Starting a master cleanse before summer starts? I totally feel you. The hotter it gets, the less clothing we tend to wear. And just the idea of showing off more skin generates enough buzz around detoxing and dieting to put us all in a frenzy!
If you’ve ever done a regimented cleanse before, you know that commitment is key. Without it, you won’t see the results you desire.
However, there is a difference between a quick-fix cleanse and a smart cleanse. A simple cleanse or detox may help you shed a few pounds, but a smart cleanse can help fortify your immune system, balance hormones, elevate your mood and keep excess weight off permanently.
Additionally, a smart cleanse can combat some serious diseases including hyper- and hypothyroidism, diabetes, chronic IBS and cardiomyopathy—just to name a few. Further benefits can also be achieved such as heightened senses, improved reflexes, correction of minor vision impairments, disappearance of allergies and healing of old injuries.
If you you’ve tried a detox plan in the past and it didn’t quite go your way, perhaps you were making one of these mistakes. If you’re itching to give it another shot, consider learning from the mistakes you’ve made so you can conquer your next cleanse and reap the results you want!
Mistake No. 1: You retoxed while you detoxed
While you were so caught up in healthy meal prepping, you forgot to nourish the body’s largest organ—your skin. What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put inside. If you’re coloring your hair with ammonia-containing hair dyes, using traditional nail polish remover, or moisturizing with petroleum-based lubricants during your cleanse, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
While cleansing, it’s important to eliminate toxins on all levels by using a limited number of products and making sure anything you put on your hair or skin is 100 percent natural (check out The Dirty Dozen of Cosmetics).
Vegan and chemical-, sulfate- and gluten-free certifications are great indicators that your product is safe to use while cleansing. Some excellent alternative products include Derma E’s Anti-Wrinkle Renewal Cream, which is great for all skin types. I also love using the Alba Botanica Good & Clean Toxin Release Scrub followed Andalou Naturals’ 1000 Roses soothing body lotion.
Mistake No. 2: You didn’t trust the process
This is an easy one to get wrong, especially if you’ve cleansed before and failed. Occasionally, we start something new by assuming the worst; “this will never work,” or “my health is what it is, my problems won’t go away.”
One of the most important factors in the success of your cleanse is knowing that it will work for you. And as you begin to make healthier decisions on a daily basis (even when you’re not cleansing), your cleanse results will continue to improve over time.
If one detox plan didn’t work for you, experiment with different kinds of cleanses to find on the words for you (as long as it’s safe!). Always imagine the best possible outcome and only focus on that throughout your cleanse, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the impact. From the wise words of Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right!”
Mistake No. 3: You forgot to prepare
You wouldn’t embark on a road trip without filling up your gas tank first, right? Like all important things in life, when doing a cleanse, you should prepare for your success. Those who don’t prepare often find themselves giving in to temptations along the way.
Be sure to prepare by doing plenty of food and/or juice prep. Make sure all your vegetables are clean, chopped and ready to go. This makes it easy for you to make the right decisions when you’re running low on time.
Invest in a set of to-go containers like the New Wave Enviro Lunch Bag set, which is complete with several BPA-free containers and a water bottle. If your cleanse involves herbs or supplements, prepare them in portable containers and pill caddies so you have everything ready, wherever you may be.
Mistake No. 4. You caved when you craved
So much of what we do is out of habit. We eat lunch at a certain time because that’s when we usually eat lunch. We snack at specific times because typically a lull in the workload allows us the freedom to roam for a distraction. And the list goes on.
Rarely do we do these things out of true hunger. When you have a craving while cleansing, especially an unhealthy one, be mindful of what is going on in your day. Are you doing what you usually do when you reach for that type of food? Or is there a potentially stressful situation on the horizon? If so, you may be seeking “comfort food” instead of trying to satisfy actual hunger.
Be present with your craving and the emotions that go along with them. Are you stressed? Pressured? Anxious? Allow yourself to feel them but do not react to them. Go for a brisk walk, get some sunshine, or drink a big glass of ice-cold water to help curb the cravings, and know that sticking to your cleanse plan will ultimately make you feel much better in the long run.
To learn how to achieve better overall health through deep internal cleansing, check out Sara's book, “Supremely Being: Demystifying the Deep Cleansing Process.”