“Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Healthy Business.” I should have written that quote on my office wall 25 years ago. It would have saved me countless hours of trying to convince myself that cold pizza really is the breakfast of champions. Instead, like many other business owners, I have polluted the vessel that carries my dreams with bad food, good wine and intermittent exercise. I’m surprised it’s still speaking to me.
A few months ago, I ran into a former colleague who lost 30 pounds in 2013. He looked great. Naturally, I asked him for his secret. “No secret,” he said. “I made a commitment to myself that this was the year and I started it off on the right foot with a three-day cleanse.” I went home that day and decided to look into cleansing. When I did a search on “3 day cleanse,” Google returned 2.47 million results. It made me think that cleansing might be more than just a fad. Then, a few weeks ago, I had a business lunch with three clients, one of whom said she wouldn’t be ordering because she was having a cleanse day. Nobody looked at her funny or asked, “What do you mean by cleanse?” Instead, one of the other clients asked, “Which cleanse are you doing?”
Why Do A Cleanse?
The purpose of cleansing is to eliminate harmful toxins and reset your body. Some people do it to kick-start a weight loss program. I did it to see if it could take the place of cold pizza. I also wanted to see if it would help me run a better business.
While researching, I found juice, fruit, detox, colon, organic and homemade cleanse kits ranging from two to 10 days and $13 to $199. There were even do-it-yourself cleansing websites. After reviewing almost a dozen options, I decided on Dr. Oz’s 3-day detox cleanse. All I needed was a blender and $48 in groceries from my local market. I also noted on the Web page that over 200,000 people shared this cleanse through the various social media platforms, with 149,000 coming from Pinterest alone.
There is no perfect time of year to cleanse. Obviously, Christmas day is not ideal, but a week before could be perfect. Essentially what you're doing is cleaning out the toxins and starting fresh. I picked a Sunday to Tuesday for my cleanse.
Day By Day
Day 1: Admittedly, I went into my three-day cleanse with a skeptic’s attitude. On the first morning, my skepticism was replaced by panic when I realized that I wouldn’t be having solid foods for 72 hours. I had some green tea when I first woke up and then a breakfast drink that included at least three items that have never seen the inside of my body.
Thankfully, I have a home office and would be spending the next three days anchored to my chair there to avoid all the temptations of the outside world. My morning went surprisingly well. In addition to the cleansing, I incorporated regular breaks to stretch and clear my mind. I set an alarm for every 45 minutes. When it went off, I took a walk around the block, stretched or just went outside and felt the bright sunshine on my face. By lunchtime, I was starting to feel invigorated. Then the skeptic inside of me whispered, “This is the wooing period. Your body wants you to accept this new approach to life so it’s making you think every day will be like today.”
Lunch was a drink that included kale leaves and cucumbers. At this point, my body started to wonder if I had been kidnapped by Dr. Oz himself. I am allowed to have as much tea and water as I want, but no solid food. Work in the afternoon was a breeze. I even had a few conversations with people about cleansing. They all expressed interest in hearing about my results. Given that I was introducing a significant change to my daily life, I decided to end my workday at 5 pm. To my surprise, I wasn’t hungry and had a very productive workday.
Dinner consisted of a drink that included avocado, coconut water, cayenne pepper and more kale leaves (they are everywhere). I also took probiotic, multivitamin and Omega 3 supplements after breakfast and lunch per the cleansing directions. One thing I didn’t do was the detox ultra-bath, but I don’t think it had an impact on the outcome of my cleansing. At the end of the first day, I give myself an A- for following directions and the cleansing a solid A for making me feel 20 years younger in 24 hours.
Day 2: I woke up hungry but felt like it was my body adjusting to the cleanse. I had the same drinks, tea, water and supplements at the same time. I believe this approach makes it easier to follow with less room for error.
On the second day, I felt empowered and strong. I didn’t feel dizzy or nauseous. I kept busy with work (I wrote my to-do list the night before) so I didn't have to think about eating. I even did some exercise. During two of my breaks, I did some low-impact weightlifting.
I think the word for the second day was “clarity.” I was able to stay on track with my work in spite of the phone ringing, text messages and emails to answer and wanting to check my different social media accounts. I realized how many different “time robbers” there were in my day. Some take away five minutes while others might steal 30 to 45 minutes. That epiphany alone was worth doing the cleanse.
Day 3: The third day was the toughest. I was not looking forward to the drinks or vitamins or drinking water. I still did the regularly scheduled breaks and used them to remind myself that change doesn’t always happen overnight and it’s not a straight line to success. Staying focused on work was tougher than on day 2, but definitely better than my focus prior to the cleanse.
The Verdict Is In
On Wednesday, I eased back into eating a regular diet. I had a healthy breakfast of toast with all-natural peanut butter topped with bananas and some tea. Lunch and dinner were both healthy meals and I even remembered to take my breaks during the day. I also had more energy and focus at work.
If you can relate to the examples above, then I recommend you try a two- to three-day cleanse. If you have any health issues, don’t start anything until you see your doctor first. I will try another cleanse again in six months.
I liken my three-day cleanse for my body to taking a 20,000-foot view of my business. It gave me a different perspective of how I was living my life and what I needed to do to put myself in a position to achieve my goals and dreams. It also reminded me that “Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Healthy Business.”
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