[Verb; ~ Pronunciation: /too/ /klenz/]
- Definition: Attempting to get your cortisol-production under control and symbolically starting the new year with a new beginning by abstaining from solid foods for two days. Result: I felt cleansed. And hungry. And kind of cranky.
“Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion and knowledge”
– Plato –
Watch the video. You don’t have to understand what they say, just know this: twenty (semi-)famous Dutch people voluntarily get dropped on an uninhabited island where they have to make camp and survive for, say, a month. No food is supplied, they have to forage everything themselves.
There’s more to the show than just that, but that’s the set-up and all you need to know for now.
Thing is: the people on the show are Hungry. With a capital H. Let’s face it: there are only so many bananas you can eat without wanting to die.
Before this year started, I had decided to do a two day cleanse, meaning I’d consume nothing but juices, tea and (so it appeared), bouillon. Why? Because I’ve gained a little weight after a few periods of intense stress, and apparently cortisol (the stress-hormone) is produced in your belly, where it will happily sit and wait to be demolished, because it knows that process takes a very long time.
I had read somewhere that fasting for at least two days would help your body reset its cortisol production and on top of that I thought it was a good idea to start off the new year this way; before starting my new, healthy diet I’d not eat anything solid for two days. Start with a clean slate, if you will.
I had imagined it would be very difficult, seeing as I can get very cranky if I’m late with any meal. But as it happened, all went well. The first day I found myself not even thinking of food or wanting to tear open a bar of chocolate.
Until after dinner.
I got so hungry, I developed a headache and tried to cure this by drinking more water and eventually bouillon. That helped a bit. But after two days of consuming nothing but tea, freshly made fruit juices and, well, soup broth, I was relieved my cleansing was over!
I did feel healthier and lighter in a way, but I can’t imagine having to do this (or actually worse: practically not eat at all) for a full month! I remember watching an apple I was about to turn into juice and the longing I felt to rip its flesh apart with my teeth and chew and chew and chew.
But I resisted. Because I told myself I could eat anything I wanted, I just chose not to eat any solid food. I cleansed myself and I felt good. A little more so on the mental front (because I didn’t give in to temptation), but really good nonetheless.
This whole process made me more appreciative of food in general, health, and my super strong willpower. I can recommend it to anyone. Just make sure you do your homework and you cleanse in a healthy manner.
2017 has started, people, and I am ready for it! I hope you are, too.