How many times have you asked a friend to join you for lunch or a hike and gotten a response something like, “Well, maybe, but I’m cleansing.” Come on, this is Evergreen, I know you’ve heard it before somewhere – or perhaps you’ve said it yourself. Did you ever wonder what that even means? Like, hmmm, are they fasting? Drinking strange concoctions? Doing enemas or colonics? How can they even function? Do I need to cleanse?
The truth is, many of us are overfed and undernourished. No matter where we live or how we live, we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals and environmental pollutants each year. Some pollutants are commercially synthesized, many are naturally occurring. Add this to the additives in food and water supplies, the over-use of antibiotics and other prescription medications, overindulgence in food, caffeine, alcohol and/or tobacco and it's a miracle our bodies continue to function at peak performance every day. Let us not rule out stress as a potential adulterant. Our exposure to toxins happens at an external as well as internal level. Stress can definitely place a burden on our bodies and minds. For these reasons, almost every adult can benefit from some sort of cleansing program.
When the body experiences an overload of toxic substances, the consequences can manifest in a number of ways: headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, irritability, depression, mental confusion, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal tract irregularities, cardiovascular irregularities, weight gain or loss, flu-like symptoms, or allergic/hypersensitivity reactions including hives, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. In addition to these symptoms, it has been suggested that toxic overload and inflammation may also contribute to more serious conditions such as autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis, neurological diseases, and cancer.
The food you eat has a direct impact on the inflammation in your body. A cleansing program can help decrease this inflammatory process. When you cleanse your bowel and body of toxins, heal a leaky gut, restore the balance of gut organisms, reduce stress and avoid foods that contribute to inflammation you dramatically lower the risk of many diseases (including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer) and premature aging. One of the greatest benefits of a cleansing program that I have witnessed is the positive benefit it has on skin. It is one of the best ways to get your “glow” back on.
One of the reasons I am not a huge proponent of “juice cleansing” alone or fasting (with the exception of intermittent fasting, which I believe does have some good research to back it up), is that it doesn’t actually teach you how to eat. It doesn’t show you how to maintain a sustainable eating plan. The exception is that if you are already a super “clean eater” and have the knowledge and discipline of maintaining a clean diet all year round, then you are a better candidate for a juice cleanse or more prolonged fast.
Whenever you embark on a new adventure, you do your best to prepare yourself for the journey, yes? A cleanse may be a radical shift from your current routine, or not. The key to cleansing success is to first, set yourself up for success by purging your pantry and refrigerator of the foods and snacks that may sabotage your best intentions. Lose the processed, packaged goods including chips, cookies, muffins, most crackers, candy, etc. Get in the habit of planning your days and your meals in advance so that you decrease the added stress of decision-making, maximize efficiency in the mornings, and decrease the need to go grocery shopping every day. I have lost count of the times I have heard how well someone was doing until an emotional trigger came along and that bag of potato chips that just happened to be in the pantry became a pre-dinner binge.
Taking one week to mentally and physically prepare for a cleanse is a really good idea. Removing high fructose corn syrup, junk food, sugar, caffeine and alcohol can pose a major challenge for some people, especially if you've been living this way for most of your life. It may work best for you to eliminate just one of these habits each day. Start to look at your other habits like television, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol, and evaluate where most of your stress comes from. I suggest a television and total “news” fast, a complete elimination of alcohol, and this is a good time to lose the tobacco habit (you may need additional support for this.)
If you are in the Evergreen area, I will be offering a 21-day Program (Wednesday evenings) in September, where we will explore cleansing and detoxifying for reducing inflammation and disease processes; optimizing energy; stress management strategies; creating a relationship with food that supports healthier choices for thinking, eating, and moving; and meditating for creativity and manifesting your intentions. I invite you to join me. Please call the office at Holistic Therapies to register or for more information: 303-679-3402. If you would like to participate but can't join us in person, please contact me at [email protected] and I'll tell you about remote participation.
Price is $129 (or $95 for existing clients).
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