With a new year right around the corner I’m looking forward to getting off to a fresh, healthy, and CLEAN start. If you’re looking forward to cleansing after the holidays and getting rid of all the gunk that has built up in your body this past year you’ve come to the right place!
All those yummy holiday foods most of us splurge on at the end of each year are indeed delicious but unfortunately don’t just magically disappear when we eat them.
The truth is that this time of year most of us consume foods that are high in unhealthy fats, carbohydrates, and sugars which the body has to somehow process and try to make use of.
The problem is that when the body can’t find anything of nutritional value to absorb or put to use then most of it just sort of sits on idle and turns to toxic gunk….literally. That’s when we start to feel sluggish, and the lack of energy sets in.
Are You Experiencing Any of These Symptoms?
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, or constipation
- Headaches or muscle aches
- Skin irritations suchs as acne or eczema
- Brain fog, loss of focus, or inability to concentrate
- Irritability or moodiness
- Fatigue or lack of energy
If you answered yes to any of these then it may be time for a cleanse.
We can liken our body to the engine of a car. There’s a lot of different components in a car that need regular maintenance and if neglected over time they will start malfunctioning and eventually fail at some point.
Take oil for example, the longer it sits in a car the dirtier it gets, it eventually builds up gunk, which then causes the engine not to operate at its full potential. This is really hard on the car. So what’s the answer? Change the oil, of course.
A Recipe for Toxic Soup
Your body has to process numerous chemicals and pollutants daily from the environment alone. Everyday you are exposed to all sorts of toxins in the form of emissions from buildings and vehicles, second hand smoke, synthetic fragrances, commercial and household cleaners, the list goes on.
Add that to non purified drinking water, countless pesticides in fruits and vegetables, processed foods, and the list goes on.
The combination of all these things puts quite a load on your body on a regular basis.
It’s no wonder your body can start to run poorly! So what’s the answer? Change the oil, of course…well sort of.
Like a car engine your body needs a good cleaning to clear out the gunk, all the sludge built up from months of toxic overload. If you’re running for the door right now at the sound of the word CLEANSE…I totally get it.
Like so many people you’ve conjured up this vision of swallowing all kinds of disgusting concoctions that make you want to wretch, starving to death from fasting, and spending the the next several weeks running to the nearest bathroom twenty four hours a day.
Did I hit that nail on the head?! I know these things :) I know these things because over the years they are the most common nightmares the majority of people that are interested in cleansing express to me.
Please let me put your mind at ease when I say that the approach I take and am about to share with you is safe, gentle, effective, and not at all scary. In fact you may be shocked at how seemingly simple it is. You may wonder if it even works, but trust me it does.
To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?
Over the years I have done some radical and intense cleanses. For me they were extremely effective and beneficial, that being said they’re not for everyone.
So my aim is to offer some simple suggestions for detoxifying lifestyle additions that make you feel so great you my want to make them a part of your daily ritual.
Also note that there are quite a few different opinions on how often, how long, and when it is best to do a cleanse.
Also, some believe the body is equipped with it’s own built in cleansing system, and that cleansing can actually result in negative effects…to these people I would challenge you to experience the results of feeling better after a cleanse and explain to me how that could possibly be negative. But that’s your choice.
I can only share with you my knowledge based on my expertise, personal experiences, and testimonials of clients I have worked with.
Keeping in mind that each of us is different, diet, overall health, and lifestyles are unique, the following guidelines will allow you to choose whether or not a cleanse is right for you, and how to make the most of your choices.
Cleanse once a year, twice a year (every six months), or four times a year (with each new season change). The amount of cleansing you choose to do should correlate with your particular lifestyle. If you’re someone that eats a lot of processed foods, drinks a lot of alcohol, or smokes then a series of cleanses throughout the year may be beneficial. On the other hand, if you eat primarily whole, organic, unprocessed foods, and live a fairly clean lifestyle then cleansing once a year may be just fine for you.
The duration of a cleanse will vary. Most cleanses range in duration from 3 days to one month long. Again depending on your individual lifestyle, the level of toxicity, and how long it has been building up, this will help you to choose a duration that feels right to you. Also if this is your first cleanse you may want to start off with a shorter one to break yourself in slowly.
Expect some mildly unpleasant symptoms while cleansing. Things such as headaches, increased thirst, increased urination, initial bloating, increased bowel movements, achy flu-like symptoms, and irritability are all positive signs that the cleanse is working and your body is doing its job to move the toxins out. Withdrawal symptoms from coffee, soda, alcohol, and sugar are the most common.
Drink plenty of water and herbal non caffeinated teas. At least eight glasses a day. This will help flush the toxins out faster and provide some relief. It is necessary to get through this to reach the true sweet spot.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies, especially greens, are cleansing and nourishing for the body. Getting the right nutrition is key to helping your body do its job and maximizing your efforts.
Avoid processed foods, sugar, coffee, soda, and alcohol. These types of foods will sabotage your efforts and keep you from experiencing the results of all your hard work.
Ease up on your regular work out routine to allow your body time to regenerate. Instead take 20-30 minute light walks each day to stimulate your lymphatic and circulatory systems. Kundalini Yoga is detoxifying for the glands and organs, so is hot yoga as it helps you sweat out toxins.
Use a dry skin brush before you shower to help remove dead skin cells, and help eliminate toxins from the lymphatic system.
Take a daily probiotic to replenish healthy bacteria in your intestines. It is best to choose a probiotic containing a large amount of live bacteria from multiple strains. This step is often overlooked but I cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining the balance of healthy gut flora for a strong immune system during and after a cleanse. Eating fermented foods and drinking fermented beverages like water kefir, can be made at home (see recipe here) and provide a live source of probiotics.
Ask for help and support. Enlist a buddy or family member to embark on a cleanse with you, the more the merrier! Be clear about your intentions with your family members and how they can support you in your efforts.
You made it! Well done! Take a moment to revel in how fantastic you feel. By now you have learned some valuable things that you can continue to apply to your lifestyle that will benefit your overall health and well being long term.
I absolutely love how I feel after a cleanse. It’s like that feeling you get right after you clean your house…yeah, you know the one I’m talking about…you want it to stay that clean forever!
Imagine having that feeling in your body only way better. It’s pretty awesome. Once you make it over that temporary hump the rewards are so worth it!
Just a Few Amazing Benefits of Cleansing
- The ability to think and focus more clearly
- Increased energy, vitality, and stamina
- Clear glowing skin
- Loss of headaches, and body aches
- Improved digestion, including more regularity
- Restful sleep
- Improved menstrual cycles for women
- Weight loss
A Few Simple Tips to Clean Out the Gunk
The lymphatic system is essentially the drainage system for the body, and the liver bears the burden of processing all things toxic. Years ago I did the Fat Flush Plan by Anne Louise Gittleman. The plan is all about flushing fat by cleansing these channels.
The benefits of cran-water is one I stand behind to this day. I continue to use it regularly and not only do I always experience improved kidney and digestive function, I also lose a few inches every time.
This along with lemon water will greatly improve your digestion and elimination. If you want to kick start your body into cleansing mode try this daily routine along with a healthy diet and light exercise:
Prepare cranberry juice according to the directions from 100% pure unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate. Mix 8 oz of the prepared juice with 56 oz of filtered/purified water. Makes 64 oz or 2 quarts total cran-water. Store in refrigerator.
Upon rising: drink 8 0z of cran-water with 1 TBSP of ground flax meal. The flax will give it a grainy texture so I use a cup with a lid to shake it up really well. Wait a half hour to eat breakfast.
Before breakfast: drink 8 oz of hot water with half a lemon squeezed in it. Contrary to what many people think lemon is only acidic before entering the body. Once it is metabolized inside the body and its minerals dissociated in the bloodstream it raises the pH of the body and its effect is alkalizing. Alkalizing = detoxifying.
Drink all but 8 oz of the remaining cran-water throughout the day.
One hour before bed: drink last 8 oz of cran-water with 1 TBSP of ground flax meal.
Try this for at least two weeks and see how you feel. You can continue this daily infinitely if it makes you feel good.
Increase your intake of fresh green juices and smoothies. Fresh cold pressed juices made from a variety of vegetables like cucumbers, celery, carrots, beets, and greens are a fantastic way to detoxify your body, as are smoothies. My favorite smoothies start in my Nutribullet with a base of spinach or kale. Add an apple, pear, or banana for some sweetness then any other fruits of your choice like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Parsley, cilantro, and ginger are detoxifying as well.
For some of my favorite juice and smoothie recipes click here.
Are cleanse kits more your style? See my favorites in this review.
Like I said, such simple things you may be wondering ‘can they really be that effective?’….if used in conjunction with the rest of the suggestions in this article you are well on your way to a cleaner, healthier body.
I encourage you to give it a try, you never know, you just may be doing yourself one of the best favors ever! Please feel free to comment or share your detox/cleanse stories and successes below. Happy cleansing!