By: Chelsea Rae Burka
“I’m on a cleanse.”
Famous words out here in Los Angeles: if I had a dollar for every time I heard that sentence, especially on the west side, I could pay my rent (just kidding – Venice is still absurdly expensive.)
When I heard the words echoed by my close friend, Emily, I thought, oh why not. So she sent me a 7 day real-food cleanse. It seemed pretty reasonable since I could subsist on more than cucumber water. But it meant for seven days, I needed to be:
…Is this a cleanse or a death sentence? Coffee is at least 50 percent of my bloodstream and red wine, let’s just say we’re in a long-term, committed relationship.
But something in me felt inspired, peer-pressured or both to hop on the cleanse band wagon. Coming out on the other side, I can tell you it was worth it and fundamentally changed my relationship not only with food, but with my body and what I put in it.
Here’s some takeaways:
3 Benefits of doing a cleanse
- You reset your body
- The first day is tough, but you WILL feel better. Some of the effects are immediate. You’ll start going to the bathroom more. You won’t feel that gross, overly full feeling from foods laden with fillers, fat and sugar. I personally found I needed less sleep and woke up naturally. And overtime, you will lose excess weight, clear acne, and improve your quality of life as you break free of self-destructive food habits and addictions.
- You eat less because you realize you need less
- The reality of your current diet is that you are likely taking in way more calories and chemicals than you ever need. Even when you think you are eating “healthy.” A huge misconception about cleanses is that you’ll be starving. I was amazed to find how much less hungry I was, on less food. The difference is I was only taking in wholesome nutrients which sustained me much longer than processed junk.
- You remove habits that do not serve you
- Personally, the deepest benefits I experienced were psychological. You examine your habits and ask, why am I doing this? One habit I noticed in myself was a tendency to overeat. I thought back to my childhood, and how I would be yelled at if I did not eat everything on my plate. I was constantly called, “too skinny.” And so subconsciously, I’m sure over the years I developed a habit of overeating as a way to please the people around me. Mere awareness of this habit has changed my behavior, and now I only feel the need to eat until I’m full.
- Whichever cleanse you follow, incorporate chlorella
- Chlorella is a blue-green algae that is known to support healthy hormonal function, promote cardiovascular health, and for purposes of your cleanse – aid in the detoxification of our bodies.
- My morning concoction was chlorella powder mixed with aloe juice, lemon and a hint of maple syrup to not make it taste totally horrific. If I was feeling spicy, I’d had a hint of cayenne and turmeric, which are known to boost metabolism and reduce inflammation. I also took probiotics and a digestive enzyme. I’ll spare the details, but my digestive system has never thanked me more. What’s even better is two weeks since ending the cleanse, I’m happy to say I’ve replaced my morning coffee ritual with my chlorella one.
- Have an accountability sister(s)
- Just like workout partners help us stay committed to fitness, a cleanse buddy will help you stay committed to conscious eating. I did this with two of my friends and it made all the difference. We kept a group chat going to share recipes, tips and challenges. Having someone to talk about all the changes with was even more motivating.
- If this is your first time, try Bridget Auerbach’s “Crush & Glow” program
- You eat real food. My daily diet consisted of oatmeal for breakfast, a salad or soup for lunch, and (approved) grains + steamed veggies for dinner.
- She provides amazing, practical tips daily and her booklets are so well designed and easy to follow, which is key for first-timers. They include recipes, shopping lists (including digital ones that directly link to sites like Amazon) and favorite brands. It’s dummy-proof, and it’s free.
- She is building a (female) community around conscious, clean eating with practices, tips and recipes you can incorporate into your life well after the cleanse ends, like “How to detox and cleanse during everyday life” and recipes for guilt-free fudge.
So honor yourself sisters and take a week for a reset. What takes a week of investment and slight discomfort could yield a lifetime of changes as you step into the beautiful world of conscious living. Thrive on.
**DISCLAIMER: neither author nor Wild Vessel and it’s affiliates intend to represent themselves as medical health professionals. Opinions expressed in this article represent solely that of the author, and should not substitute for professional medical health care advice. Consult a doctor before making any nutritional or dietary changes, or if you have any health related questions or concerns.