Have you been a bully to your body and is it time to give it some TLC? As always, the first step is admitting there’s a change to be made. You’ve done that! We’re going to get you lean and mean and confident enough to be jumping off waterfalls in a booty-bearing bikini in no time!
All 90s pop references aside (at least for a minute), we’re not going to get you lean using a cleanse for two reasons:
- You Want Consistent Results, Not Yoyoing
Most of us have attempted a quick fix with the best of intentions. We wanted to feel better about ourselves, and the “X-Day Solution”, the Something-Soup Diet, or the Fabulous Fat-Burning Pill offered promising paths.
We tried and succeeded – for a short time – and then found ourselves back inside our “before” bodies, feeling more deflated than ever.
That attempt wasn’t a failure at all: it was a lesson leading you to a more balanced path. The cleanse or “detox” is not a lasting method; it’s another shot at speeding up the process our body already knows how to perform.
- Our Bodies Already Know How to Detox
We’ve got this badass little organ inside us called the liver. It has hundreds of functions, including metabolizing our food (breaking it down and then rebuilding it into the things our cells need), storing vitamins, and – you guessed it – detoxifying.
Our liver knows how to filter our blood and to neutralize or break down potentially harmful substances (yes, toxins).
All our liver – and our body as a whole – needs to do their cleansing job is the right nutrients and the habits necessary to support hormonal function; we don’t need a strict cleanse.
- Eat whole foods.
- Choose quality protein sources like pasture-raised meats, free-run eggs, wild fish, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a good quality protein powder.
- Consume carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, oats, rice, air-popped popcorn, organic corn.
- Eat fats like coconut oil, butter, olive oil, safflower oil, flaxseed oil, nut butter, nuts, seeds, avocados, fattier cuts of quality meat, and hormone and antibiotic free dairy products (if they don’t bother your stomach).
Once you’re consistently eating balanced diet with protein, carbs, and fat you’ll never need a cleanse, but you can add in a little extra TLC (aaand, we’re back!):
T – Top Up Veggies and Enjoy a Few Fruits
I recommend 5+ cups of veggies per day to my clients, including at least 3 cups of greens. Two servings of fruit per day is plenty to benefit from the vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and just enough to limit the sugar. By eating enough, you’ll be getting everything your body needs to do its job.
L – Learn to Love Fermented Foods and Superfoods
- Replace most of your booze with a fermented drink like kombucha
Although there’s some evidence that low levels of alcohol consumption can be beneficial, there’s much more suggesting we could benefit from more probiotic foods. Start with swapping some of your alcohol for kombucha – it’s like a delicious healthy soda (okay, maybe it tastes healthy) and then progress to eating things like kimchi or sauerkraut. You can also add in a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics and fermented foods help Increase the bacteria lining our guts. This aids in digestion, making sure we can extract all the nutrients we need and reap the rewards of our healthy diets (e.g. giving our liver everything it requires to do its job).
- Incorporate more superfoods
The jury’s out if these foods really are all that “super”, but I know one things for sure: when I incorporate chia seeds into a meal or enjoy a beverage with spirulina in it I feel more like Catwoman than a couch potato.
There’s no way these foods are going to be harmful, and even if the effect is like a placebo, any positive decision we make for our health makes it easier to make the next one. (It’s a ripple effect on our way to wellness waterfall!)
C – Choose Natural, Chemical-Free Options
- Choose organic and local foods whenever possible
Just like cutting back on the booze, eating organic is another way to reduce the toxic load your liver has to carry. Check out the dirty dozen and clean fifteen (by the Environmental Working Group) to figure out which foods to spend an extra buck on and where you can pinch pennies without sacrificing quality.
Eating local is also cool because it supports the people around you, it’s better for the environment, your food will be fresher, and you might even be able to ask how it was grown, raised, or prepared.
- Swap chemical cleaners for natural ones
It can get freaky when you start Googling the risks of using chemicals in your home (like when you start getting sick and search your symptoms: you find out that whatever you have is probably lethal).
I’ll leave the gory details for your own Google search, but cutting back on cleaners is another way to reduce the toxins you’re taking in. Buy natural ones, consider essential oils, or start using vinegar. (I even use a small cup of vinegar in the top shelf of my dishwasher as rinse-aid – don’t put it in the rubber compartment; the acid in the vinegar will eat away at it).
There you have it, friend! There’s no need to go chasing the claims of another cleanse. Stick to the balanced diet that you know, but ramp up the TLC by:
- topping up your veggie intake
- learning to love fermented and superfoods, and
- cutting out the harsh chemicals.
Look for lasting lifestyle changes instead of systems (like cleanses) to speed up the process. Your booty, beauty, and body will thank you that you didn’t try to rush.
“All good things take time. You are a good thing. This will take time.” – Lisbeth Darsh
For more info on how to set up your balanced diet, check out these resources:
- “Your Last Nutrition Program”: eBook including my 14-week nutrition program, client success stories, Guaranteed Success Road Trip Guide, and a full recipe index.
- “Balanced Nutrition – Bullshit or Legit”: learn to build in the balance that will work for you.
- “The One Diet Mistake that’s Making You Fat”: learn why you need to eat more carbs.