Cleanse & Detox 101: Does Your Body Need a Reset?
Google “Cleanse and Detox” and the search will yield over 7 million results! This time of year, everyone’s newsfeed is filled with another idea of how to rid our body of toxins, how to lose weight fast, and all the things you shouldn’t be eating (or drinking!) to clean out your system. Truth be told, it all seems a little intimidating and we have a lot of questions – we’re sure you do too!
Celebrities do cleanses all the time (hello lemon juice and cayenne pepper? We’re talking about you!!!), and some Well.ca customers swear by them. Erin is willing to give one a go sometime (when she isn’t still nursing baby Henry!) But Rebecca is less-than-convinced: “Truthfully, it doesn’t seem like it fits for the average person. I am busy and don’t have a lot of time – planning one seems like a lot of work. If there was something ‘easy’ and not too scary, I might try it.”
Erin’s most pressing question is likely what is on your minds: “Do those box cleanses work? And what is in those little pills?” To answer these questions – and whether there is an easy route to cleansing and detoxing, we went to the experts. Julie Peláez is a holistic health coach and co-founder of The Conscious Cleanse. Jennifer Tanner is a Toronto naturopath. Both experts see the merits in cleansing – but you have to know what is right for you, and what to expect.
First off, we wanted to know the difference between the two? The terms “cleanse” and “detox” are often used interchangeably, but a detox is when you want to remove certain, specific toxins from our body (like those caused by too much alcohol), while a cleanse is an overall purification of our bodies – helping give different organs and systems, such as the liver, spleen and skin, a chance to recover from both environmental and internal toxins. For the most part, cleanses and detoxes involve lifestyle changes, dietary changes, removing toxins from your body, and supplementing this with herbal products or teas.
“A good cleanse can help reset your entire system,” says Peláez, whose program focuses on whole-food eating, eliminating sugar, gluten, dairy, alcohol, caffeine and other foods for two weeks, then slowly reintroducing them through testing periods. “A cleanse helps us slow down, be present to what and how we’re eating and gives us the opportunity to take a break from some of the foods that could be causing cravings and fatigue.”
In fact, cleanses like Wild Rose> encourage that you follow a healthy elimination, cleanse-friendly diet (no alcohol, wheat or dairy) while taking the Wild Rose capsules on their program.
So, what’s in those capsules, or the herbal potions you might take? You have to check each individual cleanse, but many have ingredients such as laxatives, herbs that support digestion, and ones that may potentially regenerate damaged liver tissue and encourage the liver to further flush out toxins, says Tanner. “In today’s world, we will never be 100% toxin free therefore we should focus on minimizing our bodies toxic load. Reducing the amount of anything we eat or do in excess will give our bodies a break from potential burdens.”
Tanner says that simply eliminating sugar from your diet can be a good start for the average person. “Sugar reduces your immune system by up to 80% for up to five hours after you eat it! So, in cold and flu season it is an especially good time to give up sugar,” says Tanner. Too much alcohol can put a strain on your liver, so taking a break is never a bad idea: think about upping your intake of beets, lemons dandelions and turmeric, Tanner adds. “These are natural supports for the liver. If you want to go one step further to help stimulate detoxification, consider adding medicinal botanicals or nutraceuticals.”
Cleansing isn’t for everyone, but it can leave you feeling renewed. Here is what some of Well.ca customers have said about cleanses:
“I did the detox for 7 days (which is what it says on the bottle; I did not finish the bottle as the description above says to do), taking 3 tbsp. per day, and felt nothing. The taste isn’t great, but isn’t bad, either.” – Michele
“Just started and took 3 tbsp per day – too much. I’d start slow, 1 Tbsp per day, and work up to 3 Tbsp. It tastes terrible. I dropped about 10 in fluid! Hate it it but will continue!” – Suzie
“This is a good product, but following the food guide was difficult – it was hard to avoid flour and sugar.” – Ariel
“We do a cleanse once a year with Wild Rose – the first few days are tough, but the body adjusts. I lost some weight, and my skin looked great. Doing this cleanse also helped me discover a wheat intolerance.” – C.A.
“I like this cleanse. It’s not super harsh but is definitely working. I already eat and live pretty clean but I haven’t done an actual cleanse for a few years.” – Esther
“This cleanse is gentle and not hard on your system. Pills are quite large but you can swallow them pretty easy. Sometimes I get a nasty aftertaste with them but wash it away with water.” – Tracy
So, are you convinced? Have you tried cleansing or detoxing and reaped the rewards? Are you thinking about doing one this January? Tell us about it! Tell us in the comments, or come to the Well.ca Facebook page and share your story, or Tweet us. Post before and after pictures on Instagram and tag us! We are cheering you on!
Be Well! We are in this together!
Rebecca is a mom to three young children and a passionate online shopper – and Well.ca’s CEO. She loves shopping for green & natural products at Well.ca to keep her family well.
Erin is a mom to three young kids, and she’s also Well.ca’s superstar CMO! She loves running, travelling, and cooking.