Cleansing Diets: The Biggest Myth Busted

Welcome to Day 5 of the #plantfueledyoga Challenge!

How many of you have heard of someone you know doing a cleanse? Whether it was a juice cleanse, where all they’re consuming for several days is juice, or a fasting cleanse, where maybe just lemon water is allowed, the thought behind is the same: riding your body of toxins happens through this process.

The Myth: You need to “detox” (i.e. juice cleanse, fasting, severely calorie-restricted diet) in order to be healthy.

The Reality: While there is nothing wrong with drinking juice, there is no scientific research that juice cleanses and other so-called detox diets provide benefits in the short or long term.

Most nutritionists agree that juice cleanses are not an overall healthy approach to eating, nor are they necessary to regain balance after a period of unhealthy eating or to jump-start wholesome habits. The body does a great job of detoxifying itself, through the action of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Go Body!

Juice cleanses and other liquid detox diets are not necessary for health, since the body is always in a natural state of cleansing itself. Reach for healthful, plant-based whole foods as much as possible – your hard-working organs will thank you.

 

Lunge Twists
Lunge Twists

Your Cleansing Yoga Challenge:  Lunge Twists 

Oh, this juicy pose will feel delicious to your internal organs!

From a standing mountain pose, fall over your legs for a forward fold.  Then take your right leg back into a runners lunge.

Come up into a crescent lunge, take a breathe and feel strong! Take your hands to your heart center and slowly hinge over your left thigh (without dropping your weight onto it).

Slowly twist to the left, having your right elbow lean on your leg. Breathe here. Breathe in for at least 5 full breathes.

Namaste!

Cleanse, Detox & Twist

Spinach salad with Lemon & Tumeric dressing
Spinach salad with Lemon & Tumeric dressing

Day 4 of the #plantfueledyoga Challenge starts the Cleanse, Detox & Twist series!

Did you know there are foods that naturally cleanse your body? Your body handles a lot! Think about it….from the food you eat (or the ‘food-like’ substances you cram in) to the chemicals we use to clean our house, to the toxins we breathe in, our body absorbs quite a bit of gunk. And it is pretty darn efficient of cleansing itself!

Introducing the hardest working organ in our body: The Liver

This bad a#$ organ works 24/7 to extract the toxins our body consumes and absorbs throughout the day. In a nutshell, it produces compounds which aide in digestion and help to cleanse your blood of waste, separating out the useful nutrients needed. Fatty proteins (meat) take their toll on the liver and require lots of energy to be broken down into more water soluble elements for easier absorption. Poor liver!

More Plants = Happy Liver

Eating plants has so many health benefits, including giving your liver a break! Here are the Top 5 Plants to Aide in Detoxing & Cleansing your Liver:

  1. Beets & Carrots – both have tons of plant-flavonoids
  2. Herbs:
    Peppermint – aids in digestion & helps break down fats
    Turmeric – helps with inflammation & stimulates enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins
    Ginger – reduces nausea and inflammation
  3. Grapefruit – boosts production of liver detoxifying enzymes
  4. Garlic – stimulate the liver into producing detoxification enzymes that help filter toxic residues from the digestive system.
  5. Avocados -the omega-3 oils in avocado will help lubricate the lining in the intestine & allow the toxins to be absorbed by the oil and eliminated from the body.

 

Your Detoxifying Yoga Challenge: Side to Side Chair Pose

This twisting pose is sure to help ring out your liver!

Stand in mountain pose & center down through your feet.
Come into Utkatasana (Chair Pose) – raising your arms, bending your knees, folding your torso forward. Keep your back flat here (don’t crumble into yourself).
Breathe here for a few breathes.

Bring your hands to your heart center and rotate your torso to the right, hooking your left elbow onto your bent knee. Breathe for five breathes here, feeling the twist.

For more of a challenge, flower your arms open, reaching your left hand down to the ground and your right arm to the sky. Look up and breathe.

Come back to chair pose. Repeat on the opposite side.

Take care of your body, it’s where you live!

Namaste!