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 You’ve no doubt heard of doing a ‘cleanse’ but many of you have probably thought that it wasn’t something that you wanted to attempt. It takes a good deal of self discipline and for some it is definitely not easy the first time around. I won’t try convince you otherwise! What I will do is to tell you why you need to do one and what to expect during your first cleanse.

lemonsIf you suffer from headaches, poor digestion, sluggishness, foggy thinking, skin problems, constipation, candida or a degenerative disease then you definitely need a cleanse. The best time to do one is in the spring after we’ve had a winter of a slow metabolism and heavy foods. Doing a cleanse doesn’t mean you need to ‘fast’ and if you have any blood sugar imbalances or are ill then I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. You can eat a normal diet but remove all harmful foods from your everyday meals to give your body a break. There are also many detox kits available at your local health store. These usually contain a combination of herbs, herbal teas or homeopathics that will encourage your body to release toxins and speed up the detox process. One thing you do have to be careful about is that your body is able to eliminate the toxins it is releasing. This means drinking plenty of water and making sure that all elimination organs are working efficiently (kidneys, liver, colon and even your skin). It’s good to do gentle exercise if you can and release sweat and toxins from your pores, however heavy exercise is not recommended while doing a cleanse because the purpose is to give your body a break. Saunas are a great way to sweat those toxins out. Ideally a cleanse should last at least 2 weeks and please don’t undo all your hard work as soon as you’re done and go out for a chocolate binge!

My recommendation for doing a cleanse is to eat a ‘clean’ diet for 3 days before you start. This means eliminating all sugars, white flour and alcohol. Eat as many vegetables as you can and start cutting down on your coffee and tea consumption. If you’re used to drinking black tea and coffee during your day, you ARE going to get a headache when you try to eliminate them, so do it slowly. Once on the cleanse the diet can be quite restrictive, but making use of as many fresh herbs and other spices that you can will keep your meals interesting. You will be eliminating any foods that cause inflammation in the body such as dairy, red meat, pork and refined foods. It’s a good idea to be very well organized and have all the foods you’re going to eat in the house when you start so that if you get hungry you are less likely to grab something that’s not good for you. Have a schedule to pick up more vegetables throughout the 2 weeks.

Many people report feeling achy, tired and having headaches, just as if they were getting the flu. This is the body releasing toxins and should pass within the first 3 days. After that you will most likely feel great! You will feel clear headed, energetic, joyful, healthier and probably lose some weight (although this is not the purpose of the cleanse and you should not be drastically cutting back on calories). Just think how great you’ll feel after completing a cleanse. You’ll have much more energy to accomplish the goals in all areas of your life and next time you do one, it will be so much easier!

I’d be happy to help you through a cleanse and share my experiences. I’m just about to do one myself!

Chelating Pesto

We are exposed to toxic heavy metals from a wide variety of sources throughout our lives. The ingredients in this recipe encourage the body to release these heavy metals and excrete them. Do not use this recipe as a detox if you have any silver amalgam fillings in your mouth!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup flaxseed oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp dulse powder or flakes
  • Sea salt to taste

Place the cilantro and flaxseed oil in a food processor until the cilantro is well chopped. Add the garlic, nuts, seeds, dulse and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture is finely blended. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste. Blend again. Store in dark glass jars in the fridge. It freezes well too. Eat 2 teaspoons per day until finished.

– By Kira Neumann, RHN, NNCP

Find more articles by Kira on her webite:  Food Works Nutrition


March 22, 2011