Why a healthy cleanse?
We are exposed to more toxins today than ever before in history. And I’m not just talking about the toxins in the air, in food or in home products. I’m also talking about excess toxic stress. I’m talking about our on-the-go, 100-mile-an-hour lifestyle. And I’m talking about the sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol and other foods that are toxic in our diets. For all these reasons, and more, a healthy cleanse can be a vibrant living necessity.
There are two types of cleanses.
It is important to understand that there are short-term and long-term cleanses that involve very different diets. These two types of cleanses have different intended outcomes. Understanding the difference will help you decide which type would be better for you.
These types of cleanses will last for a few days at most. They are commonly done seasonally, in the fall and the spring. One of their main objectives is to rest the organs of digestion like the liver, the pancreas and the gallbladder.
Only vegetables, vegetables juices and bone broth are consumed during this time. These are foods that will help the body rest and replenish. Ease into this type of cleanse. Eat cleaner and lighter in the days leading up to it and the days leading out of it. This will diminish the shock of transitioning into and out of a restricted diet.
While this type of cleanse is nourishing, it is also missing essential fats and protein. So its not healthy to stay on this plan for more than a few days. Doing so can actually increase toxicity. Organs of detoxification need amino acids from protein and healthy fats to function long-term. This type of cleanse is good for giving the body a short-term rest.
As the title suggests, these types of cleanse will last longer giving time for the body to rest and repair. The benefits extend to a cellular level. These cleanses soothe inflammation, re-balance blood sugar, and help the body function better. The average time frame is 1 to 4 weeks.
A long-term cleanse needs to include real food to achieve some of the tough work of detoxification. The diet should still include vegetables, vegetables juices and bone broth like a short-term cleanse. But it should also include good quality, lean protein from chicken, turkey or wild, low-mercury fish for blood sugar balance and organ support. It should have healthy fats like avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and coconut oil to balance hormones and increase vitamin and mineral absorption. It should include water, juices and fiber for nutrient absorption and toxin elimination.
A long-term healthy cleanse can also include healing herbs. Herbs are supportive of organ detoxification and repair. Burdock root, dandelion, milk thistle, stinging nettle, red clover, cilantro and neem are some beneficial herbs for detoxification.
Reasons to do a healthy cleanse
All of us can benefit from short-term seasonal detoxes. These should be done during times of rest and not while working 12 hour days. A seasonal detox is a time to rest both mentally and physically.
A long-term cleanse should be done once a year or as needed and can be done alongside normal life activities. You might not want to run a marathon while on this type of cleanse. But your normal routine should not need to be altered.
The benefits of a cleanse are many. You may have less stomach issues and less allergies. You might feel more energized or experience less brain fog. Or perhaps your skin will clear or your depression may start to lift. There is no guarantee how a cleanse will benefit you. But cleanses will often give attention to where you need it most.
A Healthy Cleanse and Weight Loss
Something else to note is that a long-term cleanse is really an excellent first step to any weight loss plan. We often can’t lose weight because our blood sugar is imbalanced, our toxicity is high, our bodies are inflamed, and our elimination organs are stagnant. So taking a few weeks to address these issues can make a true difference with not only losing weight, but keeping it off.
If you are considering a healthy cleanse for weight loss, check out the Seeds of Transformation Program. This program includes a 21-Day Jump Start Plan that follows a clean eating model to help your body cleanse and heal to allow successful weight loss.
Your Next Healthy Cleanse
So consider scheduling a cleanse into your near future. It is easy to procrastinate or put off attempts to help your body function better. But how will you feel a year from now if you don’t take positive steps to feel better? The first step is always the hardest. Once you commit to a healthy change, the next step come much easier.
Have you ever done a cleanse? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Good informative post.
Though I have heard about cleansing the body, I actually know a very little on this subject.
But this is very necessary and should be done at regular intervals.
Do you have a day wise list of food items that should be taken during a 1-week cleansing?
Hi Tuhin. I have a 5-day food plan for a sugar detox. You can get it for free with this link – https://ericamesirov.com/sugarchallenge
Because of a slight thyroid problem I am almost doing a long term cleanse, as described by you, on a daily basis. Make exceptions once in a while and eat anything I want. Sometimes I pay a heavy price for that. In particular if I have a little alcohol. Two weeks ago I had two glasses of champagne and I paid a price for that. So now it’s long term detox again including oregano oil which really works when you get candida because of the thyroid.
Catarina, that must be challenging to have to watch your diet so carefully. Good for you for taking the necessary steps to safeguard your health. Not everyone would do that, despite the consequences, so I definitely commend you for it.
Sabrina Quairoli says
I’ve done short cleanses in the past and I enjoy doing them in the spring. But, no more than 2 days. It helps me get my energy back. Thanks for sharing the information on long-term cleanses as well. I never did that type of cleanse.
