Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Time for a Cleanse!

By Amy Phillips-Gary

Have you ever felt like you simply needed a fresh start?

If so, a cleanse might be just the thing for you. A cleanse is usually a defined period of time during which you give your system a break from your usual habits or even try out new ones.

Cleanses usually revolve around diet and the digestive system. They sometimes involve fasting and other times a significant change in what is eaten. They can also center on emotions, thinking and spiritual practice.

For the next two weeks I'll be doing a dietary cleanse. During that time, I'll eat a vegan, wheat-free diet. I'm also taking an oxygenating supplement that will help me move out those toxins and clear the way for a healthier system.

I know many people who have done cleanses. I've tried many different types myself. There are about as many ways to do a cleanse as there are reasons for it.

At the root of a cleanse is usually a desire, on the part of the cleanser, to make a change-- to let go of old limiting habits and develop some new ones.

Cleansing the body
A dietary cleanse gives your digestive system a break from your usual way of eating. It might last for a day, a few of weeks or even longer.

After a dietary cleanse, the person might choose to continue aspects of the cleanse diet or may decide to gradually return to his or her customary ways of eating.

Some people cleanse primarily to lose weight. Others might be most focused on boosting the health of their major organs and bodily systems. Still others cleanse with a spiritual or social intention as their motivation.

Fasts or Juice Fasts: Several cleanses involve some form of fasting, choosing not to eat food for a period of time. The fast, according to proponents, helps the digestive system rest and the colon, kidneys and liver can be more easily be cleared of toxins.

Juices, herbs and supplements as well as plenty of water are usually consumed during these types of cleanses in order to keep the body hydrated and energized.

Fasting should be done with care and research. If you are interested in a fasting cleanse, compare various products and methods. Read about what others have experienced when cleansing in this way and decide if it is a fit for your life and body.

Food Cleanses: Making a sometimes radical change in what and how you eat can also be a cleanse. Set aside a particular time frame and use that cleanse as an experiment to see how you feel eating in this different way.

Herbs, vitamins and supplements are also available to assist with these types of cleanses.

There are literally hundreds of ways to do a food cleanse. You might decide to cut out all refined sugars for a period of time for example. Or you could choose to switch to a vegetarian diet as your cleanse. Some people eat alkalizing foods and avoid those that increase acidity in the body.

Do your research and set up a plan and time frame for yourself.

No matter which type of dietary cleanse you try, it might help you to be aware of the possible de-toxing effects you could experience. These are different for everyone.

Cleanse with positive intentions

No matter what type of cleanse you decide upon, I encourage you to pay attention to your intentions and motivations.

Line up your attitude and energy with a sense of what you want and the choices and possibilities before you rather than with a fear for “what will happen if I continue in this way”.....

Get curious about which new habits help you feel better.

Rather than, “I am not allowing myself to eat refined sugar because it is bad for me and I am overweight,” try “I am choosing not to eat refined sugar, for example, because I am curious about how I might feel as a result.”

A cleanse may just be the change of pace and break from the usual that your body is craving. When you infuse your cleanse with positive intentions, the effects can extend to your mind and even soul as well.

Decide what kind of experience you want and create a plan for yourself. Stick with it and celebrate your movement toward a clearer, healthier you.

More information on cleansing and examples:
General information about fasting and juice fasting

The Master Cleanse

Blessed Herbs Cleanse

General information about dietary/food cleansing

Acid-Alkaline foods and diet information

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