Cleansing: verb. To make clean
This term is typically applied to our homes, our cars, our hair, our closets, etc. A mere 10 years or so ago, the idea of cleaning the INSIDE of ourselves was reserved for colonoscopies and health freaks. Now, the idea of cleaning out our “earthly home” is becoming more widely accepted and understood. Lets talk about the basics of getting our insides squeaky clean and why it matters.
Why? Simply put, our lives are full of additives, junk, toxins, pollutants, and chemicals we can’t pronounce. Everything from the food we eat and the water drink (and shower in) to the air we breathe adds to the accumulation of toxicity within us. That alone is enough to warrant an inner cleaning, yet most of us have even more toxicity added to the inner-mix in the form of stress. The fast-paced, eat-on-the run, get-er-done, modern society that we live in can lead us to experience overwhelming amounts of stress, which causes our bodies to release a slew of hormones into our bloodstream that toxify our systems.
Benefits of Cleansing: There are many benefits to giving your digestive system a break and flushing out toxins. Here are just a few:
- Promotes clear, glowing skin
- Boosts Energy
- Strengthens immunity
- Helps shed excess weight
- Reduces bloating
- Increases mental clarity
- Improves sense of wellbeing
But don’t our bodies naturally detoxify themselves? Yes, they most certainly do. But our bodies are not able to detoxify the hefty load of toxins that modern day life presents us with quickly enough. There are more chemicals and additives in our food and more toxic substances in our water supply (including toxic pharmaceutical drugs) than ever before. Furthermore, as a society our stress levels are through the roof. Back in the caveman days, the “fight or flight” response was a survival tool meant to help humans flee from danger. During this process, adrenalin and cortisol are released, which speeds up heart rate, slows digestion, hinders blood flow and gives the body a huge burst of energy. “Fight or flight” was an essential survival tool for the caveman and triggered only every once in a great while. In this modern day, the average person experiences the triggering of their “fight or flight” response MULTIPLE times per day through stressful situations like sitting in traffic, eating on the run, working long hours, etc. Our bodies now have to work to detoxify these hormones from our systems 100 times more often than they once did. Our bodies need help and support in order to adequately detoxify all that they are up against.
5 Ways to Cleanse: There are many ways to cleanse and we love them all for different reasons:
- #1. Raw Food Cleanse: When life is bustling and your schedule feels packed, most people naturally gravitate toward a Raw Food Cleanse, which can feel more satiating and energizing to than other cleanse options. The concept of raw food is that its prepared without any ingredient being heated over 118 degrees, which leaves you eating food that its bursting with enzymes, vitamins and minerals and is easily digestible, all of which helps to support the body in cleansing.
- #2. Juice Cleanse: If you able to commit to a 3 day period of laying low, this is the time to opt for a full-on juice cleanse. During a juice cleanse, your digestive system is given a much-needed vacation. Most of our daily energy is used for digestion and when this energy is freed up, your body will naturally begin to direct that energy toward cleaning itself out.
- #3. Smoothie Cleanse: This is a great “in-between” option. If you are not able to dedicate a full 3 days to just juicing, but still feel like giving your body some “liquid love”, then the smoothie route is great way to go. A smoothie cleanse involves consuming nothing aside from blended foods. Think organic fruit and vegetable based smoothies boosted with detoxifying superfoods such as spirulina, maca and goji berries.
- #4. Herbal Cleanse Kits: This type of cleanse is a big commitment. 30 days to be exact. An herbal cleanse essentially combines whatever kit you choose with raw food, juices and smoothies. To this we recommend adding massages, naps, gentle yoga, a hefty dose of “me time” and lots of Epsom salt baths. A word of warning about cleanse kits: There are so many low quality products out there so read the ingredients and make sure what you are buying is the real McCoy and not just an expensive box full of weird powders, fillers and laxatives. In addition to Ejuva, our favorite kits (all of which are super high quality) are Blessed Herbs and Rise & Shine.
- #5. Cleanse-cation: When life permits for a vacation, a cleanse-cation is a great choice. There are many wonderful spas throughout the country that offer week long cleansing programs that will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to get back to life with a new found zest.
How Often? The verdict is still out on this one. Many health experts say once per month is ideal, while other say that you should cleanse once with every change of seasons at the very minimum.