During this time of new beginnings, usually following decadent jubilation, people often feel the urge to cleanse their systems. The mere thought of days of deprivation and unappealing foods, not to mention the time commitment, can make most people block out the idea. But a cleanse can represent a host of different approaches, and should certainly be tailored to suit everyone. A cleanse is usually often a limited time regimen, where your intake is mostly pre-determined and you simply follow the instructions. But what happens at the end of that? Why not, instead, really think about your dietary habits and, if you find some room for improvement, make it so it creates a lasting positive health change?
Some examples of change might be: eliminating a craving for a not-so-healthy food, improve the overall quality of diet by finding substitutions foods that don’t offer substantial nutrients, increase fiber or hydration, or improve gut health.
If you have cravings to shed, you should think about why you tend to have a lot of that certain food – does it satisfy an instinct? Is it convenient? Is it all around you? Identifying why we eat more of a food will help to find the right solution – if it makes us feel good, what other ways can we find to relax, or increase energy? If it’s a boredom thing, make sure to not have it around when you are otherwise unoccupied. If it’s a matter of convenience, take some time to plan a better alternative, throwing together a quick lunch for the next day is easy while you’re prepping dinner the night before. Or look for alternatives wherever you frequent for lunch.
Making a substitution for an unhealthy food might simply mean making a healthier version of it at home from whole foods (even cookies – made at home with non-GMO ingredients and half the sugar). It’s still a positive change!
If you aren’t well hydrated, contemplate ways to get water with flavor….teas, infusions (great little infuser bottle can be found @ http://danumgear.com), even low-sugar, all-fruit juice with a few drops of stevia or lo han, all jazz up the taste buds and bring much needed lubrication to the body!
And gut health…plenty of supplements can be instrumental in improving this, from digestive enzymes and betaine hydrochloride, to herbs to soothe irritation, to probiotics to improve intestinal lining performance, which affects total body health. If you prefer to address this from a dietary standpoint, foods such as apple cider vinegar, fermented foods, licorice, soothing teas, can all play a role in improving your body’s ability to break down, absorb, and utilize the good foods you are eating.
Now, about cleansing, reliable data does show that a properly formulated regimen truly can improve markers of liver enzyme function and detoxification, intestinal wall health, and control of cravings. If you are looking for a kick start to a new way of eating, then a cleanse may well be a good way to springboard into it. Make sure you find a regimen that will support your system with nutrients such as the B Vitamins (including folate, not folic acid), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium.
Or, if you’ve been feeling great, maybe your resolve will simply be to continue on your healthy path. Whichever route works best for you, if you have any thoughts or questions don’t hesitate to stop by and talk to our pharmacist to discuss!