In the next few blogs, I will be introducing how we journal when doing the Ancestor Cleanse. A complete copy is available to purchase in the Ancestor Cleanse Book available at my office. Try it out and let me know how it goes for you. I am confident that it is a vital tool for improving our health.
Journaling your cleanse experience may well be THE most important aspect of the Ancestor Cleanse. This is how you continually refine the diet and lifestyle that is best for your personal health, function and goals throughout your life. It is a guide for the important aspects of our diet and lifestyle to pay attention to. It also calls our attention to HOW those changes are really affecting us. It is a record of what we did to make us feel and function possibly better than we EVER have before. If we slip up, and fall back into health degenerating patterns, we can quickly get back on track by reviewing our journal to find out exactly what we were doing when we were feeling so great.
In addition, the reflective nature of journaling helps us to uncover formerly hidden patterns and relationships between our diet and lifestyles (outer environment) and our mind-bodies (inner environment). It helps us to learn, at a deeper level, what really is going on within us, as well as how that aspect of ourselves is interacting with, and adapting to, that which is surrounding us.
To begin journaling, follow the steps below.
FIRST: Don’t get overwhelmed. I know it looks like a lot to write every day, but it gets easier and easier as time goes on. Begin by picking a time of day that works best for you. I like to start my day by turning on the irrigation for the garden, making a small pot of coffee, and climbing back into bed with a good book. Before I pick up the book I’m reading, I take a couple of minutes to jot down the last day or two in my journal. By the time I’m done with my journal, the coffee is usually at the perfect temperature to deeply enjoy with whatever I’m reading.
SECOND: Write the date that you are beginning your journaling. I usually do one page for each month or two. I might write September 1st through September 30th and use that one page of paper for the first month. If you are new to this, you may want to start with one page per week, until you get the hang of what it actually is that YOU need to track.
THIRD: Begin filling in the sections. If you are new to the Ancestor Cleanse journaling, then try to fill out all of the spaces every day. After a week or two, you’ll start to get an idea about what areas you should still track and which ones aren’t really affecting you.
You begin to understand which variables (Part I in the journal) are affecting your health and goals (Part II in the journal). This is done by looking for patterns of connection between those variables and your health measures and goals. For example, after a couple of weeks of journaling, you may notice a relationship between how much time you spend sitting mindfully, and how well you sleep. You may have noticed that when you consistently spent 15 minutes a day sitting mindfully, you woke feeling restored, and when you skipped sitting mindfully, you didn’t sleep as well that night. This would be a variable that you would want to continue to track (write in your journal daily). On the other hand, after a couple of weeks or more, you may have noticed that adding salt to your foods doesn’t seem to be affecting your health measures and goals. You can then slowly start to eliminate aspects of the journal that you don’t need to track, so that your time is focused on what you do need to track.
For example: When I first started, I filled out everything under the “MIND” section every day. Soon I realized, that I was very consistent about sitting, standing and moving mindfully because I do Tai Chi so regularly. The slight differences in time spent from week to week didn’t make any real difference in how I was feeling or functioning, so I skip them now. Alternatively, I would like to (Health Goal) chew my meals slower and more mindfully, so I still journal how many times I did that. I’m still not very good at this, so I’m lucky if I remember once a week! Since my journal is the month of September, I just put down the number of the date that I chewed mindfully in the box nearby. For example, 2 for September 2nd, 4-6 for September 4th through 6th. I also want to cultivate gratitude, as well as eat in a supportive community environment more often when I’m eating, so I make sure to journal that.
Under the VARIABLES – BODY – “Food” section, I have learned that I can skip journaling “GMO, Poisons, salt, oil, dairy and meat” because I have so little of these in my diet that they don’t affect how I feel or function. I have learned however that sugar, processed flour, and high glycemic foods definitely affect how I feel and function, (as well as the size of my belly!), so I always journal these. I have even learned how much of these I can have at a sitting, and how much I can have throughout the month, while still maintaining a high level of function and health, without putting on abdominal girth (belly fat).
— Dr. Troy Anthony Smith, DC