Living the 80:20

Life without chocolate, wine and coffee? Are you nuts?

As we wrap up another cleanse, we are often asked about how we live the Conscious Cleanse as a lifestyle.

 “Aren’t you missing out on life and its most decadent pleasures?” a recent participant asked me.

 Here’s my answer.

Living the Conscious Cleanse as a lifestyle is about finding the balance between the quest for vibrant health (it’s a journey, not a destination by the way) and enjoying life’s greatest indulgences.

Is chocolate on my list? Oh yes it is! Is a glass of wine or an Americano too? Yes, indeed.

As a general rule, Jo and I really try not to set forth a bunch of “rules.” Rules are made to be broken. With one exception.

Our favorite non-rule rule is what we simply and affectionately refer to as the 80:20.

The 80:20 is about following the Conscious Cleanse way (eating and living mindfully) about 80 percent of the time. And the other 20 percent? That’s where we can choose to throw any notion of deprivation out the window.

Just the option of having the 20 percent is liberating, isn’t it?

To sustain a lifelong path of vibrancy, we need to give ourselves the freedom to stray from that path once in a while. We do this as a choice, and we do it from a place of empowerment, without guilt or regret, knowing exploration is crucial to the human spirit but that if we stray too far we might get lost.

There are many ways to approach the 80:20. Some people like to stick to the Conscious Cleanse way of eating during the week, throwing caution to the wind for several meals over the weekend. I personally enjoy eating “consciously” much of time so that when the special occasions roll around – holidays, weddings, birthdays, dinner out with friends – I can enjoy them to their fullest with all of the decadence and none of the self-loathing.

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter how you choose to break up your 20 percent, as long as you do it consciously.

Many of our participants have described how they actually find themselves looking forward to their 80 percent as much as they look forward to their 20 percent. Balance is a beautiful thing indeed.

Nobody needs another DIE-it. Why would you want to follow something that has the word “die” in it? What we need is a LiVE-it.

That’s what living the Conscious Cleanse way is all about. Learn it. Live it. Love it.

What do you enjoy as part of your 20 percent? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

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  • Christine Duiven

    Thank goodness for my LIVE-it! I love enjoying a nice glass (or few) of red wine. After participating in the cleanse several times and really starting to understand which foods nourish my body and leave me feeling amazing, I am SO thankful that red wine does my body good. Maybe 1% of my 20 is also a nice hoppy beer, but it tends to leave me feeling sludgy, so I’ve learned to avoid it and savor the really delicious seasonal favorites now and then, but I try to be consciously aware of how I respond to it, both physically and emotionally. I am so thankful to the conscious cleanse, and to Jo and Jules for empowering me in my food choices!

  • Melinda Warner

    Yes! I love the LIVE-it idea!

    I choose to LIVE-it with a dark, rich, hot cup of bold espresso with a touch of half/half in the early morning hours before anyone awakes in my home. It is delightful!

  • Sarah Pohl

    A glass of red wine, an americano, and the Kitchen’s Tomato soup fill up my 20%! That and my husband’s homebrew beer…I am the go to taste tester :)

    I am reminded this week on a visit home to Omaha that 80/20 is much easier in a health conscious city like Boulder…it’s mostly a struggle eating out here because apparently iceberg lettuce is it’s own food group here.

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