If you're feeling less than anxious to throw on that bikini and head to the beach and anything like my friends you've definitely toyed with the idea of doing a cleanse. Sure, healthy dieting and exercising are an absolute must, but sometimes you just need a little jump-start. Since juicing and cleansing seem to be the new “black” this year, I turned to Nutritionist Heather Bauer, and Founder of Bestowed.com to get 411 on cleansing (the true benefits) and most honest tips for beginners.
What type of cleanses would you recommend for a first time "cleanser?"
If you're nervous about trying a cleanse I would recommend trying Organic Avenue. This cleanse gives you 3 - 4 juices throughout the day and then an actual meal for dinner - this way you are not going cold turkey. But if you're ready to go full force, the BluePrintCleanse is a great option. It's very easy to find (sold in Whole Foods) and they are sold separately so you can customize it according to which you like best.
What are the benefits of doing a cleanse?
Cleansing gets rid of all the unhealthy cravings that people have by eliminating caffeine, salt, white refined processed sugars etc. You lose a lot of water weight with a cleanse which makes people feel good and want to continue to eat healthy. It’s a great jump start to a healthier lifestyle.
Who are the right candidates for cleanses?
First and foremost, always check with your doctor first. Generally, a good candidate is someone who is busy and doesn't have time to cook and prepare lots of food. It's someone who feels unhealthy because they haven't been eating properly and is looking for a jump start to lose a good amount of weight.
What are the common side effects? Will I feel tired, hungry...?
All of the above. Modify the cleanse if it feels too aggressive. Try it on a weekend so it doesn't affect your current lifestyle. If you're an avid coffee drinker, incorporate a cup of green tea so it's not as difficult of a transition.
What's are some key ingredients in cleanses and how do they help?
Lettuce, celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, green apple, spinach, cashews, agave nectar and cinnamon are some common ingredients found in a lot of cleanses. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, nutrients, anti-oxidants, flavanoids, and enzymes that will gently rid your body of impurities, regain an alkaline balance and normalize digestion and metabolism.
How often can you do a cleanse?
This is where people go wrong because they do them too frequently. I wouldn't recommend doing a cleanse more than 2-3 times a year because you wont get optimal results.
Is there anything else I can do to achieve optimal results?
Don't overdo cleanses! Use the cleanse as a segue into healthier eating and an overall healthier lifestyle. Once you're done cleansing, concentrate on eating LESS caffeine, salt and white refined processed sugar and MORE lean proteins, fruits and veggies and healthy grains!