Coming Clean on Cleanses (plus a special offer)by Elise Museles
The other day I walked into yoga and my friend who follows the most natural and clean diet said, “with fall in the air and the change of seasons, I am ready to try a cleanse.” She wanted my opinion. I then was in the grocery store and ran into a client who told me that she was on a three-day cleanse to help her reset and reestablish the (forgotten) habits she had learned during our work together. An email came in from another client who was feeling a little blue asking about a cleanse that might help lift her spirits. Then, a Twitter follower tweeted seeking my advice on a cleanse that she could do while still maintaining her exercise routine.
What struck me is that suddenly people were not just interested in “doing a cleanse”, but rather they were thinking about cleanses that suited their personal needs and worked with their lifestyle. In the old days, avid cleansers changed their schedules to be able to cleanse. The new paradigm is to make the cleanse fit the cleanser’s existing routine, not the other way around. They want to cleanse, but cleanse their way.
Just like one particular diet doesn’t work for everyone, or the latest pair of trendy jeans may fit your BF like a glove and make you look distorted, there is no “one size fits all” way to cleanse. A cleanse is personal. As “cleansing” and “detoxing” have gained popularity, so, too, have the different approaches.
As if we need one more area to add confusion to the ever-conflicting world of nutrition and dietary theories.
To dispel some myths and shed light on the evolving world of cleansing, I decided to call in a panel of pros to make sense of what is happening now, why people are cleansing and what type of cleanse works best. Whether you are looking for a fresh start, a means to promote weight loss, to improve your digestion, support to reduce toxic build up, or to satisfy your curiosity, how do you determine which cleanse is right for you?
Need answers? Read on to get perspectives from a renowned integrative physician, my go to national delivery juice company (which makes the best green juice ever) and a holistic nutritionist who is a cleanse expert. I asked each of them to offer some words of wisdom on what shifts they are seeing in the cleansing world and whether they have any advice for people who want to understand how to pick the most appropriate approach to satisfy their cleansing needs.
Dr. Chutkan, an enlightened physician who practices what she preaches, sees patients daily who oftentimes seek her medical opinion on cleansing in addition to suggestions for safe ways to release toxins.
Dr. Chutkan: As an integrative gastroenterologist, I frequently get asked about the pros and cons of cleansing. Amongst my patients, there seem to be three general reasons that attract people to the idea of doing a cleanse: weight loss, improving their health, and spiritual rejuvenation. A cleanse can accomplish all three, but so can a more gentle and gradual approach that involves eating a plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables; avoiding too much processed food, animal protein and sugar; drinking lots of water, and getting regular vigorous exercise as well as plenty of rest. The less toxic our lifestyle, the less need there is for cleansing, detoxification, or medication. Still, for many people a careful and well thought out cleanse can be the gateway to a healthier lifestyle – a physical and spiritual new beginning of sorts.
I did my very first juice cleanse with Ritual, and was originally drawn to them because they are the only juice cleanse on the market that includes the fitness-friendly component (called Shred) which ensures clients a healthy level of nutrition for continued workouts. Additionally, they had the most amazing customer service to answer my very detailed line of questioning. (Yes, it’s all organic. Yes, the juices are all cold-pressed. And, yes, they use lots of greens in their green juice…over 3 pounds of produce in each bottle of juice to be precise.). I’ve been a devoted customer ever since, which might have something to do with why they are offering the Kale & Chocolate community 20% off all orders through September 10, 2012. Use the code KEReset.
Here is what Lori and Marra had to say about the growing demand for custom cleanses and juice programs:
Ritual Cleanse: Although we designed our signature Ritual Reset Cleanse to work and appeal for most people, we do recognize that some people have different needs. For instance, one client may have a nut allergy and want to replace the cashew milk with a lavender lemonade. Another client may prefer to have fresh coconut water in their pre workout juice because they plan to really sweat with an intense sprint workout. And, as we have an increasing demand for customers who want to make their own unique cleanse, we have plans to add several new flavors to give even more options for customizing.
The introduction of Ritual Juice (a program to order daily juice instead of a full on cleanse) has given our cleanse customers a way to continue consuming all of the great benefits from the live enzymes and nutrients in cold pressed organic juices, even when they are not cleansing. As we age, our bodies produce less enzymes and it becomes increasingly important to get them from the foods we eat, to help prevent disease and fight the effects of aging. A bottle of green juice will go more toward combating wrinkles than expensive face cream!
I checked in with my nutritional soul mate and Cleanse Expert, Elissa Goodman, who creates custom food-based cleanses to shed some light on what is happening NOW and the shifts she has seen in the cleansing community.
Elissa: When cleanses and detoxes first became trendy, they were pitched as these scary, boot camp style regimens. The person cleansing had to starve and punish their bodies into renewing itself. Today, things are different. I see cleansing as something that can be done in baby steps- as a progression towards a healthier lifestyle.
I recommend beginning each day with a green juice or smoothie as that alone will start the detoxification process in your body. You can make your own smoothies and juices simply by blending kale, romaine, spinach, celery, cucumber, parsley, lemon, ginger and anything else that appeals to you. I caution people against creating juices and smoothies that are too sugary and advise cleansers to stick with lower glycemic fruits and vegetables. I also suggest eating more raw foods and salads. Little tweaks can yield big results. When I design cleanses, they are not just juice- I believe in a cleanse program which includes juices as well as raw foods. When you move towards a diet with more raw foods you are cleansing and your body will change. You will feel cleaner, more vibrant and energized.
Awesome advice from Dr. Chutkan, Ritual Cleanse and Elissa!
So, before you just order a cleanse in a kit or decide to try the latest and greatest, take the opportunity to think about YOU. Reflect on your intentions: What is your primary goal for this cleanse? Are you dealing with any health concerns? If so, have you checked with your doctor about whether a cleanse is right for you? What are your physical, mental and spiritual reasons? As you explore the growing world of cleansing whether it is a three day, one week, month long or a shift to permanent detoxifying habits, establish your own set of rules, and come clean with a cleanse YOUR WAY.
Question of the day: What’s your personal way to cleanse? Share your favorite experiences below.