Do Cleanses’ and Detox’s really work? - May 3rd, 2010

Over the past year I have had many clients ask me about my opinion on various cleanses’ and detox’s.  I am still doing my homework, but one thing I do know is how you can make a very bad decision with some of the paraphernalia that is out there right now.  I know there are many things available over the counter that entice the average consumer to “be healthy” or “jump start” like the Jillian Michael’s Detox and Cleanse.  I know a small handful of people that have done significant long term damage to their colons by the decisions they made in regards to their “cleanse” or “detox”.  To be on the safe side, ask your doctor about any form of cleanse before you do it.

From my perspective the whole goal of a cleanse or detox is to start fresh and make sure you body is getting what it needs.  One of the many reasons we decide to do this is because we know we don’t eat well on a regular basis, so rather than trying better habits, many just go out and find OTC “flush” that will “fix” all their bad decisions.

My suggestions is to do something that is food based for a “cleanse” rather than chemical.   I know some people who have done a fruit and veggie only kick for several days.  The motivation being to give their body what is desires and thus hoping their bodies will respond better afterward.  My concern with that type of program is that your body is not getting enough protein.  When you don’t get enough protein, your body is smart and will find a way to get it.  This usually occurs by using your own muscles as protein to fuel your body.  Do you realize how long it takes to get lean muscle tissue on your body?  Why then would you allow your body to “eat” your muscles for protein?  I would much rather find a way to have an extremely nutrient dense form of a “cleanse” that will keep my body from “eating” my muscle: a VERY expensive fuel.

My favorite cleanse of sorts thus far is the Shakeology 3-day cleanse.  It is not really a “cleanse” at all, but rather a way of eating healthy for 3 days while getting highest level of nutritional concentration possible.  My husband and I drink Shakeology once a day (in a variety of recipes) because it helps us get the greens we need that we lack on regular basis.  It has a quality amount of protein and other excellent nutrients that are truly hard to pass up.

What is allowed for the 3 days cleanse:

3 Shakeology shakes per day
2 cups of green tea or black coffee per day
1 or 2 pieces of fruit per day
1 salad for dinner with poultry or white fish
No dairy or extra sugars (this includes almond and soy milk)
Drink 2-4 liters of water every day
Only use low-fat dressings and go easy on the salt/pepper to taste

View The Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse

You’ll be eating frequently and consuming between 800 and 1,200 calories per day, and it could be even more should you feel the need. The point of this cleanse is not calorie restriction, but rather  nutrient efficiency. The aim is to get the most nutrients possible into the fewest number of calories. The goal is to put all of these calories to use as a part of your exercise program, to rid your body of undigested foods and toxins, and to bring your hydration levels into homeostasis. The result you’re after is not weight loss—though it will likely occur—but for your body to be running more efficiently. This should make you feel lighter and more energetic, even though you’re doing an exercise program.

The goal of the salad in the plan is to keep your calories coming from natural sources (no artificial ingredients should be added, including artificial salad dressing). Aside from that, you can add ingredients as necessary. Keep your meat intake to four ounces or less, but add veggies, seeds, nuts, fruits, and legumes in quantities to satiate you.

Water, of course, is recommended in quantity.  Sodas, alcohols, juices, etc., should be eliminated entirely during a cleanse. Coffee and tea, which are diuretics, should be minimized at the very least and eliminated if possible. Again, performance is the key, so if you need a cup of Joe as a pick-me-up, go ahead. Just use only as needed, and don’t use additives. Eliminating sugar and chemicals is vital. However, do not use energy drinks or soda for this purpose, including the ones with artificial sweeteners. Coffee drinkers may find that switching to black tea during a cleanse will give you the energy you’re looking for with less upset. Coffee’s acidic nature can heighten the effects in a negative way during your cleanse.

A friend has recommended that I read the book ‘Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself.’  I plan on reading it and when I do, I will post a review.   In the meantime, please make smart decisions that won’t hurt your health in the long run.

Never heard of Shakeology?  Check out this link to get more info.

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