To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse-That is the Question!

If you are at all into health, weight loss or fitness which includes almost everyone in the US to say the least you have likely heard or been bombarded by the praises of doing a cleanse. More than not you’ve had a friend or a friend of a friend who has raved about the Master Cleanse and how they lost a ton of weight and feel great or that so and so just completed a juice cleanse and how hard it was to sustain. So what’s the deal with cleansing?

Men and women alike cleanse for any number of reasons the most common of which include weight loss, but for others it may include disease prevention, food allergies or sensitivities, religious reasons, or to reset their digestive track, reboot their immune system if you will. Cleanses vary widely from mild to extreme and can be both short and long. Some involve juicing, others involve herbal prescriptions and others include such fads as the Master Cleanse which if you ask me are entirely unsustainable. Not all cleanses are equal and some are even downright dangerous. That said, when selecting the right cleanse for your unique body type and lifestyle, significant improvement in your health and mental wellbeing is all but guaranteed. Cleanses are typically done in either the fall or spring with the change in season when fruits and vegetables are in growth mode and plentiful. Of course whenever you choose to start one is entirely up to you.

As part of my year long journey to create more balance in my life I decided a cleanse was most definitely in order. Before starting my cleanse I wanted to clearly understand and outline my purpose and goals for the cleanse. I figured that if I was clear and specific about what I hoped to accomplish I would be more inclined to complete the cleanse and achieve success. Next I researched possible options and evaluated each one against my goals and lifestyle.

My goals for the cleanse:

• To reset my digestive system in order to achieve optimum health,

• To boost my immune system,

• To cleanse any residual emotional stress and hurt from a recent and painful breakup

• Last but not least, moderate weight loss

Because I am a particularly active person with a normally crazy schedule, an all liquid diet was not realistic not to mention my goals went beyond weight loss. Ultimately I decided on the cleanse created by Alejandro Junger, MD as explained in detail in his book Clean. The cleanse lasts 3 weeks which alone sounds horrible however when taken in context is totally sustainable. I completely identified with his approach as it mirrors my own beliefs on total wellness almost to a T. Junger’s cleanse takes a holistic approach to cleansing and goes well beyond juice though an important component just the same. Junger’s cleanse includes everything from makeup, to household products, to relationships, to food. Whether looking to lose weight or seeking to cleanse the more mental emotional aspects of your life, you cannot under estimate the way in which the two are completely intertwined. In order to achieve long term success in either both have to be addressed.  For example it has been clinically proven that excess stress in our lives results in belly fat-no matter how much juice you drink or don’t drink, you won’t get rid of the fat until you get rid of the stress.  Also, the toxic chemicals in our skin care, make up, cleaning detergents are absorbed by our bodies either through the air we breathe, water we drink or directly through our skin. These chemicals, many of which are not able to be processed by our bodies end up stored in our cells, adding additional and unnecessary weight.

I am not saying the cleanse was easy, I opted out of the colonics and instead for daily magnesium supplements and Aloe Vera juice shooters.  I purchased my juices. My skin care, make up and detergents are already “clean” and free of unnecessary or harmful toxins. There was however at least one day where I thought about tackling a total stranger in order to get his half eaten burrito (ok not really but almost) but by and large I was full all the time.  I was only able to do the cleanse for 10 days due to an unexpected trip but during that time I lost about 5 lbs., my skin cleared up and literally glowed, my hair was thicker if that is possible and I felt amazing! Since returning from my trip I have decided to go back on the cleanse in a modified way. I meditate  twice a day for about 15 minutes each, I work out for about an hour 6 days a week in some form (walking is a work out even if only for 15 minutes at a time). I eat “clean”, meaning I  eat very little to no processed food, limited sugar, meat, caffeine and alcohol which is how I eat normally anyway. I start each day with a solid breakfast which for me is a must in order to make it through my work out and generally consists of soup or an egg or beans and rice followed by a moderate lunch filled with lots of veggies and limited animal protein such as chicken or fish and finish out the day with a raw fresh pressed Juice-mostly or exclusively vegetables. And of course water throughout the day.

If interested in learning more about my cleanse or cleansing in general, please shoot me an email. I purchased my juices for the cleanse through , FYI-Pressed Juicery offers their own recommended cleanse should you be interested. Greens  1, 2 and 3 are my favorite and their spiced Almond is TO DIE FOR! I you are interested in purchasing a juicer to make your own juices, do check out the masticating juicer by Omega and if you are looking to get the best of the best check out the Norwalk which will set you back about $2500.

Wishing you the best in your journey to optimum health!

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