Cleanses: Deprivation or Gift?
For many people, the mere thought of a cleanse is enough to make them turn the other way. Yet, truth be told, there are a lot of benefits to a healthy cleanse.
On the one hand, a cleanse can seem like mid evil torture while on the other hand, after a few days a good cleanse can make you feel better than you have in a long time. So… is a cleanse something that deprives you or makes you feel like you’ve given yourself a great gift.
Each Cleanse Teaches Me Something Valuable
Recently, I began a detox (slash) cleanse. This is not my first rodeo and yet, with each cleanse I do, I learn more about my unconscious eating and how my mind, body and soul respond to what, on some level is considered deprivation, and on another level, considered giving myself a great gift.
Deprivation has to do with what I am not putting in my mouth; breads, pasta, red meats, caffeine, sugar, and processed foods. Although I gave up many of these things well over a year ago, there are traces of how I would do a little here and a little there.
The “great” gift is in the rest I am giving my digestive tract. In case you don’t know what your digestive tract is and why you need to give it a periodic rest, check this out.
Why Clean the Digestive Tract?
The Digestive Tract is the series of organs in the digestive system through which food passes, nutrients are absorbed, and waste is eliminated. In higher vertebrates, it consists of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum, and anus.
With the way most people eat, the digestive tract is in dire need of a break. We over tax our system to the point of feeling sluggish, tired, bogged down and downright lazy.
By giving the system a break, we can become fully energized. Mind you, no matter how well you eat, the first few days of a cleanse can be hell. Literal hell.
Even though the detox I’m on is not as extreme as some I’ve done, I am starting each morning by juicing.
Is a Cleanse Safe?
There is controversy as to whether or not cleanses are safe. When done right, they can be very safe, but the optimal word is “right.” What this means is, don’t starve yourself.
You do risk some of the most common side effects including low energy, foggy thinking, dizziness, low blood sugar, fatigue and nausea.
One of the safest ways to detox is to start by eating “clean” which simply means eating organic vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and lean protein.
Disclaimer: if you have certain food allergies, be sure not to include these foods in your diet. Use good judgement on your choices.
I do a lot of juicing when I cleanse. It helps to jump-start my efforts.
When is the Best Time to do a Cleanse?
Any time is a good time to do a light cleanse. However, keep in mind any special events coming up that mind hinder your efforts. Weddings, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Usually, special occasions are celebrated with eating out or family gatherings with a huge focus on food.
Personally, I like to do a cleanse ever three to four months. I estimate how many days I want to do the cleanse and make sure there is nothing that will interfere with my efforts.
One and two day green smoothie cleanses can be incredibly effective. Sometimes more so than extended deprivation cleanses.
After all, we can do just about anything for a day or two.
What’s the Best Way to Prepare for a Cleanse?
The more thought you put into preparation, the better. What this simply means is do a conscious cleanse.
I enjoy journaling about why I want to cleanse. I think through what I want to accomplish, what I will do to set myself up for success with the foods I need, I do my grocery shopping ahead of time, I prepare my kitchen for my cleanse by giving away foods that may be temptation foods, and make sure I have plenty of the right fruits and vegetables on hand.
As you know with any goal that is important to you, it is best to get clear about what your vision is and become committed to accomplishing it.
1) Get clear about your vision for this cleanse, write it down and keep it where you can see it often.
2) At least two days before you actually start the cleanse, start replacing foods, drinks and lifestyle choices that don’t serve your health with ones that do.
To make the process easier, I love reading books that give me even more great information. I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Somers and have enjoyed several of some of her other books.
Clean is an M.D.’s program designed to be easily incorporated into our busy schedule while providing all the practical tools necessary to support and rejuvenate our bodies. The effect is transformative: nagging health problems will suddenly disappear, extra weight will drop away, and for the first time in our lives, we will experience what it truly means to feel healthy.
“It’s as if we are all on a big, chemical drunk, and the hangover is a killer.”
—Suzanne Somers, in TOX-SICK
Pioneering health and wellness advocate, Suzanne Somers, delivers a powerful answer in this expose on the immediate and long-term dangers of living in a world that has become increasingly toxic to our health. The build-up of toxins in our bodies can lead to myriad health concerns — including weight gain, food allergies, brain disorders, cancer, among many others.
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