It seems like every year, some new cleanse captures headlines. There was the maple cayenne cleanse that Beyoncé tried before her role in Dreamgirls. The leek soup diet from the bestseller French Women Don’t Get Fat. And I constantly see ads for 7-day juice fasts of all kinds from high-end juice companies.
But me personally? Being trained in holistic health? Not what I would recommend. Here are three reasons why.
1. Talk about a blood sugar rollercoaster.
The most glaring reason for me is that juice (in particular fruit juice) is notorious for throwing blood sugar out of whack. While a little celery juice CAN be nourishing for the digestive system, drinking straight juice all day, every day, without any protein, fat, or fiber, rapidly spikes (then plummets) your blood sugar, over and over. It also depletes your body of the building blocks for healthy hormones, muscles, bones, and hair. So many people report feeling irritable and low energy on juice fasts, and that’s likely because they’re feeling their energy crash alongside their blood sugar, and they’re craving the essential macronutrients their body is missing.
While giving your body a break is not a bad idea, instead of cutting out all food, my preference is to start with cleaning up the foods causing the problem — pesticides, processed foods, chemicals, preservatives, GMOs — instead of going cold turkey on all food in general, when the body is perfectly designed to detox day in and day out when given the right nourishing ingredients.
2. Detox is not only a food thing.
Another important consideration is that toxins are not limited to food. Sure, that’s a great place to start, but it’s just a single piece of the puzzle. For example, most generic lotions and coffee lids (especially when heated from a hot coffee) release parabens, which are hormone disruptors that lock into a cell’s hormone receptor, taking the place of the hormones meant to be there, and depriving your cells of real estrogen, testosterone, thyroid hormones, and so on.
There’s also heavy metals and chlorine in water, which you drink or breathe in when showering. And chemicals in skincare, makeup, and household products that your skin absorbs. (I know, I know… talk about a buzzkill, haha.) But the point being: while cleaning up one’s food supply does help reduce the overall toxic burden on the body, it’s a starting place instead of the only area to consider.
3. Daily changes make the biggest difference.
A yearly cleanse is kind of like going to the gym really hard once per year, and expecting better results from that than going consistently a few times a week. A big heroic effort is nice and all, but it’s the little wins that make the biggest difference. Things like purchasing a water filter once, then having the next year to enjoy cleaner water day in and day out. Dry brushing before the shower to stimulate your lymphatic system and get baby-soft skin naturally. Upgrading the fruit, veggies, and meat stocked in your fridge, so you feel the difference across three meals per day.
If a cleanse happens just once a year, that’s still 51 weeks out of the year that your body is left to fend for itself against compiling toxins. If you can make little upgrades in how you live your life day to day, your body never has to get to the point where it’s overwhelmed and overburdened and in need of drastic changes.
Little changes for longterm wins
To learn more about how to navigate cleaner living when it comes to food, water, beauty, and incorporating little detox habits into your daily life, check out The Detoxinista. Full of short training videos, clean product lists, and a step-by-step process to clean up your lifestyle to support your body in reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, busting bloat and brain fog, and waking up with more energy.