It is a great time to do a little spring cleansing for our bodies. People often use the words cleansing and detoxing interchangeably. They are two different processes. Detoxing is meant to rid the body of heavy metals and toxins and usually lasts for multiple weeks. Cleansing is meant to clean up the tummy and aid sluggish digestion, which helps to remove bloating and can often be accomplished in a few days.
I find the biggest benefit of a cleanse is that it allows us to really look at our eating patterns. It can be extremely enlightening to see what foods or drinks we consume by habit and have a hard time giving up.
A three-to-seven-day program can kick-start the addition of more fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Another benefit of a cleanse is an overall feeling of lightness. That feeling comes from eating food that is lighter and alive, versus the processed dead food many of us tend to grab in our on-the-go lifestyles. When you remove processed foods and replace them with foods that look like they did the day they were picked, your body knows exactly how to digest them. Your body is not bogged down working to metabolize food it does not recognize.
There are a few different approaches you can take to more healthful eating. One is to set aside just one day to adhere to and then decide if you want to continue. A second approach can be to add more detoxifying foods such as cruciferous vegetables, lemons, or leafy greens to your current meals. A third approach is to make one meal a day completely “clean,” gradually adding in additional clean meals.
- Make your morning meal a delicious, nutritious smoothie. Load it with greens like spinach, a good fat (half an avocado, a tablespoon of olive oil, or ground flaxseed), throw in some fruit (berries are best, go light on bananas), and some coconut water or coconut milk. Keep it to one serving size and find a quality protein powder — I prefer a pea, hemp or rice protein — and blend.
- Remove sugar and processed foods and drinks during your cleanse.
- Choose quinoa or sweet potatoes over breads and pastas.
- Add in detoxifying foods and drinks like water, green tea, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, onions, sprouts, celery, and lemons.