Have you ever diligently followed a cleansing protocol only to think, “What did I just put myself through?”
Despite feeling desperately hungry and irritable for several days, maybe you noticed no significant improvements or maybe you felt even worse at the end of it. Yikes!
Cleansing has become another bandwagon buzzword that many companies have jumped onto by offering gimmicky products and quick solutions to weight loss, improved energy, and toxin removal.
But many of them are actually dangerous and harmful to your mind and body.
Though cleansing is needed more now than at any other time in our history, there is most definitely a right and wrong way to do it. When done appropriately, cleansing is a truly effective process of preventive health care.
With up to 400 different types of chemicals potentially swirling around in our bodies, it’s no wonder we’re seeing an increase in all sorts of disorders. Everything from cancers and type-2 diabetes to autoimmune disorders and hormone imbalances have been linked to toxic chemical exposure.
Our bodies are truly incredible works of art — they are designed to be self-healing and self-regulating. In this way, the body has developed several methods for removing and storing toxins to keep our most vital organs protected.
But when the body is chronically stressed, these lines of defense weaken, exposing us to damaging substances that result in debilitating symptoms such as:
- Low energy
- Brain fog
- Excess fat storage
- Sleep disturbances
- Inability to focus or think clearly
- Memory issues
- Digestive disruption
- Skin rash and hair loss
- Overall sense of malaise
A cleanse that supports the body’s natural ability to restore its own health and vitality will not only boost the immune system, but every other function in the body will run more efficiently as well. And, that means your body is more likely to shed excess fat!
But REMEMBER, the primary role of a true cleanse is to remove toxins, reverse deficiencies, increase immunity, and balance the body systems. The release of excess weight is a byproduct of those optimal conditions.
If you find yourself drawn to cleansing, make sure you incorporate these 4 simple components so that your body can safely and effectively remove toxins:
- Eat Whole, Fresh, Nutrient-Dense Foods: In order to remove toxins and reverse deficiencies, you must incorporate whole, nutrient-dense foods that provide the body the necessary substances to repair and support the organs of elimination. Immune health, energy, and hormonal balance also fall into place when deficiencies are resolved. Skipping meals or taking powders and other processed products does not support the body’s natural ability to heal and restore itself. In fact, it may hinder it.
Eat This: Detoxifying, nutrient-dense foods such as organic beets, fennel, apples, citrus, berries, cucumber, ginger, garlic, greens, cruciferous veggies, healthy fats, fresh herbs and spices, and purified water.
Avoid This: Meat proteins such as eggs, all red meat, chicken and shellfish, all dairy, all processed foods and drinks, all artificial foods, colors, and preservatives, alcohol, fried food,
- Move Your Body: Movement supports the elimination of toxins in several ways, but a vital aspect many do not realize is that the lymph system, which contains all our white blood cells and is a key component of immunity, cannot move fluid without movement! Exercise and movement also reduce stress, stimulate the release of excess weight, and can improve mood and outlook.
Do this: Gentle exercises like walking, easy hikes, swimming, yoga, tai chi, simple stretches, gentle body weight movements.
Avoid this: Intense lifting, cardio, or intervals.
- Manage Stress: Stress has become the most damaging of issues in our society, contributing to the genesis of so many chronic illnesses and diseases, including obesity. Reducing and managing stress must be a major component in cleansing. Without it, the body will not release excess fat where many toxins are stored, and cortisol levels will remain high, placing the body in an acidic state — this is not conducive to healing and restoration.
Try this: Yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, reframing, forgiveness, speak affirmations, laugh out loud, talk therapy, animal therapy, spend time in nature, rest, engage in relaxing activities
Avoid this: Overworking, negative thinking, pessimism, doubt and worry, sleeping too little, taking on more than you can handle.
- Reduce Exposure to Future Toxins: It doesn’t make sense to cleanse your body of toxins if you’re going to keep exposing them to the same ones! There are many factors that are out of your control — like air and environment — but there are many more that are within your control including what you put in and on your body, the material in which you store food, and the cleaning agents you use around the house.
Try this: Natural skin care, makeup, hair care, and cleaning products; invest in a water purifier; switch to glass or porcelain containers, buy organic, local, and in-season as often as possible.
Avoid this: Canned food, plastic water bottles and containers, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, chemical, dye and perfumed cleaning agents.
The body is incredibly resilient! Under the right circumstances, we have within us all of the systems to heal, restore, and regenerate our bodies to optimal functioning! Cleansing the right way — incorporating the 4 components of an effective cleanse — will give you the energy and drive to engage in and enjoy life to the fullest!