Who is a candidate for a cleanse? Well, pretty much everyone! Even if you have a very clean diet and only eat organic foods, it is hard to avoid all of the toxins in our environment. But many of us don’t have a very healthy diet, and coming off the winter months, we probably have a few extra pounds to shed from all the fatty comfort foods we indulged in. If you suffer from constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, fibromyalgia, fatigue, breakouts, muscle pain, bad breath, body odor, PMS, headaches, or if you wake up tired, always feel hungry, crave sweets or have difficulty concentrating, you are a good candidate. If you have any chronic health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, etc, only do a detox under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Overview: This cleanse was designed to give you all the tools you need to really detoxify your body and possibly get started on a weight loss program. When you first read through it, do not get overwhelmed at how much there is to do. As with anything, you can choose how deep you would like to take it. Obviously, the more steps you do and the longer you cleanse, the better the results will be. But it is better to start somewhere and only do parts of it than to not do anything at all. Having a positive mindset of how good cleansing is for your body and how great you will feel after it is done will help pull you through on the tougher days.

If you are starting a weight loss program, it is very beneficial to do the cleanse and detox first. Fat cells store many toxins and chemicals, and when we start to burn fat, these chemicals get released into the bloodstream. Making sure that the digestive system and liver are able to eliminate these toxins will protect your health on your weight loss journey. The cleanse we will be discussing is broken down into 5 phases: Preparation, Bowel, Liver, Detox and Post-Cleanse. It sounds like a lot, but with a little planning in the beginning, you will find it is pretty simple.

Preparation phase (1): This is the time to warm up the digestive system for the changes ahead. Begin to wean yourself from off-limit items such as caffeine, sugar, dairy, alcohol, nicotine, wheat, fatty meats and processed foods. Start to increase your intake of herbal teas, add more fiber, especially through greens, increase water consumption, and find an internal cleansing green powder drink to add bulk to your diet. This phase can last anywhere from 3-10 days, depending on how clean your diet is before you begin the program, and how much of the off-limit items you consumer on a regular basis.

The next phase will focus on Bowel Cleansing (2). A good cleanse needs a healthy liver to detoxify all of the things our body is releasing. If the bowels don’t function properly, all of the bad stuff the liver breaks down will stay in our bodies and keep re-circulating. Having regular bowel movements before detoxification begins will ensure our bodies are able to eliminate the toxins we release.

For bowel cleansing, continue with everything from the preparation phase. Increase both fiber and the internal cleanse drink. Add ½ teaspoon of raw, virgin, organic coconut oil to your diet each day, fish oil supplements to fight inflammation, 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D, 1000mg vitamin C to help recycle glutathione in the liver, 400 mg magnesium to help relax the bowels, probiotics to support our healthy bacteria, and digestive enzymes to help break down food. Eat plenty of organic fruits and vegetables. A cleansing tea, such as Smooth Move, or ChiroKlenz, should be drank every night to help move things along. If you notice painful cramping or diarrhea from the tea, switch to every other night. This part of the cleanse should last 5-7 days.

For the Liver Cleansing Phase (3), continue with everything above except the internal cleanse powder and the cleansing tea. Switch to a more potent green super food powder that includes vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals, probiotics, enzymes and amino acids. Good ones to use are Boku Super Food or Dynamic Greens with Mangosteen. Wheat grass juice is also great for detoxing. The importance of the green drink is that it is loaded with fiber, anti-oxidants, enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, minerals and many other things that support digestion and detoxification. Drink one to two glasses a day.

Add an herbal tincture designed to support liver health (should contain milk thistle and dandelion root), and other herbs such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, and garlic. Continue with the herbal teas, but also add ginger tea and a detox tea such as Berry Detox by Yogi Teas. Hot water with honey and lemon is also good to drink. Adding a few drops of lemon or peppermint essential oils to drinks is a great way to add flavor while boosting the health benefits.

Begin taking glutathione, taurine and chlorella or spirulina in addition to your previous supplements. Increase the amount of veggies like beets, artichokes, asparagus, root vegetables, kale, and broccoli.

  • Roasting is a tasty way to add more of these veggies: cut up turnips, parsnips, beets, rutabaga, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions and place in a large bowl. Add ½ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, rosemary, oregano, sea salt and pepper to the veggies and mix well. Transfer to a roasting pan or cookie sheet and bake at 350 for an hour, or until tender. Eat these veggies often throughout this phase.

If you really want to make sure your liver and gallbladder are functioning at their best, you can add an extra step to deeply cleanse the liver. The details are in this book, The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse by Andreas Moritz. This step should be added only after you have done at least one full detox program, and is not recommended for first time cleansers. It is a little more intense, but the results are amazing. It is very important to read the entire book so you understand why you  are doing the cleanse. Do not simply find the recipe online.
The liver cleanse should last 5-7 days as well.

