‘Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.’ ~ Napoleon Hill
There is a reason Spring is the time to clean! Coming out of the Winter of dishes full of cooked, warming foods, root veggies and soups, now is the time our bodies naturally want to eat more salads, greens and raw vegetables. We inherently know what foods to eat to cleanse our bodies and prepare for the super nutritious foods of the spring & summer. It’s a time of renewal, refreshing, revamping, re-whatever you want it to be.
I have a lot of people asking me about cleansing. I know there are tons of different cleansing theories and products out there, so I thought I would share my basics with you.
With the amount of chemicals, pollutants and environmental toxins the highest we’ve had in the history of time, cleansing is more important than ever. While our bodies are resilient they just weren’t built to process this amount, it’s too much to handle and one of the reasons diseases & cancers are skyrocketing.
With cleansing we are working to restore our body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins while reducing the amount of stress on the body. With that being said I have developed my own cleanse that I believe any person can do and is aligned with how I coach my clients, with as little deprivation as possible.
Ease into your cleanse. Before doing a cleanse please make sure you take the time to learn about healthy eating and work on changing your lifestyle. Having slowly changed your habits for even just a month before can greatly help your body release toxins. Changing your eating habits for one week is better than nothing at all but is not going to make a big difference if you aren’t eating the right foods the other fifty-one weeks in a year (yes I most definitely had to google how many weeks there are in a year).
Ease out of your cleanse. This is even more important than easing into it. You’ve just given your digestive system a break, please don’t throw a steak into it and shock it and clog it up all over again. You wouldn’t run a marathon after sitting on the couch for three years, but instead would ease into it and train. In this same way your digestive system needs to ease back into digesting foods.
Coming out of a cleanse is also very symbolic of the transition you’re making back into your regular lifestyle. If you are planning to eat healthier, which I assume you are if you are doing a cleanse, then this stage is an important beginning stage of a new way of life. Will you jump back to your old eating habits coming out of a cleanse with a cheese steak or will you make healthier decisions?
So what to do!? Any detailed cleanse I would recommend only after knowing exactly what a person’s lifestyle was like. I typically only offer cleanse support if a client has gone through my program first because I really believe that the lifestyle change is what is most important. But for now I’m giving a general beginner’s cleanse, imagining you wanted to cleanse for one week.
The entire week take out all sugar, dairy, gluten, alcohol, coffee, meat and fish. All of the above disrupt the systems of our body in varying degrees one way or another while introducing different forms of toxins into your body. Taking these substances out gives your body a chance to detoxify.
You’re giving your liver a chance to breathe, to look inside to what can be fixed, healed, cleansed. The same goes for your digestion. All this extra energy is freed up and instead of it being used to figure out what the heck you just put into your body and what to do with it, it is used to help heal anything going on in your body.
The first cleanse I ever did I had bumps underneath my knees from sports in high school, which I thought were calcium deposits. After one week they were gone. My body took that extra energy to clear it out. I didn’t even know they weren’t supposed to be there! Amazing.
Given half the chance your body will heal itself.
So I know many of you are thinking if I take out all of this there’s nothing left to eat! There are a million and a half ways to cook up delicious veggie dishes, just look something up! Some of my life savers during cleanses are raw nuts & seeds, avocados, hummus, raw coconut oil and cultured veggies.
There are also many non-gluten grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, etc. that are delicious and nutritious! You can still use salt if it’s raw; some great brands are celtic sea salt or raw himalayan salt. All of your food must be organic! You are trying to cleanse, why would you put less than optimum nutrient/mineral rich non-organic foods with added pesticides and chemicals into your body during this time? All organic!
Day 3 (super cleansing time!) All raw food day. Drink green smoothies & juices all day and for dinner have some sort of whole food. For example, a big salad.
Day 4 & 5 (super cleansing time!) All raw juice & smoothie day. Have only green smoothies & juices and make sure you are drinking a lot of water.
Day 7 (ease-out phase) Same as day 1 & 2.
This is an introductory cleanse and very do-able for people to do while working. If you want to do a deeper cleanse, make sure you are able to relax when you are doing it. Reducing your stress levels is more important than the actual food. If you don’t relax your body will hold onto the toxins you are trying to rid of!
Extra Cleansing Tips: I recommend light exercise and using a sauna. Saunas help to pull heavy metals from your fat cells that cause issues such as alzheimer’s if left there.
FAST FACT: Cleanses are a wonderful way to give your body the energy it needs to cleanse and detoxify. While lifestyle changes are most important, cleanses are a great way to jump-start those changes in your life and give your body the break it deserves.
ACTION: If you don’t feel up to a full cleanse, modify it for yourself. Try one day of no sugar, or a few days of no gluten or dairy, whatever works for you. You may end up finding a food you had sensitivities to that you had never realized. Or instead of taking something out, add something in. Maybe one green smoothie. Or an extra glass of water. Try something. If you live in a city, especially NYC, this is as easy as ever as there are tons of healthy restaurants & juice places! Please let me know below what you’ve tried and how you feel!