I am often asked ‘what is the right cleanse? Do I need to cleanse? There is a confusing array of cleansing pills and boxed supplements out there. These can be bought in health food and supplements stores. They are readily available, but choosing the wrong one for you may be ineffective or even dangerous! The safest and most effective way to cleanse is actually by eating everyday, cleansing whole foods! There is no one size fits all cleanse!
I invite you to come to our Spring Cleansing cooking class on March 20 to learn more about customizing your cleanse! Full menu and description here.
Cleansing: The body’s natural breakdown process. Removal of buildup. The composition of certain foods and drink can be used to aid in the bodies cleansing process.
Detoxification: Removal of toxins from the body or neutralizing or transforming them through abstinence from food, increase in hydration or through the use of specific nutrients, treatments and herbs. A specific type of cleansing.
Why cleanse? Cleansing can reduce symptoms of congestion, let the organs rest, to slow down, help us to lose excess weight, improve flexibility, rejuvenate the body and mind, and can help us to become more organized, inwardly focused, conscious, clear, attuned to nature, energetic and relaxed.
This said, cleansing is a process that is happening all the time in your body. Signs that you do not need to cleanse are: constant coldness, underweight, serious blood sugar problems and also do not cleanse deeply during building times, like pregnancy.
1) Phase out non-foods like refined sugar, caffeine and non-prescription drugs.
You can do this one step at a time. Start by cutting down one cup of coffee. Substituting naturally energizing green drinks like a spirulina smoothie is a great way to reduce reliance on sugar and caffeine. Click here for green smoothie recipe!
2) Support your cleansing process by taking lemon juice and water or unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and water.
Both of these tonics help to cleanse the liver ( hint: the taste sour stimulates the liver and gallbladder). They also increase digestive fire, maximizing our digestion and therefore absorption of nutrients.
Check out this recipe for tonifying warming and tasty apple cider vinegar tea! Click here for stomach fire tonic recipe!
2a) Drink more pure water!
Water transports toxins. Cleansing without adequately hydrating causes toxins to re-circulate. Water comes in many forms- from sipping on herbal teas to enjoying broth soups and eating refreshing vegetables like cucumber and melon, you are contributing to deep hydration. Remember that drinking water, especially ice water with or just before a meal actually extinguishes your digestive fire!
3) Reduce building foods
and Include more cleansing foods See building and cleansing foods chart here!
Step three is where you can really customize your cleanse. Starting exactly where you are in your diet, choose congesting/ building foods and replace them with cleansing foods. An example of this is to replace potato chips with snacking on sprouted mung beans or raw veggie sticks.
4) Eat lighter- don’t stuff yourself! Especially at night.
As a general rule, eat until you are 2/3 full. You will benefit from more sustained energy and smoother digestion. Chewing well increases absorption and satiation. Healthy fats like coconut oil and flax oil are great during cleanses. Eating too little fat causes sugar cravings and hunger. Check out this raw berry soup and coconut oil soup with sunflower cream dessert!
5) Light exercise and reduce stress. Rest and relax
Cleansing happens in the body naturally when we are in a relaxed state. Take time to go inward and listen to your body during your cleanse.
To learn more, check out our spring cleanse cooking class.