I don’t know about you but by the end of each winter I feel like my eating habits have gone to total shit. As a general rule of thumb I try to follow the 80/20 rule with my diet. 80% of the time I eat extremely clean and the other 20% of the time I eat whatever my little heart desires. I will never claim myself to be one of the healthiest eaters out there. I wish I could but I REALLY REALLY LOVE FOOD. I love the things that aren’t necessarily that good for me like cheese and fried foods. I am a pretty small girl so people so who don’t know me mock me when I tell them I love to eat. I promise you though, I can put food away with the best of them. Spend a day with me and you will never question it. I LOVE good food! What I hate admitting is that junk food is also my secret lover and our affair heats up during the winter months. I know I am not alone in the struggle. I believe that most of us, especially those of us living in colder winter climates, feel our bodies crave heavier foods during the winter months. Lets be real I straight up crave comfort foods like mac and cheese and mashed potatoes all winter. These foods certainly comfort my heart but my body usually rebels with headaches and belly issues. You add in the over indulgence of the holiday season there is no way our bodies headed into spring in the best of health.
The point I’m getting at is that by the end of winter my body is ready to hit the reset button. I’m not going to bullshit and pretend that cleansing has nothing to do with wanting to look good in a bikini. Facts are facts, I’m interested in cleansing not only to detox from my seasonal bad habits but to also spark the weight-loss of any winter gain. Key word in that sentence is spark. I don't rely on a cleanses to make me lose weight. Though you do generally lose some weight on a cleanse, that weight tends to predominately be water weight and is quickly regained if you return to your old eating habits. The way cleansing translates to weight-loss for me has more to do with realigning myself to a cleaner diet that keeps my body running at its best everyday. How else is a girl going to have the energy to chase all of her dreams down?!?!
The writers of the Clean Programs Blog gives us ten great reasons we should all be cleansing this spring.
1) Improved Digestion
Chemicals in the personal-care products we use, processed foods we eat, and allergies can make digestion difficult. Our cleanse program addresses this issue head-on by removing irritating foods and products, reducing leaky gut symptoms and supporting easier and better digestion.
2) Increased Energy
If there is one thing a cleanse can boast, it’s increasing our overall energy. Following the Cleanse Diet shifts us away from hard-to-digest foods and irritants that cause our energy to plummet. In addition, when we include nutrient-dense shakes in lieu of solid meals, surplus energy is made available to the rest of the body.
3) Sharpened Mental Clarity
Digestion uses a lot of our energy. The average transit time through just the large intestine (colon) was 40 hours, with significant difference between men and women: 33 hours for men, 47 hours for women. A cleanse can free up additional energy by reducing the workload of the digestive system and removing potentially irritants like dairy, gluten, and sugar.
4) Balanced Moods
Many of us depend on stimulants like coffee and sugar to wake up and depressants like alcohol to relax. A cleanse reclaims your body’s natural equilibrium by improving blood sugar, resting the adrenals, and providing the body with nourishing food. With a newly balanced mood and a brighter outlook on life, you may also experience a few more unexpected psychological benefits from doing a cleanse.
5) Weight Loss
An increasing amount of chemicals we are exposed to are lipophilic, which means they dissolve only in fat. When they enter our bloodstream, our body retains and even generates fat and mucous to surround the potentially damaging molecules. Over time, fat and mucous may cause us to gain weight or make it challenging to lose. A cleanse can help us start to shed unwanted pounds by aiding our detox pathways.
6) Reduced Cravings
If you’re looking to reduce cravings, a cleanse is a great way to go. Many processed foods are loaded with excitotoxins that overexcite our cells and excess sugar that spikes and our blood sugar. A cleanse focuses on adding in whole foods and removing all the junk. After a short period of time, you’ll start to notice your cravings are replaced by an appetite for great tasting clean foods like a sweet potato pie smoothie, miso-mustard roasted chicken, or paleo parfait.
7) Visible Changes: Skin, Eyes, Weight
The benefits of a cleanse become very visible during our program. It’s amazing to see bloating and weight reduce, eyes brighten, and puffiness lessens. These signs are just the outer changes of a deeper cleansing process that is happening all throughout the inside of our body as well, from the digestive system to the immune system.
A cleanse removes the system disruptions and hard-to-digest foods that often cause us to sleep poorly. In addition, by removing stimulants like caffeine and depressants like wine, the adrenal and nervous systems have a chance to rest and find balance. Sleep quickly improves and deepens, increasing the detoxification process along with mental clarity, alertness, weight loss, and the almost endless list of benefits that come from additional sleep. To add that final touch, add a warm cup of this magnesium drink before bed and make sure your bedroom is conducive to good sleep.
8) Reduced Bloating and Constipation
Constipation and bloating after meals are so common today, we might forget that it’s possible to live without either of them. A cleanse is one of the best ways to get our digestive system and our bowels back on track. After a few weeks on a cleanse diet of easily-digestible foods and supportive supplements, like a digestive enzyme and a probiotic, bloating and constipation are greatly reduced if not eliminated.
9) Release Emotional Blocks
Very often, our emotional life is one of the first areas to get triggered when we do the cleanse. Not only can we experience emotions around removing certain foods, but it’s not uncommon that deeper emotions rise to the surface.
Without the typical numbing practices of junk foods, drinking, or smoking to fall back on, many of us may experience feelings we haven’t felt in a while. The clarity produced by a cleanse can help us release these feelings and grow. To help us deal with the emotional side of detoxing, Dr. Junger recommends a simple 5-minute mindfulness meditation practice.
10) Build Long-term Health
A well-organized cleanse should create daily habits that we will want to continue after we finish. Over time, these habits are our foundation for vibrant living and prevention from disease. A proper cleanse should aid us in building healthy habits that can dramatically transform your health in the long term.
BTW the Clean Program Cleanse is a great 21 day cleanse program. It is one of the cleanse programs that I highly recommended and will be talking more about in upcoming post as I embark on my own spring cleaning this month. Look for my post later this week on how to choose the best cleanse for you!