When doing a cleanse one of the best things you can do is to take the time to properly prepare. 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 you are to be free of during your cleanse 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.
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. Eating clean a few days prior to your cleanse and lessening the caloric intake will also help ease you into the cleanse. Think a beautiful array of colorful veggies in a salad, or roasted cauliflower steaks for dinner, chia pudding with almond milk in the morning. Check out the section of our blog for inspired recipes!
I hear all the time people who have the desire to reset or restart healthy habits. “I just had a weekend full of indulgence so I need to get back on track" or "I’ve let myself go a bit and gained some weight." These are great starting points for leading you to a cleanse, but what I recommend is connecting with your deeper why and creating a plan that is sustainable for you.
This way you will have set yourself up for success, and reaching your goals outside of your cleanse. We want you to go out fully equipped to enjoy those fun weekends (whenever we can do that again) and indulge a bit without guilt and creating that dreaded see-saw effect.
I want to emphasize that a cleanse may help you lose some weight, but it will be water weight and without proper planning in and out of a cleanse you will gain it back, and then some. We want you to have the best outcome from your cleanse experience and recommend you stick it out to the end. We also realize that sometimes you just want to give up. If you find yourself in that moment, grab a snack - with no judgment. Pro Snack Tip: Stick to fruits & veggies that you find in your daily beverages and keep it raw! Things like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kale, dandelion, carrots. Have a handful of raw almonds even.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
Movement: Daily movement is a crucial part of wellness and should be instilled during your cleanse. It is a great time to start new habits! We recommend exercising moderately such as taking a walk outside in nature, practicing some gentle yoga or doing a short, relaxing jog. During your cleanse it is a good time to do dry brushing, get a massage, and to enjoy time outdoors for some fresh air. All of these activities promote circulation and will help you get the most out of your cleanse.
Stress: Try to avoid stress and social engagements or activities that may make it more difficult to stay focused on your cleanse. Daily meditation is a good way to relax and keep your mind at ease. Simple breathing exercises such as breathing in through your nose slowly for the count of six, holding your breath for a count of three and breathing out for a count of eight, repeat until you feel a sense of clarity. Trust us, it takes time but works.
Hydration: Your body will need extra water while you are cleansing. Drink an additional 12-24 ounces of water to keep yourself hydrated and flush out those toxins. Pro Tip: Have two glasses of water when you first wake up prior to consuming anything else. Keep this habit even after your cleanse.
Sleep: Be sure to get plenty of sleep - at least eight hours a night - to give your body enough rest while it is doing this extra metabolic work. You may find it easier to fall asleep, to stay asleep longer and more deeply. Add in a 10 minute breathing exercise or bedtime meditation to increase your sleep. Pro Tip: Try to get to bed before 10pm to get the best REM cycle.
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.