Spring is a good time to do a short cleanse. Glad you’ve had positive results with them.
Philip Turner says
The long-term cleanse sounds like “healthy eating”. An interesting concept that is much more attractive than a 2 day starvation diet and living on water and cucumber.
I try to eat healthy most of the time, but break out altogether too often at the moment. Maybe I need something like this rather than calorie counting, which logic tells me is what all “diets” are at heart.
Philip, I ‘m personally not a fan of calorie counting. Starvation gives you quick results that usually don’t last. I’m more a fan of balancing the body by cleansing and healing which tends to lead to more permanent results.
Ken Dowell says
Spring cleaning for you body! I have to admit that procrastinate might be the word here that resonates most with me.
Ken, you always make me laugh. But cleansing doesn’t have to be torture. I promise!
Marquita Herald says
I’ve never done a cleanse but I might give the long-term version you described a try. The past few months have been pretty high stress for me with a LOT of change and over time things like healthy eating and exercise were left in the dust. Now that life is slowly returning to “normal” I’m thinking it would be a good time to treat myself to something like this and I’ve also signed up for a yoga class.
I think you might enjoy a longer cleanse, Marquita, especially with all the life change you’ve recently experienced. I think of cleansing as being not just for your body, but also your soul. Though I think the yoga will help too.
I have heard about cleansing before from my nutritionist friend, but never tried to make an effort to understand what she had to say. Going through your post reminded me of her, very informative thanks for sharing the information I am thinking and executing the same.
Glad you found this helpful, Sushmita. Thinking of cleansing can feel overwhelming if you’ve never done it before. But it can actually make you feel really good.
William Rusho says
This is a very informative post. I may need to do cleansing sometime, I will definitely use your tips and food you described above. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Glad you enjoyed this, William. You can even try just a 1 day cleanse if doing anything longer feels overwhelming.
Diane M. says
I have done many types of cleanses, the most challenging one being the Master Cleanse, which I couldn’t stay on for more than 12 days, but it was quite interesting and I felt great during and after! I am willing to give your short-term cleanse a try, but being a vegetarian I was wondering what would you recommend as a substitute for bone broth?
Diane, you can have vegetable broth instead. Homemade is best, if possible. A short cleanse isn’t really a “diet” because you’re only doing it for 1 to 3 days at absolute most. So you’re just taking in foods that are very gentle to the system, just to rest the body. So vegetable broth is perfectly fine. Hope that helps!
Krystyna Lagowski says
I know some people that do a cleanse on a regular basis and swear by it. Couldn’t possibly do it myself as I have some gastro-intestinal issues, but admire people who have the self-discipline to adhere to this type of regimen. I have always been curious about bone broth, and love the thought of adding healing herbs. Have to admit I’ve not heard of those you mention, and will check them out!
Krystyna, don’t give up on the idea altogether. The types of cleanses that your friends do might be completely wrong for you. Remember, you can do a cleanse that is only 1 day. And truly restrictive cleanses are unhealthy when done long term (though there are many of these types of cleanses floating around on the internet). You would just need to find something more suited for you.
RoseMary Griffith says
Yep, the Seeds of Transformation is on my schedule for fall. Will schedule that as soon as I know my husband’s extended travel schedule. With the chef out of the house, I eat differently. Okay, not always healthy…but this time I’m going to pursue this–it’s been years since I’ve done any kind of cleanse, and that was more not eating except for some almonds and an egg or two. It was ridiculous and just made me cranky!
I hope you do it!!! And no, never do anything that asks you not to eat. Totally not cool!
Steve Rose says
Could you please advise me on my smoothie.
Each morning I blend the following,
80g D/C yogurt
1 x Banana
2x Tbsp. coconut oil
1x Tsp Turmeric, cinnamon
1/2 Tsp of fresh grated ginger
1 x Tbsp. of Honey
Topped up with 100ml of milk.
I feel great and full of energy for the day, but some people are saying that these ingredients should not be mixed.
Your views please
Steve, my blog is often cross posted on the website Curejoy which at least began as an Ayurveda website. However, Ayurveda is not my area of expertise. Having said that, per Ayurveda you really shouldn’t combine milk, yogurt or fruit with any other food and certainly not with each other. However, I don’t subscribe to that mode of eating personally.
However, eating dairy and yogurt on a daily basis can be a bit difficult on the stomach. You may tolerate it well, but eventually this can cause problems for many. You might want to try a base of coconut water, or unsweetened coconut or nut milk. And instead of yogurt every day, you may want to try hemp powder or pea powder just as variation. This is just to get away from eating dairy every day. I would recommend doing dairy on some days and trying a non-dairy alternative on others.
Also, if you are going to use honey, I would recommend using raw honey if possible. This is the only type of honey that has nutrient value to it. Honey is still sugar, but at least this offers some health supporting enzymes.
Otherwise, to me your smoothie seems good given my approach. Hope this helps!