Should You Try a Cleanse?

Your Squeaky Clean Routine

I’m often asked about cleanses.  People want to know if they are effective, safe, necessary and most of all, they want to know which type of cleanse is best.

My honest opinion:

If you are healthy and not experiencing any undesirable symptoms, then it is unlikely that you need or will benefit from a cleanse.  Just keep doing what you’re doing.  However, If you are experiencing mild symptoms like bloating, acne, fatigue, dry hair and/or skin, etc. then you will benefit from making some lifestyle changes and a cleanse and be a good jumpstart or maintenance plan while you proceed to make more permanent lifestyle improvements.  First things first, let me boldly state: I strongly proclaim that you should A) check with your doctor if you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms, and B) tell your doctor about the cleanse that you are considering.  The good new is, the different types of cleanses that I am going to recommend are not supplement based, are easy to follow, and you won’t hate them!

Most people hear cleanse and think detox tea or lots of pills or just juice for days.  There are cleanses like that, but I’m going to share my 3 favorite types of cleanses with you.

1. The Yoga Cleanse

Many may surprised that this is even a thing, but cleansing doesn’t actually have to be food based.  Cleanses are designed to help the body eliminate toxins.  Anything that supports your circulatory system, lymphatic system and digestive system is going to help you to detoxify the body.  Stretching, twisting, and intentional breathing is an incredibly powerful way to to support and engage all of these systems.

To complete a Yoga cleanse, I suggest doing Yoga 6 days per week for 28 days.  Of course, it would be ideal to continue to incorporate yoga or functional stretching into your life for the long haul, but to complete the cleanse, commit to 4 weeks to allow your body to recognize the full benefits of this type of cleanse.

  • Practice for 20-60 minutes first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (with the exception of 6-8 ounces of warm lemon water so that you aren’t parched while you practice)
  • Begin with gentle postures and build up to more intense ones
  • If you are an inexperienced yogi, seek guidance from a yoga professional first
  • Complete another 5-15 minutes of yoga or meditation before bed

While it’s always important to stay hydrated, while on a yoga cleanse it becomes even more imperative that you drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of clean water each day.

Try this class to get you started:

2. Whole Food Cleanse

The whole food cleanse is a commitment to eating only whole, unprocessed, organic foods for a period of time.  To receive the full benefits of this cleanse, I suggest you stay on it for at least 14 days.

whole-food-cleanse

  • Keep the number of ingredients included in each meal to 5 or less
  • Snacks should be a single ingredient (ex. an apple or a serving of walnuts or a sweet potato. Not all of those things, just one thing)
  • Animal products are fine, but should be limited to 1 serving per day, as they slow digestion and the purpose of the cleanse is to keep things moving
  • Because you will be eating more plant based foods, consider steam most of the veggies you eat to aid in more gentle digestion

3. Juice Cleanses

Juice cleanses come in countless shapes and sizes.  People either love them or hate them.  Because we’re all coming from a different place with goals that vary, I’ll just tell you about my favorite type of juice cleanse, then you do you 😉

juice-cleanse

  • I prefer a cleanse that lasts 1-3 days.  Longer cleanses are difficult to transition out of and I find that I feel worse instead of better.
  • Have 6 freshly made juices each day.  Avoid juices that contain preservatives and have been bottled and shelved for months or more.  Most juice companies that specialize in cleanses are acceptable as they do not add preservatives and do make sure that you know the optimum shelve life of their product.
  • If you are active (or even if you aren’t) make sure that 2-3 of your juices contain more than 15 grams of protein each day.
  • Drink juices that contain more vegetables than fruit.
  • If you feel weepy, foggy or like you might have a complete meltdown, try added a TBSP of flaxseed, coconut oil, EVOO, or sesame oil.
  • Don’t be a hero.  If you have to eat something solid, don’t think you’ve failed.  This cleanse is for you and no one else.  If you need a few slices of avocado or some nut butter on the side, so be it.  I’m a huge fan of staying sane 🙂

There are so many types of cleanses that can treat many types of ailments.  Your best bet is always going to be well rounded nutrition for life, but cleanses can offer a great jumpstart.  If you’re going to try one, find a cleanse companion or crew.  It’s always for fun and easier to stay on track with you have a community. Or, just ask me 🙂 You know I’m game!


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