I have just completed my first full week of cleansing. I have to say I feel good and the plan that I carefully laid out for myself seems to be agreeing with me. Don’t get wrong it is no cake walk, coffee is life for me and the struggle of withdraw is real. In fact, as I sit here and write this post my mind keeps slipping off into day dreams of pound cake and chocolate. I have also experienced quite a bit of lethargy and fogginess over the last week. However, these detox symptoms have been mild compared the headaches and flu like symptoms I have experienced in the past. There are many reasons this could be but there are two factors that I feel are partly responsible for my experience so far.
1) The biggest one of course being the cleanse itself. I’m trying a completely new cleanse out. Basically, I have tailored the 21 day elimination cleanse according to how my body has responded to past cleanse experiences.
2)I added colonics treatments at the start of the cleanse to kick start the entire detoxification process. I feel like this was a game changer.
Because I am in the midst of my own spring cleaning. I am going to be devoting many of my post over the next 6 weeks to sharing my cleanse experience, providing my cleanse approved recipes, and sharing tips on how to more successfully complete your own spring cleanse. Right now I would like to talk a bit about how to choose the right cleanse for you………
Just google search the words detox or cleanse and the results will give you page after page of cleanse products and cleanse programs. With so many cleanses out there it can be a bit overwhelming for a girl to choose. The thing about cleansing is that it is very personal experience. Being as such, just because one cleanse works well and is right for one person does not mean that that same cleanse is going to yield you with a similar experience and results. To further elaborate on that point, each time you cleanse regardless if you are following a cleanse you have used in the past or not, your detox experience will likely vary from time to time. So how do you choose the best cleanse for yourself????? Below are four questions to guide you to your best detox.
1) How much time and effort do you really have to invest in a cleanse?
Be realistic here. If you barely have time to breath as it is then choosing a program that is heavy on the food and/or juice prep is not going to work for you. There are many delivery meal and juice plans that offer cleanse programs. With most of these programs you simply pick the type of cleanse and the duration of time you would like to cleanse and they do all the work for you. You just have to open your door one morning to find a cooler of prepared juices and/or meals waiting for you. No thought necessary and no hours spent planning and prepping meals. It really does make the cleanse process a hell of a lot easier.
There are many juice cleanses, such as Pressed Juicery, that deliver nationally. However I know Anna and I both prefer to use locally offered programs. One of the big reasons for this is that the majority programs capable of national delivery are brands that use HPP to increase shelf life. We will write a more in depth post explaining why exactly HPP juices are not an optimal choice for cleansing, but to briefly summarize the practice is controversial, with industry veterans like Juice Press founder Marcus Antebi comparing the option to "going to Zales for a diamond versus going to Tiffany's or Cartier: It makes the product inferior.” I believe that an inferior juice is better then no juice at all. So if you truly have no local option and home juicing is completely out of the realm of your possibility then go ahead an order from a company like Urban Remedy. Just make sure to do your research and be prepared to add extra supplementation, such as a strong probiotic and multi-vitamin to the cleanse. your not sure where to find pressed juice in your area check out the The Pressed Organic Directory by Living Maxwell.
2) How physically active are you/ do you need to be while you are cleansing?
One of cleanings ultimate benefits is that it allows our bodies systems to rest in order to purge out toxicity and start the healing process. Ideally you want to limit physical activity during a cleanse for two main reasons
1) You want your body to be rested enough so that your cells can reach full toxic kick ass potential.
2)Most cleanses do not provide you with the extra calories and nutrients required for exercise or prolonged physical activity.
By Pushing yourself to perform at the same level of of physical activity as you do while not cleansing can leave you experiencing the unpleasant side effects of feeling, dizzy, nauseous, and weak. Even worse improper caloric and nutrient intake can lead to muscle breakdown putting you at higher risk for injury. Some of us wether it is because of a physically demanding job or other life demands, are unable to cut back on physical activity for the entire length of the cleanse. If that is the case try a whole food cleanse like the annual goop detox, which provides a seven day menu with recipes for three meals a day. You can alter the recipes and add snacks for an added calorie boost so long as stay within the approved food list. Basically you are saying not to all alcohol, sugar, corn, caffeine, gluten, dairy, soy, and nightshades. If you are really looking to give your digestive system a break and still desire to do a juice cleanse then try a cleanse like the Juice Press 6 juice per day cleanse. Add an additional protein smoothie and nut milk to the already prescribed juices in order to compensate for your higher caloric needs.
