- BE REASONABLE ~ being extreme is very rarely in ones best interest, keep in mind you have the rest of your life to change; in my experience slow and steady wins the race… Starting off with a 12 day master cleanse as your first cleanse experience is not a great option. Research and find a user friendly cleanse. The Wild Rose Detox split with a friend for 6 days works great. Another option people new to cleansing tolerate well is giving up sugar, wheat, booze, cigarettes, dairy & caffeine for 6 – 12 days. For rookies with strong addictions, pick just a few key items to eliminate, remember Rome wasn’t build in a day, so be sure to set your self up for success. I remember trying to give up smoking while doing the master cleanse…. Not pretty and completely unsuccessful… by day four of just lemonade I broke the cleanse by eating a wonder bar while smoking a cigarette.
- TIMIMG ~ set your self up to succeed: Family holidays are not good times to cleanse. Best to start a cleanse after the holidays, when you’ve had your fill of junk. Don’t choose the apple cleanse when apples are not in season. Try to cleanse in good weather when fresh produce is available. Choose a time when work and life stress are manageable, as you will not be functioning at 100 %. I generally feel that simple things are hard to remember while cleansing… For example in class the other day I couldn’t remember the name of a pose, that pose was table. Most cleanses will also leave you feeling more tired than usual, and if you are not a veteran to cleansing you may feel flu like symptoms the first few days.
- RECRUIT OTHERS ~ the more the merrier! Particularly people you live or work with. The more you surround yourself with positive influences the easier it will be. Being social while cleansing can be a real challenge, and is made easier with a cleanse team.
- WATER ~ assist your body in elimination of toxins by drinking as much water & herbal tea as possible. Flushing the system is a major function of a good cleanse. You’re going to pee an unconceivable amount while cleansing, so make sure your outings are bathroom friendly.
- ASSIST ELIMINATION ~ by using a laxative tea or a salt-water flush you will get more benefits from the cleanse and clean out your digestive tract. Most cleanse kits have included herbs, etc. for elimination… Personally I like Senna laxative tea or a salt-water flush. Be sure to consult an experienced yoga teacher or holistic health practitioner before you attempt a salt-water flush.
- STOCK UP ON FRIENDLY FOOD ~ A trip to the grocery store hungry is just asking for trouble… not only will the desire to cheat be incredibly strong but your decision making process is challenged when you are hungry, particularly on a cleanse. Before starting your cleanse, stock up on cleanse friendly foods that you like. I find having a big pot of soup around lowers my chances of cheating!
- SWEAT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE ~ be sure to take the time to hit a sauna and/or steam room. I find that a good sweat gets me through those first few days of discomfort caused by detoxing from addictive things like caffeine and sugar. I particularly like contrast therapy, which is going from hot to cold repeatedly (sauna to cold shower to sauna to cold shower…) helps to pump toxins out of your skin.
- AVOID EATING OUT ~ leave the house prepared with snacks, even when visiting a friend. Best to avoid restaurants all together… Even if you go to a restaurant for a tea and plain salad the temptation is too much for the mind to fight and chances are you will justify a cheat.
- IF YOU CHEAT DON’T GIVE UP ~ or beat yourself up. The old saying goes: ‘If you fall off the wagon, pick yourself up and get back on.’ Follow this motto to creating new positive habits. Don’t allow the expectation of perfection to sabotage your goal of making healthy changes.
- COME OFF SLOWLY ~ going for pizza or a burger to break your cleanse, though tempting, is not the best way to reintroduce your favorite foods back into your diet. Start slow with small amounts of the foods that were eliminated and keep 80% of your diet still cleanse friendly. Take a week to build up to your regular diet. Often the desire for certain foods will be reduced from having taken a break from your dietary routine. Try to maintain some of the good habits you have created on your cleanse. Be mindful to not overeat the items you had the most trouble eliminating. Were you addicted to coffee? If so, instead of your usual three cups a day, be present by drinking a big glass of water before savoring each sip of one cup of coffee.
The more you cleanse, the better you feel. Personally, I cleanse twice a year in the spring and end of summer. I like short, easy cleanses that bring my body back to balance. By curbing my addictions regularly, I am more conscious of what I put into my body. When I feel my habits rearing out of control, I take a few days off to cleanse.
Check out my selection of easy and tasty cleanse friendly recipe ideas on my blog. Good luck with your next detox cleanse!