Maybe you are checking out our functional cleanses and thinking to yourself - well whats the difference between these and the juice cleanse around the corner from my house?
Or you might be checking out the ingredients and see calendula flower, schisandra berry, and slippery elm, and think - what are those?!
In this guide we're going to take you through a comprehensive look into our Functional cleanses, from what they are, what makes them different and how best to prepare and come off our cleanses.
Chapter 1: What is a Functional Cleanse?
A cleanse is not always a cleanse.
Modern juice cleansing dates back to, at least, 1976 when Stanley Burroughs wrote “The Master Cleanse” - basically a mix of lemonade, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The perfect sugary crash diet.
Today everyone is vying for your cleanse attention promoting weight loss - and ever much more. But when you truly get down to the details, most products consist of sugar water. Yes, perhaps you lose weight momentarily, but rest assured you’ll gain it all back, all the while wreaking havoc on your immune system, inflammation, and gut health.
At Organic Pharmer our Functional Cleanses are filled with nutrient dense ingredients and designed with function first. Our drinks are not cold-pressed juices but instead botanical beverages, each is formulated with an herbal blend. We believe cleansing should be done with intention so as to not wreak havoc on your health. On top of all that, all of our ingredients are 100% organic, plant-based, and free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, egg, and inflammatory oils.
Our botanical beverages aren't just any beverages we start with our medicinal herbs and blend them based on a specific function they offer the body. Next we layer in ingredients like cold-pressed veggies & fruits or superfood powders to expertly enhance these functions - as well as balance the flavor. All of our beverages are designed to assist your body with calming inflammation, boosting immunity and healing your gut - in order to help prevent and reverse chronic disease.
Our Functional Cleanses are designed by looking at the function we are addressing in the body from anti-inflammation to detoxification and add our botanical beverages in a specific order to assist the body in healing, with an eye to keeping natural sugars low and ensuring you get protein, fats and fiber to keep your blood sugar levels even throughout each day.
When looking around at other cleanses (including those powdered ones) take a look at the following:
- Are the ingredients 100% organic, plant-based, and free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy, egg, and toxic oils?
- Is there proper nutrition? Including fiber, protein, fats, and is it low in natural sugar? (throw it away if it’s all added sugars!)
- Are there medicinal herbs?
- Is it just a “lemon water” beverage?
These are a great starting point to understand the difference between our functional cleanse and other options out there.
Chapter 2: Why choose a Functional Cleanse
Every day, we are exposed to toxins, which stress the liver, the body’s main detoxifying organ. A cleanse can help the liver do its job better by reducing the toxic load in our bodies. Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty concentrating, trouble losing weight, painful muscles or joints, headaches, among others, may be a sign of toxin overload. This means you may benefit from a functional cleanse program.
Organic Pharmer’s Functional cleanses are not your typical cleanse - as we mentioned above all our cleanses follow the standards of Functional Medicine, are crafted by our macrobiotic chefs, Lee and Darleen Gross, and reviewed by our Functional Medicine Physician, Dr. Susan Blum.
Each beverage is clean - this means low in sugar, no added chemicals or dyes and all ingredients certified organic or locally sourced organic.
Each beverage has a function: All of the nutrients in each drink will help the body work better. Dr. Blum and Chef Darleen started with an herbal infusion to maximize its purpose and increase the effectiveness of the cleanse. Each cleanse has all the nutrients your liver needs to assist in clearing toxins out of your body. This means that they contain enough fat and protein (an area where many other cleanses fall short) in addition to potent antioxidants, vitamins and minerals naturally present in vegetables and fruits.
We have created two types of functional cleanses that are offered in one day, three day or five day programs. They include our botanically infused beverages, protein shakes and alternative evening milk.
Chapter 3: How to Cleanse with Intention
When starting any program whether with us or other companies we recommend you start by asking yourself “What is my intention for cleansing?”
“Am I using this to promote health or to get a quick fix?”
“Is this for weight loss? If so, do I have a plan for after the cleanse?”
“Are there symptoms I am trying to alleviate?”
Either way, it’s important to be honest with yourself so your desired outcome meets your expectations. When you set out with a clear plan and understanding that there are no quick fixes, a cleanse can be a powerful tool to find the root cause, to identify habits that need to change or to simply get back on track with your wellness plan. You can create sustainable behavioral changes by using functional cleansing with intention. Find out more in our article What is Intentional Cleansing.
