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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Great Reading

Cleanse: Day 20 - Discipline

Breakfast!

Welcome!

First off, I’d like to welcome all the new readers to One Green Generation.  Lately I’ve had a lot of emails, Facebook messages, chats, comments, and in-person talks with new and old friends who are reading.

I think this is a unique time for a lot of people.  Many of us are starting out on a new journey, and the idea of a cleanse as a way to begin to reset the balance seems to hit home for a lot of people.

I’m extremely glad to know that my writing is affecting you!  Thank you all for reading.  We’re getting around 2,000 views a day, and only a handful of comments a day – so I especially thank those who have reached out to me to let me know you’re out there and that I’m doing something right.  It’s really good to hear.

As always I encourage you to comment on the blog if you have questions, thoughts, or ideas.  But if you just want to read, that’s totally fine, too!

The Role of Discipline in Well-Being

I’ve talked with several people lately who have done or are doing cleanses, or who are just giving up certain foods both for health and as self-discipline.  I hadn’t really thought of it that way before.  But the essential idea is that sometimes you have to prove to yourself that you can resist things that you want – for the greater good of you.

I got to thinking more about it, and realized this discipline is not mind over matter so much as mind over culture.  It’s the part of our culture that says you should desire superfluous things, and that if you desire them and have the money, you should consume them.

I haven’t been hungry much at all on the cleanse – even after two days of liquid-only fasting.  What has made me want food is the stuff around me – signs advertising food, cultural pressures to eat and drink while convening together (as if we can’t have a good time without it), an “innate” desire to eat dessert after dinner (many cultures don’t do this), the little snacks that litter the grocery store aisles…

But my body is doing just fine without all those things I want to eat.  My body, in fact, is doing better without them!

Why do we want to eat when we’re bored or sad?  Why don’t we want to go on a run instead??  Can’t we rewire our thinking so that we choose to desire things that are better for us?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love food, and I can’t wait to return to some of my favorite things.  But when the cleanse is over, I will be thinking more about what I need when, and how it positively and negatively affects my mood and my bodily functions.

What Do You Think?

I’d love to know your thoughts – have you tried to be more disciplined in your eating or other aspects of your lifestyle?  What do you think is the root cause of our doing things we know aren’t good for us?  And how do we get past that, to do things that are good for us, our families, and our environment?

Day 20

Berry smoothie for breakfast.

Energy smoothie for lunch.

Chia smoothie for dinner.

Well Being Meter

I’m feeling back on track. In fact I’m feeling so well now, and felt so unwell the past two days, that I’m a teensy bit afraid to start normal eating again!

After two days of having only smoothies and water, I have gone into a different mode of detox. My intestines are on overdrive.  Those of you who are reading Clean now, I’m having some of those third-week bowel movements he writes about, the ones that seem to be pushing out years of old toxins.  And multiple times a day.

Psyllium husks are my friend – they’re both helping to push things out, and they are giving me some bulk in my stomach.  Taking it twice a day.

It feels good to be at a better weight, and I’m beginning to see a little extra muscle definition in my arms and legs.  How exciting!

A couple months ago, there is no way I would have ever thought I could do this.  Heck, even a couple weeks ago!  I thought I would waste away.  But I’m actually feeling really good.

Weight: 126.2

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10 comments to Cleanse: Day 20 – Discipline

  • I have to admit that I do a lot of work not classifying taking care of my body in the way it needs as discipline. For someone such as me with a control streak a mile wide it needs to be firmly about listening and respecting that my body knows what it needs .. or that way eating disorder looms.

    The book seems to have been very thorough up until now so I can’t imagine it’s going to fall down on how to reintroduce normal foods. Best wishes and I hope you find a an eating lifestyle that works for your body.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

    • Interesting perspective, Belinda. We all need our own way of giving our body what it needs. The way in which we do that are probably as diverse as our bodies themselves!

      Yes, I’m excited to learn what the reintroductions reveal. My naturopath is also helping me do this in a regimented way (ie as scientific as possible, leaving less room for doubt).

      Thank you, as always, for your comment and your perspective!!

