As I entered my local juice bar one recent morning in dire need of a smoothie after a hideous bout of food poisoning, I noticed a particularly fierce crowd bopping along to a popular club tune.
After a few minutes of confusion, I quickly realized it was the first day of spring, and it had dawned on Manhattanites that summer is just around the corner. They waited patiently and eagerly for a designated gentleman to bestow their juice cleanses upon them — his name rang through the space like an elusive secret.
Cleansing can be great, but it’s certainly not for everyone; it all depends on your constitution and condition. Whether you’re trying to lose your layer of winter insulation for bathing suit season, or simply hoping to increase your energy, you don’t have to say sayonara to traditional sustenance to reboot. Here's how to cleanse without starving yourself:
Removing certain foods for a limited period of time can do wonders for your body. Try omitting gluten, dairy, or sugar for a week and see how you feel. These three groups are considered by many to be the top culprits of weight gain and water retention.
2. Sip hot water.
Drinking hot water throughout the day is an ancient Ayurvedic technique I learned during my schooling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Hot water detoxes your lymph nodes, which softens the tissues and allows your body to naturally release toxins.
3. Cut the booze.
I’m a fan of everything in moderation, but if you’re trying to cleanse, I recommend giving alcohol the cold shoulder for a week, or even a month. Alcohol is a ferocious culprit of weight gain and skin flare ups, and simply eliminating it can do wonders.
4. Up the leafy greens.
Cruciferous vegetables are detox superheroes, breaking down fats in the body and boasting cancer-fighting antioxidants. Make sure your plate is half filled with greens like kale, broccoli and Swiss chard as often as possible. If you’re trying to release excess weight, you may want to replace one meal per day with a large mélange of greens. Experiment and see what works for you!
5. Lose the coffee.
Coffee is highly acidic, and an acidic condition causes your body to retain excess weight and toxins. I adore coffee, but it’s one of the first things I eliminate when I’m cleansing. Experiment with different teas to replace that hot, comforting beverage you love so much. Winter White Earl Grey from Harney and Sons is an absolute favorite of mine.
What cleansing methods have you tried, and which of these will you integrate into your pre-summer regimen? Let’s talk @lulabellebr.