During this transitional time, many folks are making an effort to shake up their old habits and improve their health. And between the gym locker room and your office break room, it seems as though everyone you know is going on a cleanse.
Your mind is buzzing with a million questions. What the heck is a cleanse, anyway? How do you get started? Should you try a juice cleanse or whole-foods based cleanse? How much money will it cost to go on a cleanse? What are the side effects of detoxing?
And most importantly, is starting a cleanse really the answer to helping you live your best life in 2020? Maybe, maybe not…it’s a little more complex than that. Before you jump on the cleanse bandwagon with Cindy your office BFF, it’s important to do your homework first.
In this article, we cover everything you want to know about going on a cleanse – including what it’s all about, the different types of cleanses available, best practices, and how to approach cleansing more mindfully.
What does it mean to go on a cleanse, anyway?
All your friends are going on a cleanse, but you’re still perplexed about what that even means. Put simply, a cleanse is a way to give your body and digestive system a break – in an effort to remove toxins from the cells of the body.
While some cleanses incorporate whole foods and can last several weeks, others are liquid-based and best for short-term results. That’s why it’s important to do your research first and get clear about what you’re hoping to get out of your cleanse.
Understanding the Different Types of Cleanses on the Market
There are dozens of different types of cleanses on the market, which can be overwhelming for some. After all, how do you know which is the best cleanse for you?
Here are some of the most common types of cleanses:
Juice & Smoothie Cleanses: liquid-based, replacing solids with liquid, plant-based juices, and smoothies
Colon or Liver Cleanse: focuses on removing toxins from the body through a specific diet and/or supplements
“The Lemonade Detox:” This short term, celebrity-touted cleanse consists of drinking a concoction of lemon water, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper
Whole Foods Cleanse: involves incorporating more whole foods into your diet, often removing common inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten
Intermittent Fasting: Not technically a cleanse, but this wellness trend is a type of diet that alternates between periods of fasting and eating for weight loss, reduced inflammation and anti-aging
Now that you’re aware of the different types of cleanses available on the market, you can start to think about which type works best for your lifestyle – or if you even want to go on a cleanse to begin with.
At the end of the day, it’s important to choose a cleanse that works for you (more on that on a bit). Also, beware of any red flags and gimmicks! Companies that boast rapid weight loss or extreme results that seem too good to be true usually are.
When in doubt, ask yourself this important question: do you want a quick fix or something that sets you up for success in the long run? This will help you make a decision that’s right for you.
Best Practices for Starting a Cleanse
Now that you’re more familiar with the different types of cleanses on the market, you’re ready to rock! Here are some simple tips to get the most of your cleanse.
Find What Works for You
First and foremost, it’s important to find what works for you – not your BFF or coworker. After all, everyone’s body is different and what works for one may not work for another. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to make tweaks that work for you. After all, this is your cleanse, so why not pave your own path?
Drink More Water
We know you hear it all the time but it’s the truth: you probably need to be drinking more water. Not only is it good for our overall health and wellbeing (think: eliminating waste, keeping our bodies properly hydrated), but it’s also a key player in promoting gut health.
So, how much should we be drinking? While personal factors play a role, according to Mayo Clinic most men should aim for about 15.5 cups a day, and women 11.5 cups. We love starting our day with a cup of warm water with lemon for an energizing, detoxifying boost!
Stock Your Kitchen with Nourishing Food
Set yourself up for success by stocking your kitchen with nourishing, whole foods. Depending on your dietary needs, this may include organic meats, legumes, whole grains, and seasonal produce like asparagus, greens, and strawberries during the springtime.
Cleansing foods like lemon, garlic, and celery may also be an integral part of your diet. While you’re at it, you’ll also want to consider cleaning out your cabinets from any processed snack foods!
Look into Quality Supplements
Now that you’ve got your diet in check, you may want to incorporate some high-quality supplements to support you on your cleanse. Vibrant Health offers a wide variety of supplements – including multivitamins, probiotics, and green powders.
If you’re looking for a short-term cleansing fast, our powdered Vibrant Cleanse – made with late-season maple syrup, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper – may be a good fit for you, as an alternative to the popular lemonade detox. As always, talk with your doctor or health professional before making any drastic changes to your diet.
Develop Healthy, Sustainable Habits
Going on a cleanse doesn’t have to be a “quick fix.” Why not instead incorporate healthy, sustainable lifestyle habits that will serve you in the long run? The good news is, our bodies are smart and already have everything they need to detox naturally on their own.
You can help support the natural detoxification process by going back to the basics: maintaining a healthy diet, drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, and staying active. There’s no need to overcomplicate it!
How to Cleanse Mindfully
You may have the food part all figured out, but when going on a cleanse, you’ll want to take into account the total package: mind, body, and soul. Here are some techniques you can try to approach cleansing more mindfully.
Choose Clean Bath & Beauty Products
Often times when going on a cleanse, we’re so hyper-focused on the foods we’re putting in our body. But what about the products we use on our bodies? After all, our skin is our largest organ so it’s important to take stock of your bath & beauty products – everything from your deodorant to your favorite body lotion.
Dissect the label, and be on the lookout for potentially harmful ingredients like parabens, artificial fragrance, and phthalates. Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a great place to start your research on discovering safer products!
Go on a Digital Detox
As you give your body a break, you may want to consider giving your mind a little break too. Ditch the distractions by going on a Digital Detox! You can get started by taking a break from social media, shutting down your devices at the dinner table or in the bedroom, and practicing being more present.
De-Clutter Your Home
Take a tip from Marie Kondo and spend some time de-cluttering. By getting rid of the extra “stuff” taking up space, you can create more room for mindful, intentional living.
Consider the Season You’re In
Before you start your cleanse, it’s beneficial to consider the season you’re in by taking a tip from Ayurveda – a form of holistic medicine translating to “science of life.” According to The Chopra Center, during the spring it’s helpful to incorporate tongue-scraping, warm water with lemon, and herbs & spices like turmeric, ginger, and mint to assist your detox.
Try Out Alternative Wellness Techniques
Speaking of Ayurveda, you may want to look into other alternative wellness techniques to help you make the most of your cleanse! For instance, dry brushing – an exfoliation technique using a dry brush – can help assist your detox, by increasing circulation and improving lymph flow. Hopping in the infrared sauna – using infrared lamps to warm your body – can also be a nice complement to your routine, and they are now offered at many local wellness centers.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Throughout your cleanse, don’t forget to be gentle with yourself (and your body). It’s important to stay positive and practice self-love, as a mindset is a big part of your journey! Try spending some time journaling, making time for morning meditation, incorporating gentle movement (like long walks and yoga), and getting adequate sleep. Bottom line? Take care of yourself from the inside and out!
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate, or treat any disease or illness.