Well … it’s that time of year again … the transition after those New Years resolutions are starting to fizzle out. BUT summer is catching up to us quickly!!! The muffin tops are starting to return, the thighs are rubbing and your skin looks like an old ball of dough with the changing of season.
Everyone is taking measures to the extremes to get their booty in shape for summer … including me! “They say” everything in moderation, and that consistency is key… but let’s be serious – some of us want a kick in the A$$ to get us motivated! I have always been a drastic (and frankly dramatic person) so consistency and moderation has never been my thing. Starting in about September I realize hey no more bikinis so I chug the wine, slurp the spaghetti and skip the gym. By January and DEFINITELY February … today, I’m thinking WHOLY CRAP only 1 more months until the Mexico trip!!!!! AHHHH!!!!
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So, by now, I have ordered my juice cleanse, I would do ANYTHING for a freaking soda cracker and i’m offering myself all kinds of crazy deals to move my legs to the yoga studio. Is it the right way? Probably not…. but is everyone doing it??? Well you tell me!
So … I asked my cousin Tori, who just so happens to be an amazzzzing cook AND a Dietician to weigh in on this … and give us the low down on the best cleanses out there (IF YOU MUST! lol)…Take it from here Tori!!!!
Ah, the almighty cleanse! The promise of a clean, toxin-free body, flawless skin, clear mind, enhanced energy…the list goes on. And let’s face it, at this time of the year this sounds pretty good!
The sobering reality is that there is little to no solid evidence supporting the use of cleanses. Our body has a natural and powerful built-in process for getting rid of the bad stuff. However, as an open-minded dietitian, I also believe there may be something to be said for hitting the ‘reset’ button from both a mental and physical perspective (in a healthy way).
If you’re going on a cleanse, make sure that they pass the test based on these 5 criteria:
1. Say ‘NO’ to Starvation
Many cleanses essentially starve our bodies: this is not a good thing. Our bodies need fuel to operate, and there are some organs that won’t take no for an answer when it comes to nutrition (ie: our brains). When we don’t feed our body what it needs we actually self-digest to supply our critical organs with the much-needed fuel. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound healthy to me. Make sure that you are getting at least 1000 calories a day (or more depending on your size) and some protein along with it.
2. Don’t Go the Extra Mile
If you’re a go-getter you may be tempted to push yourself and choose a longer cleanse. Don’t do it. Restrictive cleanses shouldn’t last more than two or three days (ahem Dad, the cayenne pepper, lemon juice and honey cleanse for 14 days was not cool, sorry). Beyond that, your metabolic rate slows down and your body digests itself to get what it needs. The result? Once you start eating again you will quickly gain any lost weight back.
3. Drink up
Our body needs water for almost every function, including transporting the bad stuff out of our bodies. It’s old news but it works. Aim for 8-10 cups throughout the day.
4. If it Sounds too Good to be True…
There are a LOT of gimmicks out there (supplements, laxatives, etc.), and for the most part the only thing that gets cleaner when you buy them is the inside of your wallet. They may in fact be downright dangerous. Beware of crazy promises by manufacturers and never use colonic irrigation kits (they are NOT safe).
5. Make it Last
Many people view cleanses as a quick fix to try to undo long-term damage as a result of poor food choices, and then go back to their ‘normal’ (unhealthy) way of eating once it is done. Too bad our body doesn’t work that way. A healthier way to think about eating a clean diet is to make small, permanent changes, like eating more vegetables, drinking more water and cutting down on carbohydrates, sugar, caffeine and salt.
Top Cleanse Picks:
If I had to pick one, the Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse is A-OK with me. Real food. No nonsense supplements. I have created this Chia Pudding for you to see, this is a part of the cleanse!!! Get the recipe here.
As far as juice cleanses are concerned, they are not all created equal. If you go for this option, choose one that is shorter term and includes a source of protein such as the Juice Truck 3-Day Cleanse or The Juicery Co. warming detox!