A Fresh Take on Cleanses
It’s spring — and with warmer days come thoughts of the approaching swimsuit season. While there are various reasons to do a cleanse, you might be surprised to learn that weight loss doesn’t rank high among them. Most people lose an average of three-to-five pounds on a three-day cleanse, but the other benefits of cleansing, as I learned first-hand, were even more exciting. After cleansing, I felt amazing - the best I had in months. My skin was clear and bright. I had more energy than usual (no more afternoon drag). And I slept Ambien-free throughout the night! I also gained a new appreciation for every bit of food and drink I put into my body and the affect it had on my skin, mood, and energy level.
If you are considering a cleanse, you probably are aware that there are all types of cleanses out there, and many have similar principles — including how to prepare for your cleanse. A few days before you start, cut down on indulgences such as coffee, alcohol, sugar, meat and dairy — and increase intake of fresh fruit and veggies. Do the same post-cleanse, leaving meat and dairy as the last food groups to add back into your diet. Most cleansing programs recommend light exercise, yoga, sauna or massage to complement your cleanse. And, don’t worry — although you are cleansing, you can do so at work without fear of monopolizing the restroom!
Now that you are prepared, it’s time to select the cleanse that’s right for you. From do-it-yourself to delivery, there are plenty of options.
Juice cleanses are all the rage at the moment. Depending on where you live, they are offered for pick-up or delivery. They are delicious and simple because the thinking (and juice-pressing) has been done for you, and each bottle is clearly labeled with a number, telling you in what order the drinks should be consumed.
BluePrint Cleanse (BluePrintCleanse.com) is the original and definitely the gold standard of juice cleanses. BluePrint uses a nutritionally complete method of juice extraction that extracts threeto- five times more vitamins, minerals and enzymes than most juicers. They also offer three levels of cleansing, from beginner to expert - the Renovation, the Foundation, and the Excavation, respectively. I did the Renovation cleanse and was treated to six bottles of fresh fruit and vegetable juices. My daily menu consisted of delicious fresh juice concoctions (consumed in this order):
Pineapple, apple and mint
Tart and spicy lemonade
Carrot, apple, beet and ginger
Cashew nut milk with vanilla bean, cinnamon and agave.
I drink a lot of “the greens” powders, so I thought that the green drinks from BluePrint would be similar; however, the flavors of freshly pressed romaine, spinach, cucumber and parsley were extraordinary. The pineapple, apple and mint was delicious and refreshing. The lemonade was flavored with cayenne and agave - it would be perfect for use on the Master Cleanse. Finally, after a day of cleansing, the nut milk is such a treat — almost like a vanilla milkshake.
There are other popular juice cleanses that are similar to BluePrint, but with a few modifications:
Incorporates coconut water as one of its juices. CoolerCleanse.com
Red Carpet Cleanse
Changes the order of consumption, with a kale nut milk midday. RedCarpetCleanses.com
Is 100% organic and also offers a “Shred” component, which includes two pre- and post-workout juices, to better fuel those who want to continue working out hard during the cleansing process. RitualCleanse.com
Looking for a more DIY cleansing program? There are many powders and potions out there for you to mix yourself, but the best include:
David Kirsch’s 48 Hour Super Charged Cleanse
For two days, mix four ounces of the cleanse concentrate with four ounces of water and drink four times per day. It features top colon, kidney and liver cleansing antioxidants, such as milk thistle, acai berry and cranberry extract. DavidKirschWellness.com
GliSODin Skin Nutrients
This is a new nutricosmetic line of skincare formulations that enhances skin health and beauty from within by offering a natural, internal solution to healthy glowing skin, all while reducing accelerated aging. Who doesn’t need this? It’s formulated by top dermatologists and nutritionists from Paris and has a delicious berry flavor. Glisodinskin.com
A favorite of Gwyneth Paltrow, this is a three-week program that helps the body naturally heal itself and break old habits. The program includes a shake and supplements in the morning, a meal from the elimination diet and supplements midday, and a shake and supplements in the evening. Yes, you get to eat real food on this cleanse! The elimination diet removes foods that are known to cause food allergies and sensitivities, allowing the body to detox and repair. CleanProgram.com
If you can’t live without three meals (and dessert!) a day, try the seven-day detox program from 118 Degrees. Jenny Ross prepares gourmet, organic raw food that can be picked up three days a week from her restaurantat The Camp in Costa Mesa. Her food also is excellent in conjunction with any of the cleanses mentioned here, as pre- and post-cleanse food that is gentle on the system. If you can’t make it into her restaurant, you also can find her RAWbar liline at various Whole Foods in LA and OC. 118Degrees.com
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