A cleanse is a great way to release toxins from your body, reset your digestive system and renew your baseline for well-being. All cleanses are not created equal however, and depending on what your goals are there are things to consider before going down the cleanse path. These tips were designed with our 14-day cleanse in mind, however whether you are a pro, or brand new to the cleansing game, they can be a great guide for any cleanse.
Step 1 - Choose
There is definitely no shortage of choices out there when it comes to cleansing, however as mentioned above, all cleanses are not created equal and it can be overwhelming to sift through the info. Here are a few things to consider:
* Determine your goal – are you trying to lose weight, have digestion issues and want to reset, want to know if you have any intolerance to certain food, elimination diet, etc.
* If you have cleansed before – if you have never tried a cleanse, you may want to start with something considered “nonextreme.” For instance starting with an all juice or cayenne pepper cleanse may be a bit extreme for someone who has never cleansed before. Nonextreme, would be the equivalent of our 14-day cleanse where you are able to included fish & turkey and not restricted to just fruit and veggies.
* Check in with your current health – It is always a good idea to speak with your physician before beginning any type of diet or cleanse, especially if you have health concerns. It is a great place to start a conversation and gain recommendations specifically for you.
Step 2 - Set the Date
Now that you have made the commitment, pick a date to start. Keep in mind there is no perfect time to start a cleanse, as life happens – we have commitments and busy lives. However, if you are doing a short cleanse (2-3 days) it will be easier to avoid social events. If you are doing a 14, 21 or 30 day, you may have to overcome some obstacles and implement some creative planning.
Depending on the prep time required, you can start on a Monday and plan over the weekend. Or, start on the 1st day of a new month. Choosing a timeframe with the least amount of calendar commitment just reduces the stress.
You can do this with some creativity, accountability and willpower.
Step 3- Clearing Space
An important part of a successful cleanse is clearing space and clutter. This could by physical space, your mind, limiting beliefs, your calendar, etc. Anything that could get in the way of creating and executing a smooth cleanse experience.
* Make a list of areas that could use clearing.
* Pick one to start with so you don’t create more stress and overwhelm.
Regardless of what you choose it is always good to do some clearing in the kitchen. Start with one drawer or shelf in the fridge, a designated place in your pantry, etc. The idea is to have easy access to cleanse approved foods and to remove those tempting items you will want to avoid during your cleanse.
Step 4 - Make Your List
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing exactly what you are going to buy for your cleanse before you begin, to eliminate stress and overwhelm. Your body will be adjusting to whatever you implement and you may be hungry, cranky, short-tempered, frustrated, etc. Your cleanse also may require specific items you can’t get at your everyday grocery store. There are so many options available, having a list cuts down the confusion and will keep you focused when you grocery shop.
Step 5 - Meal Planning
If you are doing a juice cleanse or similar, this step may not be as critical, but meal prep can be your best friend! When you are hungry and irritated while trying something new, the last thing you want to worry about it what to make for dinner. you can prep in advance for a diet or cleanse. Snacks I find are the hardest so even planning and preparing your snacks in advance so they are readily available can save time and your sanity.
Step 6 - Shop - If you've made your list, this is easy breezy! Avoid those temptations and stick to the list!
Step 7 - Plan Your Week
Clearly given our current situation and required time indoors planning our weeks is controllable, but just because we are indoors doesn’t mean we have a plan, so regardless I would recommend planning your weeks as if nothing has changed. Every cleanse will have different requirements so planning your days accordingly can be extremely helpful. For instance:
* Frequency of means/drinks * Meal / Snack timing * If you are taking supplements, when and how often
* When the quarantine is over, planning for how to navigate social events is really important as it can be challenging to be at a happy hour, or party where food and drink is flowing.
Step 8 - Prepare & Self-Care
Do not underestimate the impact a cleanse can have on you physically, mentally and emotionally. If you are eliminating caffeine for instance you may experience headaches or be irritable. If you are eliminating carbs, you can experience brain fog (real thing) and fatigue. Remember, if you step off the path, be kind to yourself – no judgement or shaming! There is always tomorrow to reset.
Step 9 - Journal
Knowledge is power and when it comes to your body it can be a game changer! While you are taking the time to venture down this path, keep a journal of the experience. It doesn’t have to be fancy, you can even use a program like Fitness Pal, or keep notes on your phone or computer. Here are some ideas of what to write about:
* How did you feel each day, i.e., tired, stressed, irritable, or did you have a lot of energy and sailing through.
* Did you experience any headaches or other physical symptoms?
* Any weight gain or loss?
* Notice any intolerance to certain food – this is a great one if you are on an elimination cleanse and then reintroduce foods back in to your diet.
* Discover any new foods or recipes you can keep in your diet going forward?
Step 10 - Support
Share what you are doing with family and friends for support. Especially if there are other people in your household. Nothing can be more deflating (or tempting) than having your spouse come home with cupcakes when you are on a cleanse and aren’t eating sugar. However good the intention, it is helpful to share what you are up to – especially those you share space with or are cooking separate meals for.
I hope these tips gave you some direction and something to think about. For more info., e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Would love to hear from you!
Stay healthy, be well –