What is a cleanse and why should I do one?
October is a great time to start a cleanse. Summer barbecue season is over and the holiday eating season hasn’t started yet. But why would you want to do this?
Cleanses are not about losing weight – although most people do lose weight, they are about giving your body a break so it can heal and rejuvenate. They’re about gaining a new understanding of what actually feels good and tastes good.
The exact benefits of a cleanse will vary with each person, but here are some general considerations.
- Feel better.
- Give the liver a break and a chance to repair.
- Gain conscious awareness of allergies.
- Change your relationship with food to ultimately make better choices.
- Improve digestion.
- Decrease free radical production.
- Improve ability to deal with harmful substances that are naturally produced.
- Clear up sinus congestion.
- Balance blood sugar.
- Decrease blood pressure.
- Normalize endocrine function such as thyroid hormones and adrenal response.
Cleanses are not fasts. Personally I don’t believe in fasting although I know that many people do and find benefits from them. Our bodies are over taxed by lifestyle, environmental toxins, stress, etc. We are constantly making substances to deal with this. If you take away food, you take away the body’s fuel source. While fasting might be taking away some of the problem, it is also limiting some of the solution.
A cleanse is a more practical approach. Get rid of some of the stress on the body, eat better foods and take additional nutrients to facilitate detox and healing.
There are lots of different cleanses and supportive supplements. Many cleanses are 21 days and I have found that most people don’t feel all that well the first week. There’s getting used to not eating certain foods, often some emotional volatility and the body is detoxing. By the 2nd week most people start to feel better. There’s more energy. By the third week they’re not only feeling better other people are often commenting on how good they’re looking.
Cleanses involve eliminating pro-inflammatory and common allergenic foods like wheat and gluten products, dairy, corn, and soy. Some eliminate meat for a certain amount of time. Elimination of caffeine, alcohol and processed sugars is also part of the cleanse. The emphasis is on eating good food, as organic as possible with specific recommendations about what to eat and what not to eat. It’s a good time to experiment and get creative with different recipes.
A cleanse is a great way to get a better grip on your health. It’s a good idea to do this with support from a knowledgeable practitioner so that you’re making the right choices, taking the best supportive nutrients and herbs and can get your questions answered. Getting information about how to do a good cleanse as well as what to do once the cleanse is over can maximize your success.