WELLNESS--A cleanse doesn’t have to mean drinking awful green potions and starving yourself of everything you enjoy for a month. A cleanse can also be a time of gentle purification. During a cleanse it’s important to note that they’re may be a period of time where one feels more cranky and fatigued. That is mostly due to the die off of my cotoxins in the body and is a temporary state. With some persistence and determination, that time will pass and coming out the other side will feel incredible.
For starters, we need to cut back on the obvious toxins like sugar, alcohol, stimulants, chemicals, refined foods and any un-prescribed recreational drugs. I know coffee can be a tough one for people to cut, and if your adrenals are healthy and you simply need your morning cup of Joe to get going, try to switch to an organic brand and eliminate any added sugar and dairy. What a lot of people find is that as soon as they eliminate the sugar, they realize it was just as much the sugar in the coffee as the coffee itself that keeps them coming back every morning. For those of you with the obvious food felons like fast food, soda and fried foods your work is clear. For others, it may require looking more deeply at your diet. Are you eating foods with lots of hidden sugars like granola or sweetened yogurt? Whatever your daily diet looks like, make a commitment to cut back on the sugar and other foods with unhealthy ingredients.
The next step is the help the body flush out toxins and detoxify. The most important thing we can do here is to hydrate with plenty of water. While I don’t recommend drinking only distilled water all the time, at least 12 ounces in the morning and 12 ounces in the evening is a quick way to get the body to flush out toxins more efficiently. In addition to bringing up the water intake, complex carbs loaded with fiber is the second most important action in assisting the body in detoxification. Hot non-caffeinated teas are also a great choice when detoxing. Upping the exercise or starting a simple walking program that helps you sweat and also going to a steam room or infrared sauna will help pull out toxins as well.
Finally, upping the self-care during this cleanse time is crucial. You may find yourself more tired and even dealing with some low-grade headaches or body aches. This is common when coming off the sugar and toxins and is actually a good sign that your body is releasing and healing. Hot baths with Epsom salt is another great way to get the body to heal faster and pull out toxins. Know that extra hydration both during and after a hot bath is important as the salt draws out fluids with the toxins so it can leave you dehydrated if you’re not careful. Adding probiotics to your diet will be helpful and eating small amounts of fermented foods to help build the friendly biome in your gut.
I suggest 14 days with a cleans of this type. Be sure you’re getting enough food and nutrients. The goal of a cleanse is just that, to cleanse the digestive system and the blood but not to starve yourself. Too few calories can confuse the metabolism and make it even harder to stay fit in the future.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA www.AcupuncturebyChristian.com TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR )