Michelle Merrifield is an educator, trainer, author and entrepreneur. As the Founder of Essence of Living yoga studio in Mermaid Beach, which recently celebrated its tenth birthday, she’s also a proud Gold Coaster who’s taken her passion for yoga and pilates to the world.
After travelling through USA, India, Indonesia and Thailand acquiring knowledge from her gurus, Michelle has built her studio to be an internationally recognised yoga and pilates academy. If she’s not already busy enough recording Essence of Living TV programs for corporate clients, training yoga and pilates teachers in the making, or taking regular yoga and pilates classes at her studio, this power woman has just released a new book – her third.
Body Buddhaful Detox is designed to guide everyday people through detox. “It’s not a starve yourself detox, but one where people actually eat,” Michelle told Blank, prior to the book’s launch.
“My book is designed for people who train and work hard and who are looking to feel more balanced in life. Between strength and flexibility and eating naturally and organically, we can create equality and harmony in human form that sends a ripple effect into your heart and your mind. How you do one thing is how you do everything.”
We were lucky enough to catch Michelle between commitments to ask her a few questions about detoxifying and to nab a sneaky recipe from her new book.
Spring has just begun. Is Spring the best time of the year to detox, or doesn’t it really matter?
There is never a bad time to begin your detox. Detox can happen anytime throughout the year, but as we head into the warmer months there are more people searching for a way to become both healthier and happier versions of themselves. A detox is a great way to start this journey.
How can yoga help your body to detox? Your mind?
Yoga, pilates and meditation are the perfect ways to cleanse the mind from any negative thoughts. Positive energy though your mind, body and soul during a detox will create balance and harmony throughout your entire life.
What is the most important thing to eliminate from the diet when detoxing?
During a detox, the most important thing to eliminate is any negative thought processes and remove yourself from situations that will trigger any bad food habits. Your mind is where your willpower and strength will come from and positive thoughts are a must.
We’ve all heard the argument to drink loads of water when detoxing. Can you drink too much? That is, does it cause an electrolyte imbalance or stress the kidneys if you drink too much water?
There is a lot to consider here. The required volume of water has many deciding factors and if you are unsure, please seek advice from a naturopath or fitness professional. It’s dependent on how much exercise you are doing, your weight and height, the temperature outside, and how much you sweat. Obviously, if it’s hot you need to drink a lot more water.
Apart from caffeine withdrawal, what else causes you to feel sick and/or headachy when detoxing?
The main cause of these symptoms is when you remove sugar from your diet. Sugar is a drug, and it’s more addictive than caffeine. Another cause would be the withdrawals from processed food that are high in preservatives.
Should we do a digital detox (social media, computers in general, TV etc) along with a mind/body/spirit detox?
Absolutely, everyone needs to have a TV and social media free day once every week. My advice is also to limit your social media activity to 30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes at night. If you’re someone who likes to watch the news at night, choose one news program rather than 3. Spending quality time with your family and friends, or doing some exercise of an evening, will make you a happier person.
Can you work while doing a detox?
Absolutely! You can go about your normal daily routine while taking part in a detox. It’s very important to make detoxing as easy as possible. We all have such busy lives and it needs to be achievable. Simple is always more sustainable which is the focus for my new book Body Buddhaful Detox. I have kept the juice, smoothie and soup recipes simple and easy to create.
You talk about getting rid of negative energy. What about getting rid of toxic friends?
My advice is to always surround yourself with positive, uplifting and beautiful people. The positive vibrations in a friend circle can lift everyone’s energy to another level.
What are your thoughts on the ‘raw food revolution’? Has it gone too far?
Definitely not. Any food movement that gets people eating food in its raw and organic form is something society needs. We are living in an obesity and diabetes epidemic with the vast majority of our population at high risk of heart disease and other fatal illnesses. I personally have an 80/20 rule, where I eat 80 per cent raw food in my diet, and I encourage others to do the same.
What is the ‘Body Buddhaful Challenge’?
Our next Body Buddhaful Challenge begins on 6th October. It’s a 12 week program designed to retrain your habits, spring clean the dusty corners of your body and give you the inspiration and motivation to achieve your goals. Ultimately, it’s a girl’s guide to holistic health and happiness. Included is unlimited access to our Yoga and Pilates classes, a Body Buddhaful Journal, and each person becomes part of an online support community. Beauty comes from the within and it’s about feeling beautiful both on the inside and out.
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Body Buddhaful Detox is available online at essenceofliving.com.au, at Essence of Living in Mermaid Beach or at Mrs Flannerys at Miami.