In recent years, cleansing has become a health fad of sorts. With many potential health benefits and appealing side effects, people are jumping on the cleansing band wagon, dropping quite a bit of money on boxed cleanses or supplements, colonics, chelation therapy, online programs, and fitness regimes.
Some are benefitting, others are not.
Here’s my take on cleansing:
It should be highly individualized and is not for everyone.
Every health journey is different.
Every body responds and reacts differently.
Every human spirit and emotional soul has a different history, different fears, limitations, tendencies.
It is no wonder that we cannot all handle the same cleanse and that no one cleanse can meet the needs of every person.
So, here’s a little advice for all of you out there wanting to try a cleanse, but not sure where to start.
Firstly, KNOW WHEN NOT TO CLEANSE:
If you are pregnant or might be pregnant: pretty straight forward here – the affects of cleansing on a pregnancy are unknown and unreliable, therefore, keep it safe and don’t attempt a cleanse or any herbal supplementation without consulting with your health care professional.
If you have a compromised immune system or are already sick with a cold or flu: allow the body time to recover from illness first. A cleanse can be challenging for the body systems, it is better to attempt a cleanse when your immune system is stable.
If you are recovering from surgery or trauma: in times of recovery, the body needs all the nutrient intake it can get. Allow the body time to stabilize before moving into a cleanse or detoxification.
If you are struggling with or recovering from an eating disorder: simply because restriction or strict limitations may cause a set back in eating disorder tendencies or dysfunctional eating, if you have had or have an ED, refrain from cleanses altogether or cleanse carefully and with the guidance of your therapist or health professional.
Second, CLEANSE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS:
Do not attempt to fix a larger health issue with a cleanse: time and time again, I see clients who have already tried many attempts to alleviate symptoms or struggles through cleansing or supplementation, to no avail. It is much more time and financially efficient to work with a professional who can help you come up with a dietary regime and lifestyle strategy to move you in the direction of long-term wellness. You can, then, decide together what style and specifically targeted cleanse is right for you.
Do not cleanse in an attempt to lose weight: this is not what cleansing is for! If your issue is weight-loss, then, my Lovely, find some help for a sustainable and compassionate way to lose weight. Do not attempt to fix a deeper issue with a box of herbs: chances are, you will not succeed and will feel worse off for a failed attempt.
Do not cleanse because that’s what others are doing: this is the wrong reason to do anything, ever, may I remind you?! If cleansing doesn’t feel right for you (or wearing short shorts and shaving your head), that is absolutely fine! Be You. Choose for Your Self. Honour Your Needs!
Meet Your Individual Needs and Cleanse
Your Own Way
Evaluate your desire/need for a cleanse: why do you feel the need to cleanse? Is there a deeper issue that needs addressing first? Would you benefit from a guided program/a workshop/a cookbook? Evaluate what a cleanse for you looks like and how to implement one that has the most potential for success.
Ease into it: always, always, always take a week to prepare for your cleanse. Prepare mentally, clean out your kitchen, rearrange your schedule, stock the right foods, borrow a juicer, collect recipes. Preparation sets you up for success!
Make it sustainable: do not choose to do a cleanse that you are quite sure you will not stick with! This may sound ridiculous, but trust me, it happens all the time. If you are pretty sure that a 10 day juice fast would push you way past your restriction threshold, then that is not the right choice for you! If you have never attempted a cleanse before, start with something simple and perfectly doable, and go from there.
Create long-term goals: without a long-term goal in mind, you may find that once completing a cleanse, you quickly proceed to jump off the cleansing wagon and head straight for the donut shop and the liquor store. Come up with a few long-term goals that suit your overall long-term health ideals. Use the cleanse as a stepping stone towards stronger, better life long health.
Allow/make room for setbacks: prepare yourself for a few set backs. You are likely to have a few bad days or moments of poor decision making, make sure you are prepared in some way to forgive and move past those times, so that you are not throwing all your goals out on a dime and feeling terrible about the lack of follow through.
Work with a professional or find guidance through books or a program: I saved this one for last, as it’s one of the most important tools in succeeding with a cleansing protocol. Working with others or within a framework that has been shown to work, can greatly improve not only how likely you are to stick with the program, but how well the program works for you. If you’re going to make some health changes, make them with the intention to succeed, set yourself up with some way of being accountable, and utilize all the available help that’s out there!
Looking for cleansing guidance & recipe inspiration?
Check out my UPCOMING WORKSHOP!
Questions? Shoot me a message! I’d love to hear from you!