You could ask almost any dietitians, nutritionists, naturopaths, urologists, doctors, and other holistic healers what their number one recommendation would be for combating any auto-immune disease and most would recommend a clean lifestyle to optimize health. By that I mean eating fruits, veggies and meats with no pesticides and minimally processing; but also moving your body regularly, all while having a healthy practice with your mental state.
I’m of the belief that food is the first medicine. In my efforts to heal myself from incurable disease, I’ve had to ask myself over and over what does living clean mean?
We are in a much larger world than we realize. The products we support with our purchases tell a story about what matters most to us. Not only in how it affects our body through nourishment, but the journey whatever product we’re buying made to get to our homes, hands and mouths. Did it take down an entire forest on it’s way to me? Is that box it’s shipped in for my convenience a detriment to another part of the planet?
The butterfly effect and how big we’ve made the world isn’t something we think about when clicking yes to our instant purchases. How can we live clean but leave a sludge trail of devastation in our pursuit? I don’t have the answer, it’s why I’m asking the question.
Living clean is also referring to what you ingest into your mind. How do you entertain yourself? How do you communicate with yourself? What’s in the specifics of the language you use with other people?
Diving down a screen shaped rabbit hole is overwhelming. Does anybody really have time to watch all the shows, movies, online videos, or content available? Am I the only one who feels the effects of gore on TV later in their sleeping or waking life? Does anybody else obsess about a fictional story or character?
How you fill your space, your mind, and your mouth directly impacts how you feel and operate in your daily life.
Lifestyle changes are exhausting. Culture can heavily promote convenience over quality. I often have clients, being a bodyworker, who admit they eat fast food and know it doesn’t taste the best or nourish them well, in fact it makes them feel crummy, but that doesn’t stop them from buying into it because IT IS CONVENIENT. It’s the same for our viewing content and how we shop, and how we interact with our relationships.
Illness, disease, lethargy, being uncomfortable in your own skin - none of that is convenient and it’s directly correlated to how we nourish ourselves.
I’m not going to lie and say living clean is convenient. I started from a place of complete dysfunction. I’ve disrupted my entire life in pursuit of living clean only to find myself exhausted at the thought of where paper comes from, or the life cycle of the food I’m consuming. How much water is sacrificed to make a pretty pear that's aesthetically pleasing? How often does anyone else bypass the one bruise on a fruit for a prettier option? Or turn up their nose at the slight wilt in a vegetable?
I think we first need to slow down.
There’s no way we can accomplish it all on our own. Expectations of us made by us are insane. I took it in stages, and continue to optimize with each new bit of information I discover.
I started with food, and continue to make that my primary focus and ask myself: Is it organic? Is it local? What cause am I supporting with my purchase? How does it make me feel physically and mentally to consume?
I then work towards not being a hoarder but instead surrounding myself with what I actually use, need, and desire for my comfort and happiness - but this includes people. Sometimes the destructive type situations, thoughts, and relationships in life - need to be left behind.
My final focus is on content. I enjoy truth, but also a thriller, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as fantasy. It’s work to not let myself numb with it or use it to escape my reality and hide from my life. I have to limit what I can take in and put more of my daily effort into myself, my care and what I need to heal and grow.
Basically, don’t get caught up in someone else's rat race. You’re path is perfect for you, just as mine is for me, even if it doesn’t look like anyone else’s. Listen to your heart, your mind, and your gut in your daily decision making and consumption.