Our bodies are naturally awesome at taking care of us. They know how to heal. They are beautifully and miraculously designed in every way. They are filled with such intelligence. And…our bodies have built in systems to detoxify us each and every day. We eliminate and neutralize toxins through our colon, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, and skin.
So, why would we need or want to do a cleanse or detox?
In today’s world, we are exposed to much higher concentrations of environmental pollution than ever before. The water we drink is more contaminated, and the food that we eat is nowhere near the quality that our grandparents ate. The Standard American Diet (SAD) contains excess amounts of animal proteins, saturated and trans fats, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and chemicals. Much of our food is highly processed and filled with all sorts of unnatural ingredients that the body doesn’t recognize. We consume way too many medications, and are “crazy busy” stressed which create toxins internally. When we take in toxins more quickly than our bodies can eliminate, we get a bit backed up…if you know what I mean.
Giving our body a break by eliminating the foods that slow our bodies processing of the toxins can be incredibly healing and energizing. The toxins then more easily leave our cells and organs where they are stored when the body can’t handle the load. Some of the foods that slow toxin elimination include; caffeine, alcohol, gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, meat, sugar, and refined and processed foods. These foods are not necessarily “bad” for us, but they do place added stress on our system.
When the body can’t get rid of toxins effectively, we experience headaches, fatigue, constipation, depression, irritability, inflammation, allergies or sensitivities, aches, pains, and just plain ole feeling foggy and groggy. Long-term this leads to the more serious chronic health issues that are common today in our society.
Cleansing on a regular basis allows our body to not only release stored toxins but to rebalance and reboot which supports and sustains our long-term health.
I have been cleansing regularly for many years. The biggest benefit I have observed is that overall mine and my family’s diet gets better and better each year. We really notice which foods leave us feeling good and which leave us feeling poorly. Our immune systems are stronger and we very rarely get colds, flus, or have seasonal allergies any more. The other thing I notice when I am on a cleanse is that I naturally wake up an hour earlier each day without an alarm clock and with a clear head. No more morning grogginess. When I am off sugar, I feel happier and more balanced in my mood.
There are many, many different types of cleanses and ways to do it. I’ve done A LOT of them. Some of them involve drinking only juices or smoothies. You can lose weight fast on those, but you may find it challenging to keep it off once you go back to eating. There are programs that allow you to consume chicken or fish while eating mostly vegetables and fruits. These encourage a slower, gentler detox experience. Others are plant-based and gluten-free. Most cleanses call for the elimination of sugar, alcohol, red meat, pork, dairy, gluten, processed or refined foods, and caffeine.
Much like dieting or fitness regimes, there is no one “right” way that works for everyone. My encouragement is to find one that fits well with your lifestyle and simply reduce those foods that require our system to work harder and increase the foods that are more nutritious, are naturally cleansing, and energize us. These healing foods include; whole, unprocessed foods, leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, non-gluten grains, legumes, and fresh pressed juices. Eat clean food. Try it for one day, three days, one week, 21 days, or 30 days. It doesn’t matter. Do what will work best for you.
You will most likely have more energy, feel happier, lighter, and clear headed. Depending on how much junk is in your system, you may experience some mild detox reactions such as a headache, nausea, irritability, or fatigue during the cleanse. If that happens; drink more water, rest, exercise and make sure to keep your bowels moving. Just go easy, be gentle and acknowledge yourself for taking steps to care for your body.
If you are looking to come back into balance… start slowly and keep it simple. Consider which foods or beverages you could eliminate to lighten your load. Add in more of the balancing and energizing ones. Drink lots of water. Rest a bit more. Move your body.
Cleansing is a time-honored health tradition that has many valuable benefits. It doesn’t have to be scary, overwhelming, or some weird thing that only us health coaches do! If it feels right for you, consider trying one.
Lisa’s online guided Revive Your Life: 3-Day Spring Cleanse & Gentle Detox will take place from April 7-9. You can expect to eat real food that is simple to prepare and delicious. All program materials, recipes and shopping list will be released on March 31st to give you plenty of time to grocery shop and prepare.
This post is written by me and was originally published on January 5, 2014 under a different title on my good friend Alison Cebulla’s inspiring blog http://www.kindnesschallengeblog.com/
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