While virtually every scientific study on the subject will tell you that any sort of detox diet is essentially pointless because our colon, kidneys, and liver naturally remove toxins from the body all on their own, I’ve personally found great benefit from completing a cleanse from time to time.
I’m not in the juice cleanse camp, but I am in the camp of taking a critical look at your diet, eliminating the obvious things that we know are bad for us (alcohol, sugar, refined carbs, processed foods), limiting foods that we know are more difficult to digest (dairy, gluten, meat), and upping what you know you should be eating more of (vegetables, vegetables, vegetables).
For me, when I find myself way off track with my diet, I know that moderation isn’t the answer—I have to get strict before I can make space for leniency. This is where a cleanse can be really helpful. Awesome if it kickstarts some additional detoxification, but what I’m really looking for is a diet-boot-camp, a clean-eating plan that will help to steer me back to positive eating habits.
The first cleanse I ever tried was a short 3-day plan that I pulled out of an old Body + Soul Magazine (which was the best magazine ever) and it was good, but not quite long enough for me to feel any real effect. For those of you who read my old blog, 12 Months of Lent, you might remember when I did Whole Living Magazine’s 21-Day Detox, which was great, but a little too long to be practical. So, this time around, I was really excited to find this 7-day Ayurvedic cleanse because it seemed just the right length for me to get some sort of benefit without having to abandon my normal life entirely. Win!
Now that I’m on the other side of the cleanse, I have to say, it was kind of amazing. I was in rough shape before I started: achy with crazy tight muscles, constant brain fog, weakened immune system (I got sick 3 times this season which is so unusual for me), ongoing hormonal issues, tired, irritable, basically just feeling BAD. By the end of the 7 days, I literally felt like a new human being. I was bright-eyed and beaming, feeling lighter and more clear-minded than ever—and I had lost 5 lbs to boot. Wow.
So, 10/10 would recommend, and I will 100% do it again. Ayurveda recommends cleansing in both the Spring and Fall, and having been through it once now with success, I think it’s something that I’d like to work into my regular self-care practice. Here’s a great article on Ayurvedic Cleansing for anyone who’s interested in learning more.
What now? I’ve been carefully reintroducing “regular” foods back into my diet over the past week, being more cautious and conservative than I typically am (while still allowing for cheats here and there because I am a human being who enjoys worldly pleasures) so that I can maintain this post-cleanse feeling for as long as possible. It’s a slippery slope though, I’m hoping to stay strong through a busy May with a few big trips, but for now, I’ll continue enjoying the afterglow.