This post goes out to all the attendees of Vida Vegan Con that ate too much Voo Doo Donuts, Coconut Bliss, Upton's Naturals and Sizzle Pie. I know if I had been there I likely would have temporarily kicked my gluten and soy-free diet to the curb and indulged, no matter how sick it made me! And like everyone else, I would have needed to cleanse when I returned - so here's how I would have done it in that hypothetical situation I so wish was a reality. : )
There are many ways to cleanse, and it really depends on 3 things:
- How long you want to do it for
- How easy you want it to be
- How much money you want to spend
The Easy But Pricey Way:
Buy a cleanse off the shelf at your favorite health food store. There are many options, some in powder form, some in pill form, all with different lengths of time involved. However, my experience with cleanse kits has been with small companies that aren't available in stores (yet), but are easily found online. I recommend:
The Inexpensive Yet Questionably Healthy Way:
I've done the Master Cleanse about 3 times, mainly as a challenge - as someone who loves food, it's really hard to fast on lemonade for 10 days! Each time I've really loved the experience and felt physically and emotionally cleansed and lost some weight, but most people can't make it past a few days or suffer from side effects like headaches and weakness. It doesn't cost much to do this cleanse because it involves living off water, maple syrup, lemon, and cayenne pepper. However, though it is popular, it's hard on your system and loading up on sugary syrup all day isn't so great for you. Ultimately, it's OK to do occasionally and for short periods of time if you're in good health overall, but there are much better options.
The Professional and Pricey Way
If you really want to do a cleanse with long term benefits and are willing to invest time and money, consult a professional - this is probably the most effective way to detox. My top recommendation is Rachel Avalon - she's based in Los Angeles but does phone consultations, and she is outstanding. This beautiful woman knows her stuff and has a gentle yet effective approach - she will customize the cleanse to your lifestyle and give you tips to last a lifetime. Three 60 minute consultations with her costs $350 total (and well worth it!).
A less expensive way to get professional help is to buy books. Though they won't be customized to your life specifically, you'll find lots of great advice. My favorite book right now is Crazy Sexy Diet - for $15 it's a no brainer.
The Natural Way
Ultimately I believe the best way to cleanse is to eat healthier. The time and price involved ranges from the quality of food you eat, where you get it from, and whether you make it yourself or buy it prepared. The length of time you do it for really depends on how quickly your body responds - you may even decide to adapt this way of eating permanently!
- If you ate too much sugar, drastically cut back on it or go without it (I've gone 2 months without any form of sugar, including fruit!).
- If you ate too many processed foods and empty carbs, go gluten-free and focus on whole foods. Maybe even try going raw, or mostly raw.
- If you ate too much fried food, take a break from salty and oily foods. Salads are great of course, but you can also whip up some incredible salt-free and oil-free dishes with ingredients like rice, beans, quinoa, and cooked vegetables.
- If you drank too much coffee, incorporate naturally energizing foods into your diet and have some herbal tea or Teeccino instead.
- Drink more water!
- Have more naturally detoxing foods, like coconut kefir, wheat grass, sea vegetables, garlic, ginger, etc.
A really natural way to cleanse is to do a juice fast - drink nothing but vegetable and fruit juice for at least a few days. Make sure you incorporate a wide variety of produce so you get lots of nutrients - this is my favorite green juice recipe. This can be relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself, and if you don't have a juicer already it's a great excuse to get one. You can also go to juice bars several times a day, but that will get expensive and you'll go through a lot of plastic cups.
Of course it's important to incorporate some exercise into your life at all times, especially when you've indulged in yummy junk food. Here are my favorite ways to work out:
What method of cleansing/detoxing have you found most effective? Share with me in a comment below