This past Monday, Dr. Ryan and I started a 10-day metabolic detoxification cleanse. This isn’t our first cleanse that we’ve done together, but it has been a while since the last one and we figured the end of summer was a good time to reset our nutrition. I thought it was also a good time to do a cleanse for me personally because I have a triathlon race coming up at the end of September. Having a “clean engine” during an endurance race is so important! We aren’t experts and we don’t have education degrees when it comes to nutrition, but we do have a passion for it and have taken many classes in our Chiropractic education. As we always tell people, health is a journey not a destination. Here are some things that we have learned along our nutrition cleanse journeys:
- There will never be a “convenient” time to do a cleanse. Just start now! A big challenge with starting a nutrition cleanse is deciding when to start. With holidays, parties, date nights and social events, there never seems to be a good time to fit it in. But that’s the point! Cleanses are a great way to reset your body and your health, and begin new habits and routines that become a regular part of your lifestyle. Ryan and I are surrounded by family gatherings, dinners with friends and the occasional National’s game. But learning about how to incorporate the cleanse routine into our lives has taught us how to maintain our healthy eating while enjoying the things we love to do!
- Cleansing doesn’t always feel amazing. Trust the process. The body is very good at holding onto toxins in our tissues. In fact, one of the reasons it does this is to protect those harmful toxins from doing damage to the major organs of the body. However, as the metabolic detox cleans out the gunk, it is common for this process to feel uncomfortable at times. Breaking a sugar or simple carb addiction can feel like CRAP. Headaches, achy joints, and constant hunger are all things that we have experienced. The fact is, true health isn’t always pretty. True health is when the body is functioning optimally to do what it’s supposed to. There may be peaks and there may be valleys in the process. But ultimately, true health is experiencing life to the fullest!
- Cleansing is more fun together! Ryan and I enjoy doing these cleanses together at the same time. This way we are able to support each other and hold each other accountable. We are also doing this cleanse with a few of our patients at the same time. This has been a great experience and we love hearing about everyone’s experiences and sharing the journey together. Humans are social beings and we long for community. When we form strong communities we are able to accomplish more together. Find a group to do your next cleanse with and you won’t regret it.
- Support your body along the way. When we are detoxifying, a lot is happening to our physiology which we may or may not always feel. It is essential to stay up on supporting your body through the other aspects in health during a cleanse. Hydrating is super important to ensure your cells constantly have the liquid necessary to move the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. Exercise that you enjoy is also very important because this circulates blood and nutrients through your body and helps to store the energy that you are ingesting in your diet in the proper places (muscles and organs, not fat). Getting your spine and nervous system checked is just as essential because this is the master control center of your body that is directing traffic. Without this computer running at 100%, your body will be functioning at less than optimal levels and the cleanse will not be as effective as it could be.
- Cleanse with real food. Most programs will walk you through the how and the why behind the cleanse. Our current program that we’re using, as an example, is specifically for detoxifying our metabolic pathways and uses whole natural foods in combination with a shake blend. We like this approach because we’re using real, natural foods as opposed to only juices or only water. These also are beneficial and it just depends on what your goals are in your cleanse. Our program also gives us the step-by-step guide on grocery lists and recipe suggestions to help us along the way.
- Learn something new. Although Ryan and I have done cleanses before, we always learn something new about ourselves with each one. Listen to your body during the cleanse and try to understand what it’s trying to tell you. Without this, the cleanse really isn’t that powerful. But if you learn something about how your body feels without toxins, or where your toxic load is coming from, then you are able to reinforce new habits that allow you to live your best life!
A cleanse is a great way to break out of the routine and give your body a chance to reset. You should always have a health care professional in your corner to help guide you along the way. If you have any questions about cleanses, which cleanse is right for you, or how to support your body during a cleanse, give our office a call!