Chapter 4: How to Prepare for a Functional Cleanse
When doing a cleanse (whether ours or others) one of the best things you can do is to take the time to properly prepare. We often get asked what to do after a cleanse but it's almost more important to know how to prepare for a cleanse. Psychologically it can be challenging to start a cleanse, extreme even; binging, or not eating enough. Neither of these are going to set you up for success on your cleanse, and depending on your intention, will actually inhibit your results.
Furthermore, properly preparing for your cleanse can help calm the challenging symptoms by lessening the shock to your system. One of the items recommended to be removed while cleansing is caffeine. Removing caffeine from your diet should not be one day ingesting, the next not. This could create terrible headaches and put you in a position to quit before you even get through Day 1. We’ve crafted a great article and provide tips for substituting coffee with tea.
On top of removing caffeine, we recommend you avoid alcohol and sugary foods for several days before you begin. However, if caffeine is your morning must-have, try switching to weak black or green tea. If you must have coffee, drink it weak and black.
Other items to remove include meat, dairy, soy and processed fats and foods. In our blog we offer great recipes for you to try. You'll learn this and more in our article on how to prepare for a cleanse.
Taking the time to prepare and to connect with why you are wanting to cleanse will set you up for success on your cleanse and beyond.
Chapter 5: Instructions for Cleansing
Each of our functional cleanses have a specific order of botanical beverages to assist your body in getting proper nutrition.
If you are following the anti-inflammatory cleanse this is the order of beverages you will be following for each day.
If you are following the detox cleanse this is the order of beverages you will be following for each day:
The order of the beverages is important to achieve proper nutrition, keep your blood sugars level and assist with keeping hunger pangs at bay.
If you are storing them in the freezer you will want to take them out with ample time to defrost. It should take 24-48 hours to thaw but if you need to speed it up we recommend putting the bottles in a water bath to thaw quicker.
Each beverage has an expiration date on the bottle, if they are stored in the freezer and are past their due date you have 7 days from thawing to consume.
We recommend sticking to the beverages as outlined and only consuming the beverages for the period of time you chose to cleanse. However should you feel you really need to eat something, we recommend fresh/raw veggies and fruits.
Before ordering we recommend you check with your healthcare practitioner, by showing them the cleanse to make sure you do not have any medications that will cause interactions with the herbs we use.
Chapter 6: How to come off a Functional Cleanse
Coming off of a cleanse should be structured similarly to preparing for one so you maximize the benefits and don’t put your body into shock.
It's always wise to add back foods slowly. Keep your meals small, stick to foods that are organic, plant based and free of Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, Egg and inflammatory oils. This will maximize the effects of your cleanse and continue your anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
Keep that up for as long as you can.
Here’s a sample meal plan for the days after your cleanse to keep you feeling great and feeding yourself healthy nourishing meals without shocking your body.
Morning - Alpha Green
Breakfast - Warm Quinoa Cereal
Lunch - Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower
Dinner - The Variety Bowl
Dessert - Golden Milk
Pro Tip: Keep a journal before, during and after the cleanse!
If you decide to add back other foods, take time to notice if any foods trigger symptoms. These symptoms may be headaches, bloating, and joint pain among many others. Perhaps introduce each food one at a time to see how you feel. Learn how to navigate an elimination diet.
In addition to all the above there is an even bigger reason to participate in regular functional cleanses. That is the power of plants as medicine. Through environmental interventions we are able to facilitate the prevention and reversal of chronic disease. Our products help your body do what it’s meant to do by supporting the various systems, such as lymphatic, detoxification, calming inflammation and boosting immunity to list just a few.
It's equally as important how you come off a cleanse and what you eat when coming off a cleanse as it is preparing for one! Make sure you read all our resources prior to a cleanse to get the best benefits!
Chapter 7: Takeaways and Tips
These tips apply to your preparation, cleanse and easing off days.
- Start your morning off with some warm lemon water to stimulate your liver and kickstart the detox process.
- Replace coffee or caffeinated tea with green or herbal teas.
- Eliminate sugar, dairy, refined carbohydrates and alcohol.
- Eat lighter foods like soups, salads or lightly cooked vegetables and limit animal proteins.
- Do gentle exercise like yoga, rebounding or walking outside for 20 – 30 min daily.
- Dry brushing for 10 minutes before your shower will stimulate your lymph glands and help your body release toxins.
- Water, herbal tea, vegetable broth (like our Vegan "Bone" Broth) or raw coconut water all great options for keeping hydrated.
- Strengthen your digestion with probiotics. We offer a Happy Gut botanical beverage that is good to have anytime!
- Keep a daily journal, noting any changes in your body and mind and emotions. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn about yourself.
- Most importantly, acknowledge yourself for taking time to strengthen your body and thank yourself for the gift of health!