If you’re anything like me, the New Year feels like a reset button: I wake up on New Year’s Day, feeling like a new person! All my bad habits, bad behaviours and negative thinking have been turned off – as if they never existed. Shortly thereafter, I find myself back on those same negative paths, this time consciously aware that they exist. It’s almost as if I’m driving my car down this road of Life: I find myself constantly switching back and forth between the same lanes, over and over again – I’m in the good lane but I keep heading back into the bad. Well, it’s time that you and I grab hold of the wheel and drive down that lane that we know we want to be on – travelling towards the body we want to have and the health we know we can obtain. Anything is possible, and with that in mind, let’s start by cleansing our mind, body and liver of all the impurities we have allowed inside.
With the holiday binging behind us, our bodies are in a state of toxic overload, and it’s time to detoxify! There is so much conflicting information out there about cleanses, but just like anything: everything in moderation. With all of the toxic pollution our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis – both externally and internally – we need to clean them up in order to help all their parts function optimally. Toxins are all around us: they are in the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the things that we touch and they are all but impossible to avoid. The liver is an amazing, meaty looking organ that has the ability to neutralize these toxins, converting them into harmless agents that are either released with bile into the intestines or carried through the blood to the kidneys to be eliminated through one hole or another. As amazing as our systems can be, their abilities have limitations and the real concern comes when we overload them with toxic wastes – like after holiday festivities!! The result of this toxic overload, is an acidic feeding ground for many chronic illnesses and pains. The process of cleansing helps to reduce these disease symptoms and prevent further distruction, taking your mind and body to a lighter, happier and more healthy place.
How to Cleanse…
So how can we cleanse our bodies and help our internal systems function optimally without compromising our health and losing out on essential nutrients? There are many different cleanses that you can choose from, but one that I have tried and tested for myself is the “Juice Cleanse”. Fresh juice is easily digested, supplying your body with the nutrients it needs, and also helps the body eliminate various wastes. This is a much safer alternative to water cleansing, with a shorter recovery period because it still meets the body’s nutritional requirements. Keep in mind, that in order to properly perform this cleanse, you should use organic fruits and juice them with a juicer. I usually keep mine short enough to handle and long enough to do the job: about 3-4 days.
How you will feel…
The first two days are usually the most challenging and will make you feel like you want to die, but I promise you won’t – this suffering is merely the stage where your body is purging itself of all those unhealthy toxins you have been contaminating it with. The third day the experience becomes like no other: effecting your body on so many levels, emotionally, physically and spiritually. All of the energies that were at one time used to facilitate digestion are now directed inwards, to new depths: allowing your bodies cells to catch up on its work. You will be amazed at how humbling this practice can be, when you can’t reach for the foods you want, when you want them…you are left with only time to spend self-reflecting and finding peace within yourself, just being in the moment.
When should you cleanse?
Cleansing is best done in line with the cycles of nature. The seasonal changes are the most stressful times for our body and the earth, increasing the demands on our systems. During these periods, it is best to lighten the load and give our organs a break. It is not only these times that call for purifying, when you start to feel your body feeling, heavy and congested: through an increased mucous production in the throat or nasal passageways or a decrease in movement of the bowels, this is great time to start a cleanse! The list of cleanses is endless and it is up to you decide which one is best for you. Regardless of which one you choose, it is detrimental to increase your daily water intake to a minimum of at least 8-10 glasses per day. Our body needs the extra flow to dilute and eliminate toxic buildup. Drinking lots of water is best practice on a daily bases, along with eating a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables and low in dairy and meat products. Vegetarian diets are the most ideal, keeping your body functioning at its best, but such extremes is not for everyone.
A New Year means a New Beginning and starting with a cleanse is the first step in the right direction. The benefits to detoxifying are endless and an important practice that the western diet is lacking. So much of our disease, especially degenerative disease stems from congestion and stagnation of the bodies systems. Many of the problems in Western society stem from the excessive use of food and drugs. Abuses and addictions affect everyones life leaving us heavy, depended and spiritually disconnected from ourselves and the earth. It’s time to take this opportunity to open yourself up to the practice of cleansing, being sure to consult with a physician if you suffer from multiple or complex disease processes. Below I have listed some articles that can help delve deeper into the practice and help you decide what is best for you!!
Alive Magazine (includes some herbs that can assist in your cleanse) http://www.alive.com/articles/view/22270/tips_for_a_successful_detox
Alive Magazine (outlines a list of cleanses for you to try) http://www.alive.com/articles/view/22307/demystifying_detox