A lot of us tend to get more active when spring arrives. We get outside for a nice walk to enjoy the fresh spring air. We feel a desire to shed some of our winter weight and get ready for summer. It's also an awesome time to take care of and renew our insides...our internal organs, our cells and tissues. A cleanse or detox program can be a great way to accomplish this internal body renewal.
Why is a cleanse important and what does it do? Spring cleansing means detoxifying our bodies. Our bodies naturally detoxify everyday, it's a normal body process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins. However, our bodily functions were designed when the world and our food were less polluted. We are living in a world with increasing toxins and carcinogens. We are exposing our bodies to them and absorbing them daily. Now our body organs and systems have to work a lot harder to rid the exponentially increased waste and toxins. And to top it off, most of us aren't giving our bodies the fuel, the nutrients that it needs to do this job. Imagine overworked employees who are also not provided with enough food for every meal. We are treating our body in the same manner.
Harmful and carcinogenic substances ranging from industrial waste and chemicals, pesticides, radiation, food additives, refined food, high sugar intake, and high fat food are an everyday part of our lives. We need to assist our bodies to effectively detox these substances. A great on-going approach is to work to prevent these toxins from entering our environment and body in the first place. Providing our body with lots of organic whole foods daily is a fabulous year round practice. Also, minimize or eliminate the use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (shampoos, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.), and substitute with natural alternatives. Follow this up with an annual, bi-annual or quarterly detoxifying cleanse and you are giving your body a huge boost!
Here are just some of the awesome benefits of detoxing your body:
-Strengthens your body's fight against cancer cells
-Generates healthy cells
-Improved immune function
-Cleanses mucous, congestion, inflammation in our digestive tract
-Scavenges free radicals and eliminates toxins
-Purifies our blood
-Breaks our lifestyle addictions to caffeine, sugar, salt, alcohol, junk foods, etc.
There are all different types of cleanses out there, ranging from 1 day to 30 days or more. Some of them are geared to detoxing specific toxins from your body. From the research I've seen, it typically takes our body 3 days to detoxify. We obtain other benefits after the 3 days like reducing inflammation, additional healing, changing lifestyle habits, etc. My husband and I recently completed a 5 day cleanse.
At a minimum, I would recommend a cleanse that uses a product that is ideally organic, non-GMO, all-natural without any sugar additives, and vegetable and fruit based. I would be happy to share with anyone who is interested the program that we used.
Before starting a cleanse it's a great idea to set yourself up for success by lightening up on your toxin intake. Ideally for several days leading up to your detox, reduce or eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods. Gradually eliminating these in the days leading up to your cleanse will help your body adjust and eliminate some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can occur the first few days.
So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a cleansing buddy and do a spring internal body cleanse! And while you're at it, how about an external body cleanse too? Take a look at your personal and household products and see how many of them you can change out to include products that are more natural and less chemical filled.
I would love to hear about your detoxing stories and questions. Please comment or email me. I'm super excited about an upcoming post on sugar, where my friend, Michelle Naff from Phitness Plus and Sugar Free Me, will share with us her expertise on sugar in our diet. Look for it soon!