Seven years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Nutritional Cleansing. I thought it was a bunch of bunk! Being a traditionally trained Health Professional, I was of the mindset you just have to live a relatively clean and healthy lifestyle – you know the spiel – eat healthy, exercise regularly, get rest… you’ve heard it all before! Bottom line, I was pretty closed off to the idea of cleansing and that it could offer any healthy benefits… much less that it could be based on science!
It was my dear friend and managing partner of the Health and Fitness Consulting Company we co-owned who offered to buy one for me, as she wanted my professional opinion. The timing of all this was rather serendipitous as I had just noticed that very morning, the start of a small, but uncomfortable, muffin top!! Eeeek! This urged me to step on the scale (which I rarely did) and I was up 6 lbs. from my ideal weight. This might not sound like much, but I rarely fluctuated.
Given this timing, and that my friend was offering to buy it on my behalf, I decided to give this cleanse a whirl. I did it with my friend as well as my husband at the time (now my ‘was-band’). Although I was a little more open to the idea than at first, I still didn’t think I needed to cleanse nor did I expect to see much in terms of any health benefits because I was already working out, teaching fitness regularly, eating well, and had an overall generally healthy lifestyle. However, I admit I had never cleansed my body (other than in my University days… after a night of too much fun) so I was a little curious.
Well, I was into the groove of the program and after only 3 days I noticed my clothes were already looser and I was feeling lighter. Of course, the skeptic in me pronounced the loss as only water weight and that it will come back after I finish the program. Well, fast forward… I completed the program, and much to my disbelief… the results blew me away! I completely lost my little muffin top along with 9 lbs. and the definition in my abdominal muscles had returned. I also experienced greater clarity of mind, sharper vision, deeper sleep on less hours, more energy, increased fitness and… drum roll… increased libido! (Who knew?!) As for my ‘was-band’, he experienced similar results and lost 16 lbs. in total. But what caught my attention most was that all his joint pain had significantly diminished and was completely gone in some joints. This improvement intrigued me so much that I decided to do my own research.
What I have come to know through my own personal experience and witnessing the experiences of hundreds of people, as well as my research is two-fold:
First, we do indeed need to cleanse our bodies. Unless you live in a bubble, we are all exposed to environmental toxins. They’re everywhere! And yes, our bodies naturally cleanse themselves, however almost all of us have a higher burden of toxins than our body can handle, so we need to assist the body in removing them. In the example of my ex, he was a firefighter with years of toxins accumulating in his joints. Once he cleansed his joints, he experienced relief.
Secondly, we need to replenish our body with high quality nutrients which most of us simply are not getting in today’s diet. Our earth’s soil isn’t as healthy as it used to be. In fact, the UN did a study and claimed that to have the same nutritional value of one apple back in 1976, you’d have to eat 10 apples today! I don’t think we need a calculator to figure out that it adds up to a lot of calories. And that’s just apples!
These two points are akin to the oil change analogy… you’d never put clean engine oil on top of the old oil. We all know you need to get rid of the old oil first, then put the new oil in! Same goes here: Bad stuff out. Good stuff in. This is why I refer to this as Nutritional Cleansing.
So needless to say, a proper cleaning program is about building your body up, and not about deprivation or starvation. And it is not about pooping all day long! If that happens, you are usually consuming purgatory herbs. There are many cleanses that use these strategies, they give a great illusion of cleansing, but in reality it’s removing the good bacteria along with the bad.
Now being an advocate of nutritional cleansing, I have seen all sorts of people benefit as well: Olympic and elite athletes, the very sick, the underweight, the obese, and even the skeptics like me!
The great thing is that you can make this program whatever you want! I often referred it as “30 days of transformation”.
Some people cleanse to simply jump-start their health or lose weight. Others up the anti and make it more of a lifestyle cleanse by consciously choosing to cleanse their body as well as cleanse or transform an area (or areas) of their life. This can be an extremely powerful transformation. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, what’s happening on the outside is just a mirror of what’s happening on the inside, and what better way to create true change!
This is how I choose to cleanse now. With the change of season, I will look at my life and ask what needs to be released, cleansed or transformed. A perfect example: I just moved last week. I am in the process of letting go, de-cluttering, re-organizing, cleaning, transforming and bringing in the new. As I continue this process, I will be concurrently doing a 30-day nutritional cleanse, coinciding with Solstice in September.
So I leave you with this question: What needs to be cleansed or transformed in your life? Your home, work environment, mind set, eating habits, attitude, behavior, spiritual practice, finances, fitness program, friends? Nutritional cleansing can be an incredibly powerful form of transformation… if you’re open!
In vibrant health,
Janine Brolly, BPE, AT, RPT