My Spring/Summer Cleanse

20/12/2013

Okay so the timing of this post is probably a little off, as many of us are about to prepare for one of the most over-induglent times of the year – festive feasting.  But hey, why not bookmark it for the new year?

Before I begin though, here is a huge, nay MASSIVE disclaimer, in bright blinking lights with dancing girls and a big booming circus announcer voice: I am NOT a healthcare professional. The practices I engage with below have been tested by me, on me, with the guidance and recommendations I have sought from my very own healthcare professionals. We are all different, and bioindividuality dictates that what works for one person, may not work for another. So I encourage you to explore what works well for your body (and of course conversely what doesn’t work well), and hone your very own amazing self-care program.

I think our bodies do an awesome job at detoxing us, everyday. That’s how it’s designed. But I do believe, and have personally experienced, that our bodies can sometimes struggle with toxin overload and imbalanced gut bacteria issues, particularly if we’re frequently exposed to nasties.

I’ve had a few viruses pass through me in the last few months, and as I travel through developing countries with relative frequency I certainly pick up my fair share of bugs and other such pleasantries. So I wanted to have a bit of a general clean out, help my good gut bacteria flourish and get everything ticking over nicely, digestion wise.

I don’t believe in using cleanses or detoxing as a temporary appeasement for general binging and treating our bodies like sh*t. I don’t see the point, frankly. When they go hand in hand with a general holistic commitment to health and wellness, I  think they’re worth the time and effort.

Overall, I wanted my cleanse to be gentle and mild, nothing overly taxing and something that I could incorporate in to my life pretty easily.

Juice Cleanse

I did a 3 day juice cleanse through the lovely ladies at Sol Cleanse. I approached the juice cleanse with a little trepidation. After all, I’m from Singapore, where eating is practically a national sport. I have a very healthy appetite and have been known to out-compete some very large men in the eating stakes.

SOL

I have to say though, I felt entirely nourished during the cleanse. I did have one moment of craving hot chips at about eight o’clock in the morning (?) but it passed when I tucked in to another of my morning juices. Sol Cleanse have designed an awesome menu that keeps up the variety and loads you up with loads of fantastic nutrients. I did level one (of three), which also includes a delicious dhal for dinner, and chia filled smoothies. My faves were definitely the beetroot and carrot juice, and their green juice was absolutely delicious too.

They’ve closed up for the year now, but in the new year Sol Cleanse have kindly offered a discount to Pockets of Peace readers – you can use the discount code word ‘peace’ for 20% off any of their cleanses. Thanks, ladies!

Colonic + Infrared Sauna

Mention colonics in a conversation and you generally get either one of two reactions – immense curiosity and an immediate demand to ‘tell all’, or a weird look of disdain as though you’ve just announced you’re selling all your earthly belongings to join a nudist colony cult in the hinterland of Northern New South Wales.

Each to their own when it comes to this form of detoxing, and there are many contraindications, especially relating to any digestive tract conditions, so get that all checked out if you fancy giving it a go. It’s an entirely non-dramatic experience, especially if you have a generally healthy diet.

The reason I’m so thankful for colonics is due to its ability to really show what you aren’t digesting properly, and it’s made me so much more connected to what I put in to my mouth and its subsequent effects on my body. I credit my first colonic years ago with starting me on a rock solid commitment to health and wellness.

I highly recommend A1 Colon Hydrotherapy, they are absolutely ace – before you go in for your session they pop you in to their infrared sauna which is great at commencing the detox process.

Seriously amping up my probiotics

I completely maxed out on my probiotics capsules in the morning (I currently take Floramax), especially after my colonic, which tends to really flush you out. I also supported this with other fermented foods like coconut kefir, kim chi, saurkraut (important that these are bought from a health food shop where they’re not ultra-heat treated, ’cause the good bacteria dies, yo) – I buy the Peace, Love and Vegetables range of fermented products.

Acupuncture + Massage

I highly recommend having a gentle acupuncture and massage session to help your body with the cleansing process. We worked on several points on my body that helped move toxins out and through my liver and other excretory organs. I found it to be super supportive for my body and the process it was going through. Plus, this time was dedicated to being kind to my body, and I absolutely love me some acupuncture.

Bentonite Clay

So, I may have fallen in love with this stuff. I was completely dubious at first, especially as ‘eating clay’ conjures up images of taking wads of lumpen clay from a pottery wheel and chowing down. But I really wanted to try it because the purported benefits sounded amazing: cleansing the liver, colon and skin, balancing gut bacteria in the digestive tract, eliminating heavy metals, getting rid of parasites/worms, improving nutrient assimilation, and strengthening the immune system – amongst other positive health effects.

The clay’s negatively charged molecules pass through your digestive tract and bind to the toxins and other positively charged nasties in your system. These then do a merry little dance through your body and out in to the wild blue yonder.

I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin within a day or two of using it. It is the shiz, truly. And thankfully, it doesn’t taste like aforementioned shiz.

Bentonite

Taking it is as easy as putting a (plastic, not metal) teaspoonful of clay powder in to a cup of purified water and stirring, then knocking it back. It’s important to not take medication or vitamins within two hours of downing clay, as it will reduce their effectiveness. Again, see your healthcare professional for advice!

It’s also completely AMAZING as a face masque treatment and in the bath. Ultra nourishing and detoxifying.

Lots of herbal tea

Sol Cleanse sends a beautiful herbal tea to support the cleansing process, which is delicious. I drank copious amounts of this, and supplemented it with delicious Slim Bliss tea.

In addition, I did a lot of:

Dry body brushing – a fantastic way to get lymph moving through the body, which helps the detox process.

Taking Psyllium Husks – these highly fibrous little suckers help to clean out your digestive tract. The key to taking them is to shake, not stir, in to a glass of water. Kind of like how James Bond takes his martini. Stirring psyllium husks in to water will result in a gloopy gross mess. Shake it up, in a little jar or some such and they’ll be easily absorbed.

Loads of water – purified and with a bit of lemon in the morning, and sip on water all day.

Gentle exercise – I did a lot of yoga and walking. Now is generally not the time to bash out a 10 km run. Take it easy with your body, listen to it and be gentle.

Generally clean eating – for a week or so either side. I ate lots of brown rice, a rainbow of veggies, and a reasonable amount of fruit. No alcohol, gluten, dairy, caffeine, red meat during this time.

The Results?

Both during and after the cleanse I felt pretty gosh darn magnificent. I didn’t have any completely awful ‘detox’ days that I’ve heard people can have. The only waves of detox ickness I experienced was a little after my infrared sauna, and during my colonic – but these feelings passed fairly rapidly and I felt amazing afterwards.

I’ve had so much energy (I’m automatically waking up early, feeling refreshed), my skin has been a rude shade of health, my eyes are brighter, and my digestion is humming along beautifully.

I’ll definitely be doing it again, and will also be keeping up a few aspects of the cleanse on a consistent basis.

So some (healthy) food for thought as we enter the festive season! Would love to hear whether you’ve done a cleanse or are thinking of doing one at any point. Please pop your thoughts in to the comments below.

I’ll be taking a mini-break from blogging for a couple of weeks, as I’m about to head on over to Singapore for Christmas with my family and a bit of R + R + R (that last R is Retail – I’m pretty sure it’s against the law to go to Singapore and not buy anything).

Wishing you a stupendously happy festive season, full of love, joy and laughter. xx

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