The following post was inspired by Heinen’s Wellness Consultant Andrea Slobodian.
The anticipation of the new season can bring lots of excitement and a strong desire to clean out our life. We all know what it is to spring clean your house, but what about a spring cleanse for your body?
Most people feel a little intimidated by body cleansing. They think they’ll be running to the bathroom every five minutes, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Your body is an amazing creation with inherent wisdom. When provided the proper resources, it will always default to finding physical harmony, balance and health.
I consider cleansing as a continuum: any step up, or a few steps up, from where you are will help your body be in a better place. Take some time to evaluate where you are and what would be an improvement.
The point of a cleanse is to reduce the toxic load you take in and lighten the burden on your digestive system. This is achieved by incorporating specific foods and herbs into your meals, drinking more water and by getting quality exercise.
The body stores toxins in fat cells and will produce extra fat cells to store toxins it cannot remove. A whole-food based diet rich in fruits, vegetables and other Fx-approved foods supports the elimination of these toxins, helping you achieving optimal health. Addressing factors like stress and lack of sleep is important too because they can interfere with the body’s natural detoxification system.
There is no exact formula for cleansing. It’s best to customize a cleanse that will work for you as an individual and to go into it with a sense of ease. Take it slow and work your way up, especially if you’ve been eating a diet high in processed foods with additives and preservatives.
I recommend starting with a one-to-three-day cleanse and repeating it once a month, or when the seasons change.
Things to Eliminate During a Cleanse
If the thought of removing all the foods on this list seems overwhelming, pick just a few to start and add as you feel comfortable.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Processed sugars and sugar substitutes (including stevia)
- Condiments, commercial salad dressings, iodized salt
- Caffeine and caffeinated beverages (including tea)
- Sugar-laden beverages
- Processed and bleached white flours and/or grains
- Dairy, including yogurt (it is harder to digest)
- Animal-based protein (if you must eat meat, choose baked or broiled chicken and fish)
Things to Add During a Cleanse
First, get mentally and emotionally prepared for your cleanse by making a commitment to yourself and one other person who can offer emotional support and accountability. Next, clear your schedule to help you stay focused.
Here are some other tips to help you stay in the game.
- Drink eight ounces of hot water with the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning.
- Eat a diet with a minimum of 50-70% fresh, lightly steamed vegetables. Eliminate canned and frozen varieties.
- Include low sugar fruits like berries, apples and pears.
- Eat more foods from the Fx 100 List. Greens are especially cleansing, as are functional food powders like spirulina, chlorella and wheatgrass (found in Heinen’s Wellness Department).
- Drink more pure water.
- Enjoy teas or herbal supplements that support detoxification. Dandelion tea by Traditional Medicinals and Raw Cleanse by Garden of Life are two great choices.
- Walk 30 minutes a day and get lots of fresh air.
- Consider dry body brushing to get the lymphatic system moving.
- Take hot Epsom salt /sea salt baths to help you detox through the pores of your skin. (Do dry brushing before getting into the tub.)
- Consider doing oil pulling to help you detox.
- Do lots of deep breathing to oxygenate your body.
- Use the practice of meditation to connect with your body.
- Tai chi, yoga or qigong are wonderful to get your chi flowing. Chi is the energy current that runs through your body.
- Commit to getting at least seven hours of quality sleep each night.
- Treat yourself to a non-food reward when you complete the cleanse. See a new movie, schedule a massage or buy yourself a beautiful bouquet of flowers from Heinen’s top-notch Floral Department!
How to End Your Cleanse
Take care to break your cleanse slowly. Ideally, you will transition back to a whole-food based diet over a period of two to three days for every day that you cleansed. Breaking it with pizza or fast food will defeat the entire purpose of the cleanse. The point is to make this a part of your life, not a temporary fix.
Cleansing is an upgrade from a whole-food diet. It can be quite effective because you are working on a cellular level with the body. However, do not look at this as a “quick fix”. It needs to be taken seriously because if done improperly, you can do more harm than good. Educate yourself, work with a holistic doctor or trusted and proven program based on real food.
Whether you’re looking to cleanse or simply want to optimize your health, through our Club Fx program, Heinen’s Wellness Consultants can provide individualized support to help you reach your goals. We are here for you! Sign up today and schedule a session.