You just finished a cleanse and have taken an essential step toward becoming a healthier version of yourself, so congratulations! And, now, the only thing you’re planning post-cleanse is how you’ll indulge, right?
Whoa, not so fast!
You won’t keep your post-detox glow by returning to your old ways and jumping back into a diet filled with dense, fried, gluten-rich fatty foods. “Breaking a cleanse correctly is almost as important as the cleanse itself,” says holistic chef Adina Niemerow.
She goes on to explain that it’s important to end your detox gradually, slowly incorporating healthy foods back into your diet: “It might sound like the cleanse after the cleanse, but it’s important if you want to maintain those detox benefits,” she says.
Just as you carefully prepared for your cleanse and successfully completed it, finishing a natural colon cleanse and embracing the new, healthier, stronger, more vibrant version of you requires even more work. You have an excellent opportunity to not slip back into any bad habits. Here you will learn what to avoid after your cleanse.
Mistakes to Avoid
Coming off the cleanse too quickly
As a rule of thumb, you should try to take twice as many days to come out of the cleanse as you were on the cleanse. This will ensure that you don’t hurt your new, highly absorbable, digestive system.
Not hydrating enough
By drinking 16 ounces of lemon water each morning, you have an easy and effective detoxification strategy to incorporate into your daily routine. For starters, your body needs water for proper hydration. When you add lemon, you boost water’s detoxifying properties. Lemons are a natural detoxifier, and they help stimulate your liver’s natural enzymes, helping your body flush out toxins.
Not taking digestive enzymes or a probiotic
It’s essential that the beneficial bacteria in our gut are allowed to function to provide optimal digestive health. Through the use of antibiotics, consumption of toxic-laden foods, not to mention chronic overeating, we essentially destroy the friendly bacteria in our gut. It’s recommended that you take a high-count probiotic supplement to restore the proper internal balance. Digestive supplements from the Hallelujah Diet® promote complete digestive health. These should be taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Not seeking out fruits and vegetables
Many fruits and vegetables are beneficial for cleansing your digestive system. The most effective vegetables are those from the cruciferous family—big, leafy greens. These include broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, bok choy, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, and watercress. Brightly colored fruits tend to have high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, while others are high in fiber and micronutrients.
Not eating the best foods with which to break your cleanse
Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman says, “I always find it helpful to break a cleanse with easy-to-digest foods.” These can include steamed or puréed vegetables or lightly sautéed greens, as well as proteins such as nuts, legumes, tofu, or seeds. It is best to eat in this manner for the three days following your last day of juice cleansing.
Going back to the Standard American Diet (SAD)
Meat, in particular, is loaded with toxic substances: antibiotics, growth hormones, accumulated poisons imbedded in artery-clogging fat, and more. If you plan to re-introduce meat into your diet, holistic chef Adina Niemerow recommends doing so slowly. Start with organic poultry rather than beef or fish, which can contain mercury. Or don’t add it back at all.
Too rapidly increasing meal sizes
The most effective way to prevent bingeing after a cleanse is to ensure that you eat or drink every three hours. Snacks and meals should include both a protein and a healthy fat; both of which will help keep you satiated for longer periods.
Too quickly going back to consuming alcohol and coffee
While alcohol is considered toxic and removed from your body during a cleanse, organic coffee has numerous health benefits and can gradually be reintroduced into your diet.
It is not easy to ignore the many benefits of exercising. Gentle walks or yoga are especially beneficial for the low energy days that might follow your cleanse.
Not going for a massage
This is a wonderful way of speeding up the disposal of toxins out of your body. Not only does it feel great, but it will help you sleep better, too.
Not going out into the sun
Direct sunlight on our bodies provides many benefits, and vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, boosts our immune system and helps prevent cancer. Try to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day without sunscreen.
Not getting enough sleep
Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, and quality of life.
But Isn’t a Cleanse Only About Digestion?
Some of these mistakes do not seem to affect your digestive system directly, right? Well, the hidden truth of all they do might astound you! Your digestive system is very delicate after a cleanse, having digested a very different diet for days. It feels as if your body has been entirely focused on pushing out those toxins and healing. This means that if you choose to binge on high-fat, high-sugar, hard-to-digest foods, you will not only feel the physical repercussions—think stomach cramps, headaches, bloating—but you will hamper the progress you have made while cleansing.
Everyone knows the gut is responsible for digesting food, but did you know it also performs other essential functions? Your gut also holds something referred to as “The Second Brain,” which comprises microbiomes and the enteric nervous system. This “Backup Brain,” which runs through your gut, regulates your mood (it supplies over 95% of the mood-boosting serotonin!).
As you will discover, the functioning of your digestive system affects every process in your body, which means that the side effects of poor gut health can show up anywhere. Post-cleanse, don’t simply dive right back into your old ways of making poor food choices. Instead, take this as an opportunity to start anew, focusing your diet on plant-based, vegetable-rich meals. Enjoy your new healthier, stronger more glowing version of you!