I’m now 2 weeks into my wellness program and cleanse. From my experience, successfully getting through a program like this definitely requires the right preparation and tools. It may sound ironic as a wellness program gives you new tools, such as meditation and mantras however, until these become a habit it’s important to prepare beforehand and know what to expect.

Setting aside the time to apply new daily habits and having the willpower to resist food and activities you once loved, can be challenging. No matter how good your intentions are, things can come up that may knock you off your program and leave you feeling devastated you didn’t complete what you initially set out to do.

After completing a few wellness programs and cleanses in the past and going through one now, here are some techniques I found helped me stick to them:

1. Set your intention

Before I start the program, I like to work out and write down why I am doing it in the first place. This time it was to stop spending 4 – 6 hours in pain every time I ate something with gluten, corn, and dairy in it and to get healthier. Ask yourself, what do you want to achieve during and after the program? What benefits do you feel you’ll gain from it? Whenever you are struggling you can look back at this list to help stay motivated and on track. Having clear goals also helps you be organized throughout your program.

2. Set it at the right time

Before committing myself to a program I look at what activities I have on that month. Ask yourself are there any work events, weddings or getaways you have planned? Keep in mind you will need time each day for the program’s activities, access to wholesome food options, and time to rest. A month packed full of activities with limited access to food and rest time may not be the best month to do it. I personally would not do the program while traveling for work. In the past I found it was hard to control the food I consumed the whole time as it was often catered for. I was also on a busy tight schedule so may not of had time each morning for meditation activities. I recommend you pick a month or period where you have time and fewer temptations.

3. Be prepared

Before starting the program, I always make sure I have the right food at home, time on my daily schedule, and information I need to carry it out smoothly. Food can be the biggest challenge, as each meal needs to be planned and prepared for. The last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere feeling starving with no back up. Browse recipe books to find new meals and snacks you can prepare each day. Have your home stocked with the food you need beforehand and ditch the items you can’t eat so there is no temptation. Have your week planned so your program activities are scheduled in around your day. Read more about meditation techniques beforehand so you understand more of the benefits and challenges.

4. Have support available

Things are always going to come up and temptations will present themselves. Whether they’re in the form of food, feeling tired or not wanting to meditating or exercise. Having a few close friends or a partner on hand that know what your program is about and can help you through challenges. It can be good to talk through challenges or tough emotions that may come up with your supportive friends, rather than tackle them alone.

5. Be accountable

Let others know what you are doing or have a support person you can be accountable to. This can help you get through moments of wanting to cheat or give up. Provide regular updates and reports to these people about how you are going. This also allows you to acknowledge to yourself how well you are doing. Even if you slip up here and there get straight back on the program and keep moving forward. I am writing about my program on my blog and mentioning it on Facebook to create my accountability as well as telling friends that I go out to meals with (luckily they join me at organic vegan friendly restaurants).

6. Stuff will come up

Although you may of set nice intentions in the beginning of what you want to achieve it often gets ugly first before it gets better. You need to get rid of the old before you can make way for the new and the old doesn’t always disappear quietly. I found when I wanted to get rid of an injury or illness, strong unfriendly emotions related to the cause would surface in order to be released. Just remember not to get too attached to the emotions or feelings and ride them out. As intense as they can be, once they have passed and you will feel much lighter and happier afterwards. You may also of cured yourself of a chronic illness, which is what happened to me in India after doing Panchakarma (an intense 1 month whole body cleanse).

My wellness program update: 2 weeks in

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One of my meals at a raw food restaurant

I’ve stuck to most of my wellness program and cleanse I created for myself. I’ve gone on wonderful hikes on the weekends with friends, eaten more salads and greens, and been able to feel relief from some of my injuries.

My biggest challenge is always the food and processing the emotions that come up in order to be released. Yes some yukky emotions came up that a supportive friend helped me through.

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Hiking after a yoga class

After a few days into the program, I realized I may have too much involved and less is better. I was able to stick with my meditation, affirmations, gratitude exercise and physical exercise, however the journaling each night did not always happen.

Food wise, I have been feeling a lot better and am no longer in pain for hours after eating foods that are either processed or contain gluten, corn or dairy. After a week into it, I found I was a little tired in the morning and needed to add in some kombucha or green tea. I also added in organic tofu here and there so I can have more filling meals (even though for 8 months I went without soy).

I have not been as strong with the added sugar and have been eating foods (even at healthy organic raw restaurants) that are causing me to react to from the sugar. Now that I’ve cut out so many other irritants, I’m finding rice hurts my stomach and leaves me feeling a little heavy afterwards. This is something I would not of realized in the past as I would of assumed it was the usual suspect foods irritating me.

I’ve got two weeks to go and am excited to continue to process and release what I need to and learn eating habits that are better for my body.

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