By Michelle Stafford, RHN
It’s almost that time of year again folks…Spring cleaning! We all take the time to clean our homes, so why not an internal cleanse? I’m sure you’ve seen all the fancy products on the market or know someone who has cleansed, is currently cleansing or even plans to cleanse in the near future.
Detoxification is vital for optimal health. In this day and age we are all exposed to a multitude of chemicals on a daily basis, and depending on your daily diet, you may be adding to the chemical load with the food you eat. It is important to contact a qualified practitioner when cleansing, to figure out what program is best for you. People with diabetes, pregnant women and cancer patients should avoid rigorous cleansing for safety reasons.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling lethargic, mentally and physically, a cleanse is definitely in order!
The symptoms below may be signs that you need to cleanse:
- Brain fog
- Rashes or skin irritations
- Aches and pains
- Emotional stress
- Sensitivity to chemicals
What is a Cleanse?
To be clear, when I use the word cleanse, I don’t mean starve yourself into insanity. Think more along the lines of eating fresh organic vegetables, and limiting highly processed food, alcohol and refined sugar. Consuming fresh, filtered water should be habitual practice and an absolute must when following a detox regime. A brisk 20 to 30 minute walk is great to get the lymphatic system moving as well as help rid your body of viruses and bacteria.
Many people go on a cleansing regime to shed pounds. Doing so is definitely obtainable, however, I have heard of people who go on a rampaging exercise frenzy and eat an inadequate amount of food, which can be very dangerous! Depending on what level of extremity your cleanse requires, you may be eating substantially less, thus I do not recommend an excessive exercise regime.
Preparation is usually required for cleansing; so you’ll need to make a list of all the items you need. The first couple of days you may experience “die off symptoms” which include headaches, and fatigue. These symptoms usually are indications of detoxification; your body is ridding itself of toxins. Relax, start your cleanse on a weekend and take it easy.
Try visualization and meditation to combat cravings. During the end of your cleanse you will feel energetic and ready for upcoming challenges.
Be careful when coming off a cleanse; try not to jump back into your regular bad habit. Instead, slowly ease yourself off the cleanse. Acquire the new lifestyle changes and eating habits you learned from cleansing and add them into your daily routine. Good times to cleanse are the fall and the spring. Don’t feel like you have to go on a strict detoxification regime every other week, your body will let you know when it needs cleansing.
Foods that support detoxification, include:
- Swiss chard
- Flax Seeds
- Clean Water
If you’re interested in cleansing contact a Registered Holistic Nutritionist for an individualized cleansing program.
Michelle Stafford is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN). She practices throughout the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. For private consultation, you can reach her by email at [email protected]