So you’ve made the commitment and set the dates for your first 21-Day Program. Maybe you feel excited, even a little nervous, and you’re wondering what to expect. While each person’s healing process is unique, there are some general commonalities that lots of folks experience; especially during their first cleanse.
The Clean Program’s cleansing tools are designed to support your body’s natural detoxification functions. Modern life is rife with pollution, environmental stressors, and poor quality foods, all of which contribute to impaired digestion (an all-too-common complaint), and potential toxic overload for our bodies. Giving your body’s detoxification processes some support on an ongoing and/or periodic basis is smart.
Before Your Cleanse
Assess the state of your health, and get clear on your reasons, or your “why”, for committing to the cleanse program. Are you feeling sluggish and want to adopt a better diet and self-care habits, or are you struggling with more significant health problems? Prepare ahead of time, and get adequate support in place that will help you succeed. If you are healing from illness, you may need a good integrative or functional medicine doctor on your team.
We also recommend gentle colon hydrotherapy for anyone embarking on a cleanse: before, during, and after–as needed. Colon hydrotherapy administered by a well trained and skilled therapist is a powerful healing tool. When combined with lots of hydration, probiotics, and a plant-centered diet, it can do wonders for rehabilitating a troubled gut, and will also ease detoxification symptoms during a cleanse. Please feel free to contact our coaching team for support and recommendations, and you can also check out this directory of well-vetted colon hydrotherapists here.
Aim to ease into the 21-Day Program gently. Detox symptoms can be lessened by some good prep work: eliminate highly processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol, and caffeine at least three days before you embark on the full program. Attend to your sleep, and reduce your stress levels as much as possible; you want to give your body a chance to do some deeply healing work, so set yourself up for the best possible experience.
What to Expect
If this is your first cleanse, you may experience some physical and emotional effects. Breakouts, fatigue, even mild flu-like symptoms may occur within the first few days. You may also find that cravings and mood swings hit once you’ve given up caffeine, sugar, and alcohol. Give yourself time to settle into new habits; giving up junk and processed foods for the first time is a major life change.
The best advice we can give you is to stick with it. Allow the cravings to pass, and stay with your commitment to the program. Remember why you chose to cleanse and adopt better dietary habits in the first place: you deserve to experience excellent health. This is a lifestyle transition to a diet based in whole, natural foods, self-care, and habits that will keep you looking and feeling vibrant for years to come.
Elimination is Key
Adequate, healthy eliminations are key to success with the 21 Day Program, and also your overall health in the long-term. If you are struggling with a backed up GI tract, take steps to heal your gut and ease constipation. Taking probiotics regularly, eating probiotic-rich foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, and making time for your body to eliminate well daily, are integral to a well-functioning gut and efficient systemic detoxification. Cultured, probiotic foods are also fantastic for curbing sugar cravings, so make a habit of adding them to your salads and meals each day.
Remember that the 21-Day Clean Program is not a fad or crash diet: cleansing is a tool to reset your body, a transition to a whole foods diet, and it shores up daily habits so you have access to greater levels of health and well-being. When you experience the increased energy, strengthened immunity, and radiant skin that become possible when you care for yourself well, you will feel inspired to embrace a healthier way of life for the long-term.
Written by Carolyn De Lorenzo