Was one of your new year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle? It can be hard to start and stay on the path to success, especially if you are dealing with weight issues, fatigue, or skin and digestive problems? A great way to jump start your healthy living resolution is by doing a cleanse.
A cleanse you ask? What is that? How do I do that? A cleanse is much easier than it sounds. Basically, think of a cleanse as a vacation for your body – it allows your body the time necessary to recover from stress, abuse and release toxins. By starting with a cleanse, living a healthier lifestyle will be much easier to achieve. I have completed several juice cleanses and while it is difficult, I do feel it is definitely worth it for the health benefits. Whether you decide to do a juice or another type of cleanse, I recommend first starting with these 3 steps.
1. Give Yourself a Checkup
The first step is the most important step because it lets you see where you are going wrong. Do a self inventory to see what health concerns you have. Whether it is cigarette smoking, consumption of too much caffeine, preservatives, alcohol, hydrogenated fat and sugars, or being exposed to indoor pollutants, toxic household cleaners and personal care product ingredients – do an inventory and remove those items from your life. I also highly recommend consulting with your health care provider before you start. The first time I did a cleanse, I did it for a substantial amount of time (30 days), and lost quite a bit of my hair due to iron deficiency. While it did all grow back – hooray! It was very scary for me, so seriously be careful and check with your doctor before and during your cleanse.
2. Drink a Lot of Water
The best way to rid your body of toxins is by flushing them away with water. A good rule of thumb is to keep a glass or reusable bottle of water near you at all times and refill it as soon as it is empty. This is especially important if you are doing a juice cleanse. If I am not constantly drinking water, I
will find myself with a huge headache. If you find drinking glass after glass of water to be boring – mix it up by adding a lemon, lime, or orange wedge or even slices of cucumber! Another simple way to drink more water is by adding a straw – studies show that we drink more when a straw is involved – I know I do.
3. Slow Down and Reflect
Whether it is yoga, walking, bicycling or swimming – adding a small amount of exercise can help with circulation and stress relief during your cleanse. Once you have finished your low impact exercise, take a relaxing steam or sauna as your reward. It is also important to take time each day to reflect on the positive and also the parts of your life that you are in the process of changing, as well as the steps that you will take to get there once the cleanse is over. A lovely way to do this is by journaling your feelings, sketching in an art book or by talking with others who share your journey.
4. Eat Well
When you are finished with your cleanse, be mindful of the foods that you put inside your body. When choosing your meals, consider foods that are high in fiber, plant based and full of nutrients. Leafy greens should be your friend! Avoid excess amounts of processed foods, artificial ingredients, hydrogenated fats, caffeine, alcohol and sugar once you finish the cleanse. In fact, if you can eliminate them, your body will thank you! Also, try to focus on smaller portions and whenever possible, eat organic – since they are free from many toxins that conventional foods may have.
YOUR TURN: Do you take time to cleanse your body and mind at the beginning of a new year? Do you do cleanse on a regular basis? How has it affected your life?