Healthy Cleansing Part 1 – Body

wash fruit rounded corners
This article is Part 1 of the 3-Part Series “Healthy Cleansing: Body, Mind, and Spirit”.

What makes a healthy cleanse and what doesn’t?

The body is designed to naturally regenerate, detoxify, and heal itself. Unfortunately, it isn’t designed to deal with all the junk we eat, a lot of it not even which wasn’t even “invented” until 50 years ago. It’s no secret that we need to eat less processed food and more whole foods.

Safely Cleansing to me means feeding your body life-sustaining health-giving foods that we were meant to eat and giving it a break from the junk so it can devote more energy to doing its job and supporting our healthy balanced life. Supporting our bodies in a sustainable and healthy way by limiting practices that do not promote health (you know what they are) and feeding our bodies with clean, whole foods (and in turn benefiting from the fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamin, minerals, nutrients, and live enzymes that are supplying our bodies with the tools it needs to heal and function optimally) is my recipe for a healthy cleanse.

When is a cleanse not sustainable or healthy?

Sustainable means to be able to do it over a long period of time. The dangers of popular cleansing, fasts (with the exception of spiritually-guided fasts), and supplement-based diets is that they use extreme measures, are not sustainable for more than a short period of time, and when used for weight loss are simply mini yo-yo diets.

These diets are marketed as quick fixes and are designed to last for only 1 to 30 days. Why not longer? Because they are unsafe or unhealthy long-term. Some of the negative and unhealthy side effects are: systematic toxemia, dangerously low levels of potassium, passing out, gallstones, headaches/difficulty concentrating, and nausea to name a few. Cleansing in this way can also be hard on your liver and lymphatic system. Muscle aches and pains can also be experienced as a result of the toxins being released into the system. The Institute of Integrative Nutrition also particularly warns against doing a salt-water cleanse as they are extremely unhealthy and dangerous.

By taking the steps below, your body will cleanse all by itself gradually, safely, and effectively without taking extreme measures or suffering from the above complications (although be prepared for potential withdraw symptoms from food addictions).

Steps to take for a Lifelong Healthy Cleanse

These steps may be taken for as little as one day or as long as a lifetime:

1. Eat mostly fresh, organic, whole fruits and vegetables: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eat more whole foods. These super healthy, high fiber foods are filled with anti-oxidants and other supportive nutrients to help ‘cleanse’ things along on a daily basis in a healthy way. Include some uncooked and fermented choices to ensure you are gaining the benefits of live enzymes (helps to break down and digest foods), and other nutrients that get damaged in the cooking process. Stick with organic and local produce whenever possible to skip the pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals (produce that is shipped long distances is picked before it is ripe then gassed with hormones to speed the ripening process). Add to this: small amounts of high quality, lean, organic protein such as beans, legumes, organic poultry and wild caught fish. Also include some non-gluten whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oats, and buckwheat. Some healthy fat choices are nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and coconuts. Ya know, basic healthy eating. But don’t let me stop you there-add in some superfoods if you’d like.

2. Eat less processed foods: Cut down and work to cut out white sugar, added salt, trans fats, and added chemicals or foods with unrecognizable ingredient lists. Eat less non-organic meats including farm-raised fish which contain hormones, antibiotics, food dyes, nitrates, and other unwanted, harmful additives. Also, it’s always good to take a break from the following addictive foods: white sugar (again), alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, tobacco, soda pop, and drugs of any kind. *Note: Any other unhealthy habits that come to mind for you also could be included here, in the less category (wink wink).

3. Drink Water: The simplest step! Drink more water and reap the benefits of a hydrated, healthy system.

Random Tips

-I also like to include some herbal teas that may or may not be specific to detox in my cleanse routine. However, please check contra-indications of any and all herbs before taking them.

-Eat slowly and chew your food well to promote proper digestion and to give your body a “break” from “breaking down” large quantities of improperly chewed food (and increase mindful eating which is magic within itself).

-Lemon water helps to get the cleansing process going in the body. Try drinking a glass in the morning upon rising.

-Breathing! Proper breathing is essential to receiving the life supporting (and cleansing!) benefits of oxygen. Breathe deep and feel the cleansing properties of fresh air.

-Walking, skin brushing, lymphatic massage, re-bounding, yoga, stretching, and other practices that get our bodies moving in a gentle way, help the cleansing process with moving things along.

-Cosmetics: the chemical load on our bodies from skin care, beauty, and bath products is only beginning to be explored. There are many known carcinogens and toxic substances in these products and they are absorbed through our skin and end up in our systems. Assist your body by switching to more natural products (I love using plain organic coconut oil and natural soaps as my skin care staples).

Use these simple but powerful steps as a guideline for both Healthy Cleansing AND Healthy Eating to become more empowered around your food and health choices.

Be sure to take a minute to check out the January 10-day Junk Food Cleanse on our Cleansing Page and consider joining us as we cut down on junk foods and make adding in more whole foods a part of our daily routines!

Where can you make the switch in your diet? What are your favorite cleanse tips? Let me know and share below!

10 comments

Hi Brandy! Great information. I agree for optimal health there are no quick fixes. It is a lifestyle change, not diet. I enjoyed reading your steps and tips.

by Lisa on December 10, 2014 at 11:44 am. Reply #

That’s right Lisa! I am glad that you enjoyed the steps and tips! Thank you for the comment 🙂

by Vyta Webmaster on December 11, 2014 at 9:09 am. Reply #

Fantastic tips, and so important for us all to remember! Thank you for such easy to follow, fun to do ideas!

by Christa on December 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm. Reply #

Thanks Christa! I am glad you thought the tips sounded fun! I think they are super fun to do and implement into our lives on a regular basis. They really do feed our spirits.

by Vyta Webmaster on December 11, 2014 at 9:10 am. Reply #

Good post and great suggestions. After all, isn’t it the “rush-rush-quick-fix” approach that made us sick in the first place?

by Andrea on December 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm. Reply #

Thanks Andrea! We are trained to not think about where the food is from and just enjoy the artificial flavors. It is great that more and more of us are taking a more mindful approach and also voting with our dollars for higher-quality foods. I believe that it really pays off in the long run (in our health and the health of the planet), not to mention how good it feels to eat a whole, fresh, meal of real, nourishing food. Cheers!

by Vyta Webmaster on December 11, 2014 at 9:14 am. Reply #

Thanks for your gentle prodding! Your reminders are particularly useful during this holiday time when excess seems to be the rule.

by Laurie Seymour on December 11, 2014 at 11:12 am. Reply #

Articles like this need to be spread far and wide! This is everything I’m doing right now (and for the rest of my life) to recover and heal from MS. I believe if you give your body what it needs and remove the toxic overload, it will heal itself. A truth that everyone needs to hear. Thanks for sharing this important information!

by Kellie on January 21, 2015 at 10:12 am. Reply #

Thank you Kellie for your powerful comment! Healing and “being healthy” is a constant, lifelong process. I believe that is why healthy daily habits are so impactful. Good for you for doing everything you can to help your body in the face of a diagnosis. How are you doing with all of the changes?

by Vyta Webmaster on January 21, 2015 at 1:55 pm. Reply #

What better time to implement some healthy lifestyle changes than at the dawn of a new year. Thanks for this helpful post!

by Candi Deal on January 23, 2015 at 10:34 am. Reply #

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