New Year, new you! Start with a cleanse or detox program to tackle the year in your best shape!
When the New Year comes around, it seems like everyone and their grandmothers are doing a juice cleanse or detox protocol, and for a good reason. The New Year is the perfect time to reset the mind, body, and spirit with mindful, clean foods and recommitting to a healthy lifestyle that serves your individual constitution. But before you tackle doing a cleanse or a detox program, I’ve got some basic tips from my years of doing seasonal cleanses that will guide you toward a more graceful and enjoyable cleansing journey.
Supporting the Natural Cleansing Process
One of the easiest ways to support your body’s natural cleansing process is to drink more filtered water. As the adage goes, “Nature’s solution to pollution is dilution.” This definitely applies to the human body, as it’s composed of 55 to 60 percent water. When initiating any detox protocol, it’s a fundamental cornerstone of the process to drink a lot of clean, filtered water—in particular, warm, filtered water with organic lemon juice—to facilitate toxin elimination.
If you are integrating a more powerful detox method like far-infrared sauna therapy, it’s absolutely imperative to flush out toxins through your excretory system. Natural, organic liquids of all kinds are a great way to cleanse, whether you are doing fresh, raw juices; smoothies; broths; teas; filtered water; or a combination of those options. When you consume mostly liquids, you thereby eliminate a chunk of energy normally required for digestion of fiber and solid foods, which can range from 5 to 15 percent of your total energy. Think of this rest period from solid food as giving your body a much-needed break from the tiring task of digestion and reassigning its energy to detox and elimination duty.
It’s important to note that protein and alcohol require the most energy to digest. This is why all effective detox protocols require you to give up all sources of animal protein and alcoholic beverages.
Please Don’t Punish Yourself
One point about the mental side of cleansing: this is not an opportunity to punish yourself for the bad food choices you’ve made in the past or to unleash your cruel, authoritarian side. I’ve seen many people become unkind to themselves during a cleansing period. People are deeply, emotionally attached to food, and when they take away what they’re used to (or even depend on for comfort) for just a few days, some peeps start to absolutely freak out. This can start a vicious cycle of frustration and guilt.
My point is this: if you need to consume more liquids or even a bit of gentle, clean, plant-based solid foods to keep yourself sane and balanced, please do. The important thing during your cleanse is to have a clear goal and stick with the protocol. If things are not going as planned, give yourself permission to mindfully and gently adapt the cleansing program so you can finish it with sanity.