  • Eva

    Melinda,
    I’ve just reconnected with your blog (guess I’m one of the 2,000 now!), and it’s well-timed. I am revisiting dietary changes after struggling with anemia, fatigue, and general digestive issues on and off for years…I found that going gluten-free last year helped, but I have struggled to adhere. I like your take on self-discipline, and I was just decrying to Sean today that saying no to certain foods makes me feel like I am missing out on a huge portion of daily culture. But maybe there is another way to look at it, indeed! Thanks for sharing your journey.
    Eva

    • Hi Eva, welcome!! Thank you so much for commenting!

      I’m glad this has helped. I know it’s not easy to rethink our culture, but I think it’s important for many of us… I’ll be continually struggling as well.

      I’ll also be writing about going gluten free on occasion, so please feel free to chime in with tips, advice, or questions!

  • Hi,
    I have to echo some of Belinda’s comments: as I was reading today’s post I couldn’t help but think that for a person who struggles with eating disorders, these positive connections between not eating and self-discipline may have a negative effect. However, I’m happy to hear that your cleanse is making you feel more in tune with your body and feel better in your own skin.
    I started reading your site a few weeks ago and I love all of your advice regarding “greening.” Just started the no ‘poo thing 2 weeks ago and I’m excited to see how it turns out once I’m past this oily stage. Thanks!

    • Tamiko, very interesting. I hadn’t thought of how that might affect people with an eating disorder. I had been thinking more about the reader who, like me, has a tough time resisting foods because society tells us we want them. I am absolutely sure this is a big part of the obesity problem in our country.

      And to be totally clear, this diet is not at all about “not eating” (nor was this post meant to be) – it is about eating healthy, and eating when you need to eat – not simply when you desire it. (Because I believe the root of our desire is largely cultural – largely advertising.)

      Hope that helps. I’m so glad you tried no poo, and that you’re reading! Thanks for helping me clarify this.

  • You make such a good point about mind over culture. That is so true in many things, not just in eating but in consuming in general and so much more. It isn’t always easy either, is it!? One of the other issues I have come up against is the cultural socializing norm, that seems to always be set around restaurants and bars and pubs. If you can’t or don’t eat out and you consume little to no alcohol it can make for feeling like a social pariah. I would love to see a shift in this where friends meet up to go for walks or hikes or stroll through a museum or sit at a park more.

    You asked what the root cause of doing things that aren’t good for us is and I think it is a combination of several things including it just being easier to go with the flow and also not valuing ourselves and our wellbeing as much as we should.

    It has been great following your progress through this cleanse and it will be interesting to see how things go for you once you start to integrate things back into your diet. I know I always have to do so very slowly and one thing at a time to be able to really tell what works and doesn’t, and it can be so hard to be patient through the process, so I am wishing you lots and lots of patience!

  • Oh and I forgot to mention that I picked up the Tulsi tea at Madison Market on Saturday only to discover it is Holy Basil, an herb I take as part of a supplement for adrenal issues! The tea is delicious. It reminds me of a mild unsweetened version of the local Morning Glory Green Tea Chai, which I loved and miss. Thanks so much for leading me to this! I’ve been having it with home made almond milk and lovin’ it!

  • Melinda, great post!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with all of us. I am very impressed not only with your discipline around your cleanse, but your renewed discipline of writing as well. Not only is it helping to bring your lessons to a wider circle of people, but it’s going to be so great for you to have these posts to go back to later. So keep up the great work!

    The other thought that struck me today when I was reading your posts was how many aspects of our lives this cleanse reminds me of. There are times when we fall out of rhythms that are so positive in our lives – whether it’s exercise, artistic expression, or simply taking time to relax, all of us fall into unhealthy phases. But it’s so important to rediscover the healthy habits on your own instead of having someone else tell you what you should be doing. I’m pretty sure the unhealthiest times in my life were when I was listening to what everyone else around me wanted instead of what I knew was best for me. The moment I began listening to my own mind, my own body, and my own spirit, my health improved greatly. But I continue to have to remind myself of it – the process of living a healthy life is never a one-off lesson, apparently. ;)

    Wishing you all the best!

    • Thanks for your fabulous comment, S – it was so great to see you!! :)

      Great thoughts re: discipline and writing. I’m trying to work more on that, because I’ve found it truly makes me happier… Thanks for the encouragement. Writing is most certainly a part of my intrinsic rhythm – when I don’t write, I feel a bit out of step….

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