Ever heard of the “Master Cleanse”? A Juice Fast? The No-Sugar-Whatsoever Cleanse?…. Ever been on one?
My experience with every cleanse and detox is this:
So much motivation before starting.. and once 3pm rolls around on day one, I hate my life. I hate humans. I hate food. I hate my body. This is usually when I decide I am entitled to a whole chocolate bar.
Let’s say you make it through the cleanse for a week. Chances are, your body is freaking out and looking for all the food you so quickly abandoned. You go to the store and grab Cheetos, candy, and go on a Starbucks run. Is this really a healthy way to live? Living in-between the moments of your next diet, next detox, next cleanse? I don’t think so.
I’m coming from the place of a girl who used to live from diet to diet. Every time I ate, it was all about the calories, the fat, the label “good” or “bad”. Even when I was “off” a diet, I couldn’t get rid of those labels. I took the labels to identify myself: I was “good” only if I was eating 100% healthy, and “bad” if I had eaten something not up to my standards.
This is what a cleanse does: sets your body up for failure, shocks your system, and eventually ends up in weight gain and food obsession.
I never advocate for cleanses of any kind, except for a whole-food cleanse. If you’d like to learn more, check out “The Conscious Cleanse” by Jo Shaalman and Julie Pelaez. As fellow graduates of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, these girls hit a cleanse spot on. It’s not about hunger, starving, liquid-fasts… it’s about balance, whole food, nutrients, and listening to your body. Cleansing shouldn’t be a punishment, it should be the highest form of self-love you can offer.
Even with a wonderful plan such as the Conscious Cleanse, there’s a catch. For most people, even this way of eating is a gigantic shift from how they are eating right now. My advice is to take it slow! I mean really, really slow. Take 1-2 of their tips and apply them for 1-2 weeks, until you feel ready to add something new. This way you can live the Conscious way for a longer, more sustained period of time. Know what that means? Lasting weight loss, lasting energy, and best of all ~ results that won’t go away when your cleanse is over.
Tips For (Safely) Cleansing:
- Always take it slower than you think you need to. For example, if you’re drinking 3 cups of coffee per day and the cleanse advocates for no caffeine, slowly wean yourself off instead of cutting cold turkey.
- Incorporate as many leafy greens into your diet as possible. Super important for nourishing your cleansing body. Greens naturally detoxify blood and deliver chlorophyll to your cells. Leafy Greens = Happy & Healthy!
- EAT ENOUGH. I can’t stress this enough! If you are starving, you’re not helping anyone. Listen. To. Your. Hunger. If you don’t you will eventually end up binging, passing out, or getting sick.
- Smoothies and juices are your BFF. The simplest, fastest way to get diverse and abundant nutrients is to add a daily smoothie and even a daily juice to your diet. Your skin, hair, nails, and mood will thank you! Psst – this also really helps with kicking cravings!
- Keep a food diary ~ awesome way to track progress and goals.
- Journal ~ cleansing often brings up many emotions, so it’s good to take this time to write it all out. Write in an old notebook, light a candle, and make some tea. This is your time.
- Exercise Consciously ~ During this time, be gentle. If you don’t feel up to your usual hard workout, take it easy and do some light yoga or take a walk outside. Whatever makes you feel good, do it!
- Sleep! ~ So crucial to making any progress with any program. Start going to bed at 10pm-11pm, and eventually waking up naturally. Your body will love you for it.
What is your experience with cleansing? Do you love it or hate it?
I love to hear from you! Questions, comments, or just to talk.
Lots of Love!