So you’ve been thinking about doing a cleanse for a while, or maybe a short time?
I love cleansing, here are my 5 tips to ponder before commencing… (including why to avoid it completely).
I recently completed a 6-Day organic cold pressed juice cleanse. It should be noted I have a cleansing history and include fasting and intermittent fasting regularly in my diet.
My Why? I decided to do this because I wanted to give my body and digestion a rest and let it focus on cleaning itself out. I also needed to give my brain a break from food, what I mean is, I get addicted to how good food is and sometimes need a reminder that FOOD is FUEL first and TASTY (a close) second (both are super important)!
I chose the 6 days because I wanted a deep cleanse and knew it would be possible given my previous experience.
1. Ask yourself WHY? (be totally honest, no one’s listening)!
Why do you want to do the detox/cleanse?
Make a list on your phone or go old school on a bit of paper.
If losing weight is your number one goal and health second, I would not recommend doing it.
Focussing on your health is the most important factor and body composition follows what is happening on the inside.
Start on your mindset first. I have had a long journey with body image and getting real, this is the first time that I have cleansed and not secretly hoped to come out looking like a supermodel… and if I were to be totally honest it still sits there in a small way in the back of my mind, but it is not in my top 10 reasons for doing it.
Old. Habits. Die. Hard.
2. Choose wisely. You want to set yourself up to succeed! There are lots of cleansing options and lengths of time to choose from. (I.e. more options than a only a juice cleanse, but for now I will talk juice cleanse).
If this is your first time, I would recommend starting with 1 day.
You could purchase or make a 1 day cleanse package and use it over a few days and just replace a meal with a juice/s each day, this will be a good start to give your digestion a rest.
My suggestion would be to eat breakfast and lunch and have 2 juices, one in the arvo and one for dinner. See how you go and move on from there!
3. Be smart. Plan some gentle exercise, e.g. walking, body balance, stretch and release, yoga, lower impact/intensity workouts. One day cleanses are not so problematic, but if you are planning on doing a longer one, just know that your energy stores might be lower than usual.
I find one of the benefits is a sense of calm in my body so I suggest support this calm by keeping your movement to gentle or to lower intensity options. Calm must be supported by sleep, my tip is at least 8 hours. I failed to do this 2 of the 6 nights and I really felt the difference in my concentration and ability to talk in adult sentences (haha BUF Girls will know what I mean). The point being, if I was actually feeling it on the outside, my insides were suffering from the lack of sleep well before my outsides showed it. Sleep = regeneration. Get enough.
Recap, Exercise is amazing but give the higher intensity a short break while you focus on the cleanse and releasing the crap. Use this time to reduce the cortisol and nurture you, get a massage, or go do whatever your fave chill activity is… and SLEEP!
4. Think about afterwards. Have a plan for what you are going to eat after the cleanse. You want to continue to nurture your body and not smash it with a whole bunch of things that will overload it! Even healthy things like (some) grains, nuts, seeds, a big hunk of meat haha… I am not going to consume these types of foods straight up, you want easy to digest foods. I’m thinking eggs, avo, veggies, smoothies, if you want to eat meat I suggest having mince so it is already broken in to smaller pieces and therefore easier on your digestion… you get the idea, something easier for your cleansed body to tackle… at least for the first day or so.
5. Also… Don’t overthink it! If you have been toying with the idea of cleansing for a while, give it a go! The thoughts can be fearful, but FEAR is (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal… Our bodies can cope without food (not forever)! but I totally get that the idea might be scary. We generally start to think we are hungry when our tummies are not full, but that is not true! One of my favourite things about cleansing is really getting to understand how much of our food is a habit rather than a NEED. Removing food and food habits can leave your mind open to ponder things that may have been hiding, I suggest having a person or tribe that can support your headspace. Some of us have been accustomed to having a really full tummy right from the time when we were told as a kids to finish everything on our plate, or you cannot leave the table (you know the drill)! Food is something that our society uses for much more than fuel, it is used for rewards, treats, for boredom, as a distraction, even punishment. It is healthy for us to have an empty stomach, which is quite a few steps before hunger, and worlds away from starvation.
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