Cleanse diets have been a part of my healthy lifestyle for about 7 years. While I was a student at Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2007, I slowly started making changes to my diet and lifestyle. The results I got from each change would vary, sometimes I'd see a change within a few days and other things took months to make a difference. As I studied more dietary theories and experimented with cleanse diets, it really started to accelerate my health transformation.
So Many Cleanse Diets
There are so many different kinds of cleanse diets. Some of the classics are the Master Cleanse or the Cabbage Soup Diet, also there are vegan and Ayurvedic cleanses, and more recently popular are juice cleanses. I've done all of these cleanse diets [and more].
Each cleanse diet I tried gave me varying results, I loved some of them and hated others. There was even one cleanse diet I couldn't finish because I got massive headaches. Experiencing each of these cleanse diets has been a valuable experience for me. The best part is that I've been able to pick out pieces from each cleanse and incorporate them into my own regular cleansing practice.
How I Know it's Time to Cleanse
The best thing to do is to actually do a cleanse at the same time each year. This way you always know when you will do it and it is a part of your yearly routine. It never seems to work out exactly the same time of year for me because my life is ever-changing but there are some cues I get from my body that let's my know it's time.
- Exhaustion – If I start to have a regular period of time where I am feeling depleted of energy for no reason (meaning I'm getting enough sleep), then I know it's time.
- Digestive Issues – This may come in many different forms for each person. For some it's acid reflux or indigestion, it could be constipation or diarrhea, or for others it could be nausea or a bloated belly.
- Skin Breakouts – After cleaning up my diet years ago, I haven't had to worry much about breakouts on a regular basis (it used to be a daily stress factor for me!). If there is a time when I start to see issues with my skin, I know it's time for a reset. This can come in different forms for everyone, it could acne, eczema, roseacea, itchy red skin, etc.
Another possible sign you need a cleanse is if you are experiencing repeated illness. If you keep getting colds, the flu, stomach viruses, or have repeated rashes then this is also a clear sign a cleanse would be beneficial.
Results to Expect from Cleanse Diets
Now that I've got my cleansing method down to a routine, I know what results to expect. Sometimes during I cleanse I have days that I feel even worse – more tired and sluggish digestion. Once I've gotten through the rough part I am always so glad I did. After finishing a cleanse for at least 7-14 days I feel lighter, less bloated, full of energy, and my skin is clear and bright.
Many people follow cleanse diets with the intention of losing weight. This certainly can be a result (and it has been for many of my clients who have cleansed with me) but it's not my goal. You may have your own goals and reasons for going on a cleanse diet. My goal is to feel and look better after a cleanse, and I'm never disappointed.
Following Through on Cleanse Diets
Once you've determined it's time to cleanse, the next challenge is actually doing it and completing it. In an upcoming blog post I am going to talk about this in detail. I'll talk about how to make sure you accomplish a cleanse in a practical way.