Cleansing & Detoxing 101 in Four Steps
By Dr. Bart Precourt
Let’s start with the big question:
Do you need to cleanse? From my experience, the obvious answer is, “Yes!”
The challenge for many is not determining if they should cleanse, but rather how they should cleanse, what methods are safe, and how long cleansing sessions should last. These questions, along with the dreaded thoughts of not eating favorite desserts, are often what keep people from doing much-needed cleanses that purify their bodies.
There are two primary reasons why we should cleanse.
First, we live in a toxic world.
Our foods are contaminated with pesticides and antibiotics, our water is full of chemicals, and our air quality is less than ideal. Even with a perfect diet of organic, non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods, our bodies require resets.
Second, we need purification.
Throughout history, cleansing and fasting have been healthy spiritual and physical rituals. At the root, the motivation for cleansing or fasting is to help the human body become as clean and pure as possible. Giving our bodies, especially our digestive systems, opportunities to catch back up, has never been more important.
Will it be easy? Maybe. Maybe not.
Do you need it? Most likely.
Do you deserve it? YES!
I’ve been facilitating Whole Food Cleanses for years, and my experience tells me that everyone benefits from cleansing. This is a quick, four-step overview of how you can cleanse with success.
You and your health are worth it!
1. Prepare: Have a Plan and a Goal.
If weight loss is a primary goal, be realistic. If you’re doing a 10-day cleanse, don’t expect to lose 20 lbs. Usually, men lose weight more rapidly than women, yet we all can get to our ideal weights when we sustain healthy eating habits. Typically, with our 21-day cleanse, men lose between 8-15 lbs. and women lose between 5-10 lbs. Don’t get suckered into programs that claim you will lose 20 lbs. in 20 days.
Beyond weight loss, realistic health goals should include reducing inflammation, joint pain, and hot flashes, while improving sleep. All are positive, possible outcomes from ridding your body of toxins and restoring its health.
Have a plan beyond “I’m going to eat better.” Know what you’ll eat, how often you’ll eat, and what types of foods you’ll consume (real or packaged). If you’re using supplements, which are often key to restoring your digestive and eliminative systems, be sure they are Whole Food Supplements and do not contain any stimulants or appetite suppressants. Years of exposure cause brain toxicity.
2. Have support and accountability.
Being part of a group, having a coach, working with a nutritionist, and/or partnering with your doctor will provide great advantages. Have someone in your corner who can help keep you motivated and hold you accountable when things get challenging. Find someone with a good knowledge base and experience. Your surroundings are often a major influence on what you eat and drink. Ideally, your spouse or close friends will cleanse with you, so you aren’t tempted to stray off track.
3. Know your side effects.
No one said cleansing toxins is easy. Side effects are expected and should be welcomed, or at least understood. Too often, I hear of people bailing out of their plans because they come across some unwanted side effects. At some point during your cleanse, expect low energy. By eliminating simple carbohydrates and sugars from your diet, your body must re-learn how to burn fat for fuel. I find that most adults have no idea how much power sugar and chemicals have over their bodies until they give them up. In the body, simple carbohydrates like bread, alcohol, muffins, and crackers act just like sugar and must be avoided in any successful cleanse. Low energy can last a day or two—sometimes more. During this time, fatigue, brain fog, and even irritability may occur. This is a key turning point in making changes! Stay the course and power through it. This time is also when being part of a strong program is highly beneficial.
4. Plan your next moves.
First, reflect on what
you just experienced.
Make note of your emotions, energy, food focuses, pain, elimination, etc.
Women who do our 21-day cleanse often eradicate their hot flashes. Some sustain this benefit with good eating habits, like avoiding sugar and processed foods, while others’ hot flashes return as soon as they go back to poor eating and drinking.
Second, choose to eliminate
one bad habit for good!
Think about this from the beginning and commit to it. Your cleanse program should be the start of a healthier lifestyle that you can sustain. Moving forward, stick to a whole foods clean eating plan and mark your next cleanse on your calendar.
Dr. Bart M. Precourt is a holistic doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and nutritional consultant. For nearly 20 years he has helped people get healthy, lose weight, and create healthy, sustainable lifestyles. He currently practices in Seagrove Beach, FL, at Balance Health Studio, www.balance30a.com. For a consultation, contact Balance Health Studio at (850) 231-9288.