Smart Nutrition

Spring Cleaning/Nutritional Detox-Cleanses: Are You Healthy Enough?

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Spring is finally here! Time for cleaning of our homes AND our bodies. But, are you really ready?

For myself, I know that I’m not quite ready to dive into my closet to purge and donate the stuff I don’t wear anymore; and I’m not sure if my nose is ready for the great dust-athon. I must prepare and make time to sort piles of clothes into charity bins and make sure my seasonal allergies (Birch trees and snow mold) are fully calmed before I dig in to bring order to my home again.

spring cleaning

Well, it’s the same process with a nutritional detox of the body. You need to prepare before you dive in.

You have to be in a place (physically, mentally and emotionally) to handle the side effects of a cleansing program — whether it be a day-long fast, a week of juicing or an herbal-assisted colon blast. Although when done correctly, and at the right time, these techniques can be beneficial, you don’t want to “shock” your body into these processes.

For example, if you are to have a colonoscopy, the doctor will give you medicine to take that helps clean out your gut before the procedure. It preps your bowel to be spiffy clean. But the instructions also say to prep for this colon prep. You must gradually decrease heavy fiber and bulky foods the day or two before so that your gut does not need to purge fibrous items or mass quantities quickly. 

This is done both for your own comfort and for a more thorough and complete cleanse. If you have ever had this done before you will also remember the feeling of being too quickly forced to cleanse — it is not a particularly fun or feel-good experience. And you will be happy that you listened to your doctor’s advice on prepping your prep.

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It’s the same with a natural cleanse (albeit, hopefully less traumatic). You also need to make time for restorative rest, extra fluids, and gentle movement that helps circulate and rid toxins during your cleanse. You must be prepared to handle the negative side effects you might experience as toxins dislodge and make their journey out of your body: cold-like symptoms, headaches, fatigue or all over “yuckiness” (and crankiness) — maybe even some emotional vulnerability or mood swings.

Cleanses are good from time to time – they can reset the body’s natural barometers and systems, giving a well-deserved break from the work of digestion and the burden of toxins. But unless you are doing an “emergency” cleanse (because of an urgent or serious health need), you want to make sure you are as healthy as you can be before you start.

So, please make sure you take time to nourish your body in the few weeks before: with an increase in healthy organic fruits, veggies, grains and protein sources, gradually ease off of fibers and animal products in the days before, rest a lot and move in enjoyable activities. Reduce your stress load and prepare (as if you were going on a trip) for your cleanse journey. This will put you in a better place physically (and a better state of mind) to handle the process of cleaning out our body — your most important home.

 

Happy, Smart, and Safe Cleaning!

Cynthia