What if someone told you that you are carrying around an extra 10-25 pounds of excrement in your bowel on any given day – would that get your attention? And did you know that almost 97% of the nutrition your body receives from food is processed through the walls of your bowel? Here’s another fun fact: If three cars go in a tunnel every day, how many do you think should be coming out on the other end? Exactly! So what makes you think you don’t need to cleanse??
In this article I’ve described the various ways you can begin a cleansing regime regardless of whether you are a newbie to cleansing, just looking for a little weight loss, or in serious need of the Deep Clean! If you haven't watched my Cleansing 101 vlog yet, I suggest you click on it BEFORE you continue reading further, as it will lay the groundwork for the physiology of cleansing. At the bottom of this page you will find a PDF version of my blog for those of you who would like to print it or save it for a time when you are ready to cleanse!
A Little Prep Work:
Before you begin your cleanse, it’s important to prepare your body by gradually easing off sugars and processed carbs while simultaneously introducing living foods such as salads and fruits. You don’t want to shock your system into major withdraw symptoms, such as headaches, bloating and aches, so if you alter your diet BEFORE you begin cleansing, you’ll notice a much gentler process of detoxification occurring.
Another good idea is to make a shopping list of things you will need depending on the type of cleanse you are doing. When you are in the thick of things, you’ll want to have all of your supports in place to keep pushing through, with less temptation to reach for comfort food!
If you're juicing, my go-to recommended juicer that won't leave you in sticker shock is the Omega 8006 from Bed Bath & Beyond.
Throughout the cleansing process some of you will be eating regular meals so it is important to stick with fibrous fruits and vegetables while limiting your meat intake. Drinking extra water is also VERY important to keep the toxins flushing out so you may want to invest in a large, glass water bottle before you start.
Toward the end of your cleanse you will want to incorporate a high-powered probiotic as part of the rebuilding process to boost immunity. My favorite probiotics that our family takes regularly are from Garden of Life and can be found on-line or at any Whole Foods Market. I recommend taking them first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, and then just before bedtime. Start slow – you can always build up!
Now....it’s important to choose a cleanse that you think will work best for your body based on your current health condition. For example, if you are struggling with blood sugar issues, a juice cleanse may not be the best choice of starters. Additionally, if at any point you are feeling weak, dazed or confused, it’s best to stop what you are doing immediately, as your system simply may not be ready for a deep cleanse yet. As always, consult with your physician prior to beginning any new health regime!
The following is a list of my favorite cleanses, and I believe there is truly something here for everyone. Start slow, listen to your body, and get ready to LET IT ALL GO!
#1 Epsom Salt Baths & Herbal Tea – Intensity: Mild
Brew one cup of Smooth Move Tea in the evening and soak in a warm bath with 2-3 cups of Epsom salt for 15 minutes. The salts are rich in Magnesium, which will relax your system and pull out unwanted toxins. If you have an early start the next morning, it’s best to wait to do this until the weekend depending on just how backed up you are. This is a mild cleanse and it’s great for those moments when you know you’ve gone overboard with your diet or perhaps just need some subtle relief and movement. If you have blood pressure issues, I suggest skipping the salt soak and just trying the tea.
#2 Herbal Cleanse - Intensity: Medium-Strong
As a busy mother of three, my ideal type of cleanse is one that digs in deep but yet requires minimal preparation on my part. My favorite cleansing products can be found at Dr. Schultze’s Botanical Pharmacy, www.HerbDoc.com , and what I use consistently each season are his 5-day bowel detox capsules. These Botanicals are some of the highest quality herbs I’ve ever found, and if you decide to try them, I suggest you start VERY SLOW because they are SERIOUSLY potent! Woohoo! If you want something with a little less punch but still very effective, try a cleansing product from Garden of Life or directly from Whole Foods Market 365 Brand. They have a variety of teas, capsules and powders to choose from!
#3 Juice Cleansing - Intensity: Medium
Juice cleansing can be a lot of fun for those of you who like to spend time in your kitchen and have a creative edge for food. The juicing recipes that I find to be the simplest can be viewed at www.rebootwithjoe.com. Joe Cross is the King of Juicing and he offers a great variety of meal plans that can match any lifestyle. Remember, if you have blood sugar issues, juicing may not be the best choice of cleansing options. If you find that your juices are a little too sweet, you can always add water to each cup as a dilution.
#4 Liver/Gallbladder Flush - Intensity: Medium-Strong
After you flush your bowel and feel as though things are really moving along smoothly, it’s time to introduce a good Liver/Gallbladder Cleanse. These are the organs that hold on to the sediment of prescription drugs, excess estrogen, and other foreign chemicals that your body dumps there out of default. If you want to start simple, a gentle liver flush is as easy as squeezing half a lemon in an 8oz glass of water first thing every morning. This is good daily maintenance. For a more vigorous, deep cleanse however, I suggest:
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
1 Small Lemon, juiced
1 Small piece of ginger, juiced
Approx 16oz purified/spring water
½ Grapefruit, juiced
Drink this VERY slow and with small sips; swish in your mouth to begin digestion before swallowing. If it tastes too strong at first, you can always add more water or some organic apple juice to taste. Follow with a light breakfast after 30min. For severe liver/gallbladder issues, I suggest looking into Dr. Schultze’s Liver/Gallbladder detox Cleanse. This is VERY strong....and literally saved my life!
#5 Kidney Flush – Intensity: Medium
Similar to your liver, your kidneys are processing all of the toxins that are essentially running through your body every second of the day. Here are two simple recipes you can alternate with to get a good flush and move through any smaller stones that may be lingering about. First thing in the morning, blend the juice of:
2 Cups Watermelon and 1 Lime OR 2 Carrots and 1 Cucumber.
Add water to taste or to cut the sugar content. (Diabetics - consult with your physician first!) Follow with a light breakfast 30 minutes later. For a deeper cleanse, I suggest looking into Dr. Schultz’s Kidney Detox www.HerbDoc.com. Remember, you must detox the bowel first before moving on to your other organs!
If you make the choice to cleanse, you must brace yourself for the emotional release that comes along with letting go of your “stuff!” Be aware of what's coming up for you and I promise you'll cultivate a deeper understanding of your mind/body connection.
Bowel: release of waste in your life, letting go of the old, allowing life to flow through you
Liver/Gallbladder: anger, rage, resistance to change, resentment
Kidneys: criticism, failure, shame, feeling “pissed off”
As always, I would love to hear from you via email or in the comments below. If you are seeking a guided approach to cleansing, please visit my coaching options and we'll set up a free 20 minute coaching session to get you on the road to wellness!
*Honor your body for where you are in your process
*Trust your intuition
*Create movement and clarity in your life