Next comes the Detox Phase (4). This is longest and most involved part, and probably where you will notice the most happening throughout your body. Depending on how healthy you were before beginning this cleanse, you may experience an increase in the symptoms you are trying to eliminate. Please note that it is normal to feel worse before you feel better. Toxins are being released, candida and other organisms may be dying off, and your body is trying to purge anyway it can. You may notice nausea, experience diarrhea, breakout or have mild headaches, and this is ok. However, if you feel weak or dizzy, extremely fatigued, or have severe headaches, stop the detox until you can speak with a healthcare professional experienced in detoxification.

To begin this phase, it is best to prepare some foods ahead of time. This helps if we are feeling tired and don’t want to cook, and it prevents us from grabbing something unhealthy when we are in a hurry. The veggies listed in the liver phase are fine to eat during this phase. You should also add prunes, apples, berries, citrus, pomegranates, dark leafy greens, cabbage, basil, cilantro, parsley (these herbs help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body), and cumin. Cook up a bunch of brown rice and quinoa to mix with veggies and wild fish such as salmon.

The most important part is the Detox Cabbage Soup Recipe. This soup is loaded with healthy veggies and can be eaten every day. Eat at least one bowl a day, but you can have as much as you’d like.

  • For the soup you will need 2 cans of diced tomatoes, one large can of organic beef broth, one bunch of celery, 3 green onions, one large onion, one large head of cabbage, 2 leeks, one cup artichoke hearts, 3 cups fresh green beans, 2 green peppers, 2 lbs carrots, 5 cloves garlic, 2 cups asparagus, ½ cup cilantro, 1 cup kale, one large can tomato juice, 3 tbs balsamic vinegar.
  • Season with one tsp each salt, pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, ginger, thyme, curry powder, cumin, onion powder, and celery seed. This part is to your taste, so feel free to add more, or other ingredients as well.
  • Chop all veggies, place in a large pot and cover with water. Boil ten minutes, reduce to simmer and cook until veggies are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook one to two hours. This soup can also be frozen and eaten later.

Load up on garlic and onions as well. In moderation, organic chicken, organic eggs, fish and nut butters are great sources of protein. Continue to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Herbal tinctures of milk thistle and one to promote dermal health should also be included. Continue with the green super food drink, and increase daily coconut oil to 1 teaspoon. Continue drinking the detox tea. Also include astragulus, which can be made into a tea as well, and a B-vitamin complex supplement.

In addition to what you are eating, there are many things you can do to help your body detox.

* Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, as this is the time the body repairs and rejuvenates.

* Eliminate deodorants with aluminum and toothpastes with fluoride.

* Use only natural cleaning products and personal care products.

* Take baths with Epsom salts and lavender essential oil.

* Herbal foot soaks with Epsom salt or detox footpads.

* Infrared saunas are an effective tool for natural healing and prevention. Infrared light has the ability to penetrate human tissue which in turn produces a host of anti-aging health benefits making infrared saunas one of the most popular therapies for overall healthier living. If you want to get yourself back into balance, an infrared sauna may be the ticket to achieving your wellness goals. Here are some of the health benefits of infrared sauna therapy:

  • Detoxification &amp Skin Purification

Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal &amp stay healthy. Far infrared heats the body directly causing a rise in core temperature resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins reside.

  • Cell Health

Infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells. Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

  • Weight Loss

Studies have shown that a 30 minute infrared sauna session can burn upwards of 700 calories while you relax! As the body works to cool itself, there is a substantial increase in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate, causing the body to burn more calories.

* Practice dry body brushing before you  take an infrared sauna or shower, working in a circular fashion towards the heart. This removes dead skin cells, unblocks pores, stimulates your lymphatic system (very important), and helps your skin breathe which in turn can oxygenate the body. In addition to a gentle circular motion you can vigorously scrub the skin, which helps with cellulite and the removal of toxins at a deeper level.

* Oil pulling is an ancient practice to help cleanse the mouth and teeth. First thing each morning, before brushing teeth or eating, take a tablespoon of coconut, olive or sunflower oil and swish it around in the mouth for 15 minutes, being sure to pull it back and forth between the teeth. Spit it out when done and do not swallow. After brushing, swish a few drops of cloves essential oil, or Thieves blend by Young Living, around in the mouth as a natural mouthwash.

