March 25, 2013 § 1 Comment
Recently my hubby and I have decided to enter the world of “cleansing”, or as some might know it, de-toxing. As we quickly discovered upon a quick googling exercise, there is a grand selection of various cleanses a person can do. Upon recommendation from our osteopath, who has seen great results in his cleanses, we embarked upon a liver cleanse.
Despite the teasing I received from my girlfriends who inquired why we needed a liver cleanse (“hittin’ the red wine a little harder these days, are ya?”) we jumped in with both feet. Now, in my very non-medically-qualified way, I will explain to you that the liver is a tremendously important organ, which among other things, has ownership of clearing out all things toxic from our bodies. As all the blood in our bodies pass through the liver at some point, this faithful organ of ours removes any toxins and stuff that is no-longer-useful. And because the liver is so intricately connected to our body’s core, it can impact many other aspects of our bodies. All around a good place to start when trying to improve one’s health, right?
The point of our particular cleanse was to give our liver a mini-vacation by removing anything antagonistic from our diet. This allows the liver to focus less on its daily routine, and shift its attention to clearing out any build up of toxins that might have accumulated. So that included:
White flour, rice
Night shades (potatoes, peppers)
(We did very well on all of these except for soy, which we forgot about frequently)
Oh, and no eating after 7pm. And drink 3-5L of water per day. And exercise. And take epsom salt baths. And get 8 hours sleep every night. And take probiotics, fish oil and Fluxobile every day. And last but not least, meditate. (We were somewhat less successful on these.)
We decided to do this for three weeks.
We were told that the first couple days would be rough. That we might encounter a feeling of being unwell, experience some diarrhea, and generally feel hung-over. But then, oh then you will feel SO GOOD! The excitement in the voices of the multiple people who assured us how good we would feel really raised the bar for us, reassuring us that there would be gratification for our efforts.
We are now finished with our three weeks, and here are the top ten things I have learned:
- I love carbs. Never again in my life do I wish to life without them.
- Preparing delicious food for your children while you are on a cleanse is not recommended, especially if it’s really your will-power, not your liver, that needs the cleanse.
- Coconut milk ice cream is delicious and a welcome alternative to dairy
- Cleanses can be expensive. Probiotics, fish oil and Fluxobile (the herbal stimulant we drank each morning for our biliary functioning) can add up.
- There are a surprising number of options available for people who cannot eat gluten, wheat and dairy. It was an education and an adventure discovering new retailers and food aisles that offered these products. Did you know you can get gluten free, wheat free, dairy free brownies? Didn’t get the opportunity to try it (yet), but was impressed nonetheless!
- Almond milk is pretty good!
- You definitely need to do a cleanse with a partner, preferably one that is strong in areas that you are weak (my husband cut back on carbs long ago). I would have failed on day 3 had I not had his support.
- Weight loss is a nice added benefit of a cleanse (and of generally eating better, exercising and getting enough sleep as it turns out…who knew?).
- Snacks are important. Be prepared with lots of cleanse-approved snacks on hand. I was always hungry.
- The primary thing I have learned from this experience is that I cannot live without joy in my eating. It is not enough to know that it is a healthier choice…it must be tasty.
So you’re all wondering, did it work? And I wish I knew. I’ll be honest and say that we were both underwhelmed with the “SO GOOD” everyone promised us we would feel. We definitely had our first few days of the hung-over feeling and accompanying symptoms, but after that first week, we felt about normal. I kept asking my husband, “where’s the magic?” Granted, we were a little light on the exercise, and equally so on the full night’s sleep, which I am confident would have made an impact.
But in the words of our osteopath, “No matter what you feel happened, or didn’t happen on your cleanse, you should be reassured that you have done something healthy for yourselves and those habits are never bad ones to have.”
True enough. Now pass the brownies, please 🙂