Many people think about cleansing if for no other reason that we hear about it and read about it often, so this week we talk about cleansing basics. Every season brings with it new weather, new experiences, and (for happy foodies) new produce. At Modern Kids Design, we enjoy featuring diverse meals on our family menus and making healthy food fun. Our diet tends to change from hearty foods in autumn and winter to lighter fare in spring and summer. With this change, sometimes we also feel the urge change how we eat. Whether that’s experimenting with meatless meals, adding more vegetables to the plate, or making delicious juices and smoothies, change can be good. And broad exposure can help picky eaters expand their palates. For the adults in the family, another option that people (us included) tend to investigate during the changing of seasons (and let’s be honest, sometimes before or after rich vacation fare) is a good cleanse!
Why Do a Cleanse?
The benefits of a cleanse vary by person, however, most people who complete a cleanse report physical, mental, and emotional improvements. As parents, we like to cleanse every now and then and have found it lead to more energy, mental clarity and even weight loss. We think it can also be a helpful way to kickstart new, healthier habits and incorporate more delicious fruits and vegetables into our busy lives. Couple a cleanse with some introspection and journaling (and maybe a soak in the tub) and you may have a favorite new ritual. Depending on the length of time you choose to cleanse, some people do it once or twice a year (and others more often), it can become a nice habit. Of course, it goes without saying, the cleanse is for the parents and not the kiddos. 🙂
How to Cleanse?
How to cleanse is really up to you. Researching different cleanses and their effects is a great starting point. It will allow you to align your goals with the benefits of different cleanses. As you look through the different cleanse options, keep your lifestyle and health in mind.
For example, if you are a high-energy person with a to-do list a mile long (that’s at least half the moms and dads reading this), then make sure your cleanse will still provide you with enough calories, vitamins and energy to get you through your day. After all, your cleanse shouldn’t make you irritable or grumpy. It should allow you to reconnect with your body. Also, if you do a juice cleanse, you may experience headaches and/or low energy before you adjust and the mental clarity and increased energy kick in.
In regards to health, if you have any issues with sugar or other foods, make sure to pick a cleanse with a varied menu. If you are unsure whether to do a cleanse because of health limitations, speak with your doctor before embarking on your journey. Regardless of health, that is, even the healthiest among us, should probably discuss it with a doctor beforehand.
Types of Cleanses
We’ll be honest, in our findings, many doctors do not recommend an all-juice cleanse, primarily because it is low calorie and may not feature enough nutrients. We’re contrarians (and admittedly not doctors) and we could not disagree more! 🙂 We love juicing and do it a lot, so we are biased. We don’t do a juice “cleanse” often but we juice almost daily. And we believe that it is possible to experience a healthy juice cleanse by incorporating a wide range of fruits and vegetables. So, depending on your purpose and the length of your cleanse, a juice cleanse can be great, just make sure that you are consuming both vegetable and fruit juices to get enough nutrients. We’ve tried it with great success and love it.
When doing a juice cleanse, one thing to consider is the transition. You may want to ease into it by having a homemade broth (such as a veggie broth or chicken broth if you’re an omnivore 🙂 ) the day before with a light meal to ease out of eating solids and on the day you plan to end the cleanse to ease back into eating solid foods. Depending on the length of time for your cleanse, slowly easing back into solids is particularly important as it can be hard on your stomach. After all, depending on the kind of juicer that you use, there is not much fiber in the juice so reintroducing fiber can be a bit of a challenge. Another thing to keep in mind when doing a juice cleanse is that it is nice to have lemon water, hot or cold, on hand as it can help to alleviate the initial pangs of hunger especially in the beginning (when you might be at risk for falling off the juice wagon). We’ll be frank, the beginning can be a bit tough but, as with all cleansing adventures, your body adjusts, and then you are usually pretty happy with the results!
No Sugar Cleanse
Consider dropping the refined sugars from your diet. Once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised where they show up (hint: check those marinades and dressings). After a week or two, you should feel fewer sugar cravings. Some people choose to drop sugar for a month out of every year, and to be honest, it’s the kind of cleanse that you could do much longer. As with any cleanse, you may feel low energy before the higher energy level kicks in so, if necessary, add in some nuts if you can to help sustain you.
Whole Grains, Fruits, and Veggie Cleanse
Dr. Oz debuted a 48-hour cleanse that featured hearty whole grains like quinoa and oatmeal partnered with a variety of fruits of vegetables for a delicious, healthy weekend. His menu of whole grains, soy, cruciferous vegetables, dark berries, and dandelion root tea (coupled with Epsom salt baths and fasting after 7PM) can help you cull some of the refined foods out of your diet and allow you to focus on your emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Whichever route you choose to go, the important thing is that it is the right one for you. While data on cleansing is mixed, as long as you are ensuring that your body is getting enough calories and nutrients, you can safely and happily complete a cleanse and start incorporating more whole, fresh foods into your menu.
Have you completed a cleanse before? If so, what type and why? We’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’d like to read about on the blog. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org . As always, thanks for reading!