By Fredrica Syren
Every January, my husband and I do a body cleanse. How long usually depends on how long we feel like doing it, but it generally lasts at least a week. Last year, because I had problems with cyst growth, we ended up doing the cleanse for over six weeks until cysts were gone.
I like beginning the year with detoxing the body from all the junk and toxins that have entered throughout the previous year, to start off the new year with a good and healthy body. This year I will not be doing a cleanse because I’m pregnant but, as of this week, my hubby and two of my friends have started theirs.
Cleanses are designed to eliminate toxins and waste products from the digestive tracts and major organs as well as the blood. Although there are plenty of programs, herbs and other products promising body cleanse, detox and weight loss on the market, body cleanses have been around for centuries. Hippocrates recommended fasting to improve health, and many religious groups historically have used fasting as a way of purifying the spirit, according to Dr. Oz.
Doing a cleanse once in a while not only will make you healthier, but it will also lead to increased energy levels, make you more able to get rid of bad habits such as sugar addiction, cleanse the body of harmful toxins, and promote weight loss through the increased energy levels and a smoother, stronger metabolism.
Major organs in our bodies filter a lot of toxins. To help support them, we need to get them clean and give our bodies a break.
• The Liver: Your first line of defense against toxins is your liver, which acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream.
• The Colon: This organ has bacteria that produce both healthy and unhealthy chemicals. You want to keep your colon flowing regularly since its main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm.
• The Kidneys: Like clockwork, the kidneys constantly filter your blood and rid the body of toxins by excreting them in the urine.
There are so many ways to do a body cleanse, and everyone has their own ideas about how it should be done. The first step is to make sure your doctor is ok with doing it. I have found that most of them are as long as you are not battling some very serious disease.
We simply omit all processed foods, sugar, wheat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol and focus on eating whole grains such as barley, brown rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat. We eat tons of nuts, not only because they are good and fast but also for their healing properties, fiber, and protein. We eat tons of vegetables as well. At least 60-80% of our plate consists of vegetables, mostly raw or lightly steamed. We eat fresh fruits, beans, and good oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, flax and hemp seed oil. Believe me, we do not starve eating like this. We like to make green smoothies and vegetable juice. The first two days of a cleanse usually are the hardest with some cravings, headaches and fatigue; but once they pass, the amazing clarity, energy and revitalization comes, and I feel that I become even more creative.
One “diet” we tried and really like is Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet. The book walks you through a 21-day cleanse that is an anti-inflammatory, vegan program that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse and simple but fulfilling recipes. If you never have done a cleanse before, I highly recommend this book to help you get started and keep you on track.