Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t doing it this year but I am. She’s concentrating on the Superfoods but I’m taking the cleanse. I start this Monday, which for me marks the first day of MY new year. It takes me a couple of weeks to get back my equilibrium after the hullabaloo of the holidays. By the second week of January, I am as calm as I am going to get. And, my desire to detox and my willpower to reboot my body is at its peak.
I am a believer in cleanses as long as they’re not the flavor of the month kind. Remember the Master Cleanse that was made up of homemade lemonade, maple syrup, water, and Cayenne pepper? Crazy, huh?
That’s why I prefer one that is built on sound medical and nutritional thinking, like Dr. Frank Lipman’s Be Well program. Not only is he an internist who concentrates on nutrition, he’s also studied Chinese medicine, yoga and meditation. Cutting-edge Western medicine meets Eastern ancient healing techniques. You get it!
Eliminating coffee, alcohol, sugar, processed foods and dairy
I’ve been prepping this week by slowly eliminating–or, in my case, reducing–my intake of coffee and alcohol, sugar and processed foods, and most dairy—specifically products from cows. ( Even cleanse-free, I only eat goat yoghurt and drink almond milk.) Truthfully, it’s the other beverages that are really hard to give up. My morning ritual is coffee. Yes, it literally jumpstarts my day. And, in the evening, a glass or two of wine often follows the high stress portion of my activities and demarcates time for relaxation or socialization.
A Simple Cleanse
The Be-Well cleanse itself is simple. It’s designed for busy people. Each day you consume three shakes, two light meals and pre-packaged supplements. The ingredients for the shakes and the supplements are all-natural and include fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants as well as friendly bacteria and prebiotics to aid digestion and herb to energize the detox organs. There are also glutamine capsules that “normalize inflammation in the gut and promote a healthy stomach lining”. They’re supposed to help you manage sugar cravings between meals, although that has not been my experience.
Cleansing the biggest organ with Ayurvedic treatments
I’ve done this cleanse before, a shorter one from Dr. Alejandro Junger and also a less rigorous one with Maryl a couple of years ago. Having a “cleanse buddy” definitely helps with motivation and commitment. At Second Lives Club, we believe the simplest route to lasting change is with a friend or partner with similar goals and ambitions. (That’s why we started this blog, in case you forgot.) When I start the cleanse on Monday, I will join my trainer Julian Chan as well as three or four other women, whom I only know online.
Several years ago after my radiation treatment for breast cancer, I tried Panchukarma at Kripalu Center of Yoga and Health in Lenox, Mass. This Ayrurvedic treatment—you know my fascination with all things Indian–is a more involved detox–and definitely a topic for another post! At Kripalu, Panchukarma was a weeklong, supervised residential program that also removed toxins from our biggest organ–the skin–with scrubs and massages.
I’ll let you know how my New Year’s cleanse goes. In the past, I have felt better . . .and I think I looked better. The irises of my eyes were brighter, my skin clearer, and my tummy smaller. I did lose a few pounds but that’s not the purpose. It’s just a bonus–kind of like a gift with purchase. I definitely had more energy and a sharper focus. And, I had a sense of pride and accomplishment that I could dedicate—and follow through—on two weeks of taking care of myself and my health. If you are thinking of doing a cleanse, first make sure it is medically-sound. Ask your doctor if you are uncertain. Be sure to enlist support from family or friends–and don’t forget us. We’re here for you.
Originally posted on Second Lives Club.