To cleanse or not to cleanse?
I have endless gratitude for the girls over at Sol Cleanse for introducing me to cleansing. If it weren’t for their encouragement and support, I would never have thought to try it. They are always available via email and happy to answer so many questions. I’ve done two cleanses with them now and wanted to impart some of my wisdom onto anyone who is curious. Click below to see the rest of my tips.
1. Prepare beforehand
Spend a few days before your cleanse is due to commence preparing by slowly decreasing your portion size and introducing lots of herbal teas. Shrinking your stomach will help curb hunger cravings, while ceremoniously enjoying delectable herbal teas will help you become more present and mindful in each day – which is vital for your cleanse. If you want to use the cleanse to help you quit coffee, do this two or three days before hand, so that when it’s time to cleanse, you’re already over that hump…
2. Be A Humble Beginner
As much as I like to think I can dive right in and be an instant ‘pro’ at something, the truth is, all things take practise and time. The same goes for cleansing. If you’re embarking on your first ever cleanse, then you (yes you!) are a beginner. No matter how many smoothies, chia puddings, green juices and stalks of kale you have consumed over the years, you are STILL a beginner. Why? Because cleansing is a really intense process, I’m still caught off guard each time I do a cleanse. But the best thing about the lower levels of cleansing is you start the day with substantially dense liquids, a smoothie and end the day with a nut milk or even a dahl.
3. Know Why
There are two sides to every juice cleanse. Physiological and psychological.
What is detoxing? What are toxins? Why are they stored in the body? How are the stored? How does this affect you? If you can’t answer these physiological questions off the top of your head, then you’ve got some reading to do. Head here and here for some great information. Beyond the physical benefits of cleansing is the mental and emotional journey you are about to dive into. It’s tough to push through the hard parts of a cleanse if you don’t have a clear intention. A cleanse is a very rare chance you get to reconnect with your mind and body and the discoveries you will make about the two will be profound. Set a spiritual intention set around a theme. Mine was Release: Let go of what is no longer serving me.
4. The 3rd Day is the Hardest
People say that the first day is the hardest. Mentally, it’s a challenge adjusting to your new routine. By day two you will definitely have the hang of it, by the morning of day two you will even be looking forward to taking on the new day. But day three, physically, is a shit fight. It takes a few days for the body to start releasing a lot of the toxins in your body, and as they are released from places they are hiding (muscles and organs), expect to feel some pain and discomfort. For me, the headaches were tough, but the pain in my kidneys and hamstrings were the worst. Being a girl who can normally jump out of bed, forward bend and get my head to my knees, I couldn’t even get my fingertips to the floor. Turns out toxins love to hide in the major muscle groups. Prepare ahead of time by booking yourself in a massage for day three and learn to lovingly embrace the pain because the pro’s far outweigh the cons.
5. Be Gentle
If you need to eat, eat. But have some healthy back-up options that won’t interfere with the nature of your cleanse prepared. Lentils like dahl or or leek soup for dinner are great, in very small portions. But don’t panic or reach for comfort food as soon as you feel a pang of hunger, breathe through it, have a yummy herbal tea and make yourself busy with something else – it will pass. We so rarely feel true hunger, so when you do, get used to the feeling, feel it’s motions move through you and register how you feel. If after sitting with the feeling for about 20minutes, then go and have another juice, have half of your nut milk or a few berries. Be gentle on yourself whatever you decide. This is about self-loving, not self-loathing.