Springtime has finally arrived here in NYC, and I for one, could not be happier. Of course that also means that pretty soon we’ll be wearing itty-bitty bikinis and micro-minis. So, what better way to prep for the revealing warm-weather fashion than kicking things off with a detoxifying cleanse?
These days you hear the words “cleansing” and “detox” quite frequently, but what exactly do those terms mean? Nutrition and Wellness expert, Megan Zimak gives us the low down, and reveiws her 4 favorite all natural Juice Cleanses and Detox Diets.
CLICK BELOW for healthy eating tips, reviews on some of the best ways to spring clean your body (including Gwenyth Paltrow and Demi Moore’s hot body secret!)
To cleanse one’s body is to remove dietary & environmental toxins through some application of a healthier lifestyle. Some examples of dietary theories that fall into this category include the Colon Cleanse, Master Cleanse, Candida Diet, Great American Detox Diet, and Raw Juice Fast to name a few.
Research shows that we are exposed to thousands of chemicals on a daily basis through the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe and the household, office or personal care products we use. These toxins deposit in our fat cells and produce excess residue that our bodies are no longer capable of naturally eliminating. Furthermore, much of the food we consume nowadays is processed—high in refined sugar & starch, and devoid of adequate nutrition & fiber—which can trigger inflammatory response in the body, the root cause of all chronic disease.
Rebuilding and cleansing diets work to strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation by removing common food allergens, lightening up your diet, and adding in essential nutrients to bring glowing vibrant health to mind, body & spirit. Through a detoxifying diet, you can not only lose weight, but may also eliminate allergies, improve chronic ailments, increaseenergy, and overcome addictions and cravings.
For starters, here is a list of foods to include and avoid on a general detox or rebuilding diet:
• fresh or frozen berries •fresh or frozen vegetables •whole, gluten-free grains (amaranth, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice) • nuts and seeds • extra-virgin olive oil
• sugar & artificial sweeteners • wheat, gluten & dairy • yeast • food additives and preservatives • chocolate, caffeine & alcohol • foods high in saturated fat
However, if you’re looking for a bit more structure, or want to take your cleansing to a deeper level for fast & lasting results, here is a brief overview of 4 of my favorites. Fair warning: these cleanses are not for the faint of heart, and it goes without saying to please consult your physician before starting on any new diet or detoxification.
1. The Master Cleanse Diet, also commonly referred to as the Lemonade Diet, Maple Syrup Diet, and Cayenne Pepper Diet, was created in 1940 to help treat people with ulcers. This diet was not originally intended for weight loss; however, that is a nearly inevitable result due to the significantly reduced daily caloric intake (avg 600-1200 calories).
The Master Cleanse recipe includes: 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup 1/10 tsp. cayenne pepper 10 ounce glass of medium hot water
The Master Cleanse diet should be followed exclusively for 10 days, with solid foods gradually re-introduced in a specific manner & order. This allows good gut bacteria to sufficiently re-develop. Important to note: most physicians & wellness experts do not endorse this diet due to the lack of essential nutrients.
2. Organic Avenue offers 5 organic, vegan raw food/juice cleanses based on their “L.O.V.E.” philosophy: Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience. The 3 most popular cleanses are the Love Easy (5 day beginner cleanse, combining raw juices & cuisine), Love Fast (Level 2 cleansing, incorporating juices, soups & smoothies), and finally, the Love Deep (3 days of juice only, for advanced “cleansers”). Cleanses may be picked up or delivered (depending on zip code) & all packages include a daily email with detailed instructions, time schedule, nutrition tips & inspiring words of L.O.V.E & wisdom.
“MOST CELEB ENDORSED”
3. The Clean Program, a 21-day cleanse developed by Dr Alejandro Junger MD (a renowned cardiologist), has been touted as the most effective cleanse in the world. It is doctor-backed by wellness heavyweights Dr. Frank Lippman & Dr. Mark Hyman, and loved & endorsed by celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Moore & Debra Messing to name a few. The plan is simple (a shake for breakfast, lunch from a list of specific foods, a shake for dinner, and supplements such as probiotics & enzymes to be taken throughout the day), and arrives direct to your door, neatly packed & organized, in just 2 days. Its pricey ($425, shipping included) but let’s just say, the results are worth their weight (or weight loss) in gold.
4. Finally, the ‘First Cleanse’ system from Renew Life is fantastic. It is an organic mixture of minerals and herbs that helps draw away toxins, fats and ‘extra’ hormones from your system. It is a 30 day program but eating is permitted (follow above list of recommended foods to eat/avoid). This system is by far the least pricey and most widely accessible of the bunch.
Wishing you all an easy cleanse, and a healthy, happy & vibrant Spring!
- Megan Zimak