Do I need to give up coffee, alcohol, cigarettes, red meat, wheat, dairy etc. while doing these cleanses?
Ideally, yes! There are no real rules and whilst ideal, it’s a lot to do at once. For those new to cleansing, start by dropping one or two in the list or simply use the cleanse to feel better initially, before starting to give them up. Giving up the more addictive or toxic foods then becomes an easier task as time goes by. We often eat and drink what we know we shouldn’t because we feel lethargic, lacking in energy and may have low blood sugar. Not only this but if you are used to a diet high in saturated fats and sugar, “coming off” these can be extremely hard mentally as fats and sugars literally hard-wire and programme our brains into craving more of them. Keeping a “food journal” can help as it lays before our brain the reality of the situation. An initial cleanse can help to provide more energy and balance blood sugar and therefore make it easier to give up these foods later on. Each time you cleanse (and you can repeat the cleanse every few months) you can drop one or two more things.
What is really important?
Firstly, drinking water and taking some exercise. Water dilutes toxins and allows them to be flushed out, so without adequate water you are really wasting your time and probably just making yourself feel sick. It is also vital to make sure your bowels are moving to release those toxins quickly. Increase your water intake (to 2 litres a day, or more if your weight is higher than average) before altering your food patterns too drastically. Many people find even three days of high water intake really flushes out lots of toxins; this alone can give a slight headache or even a mucus discharge or raised glands. Should these symptoms occur, use Echinacea (root tincture 1:1 at 5mls x 3 or 4 daily), keep drinking the water and start the cleanse proper when the symptoms have subsided.
Will I lose weight?
A lot of toxins are stored in fatty tissue, so for those who are overweight this would be ideal. If you are at an ideal weight or even a little underweight and just want a detox, you will find that the cleanse simply keeps you at an ideal body weight and should not reduce your weight further. If you do lose a few pounds, they will come back on quickly once the cleanse has finished and you can always temporarily increase carbs after the cleanse to regain the weight.
If I feel odd, ill or sick during the cleanse what should I do?
Drink more water. Toxins may be backing up and this will help to move them on. Otherwise reduce the amount of herbs you take. Likewise check the bowels are emptying frequently enough – you don’t want toxins re-circulating in the body.. Fresh ginger tea will really help any nausea. If you feel really bad, then stop the cleanse and eat normally, which will shut down the cleansing process.
How do I make fresh ginger tea?
- Use ¾ oz (20g) of dried or 1 ½ oz (40g) of chopped fresh ginger root to 3 cups of cold water.
- Put the ginger and water in a saucepan and simmer on a very low heat for 20-30 minutes.
- Pour out a cup, then store the remainder in a cool place, or refrigerate if storing longer than a day.
Enjoy cleansing and remember to plan your cleanse well in advance to ensure it works well for you. Nurture yourself on all levels whilst performing the programmes.