After leading cleanses for almost four years, I’ve learned that there are essential steps you can take to make your cleanse a rewarding experience. Following these simple tips can make the difference between an uphill cleansing battle and an effective, enjoyable cleanse.
Here are 4 essential steps to take the next time you cleanse:
1. Drink Warm Water.
Everyone talks about how important it is to stay hydrated, and they’re right. What many people miss is drinking warm or hot water is more effective because our bodies can assimilate it so much better!
This is especially important in the morning when we’re looking to keep our nervous system calm and your digestive fire strong for breakfast. (That’s right, you should be eating breakfast. See tip #3 below.)
2. Don’t pull out the crutches before you can stand.
What I mean is that if you’re heavily dependent on your two double lattes and handful of M&Ms to get through your work day, don’t just stop them all at once before you make some changes to address the underlying problem. What is the real problem?
Generally it’s one of three things: either (a) you’re not getting enough rest and/or quality nutrition, (b) you’re working too hard or (c) you’re bored and needing to entertain yourself with stimulants.
So before you give up the lattes/cookies/wine, start by getting more rest and better quality food in your body. Eat more dark greens, drink warm water, and get some fun exercise. That way, when you cut back on the toxic stuff, your body is being supported so you don’t just crash and burn in a migraine-fueled mess.
At the end of a cleanse you want to think, “How did I ever need those crappy energy depleting crutches?” and not, “What’s the fastest route to a Starbucks?”
3. Honor Your Appetite.
I was at a bridal shower not long ago at which some girls found out that I lead seasonal cleanses. They said they’d done a cleanse a month before but that they were “soooo hungry” that all they could think about was pizza the whole time and couldn’t wait for it to end.
Folks, this is not the idea!
Improved digestion should be a goal of any cleanse and having genuine hunger go unsatiatied is not good for your digestion. In addition to causing headaches, unstable energy, and irritability, it can also promote fat storage!
So when you cleanse, if you’re hungry, have a meal. That could be a satisfying juice or smoothie or it could be a whole foods meal like rice, mung beans and vegetables.
Then after your meal, you wait until you’re hungry again and you eat another meal. It’s not rocket science, but it’s vitally important for you to understand that when your body is hungry, it’s saying Feed me.
Honor that voice.
4. Keep Calm and Cleanse On.
You’ve got to keep your cool if you’re going to do a cleanse well.
When you’re calm, your body will start to open up to the new habits you’re instilling in your cells.
You’ll start to go into fat metabolism stage, and you’ll start to detox and shed any extra pounds you’re carrying. So if your cleanse is stressing you out to the max, take a step back and think about what “the spirit of the cleanse” is, to quote an old cleanser of mine.
Honor the spirit and reclaim your cool.
I don’t think the spirit of the cleanse is going to tell you to have a glass of cabernet and a steak, but it might tell you to have a cup of hot almond milk with dates to soothe those stressed nerves.
Are you an experienced cleanser? What are the things that have made it a more enjoyable experience for you? Please share with the community in the comments below.