A cleanse is simply when you increase the ability of your body to detoxify itself.
The most important thing to understand is that the best cleanse is not a product you buy. Rather, it is a series of steps you take, over time, that get you to a place where you feel much better. It is a process that you take that cleans and detoxifies your body. At its best a cleanse is a sustained period of focus which will help to lead you to a place of better long term balance and improved habits.
Of course there are products which will help support this process, and we will outline AdvoCare’s products and how they are truly the best. But first we need to outline some fundamentals of cleansing and detoxification that many different leading health experts are in agreement on.
Fundamentals of a “Cleanse”
1. The most important fundamental of a cleanse is: a nutrient dense or nutrient rich diet. If you are like most people, you eat on the run and eat a diet rich in processed foods. You also get fewer than 10% of your total calories from plants. This diet is highly toxic and is the main reason people turn to “cleanses” for relief. A growing number of people are now choosing to dramatically increase the vegetable content of their diet, which has the opposite effect.
When you increase the vegetable content of your diet, you take a lot of stress off your body. People can argue that meat, dairy and processed foods are healthy or not healthy, but you cannot argue that they are easier to digest than plants. More importantly, vegetables are rich in micronutrients which are calorie free vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. There is a massive body of evidence that links micronutrient intake to better health, improved energy, and weight loss. Your body simply works better with high micronutrient intake.
Macronutrients are carbs, protein and fat- which contain calories. Most people get plenty (usually too many!) of these macronutrients. When you make a real effort to invert your micro and macronutrient intake, good things happen, if you are out of balance. This is the absolute #1 fundamental principle of cleaning and detoxifying your body.
The AdvoCare Cleanse Program provides a very easy to follow path to rebalance macro and micronutrient intake.
2. The second fundamental of a cleanse protocol is making sure your gut and digestive system is functioning optimally. This is an area of emerging research and understanding, but almost every digestive health expert agrees that some level of probiotic intake and digestive enzyme intake can help improve gut function. When your insides are functioning properly, you will absorb your needed micronutrients at a better rate!
Probiotics are widely available, though they vary widely in quality. Clinical research states that probiotics have a “variety of proposed beneficial effects, including promotion of gut health.” New studies have been published in 2011 that even show a link between probiotics and lower risk of colorectal cancers and inflammatory bowel disease.
L-Glutamine is another supplement which is widely thought to help improve digestive function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center: “Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. The body can make enough glutamine for its regular needs, but extreme stress (the kind you would experience after very heavy exercise or an injury), your body may need more glutamine than it can make….Glutamine helps to protect the lining of the gastrointestinal tract known as the mucosa.”
Many of us suffer from chronic stress, but if you eat a standard diet high in macronutrients and low in micronutrients, it is very likely that you are suffering from “nutritional stress.”
3. Physical Rest and Stress Reduction. Even though the science is not yet crystal clear, many researchers believe that stress “may trigger allergic reactions in the gut and other organs, and depression or anxiety may worsen symptoms in inflammatory disorders of the intestine.” Rest and stress reduction are an essential part of a cleanse protocol. As you increase the supplements to support your gut, you want to also make sure that you rest as much as possible, and generally remain aware about the negative role that stress plays in harming your health. Most people are simply unaware of this link, and find a level of relief when they start to take a supplement regimen that includes probiotics, L-Glutamine and Omega-3′s.
Digestive rest is an important part of this cleanse equation. Blended shakes and soups, rich in foods that contain micronutrients will give you body what it wants and also give your digestive system a break.
4. Support The Liver. The protocol to make sure the liver is functioning as well as possible is fairly straightforward. You want to take the pressure off the liver, and make sure the liver is getting the nutritional support it needs. I don’t think that anyone would argue that reducing or eliminating alcohol for a period of time will help the liver do a better job of detoxifying the body. Additionally, a micronutrient rich diet will provide the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that the liver needs to do its job.
5. Exercise. You need to move as much as you can each day for optimal health. This you know and have heard before. What you probably struggle with is figuring out what kind of exercise is valuable, and how intense your workouts need to be. We have become strong advocates of the “Slow Burn” philosophy of exercise which focuses more on movement as a goal rather than intensity. For the purposes of a cleanse, increased circulation is the goal.
Strength training and load bearing exercise is helpful to increase bone density and muscle mass, but in the context of simply feeling better and detoxifying your body, you want to focus on movement not intensity. If you are successful at increasing your micronutrient intake (and especially green vegetables) your blood will become “nutrient rich” and the movement will help these nutrients flow through your entire body.
6. Hydration and Elimination. As you do all the things suggested above, you’ll also want to make sure you have plenty of water so that the toxins released will be able to quickly exit your body. If you are eating plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruit, you will already be in pretty good shape because of the high water content in your food. Drink plenty of fresh water of course, and also work to get as much hydration as you can from vegetables. This combination should result in very regular elimination.
As you read this article hopefully most of the ideas are fairly common sense. If there is anything new, we hope that we have provided adequate evidence or support for the suggestion. It is our hope that this article will help guide people toward the relief they are looking for, in a common sense way that helps to build upon the work they are already doing.
Obviously it is easy for most people to fall into the behavior patterns that lead to systemic stress. And much harder to permanently adopt behavior patterns that lead to less stress, more energy and a cleaner body. If the suggestions presented in this article sound familiar or even repetitive, that is our intention. There is no quick fix for anything. But there is massive benefit to a sustained commitment over a period of many years.
(excerpts via PEER Trainer)