Managing Toxic Body Burden Part 4: How to Cleanse
This is the final Toxic Body Burden Post! If you've missed parts 1-3 here are the links:
What kind of feelings come up for you when you think about putting your body through a cleanse or detox? You might feel hesitant and afraid of unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, increased and urgent bowel movements, and fatigue.
I'm with you 100%! I avoided doing a cleanse for YEARS because I was so fearful of how I would feel. Until I learned that it doesn't have to be unpleasant, you don't have to starve and be cranky, and you don't have to send your friends away.
Here's what I've learned about cleansing by following the Medical Medium protocol (I am in no way affiliated with Medical Medium, I am simply sharing my personal experience. I receive no compensation for sharing my positive results).
1. do not starve yourself-eat, eat eat!
It's true I've cut out many things such as meat and most of the fat I was eating, but I've added an incredible amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
Actually, I'm pretty much just eating fruits and vegetables. And let me be the first to tell you as a former Paleo dieter, I never would have thought in a million years that eating only fruits and vegetables would satiate me. But they do, and I feel great.
The trick is, to eat A LOT and often. I elaborate on this in number 4.
2. Allow your intuition to come through
No two people experience detox with exactly the same symptoms, for the exact same time period, or with the exact same intensity.
It's crucial that you listen to and learn the cues your body is giving you. Common symptoms of detox can be fatigue, increased bowel movements, headaches, skin reactions, and bloating.
However, if these symptoms get to be too intense, back off what you're doing a little bit. Slow down the detox. Replace a raw food meal with a meal of cooked food.
One of the most common intuitions is knowing what you want to eat (not cravings, see below). I'm talking about intuitive eating. When you're preparing your meal and you're searching the pantry and refrigerator, just using the ingredients that jump out at you. Or while shopping for fruits and veggies... which are jumping out at you? These will be the most nourishing to you at the moment because you're using your own intuition to feed yourself and give your body what it's asking for.
3. Know the difference between a craving and intuitive eating.
Now that you understand intuitive eating better, let's compare that to a craving. A craving is urgent. I will just die if I don't have such and such. Generally, a craving is something that's not very good for us. A savory, fatty, comfort food, something salty and crunchy, or a sweet, luscious, decadent dessert are usually what's calling our name.
When you have that kind of craving while doing a cleanse, DO NOT GIVE IN! You're having the craving because those are the toxins associated with that food that is trying to exit your body. They're causing your body to crave it so it can stay and not be eliminated. But let me tell you, once you eliminate it, you will never have the craving again. Be strong. On the other side of that craving is less bloating, less water weight, and an increase in intuitive eating.
4. What to eat when cleansing
Fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and wild foods. These are the '4 food groups' that Medical Medium discusses in Life Changing Foods. I noticed that when I changed my diet to incorporate more of these foods, I was cleansing in a healthy way. I'm not on a cleanse per se, nor is this book advertised as a cleanse. It's just a natural result of eating this way.
So what is recommended by Medical Medium to eat?
Fruit: mango, papaya, bananas, apples, oranges, berries (especially wild blueberries, not cultivated), kiwi, pears, grapes, etc.
Vegetables: GREENS and more greens (keep 'em varied), cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, sweet potatoes and potatoes (yes potatoes, just steam them and don't add any fat which keeps the liver from cleansing and the liver is ESSENTIAL to cleansing).
Herbs and spices: parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, sage, turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc.
Wild foods: FRESH aloe vera (buy the big leaf in the produce section), dulse and other sea vegetables, chaga mushroom, raw honey, dandelion and nettle.
This is a VERY abbreviated list of the possibilities there are to eat within these four groups. It doesn't sound like a lot of food, but believe me... there truly is!
Some have chosen to continue to eat beans, lentils, and some nuts and seeds while cleansing. Adding them will certainly slow down a cleanse, while eliminating them will speed up a cleanse.
5. Smoothies and Juicing
Smoothies are a great way to have a snack while on a cleanse. You can add your desired superfood powders, add more greens in like spinach, and increase your fruit intake (especially those nutrient rich wild blueberries!).
Juicing is taking a cleanse one step further. Those really advanced with cleansing will sometimes do a 3 day juice fast- I have not yet got to that point! However, beginning with 6-8oz of a juice and working your way up to 16 oz of any juice is a great way to add juicing to your regimen. A mix of celery, cucumber, and apple is a nice juice for either novice or pro.
6. Raw vs Cooked
The more raw food included on a cleanse, the more cleansing can occur. The more cooked food, the slower the cleanse. Some days I'll eat raw all day and have a cooked dinner. There are a couple of days during the week when I'm feeling particularly good and I'll choose to have a raw dinner. Again, this can be based on intuitively what you're feeling.
Does decreasing your toxic body burden seem more doable now? I certainly hope so. Providing your body with an increase in phytonutrients and enzymes will deeply nourish your body on a cellular level and aid your body's ability to remove toxic substances.
For more information, please contact me here.
To your health and healing,