you to take a closer look at where that attachment came from and whether it makes sense to hold on to it when the cleanse is over.
To this day, I do the cleanse with the full knowledge that doing so gives my body a break from its heavy workload, so that I can get rid of some old, stored-up junk and undertake some of my most important inner work—freeing myself from negative bonds and challenging myself to better understand my inner life and how it connects to all life. In this way, I not only heal myself, but I contribute to the healing of our precious world.
I encourage you to read through the book once to get a feel for the overall picture of the cleanse and then go back and take each day one at a time. We'll cover a lot of ground, but in increments. By the time you complete your first cleanse, you will know yourself so much better. You will find yourself relating to other people and the world around you in a more satisfying, more genuine way because you will be penetrating some of your own defenses, and you will find yourself, on the whole, much clearer about many things. Over the course of the twenty-one days, I will be encouraging you to think deeply about where your food comes from and how its handling and its journey to your plate affect how you feel in your body and affect the environment around you; that will naturally raise your empathy for what others go through, too. This not only tends to make you more connected on a personal level, it also makes for a friendlier world. But best of all, you will be spending three weeks eating delicious, nutrient-dense, fiber-rich food. And you won't be hungry at all!
This cleanse has no strange concoctions to drink, no pills you must go out and purchase. And of course it's medically unassailable. Nevertheless, do consult with your doctor before beginning, as it's always wise to check in with your medical advisers. If you can, go to a doctor who is well versed in the latest peer-reviewed research on nutrition.