Throughout my studies of Holistic Nutrition the disease prevention attributes of fasting, cleansing and detoxifying programs is continually acknowledged. So, for my 34th birthday, I decided to give myself a gift; a three-day birthday cleanse. Three days to myself, to focus on my physical, mental and spiritual being.
Why do people cleanse?
Cleansing is the perfect answer for anyone who needs motivation to start down a more nutritionally healthy path. Physically, the process helps clear us congestion, illnesses, and disease potential. Often people feel lighter and more energetic after a cleanse which can inspire them towards continued healthy changes. The process is rejuvenating and preventative. As doctor Elson M. Hass puts it, “taking a break from things is a great way to assess our relationship to them”. During the process of cleaning out, avoiding and eliminating comes the chance to assess old habits and create new healthier habits that can transform you physically and spiritually. On a spiritual level, many people claim to find clarity or a greater sense of purpose.
I would suggest anyone looking to embark on a cleanse first ask yourself, ‘why? ‘Why do you want to do a cleanse? And what are you hoping to achieve? Answering these questions will create a basis for what you are doing and you are much more likely to follow through. Three day detoxes are a great start, but it’s the evaluation of your habits and making long term changes that you will really benefit from.
How to do a cleanse?
A cleansing program comes down to habits, and the longer you can stick to a cleanse the better chance you have of altering your negative habits. You might think doing a cleanse means going to the store and spending thirty dollars on a ‘Detox kit’, taking a couple pills and avoiding certain foods for a certain amount of time, but the real goal of cleansing is to clear out old toxins and start fresh with new habits and healthy changes. You are cleaning out the old to make room for the new, not to simply replenish your body with newer versions of the junk you just detoxed a couple days later. Cleansing and Detoxifying programs have become a billion-dollar industry and the kits you can buy in the store claim to help you cleanse within couple of days by taking a few pills that will rid your body of toxins. There is some merit to these kits and they are probably more helpful than not doing anything at all, but as with everything there is not a one size fits all approach. We are all incredibly different individuals with different backgrounds, stresses and genetics and we need to tailor our cleanse to our lifestyle. The key to a good cleanse is to individualize your program to your personal needs.
Below, I briefly outline what I did and encourage everyone to create their own plan.
Simple Authentic Wellness 3 Day Birthday Cleanse:
Vitamins & Supplements:
This part of the process will be very different for everyone. My goal with this was to eliminate the external distractions and allow myself to focus on a few things that bring me great joy.
1. Unplug: Turn off your cell phone and refrain from using social media. If there is anyone who might worry if you don’t respond right away, make sure to notify them of what you are doing.
2. Read & Write: With work and school, I find it hard to find time to read something just out of pleasure, so I decided I was going to focus my three days on reading a book that during a normal busy day I would not have had time for. Also, writing is something I enjoy. It doesn’t really matter what I am writing about, essentially it is a calming and relaxing practice for me.
With our busy twenty first century lives, it’s important to take a break from everything around us and reconnect with ourselves. The daily bombardment of toxins we experience due to air, water and electromagnetic pollution, not to mention the plethora of toxins we take in from our food, and personal hygiene products requires that we cleanse and detoxify to maintain health. There are more elements to a cleansing program than simply avoiding food and eliminating bodily toxins. There are emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects that you can incorporate into the days you have designated as ‘cleansing’ days.