Christmas is over and New Year is on the horizon, if you’re anything like me you are probably feeling the effects of having a haphazard training plan and eating differently to your normal meal plan.
Now don’t get me wrong I have still eaten “clean” making good choices, but I have had the extra dessert and some treats I wouldn’t normally have. There have been some alcohol indulgent evenings out and some catch ups with friends. I can tell that despite keeping to natural sourced sugars my joints are starting to complain and my pain is elevating, I feel tired and puffy and my energy is depleted.
I have had a fantastic Festive season as I hope you have with fabulous family gatherings and long overdue catch-ups with friends, however, I am honestly looking forward to getting back on track with my training and food. A large motivator for my focused way of life is the impact that straying physically has on me. I may talk you through my experiences in another post. However, if you follow me on social media you will know I will try out any diet before I give it to a patient or client, and I am not a fan of fad diets.
Despite this I always note an undertaking of the January “cleanse” or “detox” and I thought it was about time I investigated as I am always being asked for cleanse diets. There is scepticism over the efficacy of a cleanse, and I certainly don’t think that it should be undertaken for too long due to the extreme nature! The body is perfectly capable of detoxing itself and we have organs specific in function for this exact task.
There are other voices that would suggest much like intermittent fasting giving your digestive tract a rest every now and again can be of use. If you fancy taking part in a cleanse here is how to do it.
The basic idea - The most commonly suggested cleansing processes are undertaken for a period of 5-10 days. Fruit and vegetables form the basis of this programme and it can be alkalising in nature. This alkalisation may be beneficial for inflammatory conditions and disease processes. In this basic principle you will consume fruit and vegetables only, whilst drinking mineral water, herb teas and vegetable juices. Pick your goal before you begin and plan your food shop well in advance so you are prepared. This programme is not advised for those with severe anaemia, severely nutritionally deficient, pregnancy or lactation, and you should be very careful if you are elderly or are providing this for someone classed as elderly.
Use your common sense and if you are run down this is not the time for you do undertake this programme. This is not a weight loss tool, although you may find that you lose a little weight during this time this will more than likely be fluids rather than fat so please ensure
that you take on plenty of fluids.
Once you have decided on the length of duration for your cleanse, try to select a time which allows for minimum life pressure and commitments. Remember that this is effectively a healing time for the body and its opportunity to efficiently remove toxins that have built up. Digestive enzymes and milk thistle could be taken to assist with the removal of the toxic waste, with gentle regular exercise aiding the lymphatic pump further assisting the removal of the toxins. I regularly use Genetic Supplement Greens & Reds throughout the year but it is ideal during a cleanse as it provides high nutrient levels which have high bioavailability with the inclusion of digestive enzymes. For 2 days prior to starting the cleanse it would be
wise to eat only fruit, vegetables, salad, nuts, seeds and vegan protein with no caffeine but herbal teas and mineral or distilled water. The morning of the cleanse begin with either a vegetable or fruit juice, do not mix the two together. You should take a small glass of one or the other mixed 50:50 with your water. You can have these cold or warm as a vegetable soup or stew!
During this time your bowel habits may change by reducing in frequency, do not worry this is normal. You may also notice your tongue becomes furry, and you may experience increased secretion from the nose, ears and the skin. The skin is the largest organ for elimination so skin brushing can help to stimulate this activity. Some people decide to break the cleanse when the tongue furring disappears or when the appetite begins to return, I have chosen to complete a 2 day pre-cleanse and 3 days cleanse. Try to consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables during the cleanse, with as few combined at each meal as possible. One rule you must adhere to, you must not mix fruit and vegetables in the same meal. Celery, cabbage, broccoli, sweet peppers, aubergine, green beans, spinach, cucumber, cauliflower, asparagus, onions, garlic, cherries, pears, apricots, berries, nectarines, kiwi, banana & dates.
Proceed with caution if you are taking any prescribed medications as your metabolism can be affected during this process. Advise your medical practitioner of your intention before commencing with the programme. Reactions can occur during a cleanse, especially as the body rids itself of toxins that may have accumulated in the liver and tissues. The severity of this will depend on an individual’s history as recreational and prescribed medications can contribute to these reactions. When you break your cleanse stick to light meals mainly comprising of fruit, vegetables, salad and vegan protein, some feta style cheese and boiled chicken to start!
A cleansing diet can leave you feeling refreshed, you may notice relief from pain and the mind can seem cleared. Adopting a healthier style of living could be something that you aim to achieve longterm following this kickstart. A balance of a good diet, regular exercise and occasional treats creates a sustainable platform for the longevity of your plan!
Good luck and if you have any questions feel free to get in touch.