Raw Foods Nature's gifts

Published on June 29th, 2012 | by Miss Be Fit

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To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse…

A little bit of cleansing/housecleaning is a good thing once in awhile. I’m all for it, but I certainly don’t recommend cleansing or fasting for those trying to lose weight. Why? Because it can only send the metabolism into a shambles.  If you have weight to lose, and still really want to cleanse as a kick start to a  weight loss plan, then 1-3 days maximum of any kind of juice cleanse followed by a healthier eating plan.
I do love the way I feel after a good juice cleansing, but I also know that I need to be careful the days following, to introduce foods back slowly.  That’s really hard to do!  Let’s face it, the mentality is: EAT. EAT NOW. EAT EVERYTHING, when one finishes a fast or cleanse. The body kicks into ‘Wow!  Are we done starving??? I’m famished’ mode.

So, whenever I have a new client who is looking to shed some pounds, I cringe when they tell me that they are going to ‘fast’ or ‘cleanse’ while on my program.  First off, working out expends alot of energy, and on top of that you have to have enough calories for your body and brain to function at a resting rate.  In fact, if I am doing a juice fast or cleanse, I am sure to knock back my physical activity to almost non-existent…no runs, no hard core exertion, resting with a few nice dog walks and a bit of yoga.  After all, my body will need every one of those calories for its’ basic functions.

Don’t get me wrong, you WILL lose weight when sticking to a ‘cleanse’, but if you haven’t changed anything about the kinds of foods you eat, or how much you are eating, the road after your ‘cleanse’ will be a bumpy one that includes gaining back the weight you lost, plus more.  Tack that on with the feelings of self-negation you feel for ‘failing’ another diet, and the outcome is not so great. You need to plan for that before considering what kind of cleanse to try.  Which is why the first question to ask yourself is: Why do I want to do this cleanse?  And let’s be honest about that.  How many times have we told people we are juice-fasting or doing the Master Cleanse to detoxify? And perhaps for some of us it’s true. But I think in many cases, we want to drop some poundage tres vite!
If it’s weight you want to lose, then let’s just admit it and find a better method. Because it’s been proven over and over that you WILL gain every ounce back and more if you are starving your body for a period of time. Sure, your stomach will be flatter, until that first forkful passes the lips.
Yes, a cleanse gives your system a break and if it’s a juice cleanse, fills it with all good things easily and immediately absorbed by the body. Yes, your skin and hair and eyes will look better, your digestion will feel great, and perhaps your energy will increase.  But all that will disappear as soon as you get on the track of old bad habits.

Am I saying that if you have weight to lose, you should not ‘cleanse’? No. I am saying that perhaps we should think of ‘cleansing’ in a different light.  There are so many styles of cleanses out there, ones for the liver, ones for skin, ones for energy. There are 3 day, 10 day, one month cleanses.  Juice cleanses, water cleanses, Spirulina cleanses (I like that one;), the Master cleanse etc etc.
Every person is different, and what works for some, may not work for others.
I tried the Master Cleanse, did the whole thing. What I found was a complete depletion of vitamins and minerals, low energy, and my body was pumped with maple syrup. And I don’t care how ‘pure’ maple syrup is…it is STILL SUGAR.  I wasn’t impressed.  If you had to starve yourself on a diet of water, lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne….why not make it water with some vitamin & mineral sustenance along with some enzymes? Like the pure water extracted from fruits and veggies when juicing.
So when I am really feeling the need to cleanse my body of sluggishness and toxins, I choose to alternate Spirulina mixed with water, and fresh fruit juices. I can’t tell you how much better I feel doing that instead of the ‘lemonade’ recipe.  But really, my diet is mostly raw vegan, so I find this lifestyle loans itself to less and less cleansing, and that means less deprivation.

To be honest, one of the main reasons why I prefer to cleanse at least once a month, is to give my digestive system a break.  And when you do that, your body can expend it’s energy to focus on other things, like cell renewal and reparations elsewhere in the body. This explains why we feel and look better afterwards. Of course your liver and kidneys and other organs will not have to work overtime to process a whack of chemicals and toxins when you are introducing the purist forms of food to the body, and especially if you are able to buy organic.

If you have some weight to lose, and you want to cleanse, the perfect solution is to change the idea that cleanses mean starvation.  And by doing that, you can ‘cleanse’ by eating and drinking pure whole foods in a broken down state. By that I mean raw fruits and vegetables, BLENDED. Try this for 3 days. These miracles of nature contain a very important feature that sweeps us out from the inside: fiber, and fiber cleanses. If your digestion is sluggish, if you are a dairy and/or meat eater, chances are your colon could use a good housecleaning. So try a ‘clean’ diet. No condiments, no salt, just a healthy blend of fruits & veggies.  Eat every hour or 2 so your metabolism doesn’t run for the hills.  Never go more than 3 hours without sipping something back. Have a fruit smoothie for breakfast, a blended veggie soup for lunch, snacks and dinners.  Eat at least 5-6 times a day.  If you want to have the benefit of letting your digestion have a bit of a break, blend blend blend! After 3 days or more, start introducing the whole fruit or vegetable into the diet via salads or fresh sliced strawberries tossed with fresh mint leaves, for example.
Basically what I am recommending is, if you want to cleanse, and lose some weight, go RAW for 3 days or a week.  Afterwards have one raw food day per week where you can test out a new raw creation. Look up some yummy  soup recipes  and smoothies from Ani Phyo, Mimi Kirk, Dr. Douglas Graham, or any of the other great raw foodies out there, to name a few. If anything, you’ll gain a new found appreciation on how fruits and vegetables do not need to be boring, and if you return back to your normal diet, you can always implement some of the yummy raw food recipes in lieu of the boring old salads that we have become used to.  There will be no depriving your body of food, so it will not go into starvation mode, you will get all the benefits of other cleanses due to all the vitamins and minerals and live enzymes introduced to the body. You will have energy, look fantastic and you won’t experience the bad moods that come along with normal deprivation. (a relief for husbands, boyfriends, and significant others everywhere;)
But most of all, you will lose weight in a healthy fashion while at the same time ‘cleansing’. So the next time you think of sipping on water and sugar for 10 days, try this instead…..what have you got to lose?? Only some extra pounds, and that’s what you wanted to lose in the first place;))


About the Author

is a Yoga Instructor and personal trainer, the creator of Miss Be Fit TV, a new mix of traditional yoga and interval training. Her YogaRock System is a proven 12 minute daily workout routine, that will tone you up and allow you to build and maintain the muscle you have always wanted.



2 Responses to To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse…

  1. Suzanne says:

    3 days seems like a lot to someone like me. How do you feel about a 1 day effort? Or am I just wimping out?

    • Miss Be Fit says:

      Hi Suzanne! That’s not wimping out at all, in fact, it’s nice to take a day off the usual diet and do a ‘clean day’. So you are still eating, but just eating raw fruits and vegetables. Your skin will look fab and you’ll probably want to do another day or 2 anyways. Setting aside one day is a great start. I can set you up with an easy 1-3 day cleanse. You just need to ‘book off’ a day from social eating in restaurants, which isn’t so bad.;) xo

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