01 Apr Simple Steps To Cleansing
While many people associate cleansing or detoxing with losing weight or resetting from an unsupportive phase in life, the truth is that it’s always a good time to be doing some active form of cleansing for optimal health and wellbeing. The best part about making cleansing a regular part of your life, is that there isn’t a need for a whole big dramatic DETOX or CLEANSE phase that may seem restrictive or punitive. Optimally, we are making daily efforts to promote detoxing and limit intake of harmful substances, however there are times in life, when you may want to wipe the slate clean and CLEANSE for a period of time.
When is the best time to cleanse?
- Now! Or whenever you feel inspired and motivated to do it.
- Spring when our body’s are in sync with nature’s rhythm of cleansing and purging from a winter of stagnation.
- Summer when we move into the lighter version of our body and have more access to fresh food, outdoors and physical activity.
- When the seasons change – following nature’s cycles and rhythms is always a good time to rejuvenate, reset and instill some positive habits.
If you’re not sure if cleansing is for you or if you want to know more about why you may want to cleanse, this blog Signs You Need to Detox may be helpful.
PRO TIP: you may find that the more often that you cleanse, the more you’ll lean into this way of clean eating and living on an ongoing basis.
The Myth About Cleansing
Cleanses can feel restrictive and limiting; when really, this process should be a thing you do because you love yourself and want to nourish all aspects of yourself (mind, body and soul), if you do it in the optimal way. If you’re on a strict juice cleanse for a couple of weeks, you’ll feel restricted, deprived and maybe even a little shaken, but if you focus on the following simple cleansing tips, you’ll feel more energetic, focused, and vibrant the next time you embark on a whole foods cleanse.
Here are some simple tips for easy and natural cleansing:
Drink Plenty of Clean Water
Proper hydration is key to keep digestion regular, to absorb nutrients from food and to remove toxins and waste. To support digestion, your microbiome (gut health) and reduce inflammation you need about 3 liters of clean water per day.
Eat Protein At Every Meal
Protein is required to build, repair and heal tissues. It’s the primary building block in hormones, bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood and enzymes. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, the body does not store protein for future use and requires an on-going supply provided by your diet. It’s our main source of energy as it uses important amino acids to the cells. Because healing is the main objective during a cleanse, adequate protein is required. Aim for 20g on average of lean, quality protein at every meal. Here’s a list of good quality proteins to introduce.
Eat Lots Of Fiber
Fiber is the part of plant foods that our bodies can’t break down, digest or absorb. It is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. It’s known as roughage or bulk and is required for elimination, bowel regularity and feeling full (along with a host of other benefits). Aim to get 30 – 40 grams of fiber per day to decrease estrogen levels, have regular bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and remove toxins effectively, plus maintain a healthy body weight.
Load Up On Your Veggies
Eat more non-starchy vegetables during cleansing periods, not only are they full of fiber, antioxidants and loaded with micronutrients, they help with digestion and cardiovascular health too. Look at things like dark leafy greens, mushrooms, berries, crucifers, citrus, and root vegetables to add to your diet.
Choose Organic When Possible
Choose organic products when possible to reduce the overall toxic load, especially when eating products on the Dirty Dozen List (the foods that have the highest amount of pesticide residue, sourced by the Environmental Working Group). Choose free-range, grass fed and organic meats that don’t have any hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives in their products, where possible to reduce your overall toxic load.
Ditch The Sugar
It’s helpful to ditch sugar all together, but it’s extremely important during cleansing! Refined sugars contribute to obesity, diabetes and hormone imbalances, while artificial sugars have similar effects. Sugar is tricky, our brains are wired to crave more once we have a little. No amount of will power can overrule this innate desire and manufacturers of processed and packaged foods know this, so it’s hidden in all kinds of foods with dubious names. While cleansing, it would be most supportive to completely eliminate sugar, even natural sugars when possible. Second best would be to substitute any sweeteners for natural sweeteners.
Move Your Body
Any form of movement will be helpful during cleansing to assist your body with flushing out toxins and eliminating waste. Because your body may have an increased workload during this time, it can be supportive to your nervous system and your organs of elimination to do gentle forms of exercise, like walking, yoga, pilates, swimming or rebounding. Breath work can also be supportive in delivering oxygen to your cells and promoting detoxification. You can also stimulate circulation with dry skin brushing or infra-red sauna.
Now, to start your cleanse: go for a leisurely walk to the grocery store or farmers market and pick up some fresh local produce and make yourself something delicious from the Complete Cleanse Recipe book.
A complete cleanse focuses on all the things that nourish you (your body, mind and soul) and removes things that don’t support or nourish you. These are all covered – plus more! – in The Complete Cleanse Program if you’d like to dive deeper into how you can detox on all aspects of your life.