Your (Internal) Spring Cleaning Plan

By   |   March 15, 2011   |   Fitness

ItΓÇÖs that time of year againΓǪ The weather is getting warmer, you’re probably donning a lighter jacket, and soon enough, it will be time to break out the spring/summer wardrobe (think bikinis!). There is all this talk about ΓÇ£cleansingΓÇ¥ and ΓÇ£juicing,” but you arenΓÇÖt really sure what it is all about. Nutrition Gal breaks down the basics for you to help you decide if it’s time to go on a cleanse.

What is a cleanse?

A cleanse (fasting, juice fasting, juicing, detox) is thought to be a way to remove toxins from the body to promote healing, and increase motility and metabolic efficiency. Research is all over the place about cleansing and fasting; some health professionals think that your body is already equipped with its own cleansing/detoxification system (via the kidneys and liver), and therefore cleansing or fasting is an unnecessary stress on the body. Others think that it is beneficial — some large studies that have used fasting to aid in healing from certain diseases and disorders.

What types of cleanses are there?

There are many different types of cleanses and fasts, but perhaps the most well known are ΓÇ£juice cleansesΓÇ¥ and ΓÇ£The Master Cleanse.” A juice cleanse varies depending on companies and brands, but they typically involve only drinking organic, fresh pressed juices three to five times per day for one to seven days. The Master Cleanse involves a drink that only consists of water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. In general, I would not recommend the master cleanse, as it is too restrictive. If you are interested in cleansing, I would recommend a juice cleanse, as it is the most pleasant.

When should I juice cleanse?

Whenever you think is the best time for you. If it is your first time, I would recommend doing it over a weekend, as you never know how you are going to feel. Also, if it is your first time, set shorter goals, like one to two days. Do not cleanse if you are pregnant or are taking any prescription medications.

What types of juices are allowed when cleansing? Do I take any supplements?

You really want to make sure that the juices you consume are organic and freshly extracted. Most fruits and vegetables can be used in a cleanse. It is up to your imagination to decide what you want to juice, but definitely have more vegetable juices (greens in particular!) than fruit juices. No supplements are necessary if you are doing a short cleanse (one to three days).

Tune in tomorrow for Nutrition Gal’s quick tips for juicing!

photo credit: happyknappy/

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