* An herbal body wrap is also very effective for eliminating a large amount of toxins and can help shed a few unwanted pounds. There are many wraps that can be purchased, or you can make your own. The recipes vary, but this is one that helps detoxify while supporting the health of your skin. **Make sure that you have been detoxing for at least 3 days and drinking lots of water before you do this wrap**

  • Exfoliate your skin prior to it, and avoid shaving for at least three days. Take a warm shower before applying to help open up your pores.
  • You will be boiling 1.8 liters of water in a large stainless steel pot, and then adding your ingredients to the water once it has been removed from the heat. After the mixture cools for 10 minutes, it is ready to be applied.
  • Ingredients: 1 cup dead sea clay to aid in detoxification &amp 1 cup green clay to detoxify and stimulate circulation
  • 1 cup Epsom salt to remove toxins &amp ½ cup sea salt to draw toxins from the body
  • ½ cup aloe vera powder to heal skin, ½ cup parsley powder to detoxify, 1 cup kelp powder to detoxify, reduce cellulite &amp increase circulation
  • 1 cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to soothe skin, 1 cup chamomile to detoxify, ½ cup witch hazel to tone and cleanse skin, ½ cup lemon juice to detoxify skin cells (for these liquid ingredients, remove 3 cups of water from pot as these will replace that much fluid from the mixture)
  • 10 drops each lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil, tea tree essential oil, and fennel essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons aloe vera gel, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • After mixture has cooled for ten minutes, it is ready to be applied. Use medical bandages, cheesecloths, a cotton sheet cut into strips, or tight fitting clothes made of thin material to wrap your body in. If you are using clothes, a long sleeve shirt cut open down the front so it is easier to put on will work well. Tights or stretch pants will be fine for the legs. You can also try socks if you wish, as the feet tend to release a large amount of toxins. Whatever you decide to use, you want it to be tight so that it is in contact with your skin. Thoroughly soak each piece of material in the mixture and begin wrapping, starting at the ankles and working your way up. It may be easier to have a partner help with this part. If the mud mix starts to cool off too much, place pot back on the stove to reheat it. After you are completely covered, wrap plastic wrap around your entire body to help keep things compressed and warm. Cover yourself with blankets, towels or a heavy bathrobe to stay warm, and relax for an hour. Discard your mud-soaked material and take a warm shower to rinse off.
  • **Be sure to weigh yourself and measure your waist before you apply the wrap, and then repeat over the next few days. You may be surprised at how many pounds and inches you lose from this alone. Drink lots of water and continue with the rest of the detox.

* Practice daily yoga, focusing on twisting positions and others that help cleanse and promote circulation and digestion.

* Focus on proper breathing, as deep, slow and conscious breathing is the key to oxygenating your lungs, bloodstream, heart and whole brain. Correct breathing (slow and deep) supports the removal of an enormous amount of carbon dioxide from your lungs and toxic gases from your body.

* Bodywork such as chiropractic, acupuncture and lymphatic massage also promote the release of toxins, detoxification, healing, and normal body function. Bodywork can restore digestive health and improve immune system function.

* Qi gong, tai chi, mediation, journaling and walking are all great for mental cleansing. Be sure to write down everything you are experiencing, and notice if you start to have more vivid dreams. Many people often experience mental clarity when they begin to purge toxins from their body.

* Swimming is good exercise, but avoid chlorinated pools.

* Alternating hot and cold in the shower, using a sauna, and sweating release toxins and increase circulation.

* Getting fresh sunlight is also very detoxifying, just make sure you are not using a sunscreen with toxic or synthetic chemicals.

Basically, you want to do as much as you can to support circulation, help eliminate toxins anyway possible, and avoid introducing new toxins into our bodies during this time. This phase should last at least 7-10 days, but can go as long as 3 weeks as long as there are no adverse effects.

The Final Phase (5) is really just a post-cleansing time to make sure the body is prepared to return to normal. For items that were eliminated, it is very important to slowly reintroduce them, if at all. Don’t just jump back into fatty meats, dairy, sugar, caffeine, etc. Some items you may want to keep out permanently because you can see how good you feel without them. Return items one at a time, and gage how your body responds to each one. If you immediately bloat up or break out, then maybe reconsider eating that at all.

This is also a time to help kill of any remaining fungi or parasites. For problems with candida or yeast, oregano oil, garlic, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, and coconut oil work great. Limit fruit, starches, fermented foods, mushrooms, beer, sugar and tomato paste. Continue with probiotics and all supplements up to this phase. Echinacea and ginseng should also be included to keep the immune system strong after what it just went through.

As you ease back into your routine, notice how great you feel, how many bowel movements you have a day, how great your skin looks, and how much energy you have. You may have also lost a few pounds or notice your clothes fit better. These are just a few of the wonderful side effects from doing a spring cleanse. Keep up the healthy habits as you head into summer, and next time you decide to cleanse, it will be that much easier!

About the Author

Dr. Brenda Trudell is a chiropractor and owner of New Beginnings Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, WI. The clinic focuses on natural health, especially for women, pregnancy and children through chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, fitness, nutrition, essential oils, and more. As a female chiropractor, she understands the special circumstances surrounding women's health. Men and women are not created equal, and it is important to acknowledge that in the healthcare world. She strives to find the most current healthcare information to help all of her patients.

Dr. Trudell is available to present to groups on many different topics. Please contact the office for details or with any questions. Dr. Trudell is certified in the Webster Technique. For more information, visit newbeginningschiropractic.net or email at brendatrudell@drtrudell.com.