As the holidays and the new year approach we become more cognizant of our dietary decision making than we have for the past eleven months. As the year winds down we are faced with choices and tempted with endless cookie platters, parties, alcoholic bevies and decedent treats. Some of us, myself included, adopt a case of the ol ‘fuck its’. “Its Christmas time, I am already off the wagon, fuck it, I will get back on track on January.” Sound familiar…
It’s around this time of year that many people begin researching new diets as well as pre and post holiday weight loss and fitness plans. Some people go for the pre-holiday cleanse to set themselves up for success and to avoid eating junk for the entire month of December. Others completely derail and hit the eggnog and shortbread train just a little too hard with plans for a kick off cleanse in the new year.
But what is a cleanse exactly? Do they work? Are they necessary? Which cleanse, if any, is the best?
Its the age old debate…and I mean this literally, as cleanses date back thousands of years to many cultures around the world that include cleanses as part of their religions and rituals.
What is cleansing: A cleanse is any regimen that aims to cleanse the body of impurities through detoxification, elimination and rejuvenation while sometimes using herbs to support organ function. It’s basically like spring cleaning for your body…out with the old and in with the new.
Sounds about right, so why the debate?
Our bodies are extremely powerful and our organs (lymph, skin, kidneys, intestines, lungs and liver) exist with the purpose of cleansing and detoxifying our body; therefore, many believe cleansing to be unnecessary. There is definitely validity to this thought process. Not only do our organs aid in cleansing our system, but they also have the ability to regenerate themselves after being damaged. However, without proper diet, nutrition and the occasional reset, you can forget about accessing that super human regeneration power.
As of late cleanses have become all the rage and I think its due in large part to our all or nothing society. People have a myopic approach to health and feel the need to make drastic changes and wipe the slate clean before moving forward with big lifestyle alterations. OR, maybe it all caught fire when Beyonce did the Master Cleanse and lost 10lbs in a week! I am not gonna lie, the allure of looking bootylicious sucked me in to trying the Master Cleanse about 4 years ago…I lasted a day, got a migraine, was left with a lifetime supply of maple syrup and most certainly did not look like Beyonce.
There are so many cleanses on the market that its overwhelming: juice cleanse, Master Cleanse, Dr. Oz 48 hour cleanse, Wild Rose cleanse, candida cleanse, sugar cleanse, colin cleanse…ahhhh, which cleanse is the right cleanse????!!!!
Your goals will dictate which cleanse is best for you. Cleansing can be extremely valuable to those suffering from issues such as allergies, eczema, acne, fatigue, infection, confusion, bloating and many serious diseases. For the sake of brevity I am going to assume that most people are interested in cleansing to jump start a larger health plan, increase energy and possibly shed some unwanted lbs in the process. In this case I think a sugar detox would be the most beneficial.
There are numerous ways to go about beginning a cleanse, including purchasing a cleansing kit at the store or online. If you just want something simple, here is my quick and dirty suggestion.
KPUPS 12 DAY SUGAR DETOX – I picked 12 randomly because its my lucky ###
- Remove all sugar from your diet including natural sweeteners such as honey, agave, cane sugar, and all artificial sweeteners
- Limit coffee to 1 cup of black coffee per day
- Remove all wheat and gluten from your diet
- Remove all dairy from your diet (which contains the sugar lactose)
- Drink a glass of lemon water upon rising every morning
- Drink at least 2 quartz of water daily
- Exercise and sweat daily
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night
- Herbal supplements to take include: Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root and Burdock. (Liver detoxification)
This is nothing new, and I definitely didn’t make this up. If you follow the Paleo diet than you already live this lifestyle. It’s simple and it won’t cost you a shit ton of money for bogus shakes with synthetic vitamins. Like I always say, eat as much natural, real food as possible and limit sugar. If you do this for 12 days you will have kicked those nasty cravings in the face, feel energized for your new healthy lifestyle and you will be one step closer to looking like Beyonce. Oh…and if you are a dude, you will be one step closer to looking like Chris Hemsworth aka Thor 😉