3)What is your current state of health?
Are you currently expereincing any health problems? Do you feel sluggish and sick often? Are there any specific physical symptoms you are trying to address with the cleanse? For example, do you feel that you are suffering from an unknown food allergy and want to focus on food elimintation and the careful reintroduction of food during the process? Is digestion a concern? Would you like a cleanse that focuses on riding the body of intestinal parasites? And what about balancing you hormones? Are you suffering month after month with crazy PMS symptoms? You need to figure out what your classing goals are and pick a detox regimens or a combination of regimens that are going to be best suited to your goals. There are some great herbal cleansing systems on the market that can be added to any juice or whole foods cleanse in order to help you target specific issues you are trying to tackle. Below are four great kits that I recommend from Blessed Herbs.
- Colon Cleansing Kit: revitalizes your entire digestive tract with specially formulated herbs that remove accumulated waste material, toxins and mucoid plaque from your intestinal walls that can lead to autointoxication, allergies, skin rashes and breakouts, compromised immunity and brain fog. Colon Cleansing Kit encourages healthy secretions from all your organs of digestion and detoxification to improve food breakdown and absorption and regular elimination. Choose an 8-day, 9-day or 30-day program with or without fasting or dietary modifications.
- Para Cleansing Kit: Ingesting parasites from undercooked food and infested produce is common even with stringent government regulations in place. If you suspect you’ve picked up a “bug,” Para Cleansing Kit is for you. Formulated with 3 parasite cleansers aimed at eliminating large and small organisms, our specialized formula will also soothe the digestive system and boost your body’s defenses. Para Cleansing Kit includes the same Toxin Absorber Kit and Digestive Stimulator found in the Colon Cleansing Kit for digestive cleansing, toning and elimination. The convenient 12-day program can be used without disrupting your daily routine.
- Internal Cleansing Kit: Our comprehensive 21-day Internal Cleansing Kit is a full body program formulated to cleanse and rejuvenate each of your body's major elimination and detoxification organs including your colon, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, lungs, blood, skin and lymphatic system. We have included our Colon Cleansing Kit in this comprehensive cleanse so that the waste materials that are pulled from your organs of detoxification are sure to be safely eliminated. Also included in with this kit, is their Para Cleansing Kit, to safely expel unwanted organisms from your intestinal tract. The 90-herb formula has been formulated by a leading naturopathic physician to renew energy, eliminate toxins and waste, and strengthen your body’s defenses against foreign invaders.
- Revive 5-Day Natural Cleanse: Their easy 5-day cleanse is the ideal solution for individuals that want an effective colon cleanse that will not interfere with daily activities. The two-part program includes key ingredients to support your organs of detoxification; improve circulation, digestion and elimination; and revitalize immunity and healthy metabolic functioning.
4) What are your intentions of doing a cleanses?
Are you looking to overhaul your lifestyle and diet or are is this just a part of your detox to retox cycle. There is no judgement here. I promise! If eating healthy is not your thing and cleansing really is just a mechanism for making you feel like you are living a more balanced life, then who am I or anyone else to judge. Even if you are not ready to commit to long term diet changes I’d still rather see you cleanse periodically rather then do nothing at all.
If you are looking for more long term benefits from the cleansing experience then then choosing a cleanse that includes the preparation of whole foods like brown rice, vegetables, and clean proteins may be a better choice then a restrictive juice fast . One of my favorite whole food cleanses is the 21 Day Clean Program. Programs such as these are great because they aid you in developing healthier habits such as, clean meal preparation and planning. These are are the types of habits that you ideally want to fall into and carry with you even when the cleanse period ends. Another great Whole Foods cleanse aimed at sparking a healthier routine in your day to day like is the Best Body Challenge by Sakara Life. This cleanse not only focuses on clean eating, it also provides you with a month long workout guide and weekly challenges to help you break through emotional and spiritual blocks.
I hope these questions will help guide you on your own quest for the right cleanse. Please don't hesitate to ask us any specific questions you may have . And please share with us your own spring detox experience. We would love to hear from you! We are all in this together and I am excited to share my experience with you as I go though this process over the next 6 weeks.