There are so many complicated cleanse regimes out there! I wanted to let you know that cleanses can be easy and gentle and not hard to do at all. I think they should be done fairly regularly just like a car servicing 🙂
So maybe twice a year (or more if you know that you need it!), you just give your body a break from the things that don't serve it well. Just by removing the things that tend to harm our digestion and clog up our digestive organs and adding in more of the good stuff that our body can help clean itself up with, you are doing your health the world of good.
A cleanse is something I do often and either myself or my hubby will suggest it and then we will both do it to support the other.
It really is some very simple practices we follow as with 2 young children and a very busy life, simple works for us.
So all we do really is give ourselves a time frame and cut out things that burden our liver for this time. That's why I call it cleansing rather than 'detoxing' although I do think doing a detox now and then doesn't hurt anyone and have written about my 'Detox Do's and Dont's' here.
I think 21 days is a great time frame for a cleanse and 21 days (3 weeks) is also a great time to form some new habits that may just stick even after your cleansing period has ended. Remember: good health isn't all about abstinence from your indulgences! It can just be about adding so many good habits in, that it crowds out the less great habits ;)
There is also a period of time at the beginning of a cleanse where you may feel less than perky but generally after 3-4 days, you will start feeling much happier and much lighter. I'll give you a brief example of mine and hubby's 'cleansing symptoms'.
For hubby this can be headaches for the first 3 days and some lethargy. This is very normal for coffee drinkers as the body starts to function without caffeine again which does place a bit of a load on the adrenals. Phase 2 liver pathway cleansing almost always gives you a dull headache.
For me, it's mainly just fatigue. I don't drink coffee but I have been known to drink a wine (or 2!) more nights than I should ;) so that tends to slow me down, just clearing that from my system. I write this stuff in, by the way, not to shock the teetotalers but to help anyone who thinks they have a problem by drinking that often. If a naturopath finds herself in that predicament sometimes, then surely it's not so bad if you do too is it? Just because we know something isn't good for our health doesn't always mean we do what is right BUT it is important to recognise this and cut back or abstain. No matter how social you are or even if it's become a habitual thing, your body will not stay well doing that indefinitely. Count on it.
So what gets cut out on a cleanse?
Any refined carbohydrate whatsoever
Your list might be longer, depending on what your diet already entails but we generally have a very good diet as we eat whole foods, we don't eat gluten unless we are out and have the occasional slip up at a restaurant (damn you brioche at that French restaurant!) and the only dairy we eat is cheese and butter. We eat meat - all kinds, but for the sake of this gentle cleanse, try and stick to small amounts of grass-fed meats, organic pastured chicken and wild caught fish and seafood.
So what are we eating?
Vegetables - loads of them.
Chicken, Fish, Eggs, some legumes, nuts and seeds
Brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat (these are quite minimal and not daily as we do tend to favour protein and veg dishes as it works so well for both our metabolisms)
Fat in the form of butter, ghee, coconut oil, avocado and olive oil
What are we drinking? Only filtered water, coconut water, vegetable juice and kombucha
What we do daily on top of this is-
On rising, we drink a glass of water with a capful of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon.
Daily vegetable juice. We have a slow pressing juicer, or masticating juicer so the nutrients and enzymes are kept alive longer without the heat of the blade. This means we can juice the night before, store in the fridge and drink before breakfast the next morning and before hubby goes off to work otherwise I doubt we'd have the time. You could drink this juice in the afternoon though or any time you have time to juice - We are juicing 'liver loving' vegetables to help the process of our cleanse so our juices consist of - beetroot, carrot, cucumber, ginger, celery and apple.
We exercise only on the days we have energy as it's not about pushing ourselves at all. Mostly walking, yoga, cycling and swimming.
Get to bed by 9.30. Your body does most of its repair between the hours of 10pm and 2am so we want to be sure to be asleep before this time hits.
My treats become epsom salt baths by candle light, infrared saunas and massages!
We avoid going to restaurants and cafes unless they have healthy salad options or protein and veg type meals on the menu. During a cleanse if it's simply too hard to manage a menu or a social function where we will be too compromised, we just don’t go! It’s only 3 weeks so we don't find this hard. Work out the situations in your life that you will have to navigate if you did a cleanse and perhaps just stay in more often? It's good for the body to rest as much as possible when cleansing or doing a detox anyway.
So that's it! Very simple. You could take liver cleansing herbs and nutritional supplements and I would recommend that on a detox as such but for a simple cleanse we stick to our usual probiotic capsule, our superfood powders in our meals and extra Vit C.
I like to keep the cleanse simple.
We also take my Cleanse Blend as that is nice and gentle and contains essences that support all the main elimination organs and the emotions associated with them. So there are essences for the lymphatic system, bowel, kidneys, liver and skin and it helps release and clear emotional waste and residual by-products to clear built-up emotional baggage.
Remember whatever you do to your body physically has an emotional effect and vice versa!
I also take my Cravings Control blend when my emotional cravings get me thinking I need a wine or something sweet.
And taking my Energy blend is a great pick me up especially if your usual energy source has come from caffeine or sugar! It’s so nice to allow the body’s natural energy levels take over again instead of the fake hit we sometimes give it!
In Spring I bring out a Limited Edition Spring Cleanse Pack which contains all three blends at a discounted price so if you’d like to read more about supporting the emotions during a Cleanse, click HERE.
Hope you enjoyed this blog as I really wanted to specify that things don't have to be extreme or fancy to do a lot of good and we all need breaks from things from time to time. We are all human so if you feel there is something you need a rest from or a complete break up from, just start slowly and simply.
Yours in Health,