Our 8th annual cleanse starts tomorrow, and here is everything you need to know to get started! This post was written by Brandi Geiger (Owner @ Fit Mind N Body) who introduced us to the cleanse back in 2009. Whether you're joining us this year or simply want to learn more about the guidelines, read on! Make sure to check the Community page for cleanse tips, updates and recipes.
Guest Post From Brandi, Fit Mind N Body
Wellness Coach, Massage Therapist & Personal Trainer
I have been in the medical, health and wellness industry for almost 30 years. I was drawn to the industry because I was born with a hole in my heart and grew up having a slew of uncommon medical issues. I wanted to be as healthy as possible so I studied Exercise Science, Nutrition and Athletic Training, and then went to school for massage and myofacial work. I was introduced to cleansing many years ago when I struggled with adrenal fatigue and parasites. Cleansing, clean eating, exercise and bodywork have helped me feel my best and keep my immune system strong by keeping my organs working efficiently and my inflammation under control. It’s such an easy program that anyone can follow.
The cleanse is not about being perfect. In fact, many people have done the cleanse multiple times and have taken away something new each time. For example, some people never go back to caffeine or eating gluten because they find they feel better without it. The cleanse helps our bodies feel their best so we can continue on the clean eating path at an 80/20 rate, meaning 80% of the time we eat clean, then 20% of the time we enjoy our favorite treats post cleanse. The cleanse hopefully helps you change some habits that stick with you for a lifetime. It’s why I do a few a year to keep on track when I start to wander.
This cleanse is all about eliminating the inflammatory foods (listed below) from your diet. For ultimate success, determine whether you are an “All or None Person” or a “Baby Steps” person. I’m an “All or None” person, so I just need to cut everything out of my diet at once and go all out. “Baby Steps” people may get overwhelmed by that and quit if that is their only option. I suggest “Baby Steps” people remove the inflammatory foods out at a slower rate if they are overwhelmed. For example: if caffeine is a problem for you, maybe do half caf/half decaf for a few days and wean off the caffeine or coffee during the second or third week.
- Drink 1/2 oz per pound of body weight of purified water each day of the cleanse
- Eliminate refined sugars & artificial sweeteners. Natural low-impact sweeteners, such as stevia & polyols (eg. xylitol & erythritol) and low glycemic sweeteners like raw honey and coconut/palm sugar are allowed
- Eliminate dairy products such as milk, cheese and ice cream
- Eliminate gluten by avoiding foods which contain wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, bulgur, couscous, and barley. This includes pastas, bread, crackers, cereals, and other products made from these grains. Gluten-free whole grains include brown rice, wild rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, oats and buckwheat are allowed
- Choose lean, clean quality protein. Organic/grass fed meat, poultry and eggs are allowed. Cold water fish (preferably wild over farm-raised) is acceptable
- Eliminate soy products and processed/pre-packaged foods. In place of soy sauce, try coconut aminos or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
- Eliminate all alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages including coffee, black tea and soda. Green tea is acceptable
Optimal Food Choices:
- Protein: Organic/hormone-free chicken, turkey, lamb and beef, cold water fish (salmon, halibut, cod, mackerel, tuna - choose wild ocean fish over farm raised fish), organic eggs. Organic legumes are acceptable for vegetarians, but eliminate peanuts
- Fat: Flaxseed and walnut oils, extra virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil, hempseed oil, avocado, raw nuts and seeds, organic cultured butter, ghee, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, cocoa nibs, chia seeds
- Low GI Fruit: Berries (blueberries/raspberries/strawberries)
- Moderate GI Fruit: Cherries, pears, apricots, melons, plums, oranges, peaches, grapefruit, apples, prunes, kiwi, nectarines, tangerines. *Higher GI fruits acceptable in moderation
- Beverages: Herbal teas, green tea, spring water, vegetable juices, coconut water
- Vegetables Unlimited green vegetables such as salad greens, spinach, green beans, cruciferous vegetables, and raw sauerkraut. Starchy vegetables ok in moderation
- Condiments: Lemon, lime, cayenne pepper, sea salt, garlic, fresh herbs and spices, flax/olive oil & raw apple cider vinegar for dressings
- Misc. Snacks: Nuts (raw are best), hummus, raw or steamed vegetables, fruit, chia pudding, almond butter with apple slices
Some websites with great information: