Let’s Rethink Our Normal Cleanse

It’s a new year and with that can come a whole list of resolutions. Is one of your goals to dive into a cleanse to clean out your system after a few days (or weeks…) of a little too much junk food and drinks? Or do you just want to clean up your diet a bit but struggle to figure out what to do? It’s a common problem. We have the best of intentions, and then our busy lives get in the way. We’d like to eat healthier or do more meal planning, but it can be a hard habit to start—especially when we’re also recovering from a bit too much indulging over the holidays.

Let’s do a full rethink

Life tends to be a bit busy for a giant diet overhaul, and the truth is giant diet overhauls aren’t very effective. If we manage to do it, we might feel fantastic for a week or two, but eventually the food prep or your busy life throws one too many wrenches into your cleanse, and you go back to your old habits. The same habits you were trying to cleanse away. Instead, let’s try an easier and more effective way. It’s so effective, it works pretty much every time. Just change one or two things, that’s all. When those changes become habits, add another one.

Start with one big thing you’d like to change

We might as well use that great January willpower to change something that’s been on your mind for awhile. The key is to only do this one thing; don’t try to add a bunch of little ones too. For example, commit to bringing lunch every day for a month. That can take a lot of preparation and organization at first, so just concentrate on that. Don’t add “and it must be super-duper healthy/vegan/paleo/raw” or whatever diet you’d like to try. For me, my January usually starts with a commitment to stop all alcohol for one to four weeks; the timeframe depends on how strong my willpower is. In December, I tend to get into a bad habit of having a drink almost daily, and this single-goal technique helps me stop that in its tracks. Then add a few small ones. Your body does want to get back into some healthy habits in January. December can be downright exhausting, so your body is aching for some good healthy food, too. Once your big change is feeling pretty easy, slowly add a few small changes. For me, I’ll spend a few weeks on my big change, and then over January and February, I add a small change every week or two.

Some easy ideas

  1. Add more fruits and veggies
Adding one more serving of fruit or veggies to your diet will make your body very happy. Two to three more will make your body sing! Throw an apple in your bag in the morning for an afternoon snack. Cut up some carrots or celery on the weekend and put in individual containers so they’re easy to bring for lunch.
  1. Get more sleep
Our body likes more sleep during the long winter nights. Try getting to bed by 10pm for a few weeks and notice your energy go up. Maybe that second cup of coffee won’t be as necessary anymore.
  1. Get moving
Studies have found that 150 mins of exercise per week (or 30 mins 5x per week) is like a magic pill for our health. Try a lunchtime walk or park a bit further away from your building. Maybe go for a longer hike on the weekend with your loved ones.
  1. Drink a warm mug of Flor-Essence for a gentle, everyday cleanse
This is the easiest change I make every January. I help my body gently detoxify with an ounce of Flor-Essence tea (US/CA) in warm water. It’s an old Ojibwa formula that supports a full-body detoxification, while also being gentle enough to take in January. Our body prefers spring and fall for a more heavy-duty detox like the Flor-Essence 7-Day Purification Program (US/CA), but Flor-Essence is gentle enough to take every day to support our body’s natural cleansing processes. What is your favorite way to start the new year? Let us know! Share it on social and tag @florahealthy. #BeFloraHealthy
Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN), founder of LisaKilgour.com, and a faculty member at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.