Doing a Cleanse?

By , On , In Nutrition

Is it time for some Spring Cleansing?

As the days get longer again, cold weather starts to abate, and we slowly starting removing layers of clothing, we can all feel the excitement of spring approaching.  New growth, new life, and new opportunities. However, it is often understood that we must get rid of the old to bring in the new.

So what does that mean for our bodies?  Do we need give it an opportunity to release the old, the accumulated toxins and weight from over the long winter?  Truth is our body is detoxifying every single day, it is natural for your body to do a little more as our environment changes.  So what is the point of a spring cleansing then?

Well the idea of a cleanse, or as other call a detox, is really not designed to be the latest and greatest weight loss technique.  It is true that people will often lose weight on a cleanse but it is not the focus, rather a side effect.  

The point of a cleanse is to reduce the burden on it, so that it has a chance to deal with the extra load it hasn’t been able to get to. 

What is the extra load?  

Think of it this way, when we are living our everyday lifestyle; we are eating, breathing, and absorbing all sorts of toxins, that our bodies must process and eliminate.   Some of those are normal and natural like those from microbes; but many of the toxins we are faced with today, and unlike anything we have ever dealt with before in the past.  Everything from pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, preservatives, colorings, flavourings, fragrances, or medications all must be also processed in the same way.  Trouble is we are exposed to so many more each day. 

There are literally tens of thousands of man-made synthetic chemicals in existence today, that are used in all sorts of manufacturing.  And inevitably they make their way in our bodies through the food we eat, water we drink, air we breathe, and substance we absorb.

Hence a cleanse is all about less in and more out… giving the body a break in order to deal with these inevitable accumulated toxins that our natural body was never designed to process at the rate we are being exposed.A cleanse allows us to be more focused on what is inside rather than continually focusing on our daily exposures

How do you know you need a cleanse?  

Here are some key signs and symptoms:

  • chemical sensitivities (like to perfumes, smoke), 
  • low tolerance to caffeine or alcohol, 
  • elevated liver enzymes
  • fatigue, 
  • constipation or diarrhea, 
  • headaches, 
  • skin rashes, 
  • nausea, 
  • joint pain, 
  • chronic pain, 
  • sinus congestion, 
  • immune weakness, 
  • feeling of “unwell”, 
  • anxiety and/or mood changes, 
  • lymph congestion, 
  • water retention, 
  • and disturbed sleep

Common diseases related to toxicity include: 

  • fibromyalgia, 
  • chronic pain, 
  • obesity, 
  • auto-immune disease, 
  • chronic infections, 
  • skin conditions, 
  • allergies, 
  • liver disease, 
  • chronic fatigue, 
  • fertility issues, 
  • cancer

What should I be looking for in a detox or cleanse?

Start with simple things if it’s the first time:

  • taking out all processed foods (did it come in a box, can or a jar?)
  • eliminating refined sugar, gluten and dairy
  • increasing whole foods (fruits, veg, whole grains, and lean meats, raw nuts and seeds)
  • eating organic as much as possible
  • in the spring eating more raw fruits and veggies is appropriate
  • incorporating raw fresh juices to your daily cleanse. Check out these juicing recipes from Reboot with Joe.

What should I be aware of?

  • rapid weight loss, 
  • extreme fatigue, 
  • consuming too few calories too quickly,
  • if there are any underlying health concerns, then the cleanse should be discussed with a professional and supervised appropriately.

Stay tuned to my next blog where we will discuss different cleansing options!

With Courage and Blessings,

For more information about toxins, and how to take healing into your own hands check out Dr. Alana Berg’s latest book, The Courageous Cure!