10 Rules for an Effective Food Cleanse

A juice cleanse can send you on a short trip towards a meltdown. A food cleanse, on the other hand, can mark the start of a long journey towards healthier eating habits—if you do it right. (As in, only eating grapefruit is NOT the way.)

Of course the most important aspect is eating whole, nutritious, detoxing foods, but there’s much more to it than that.

Your entire lifestyle can impact how your body responds to a food cleanse, so you need to make sure everything else you’re doing is supporting your body’s cleansing process. (There’s a reason things like “Sleep Deep” and “Love More” are components of living a Nutritious Life—it’s all connected.)

To help you get the most out of your next food cleanse, we’re sharing some simple rules to follow. And when you’re ready to really go all in and detox, download the comprehensive Nutritious Life Guide to Cleansing (with daily menus!) here.

Nutritious Life’s 10 Food Cleanse Rules

  1. Eat consistently throughout the day, approximately every 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Eat as much fresh food as possible. Try to avoid anything that comes in a bag or a box. Processed foods are your enemy while cleansing. It’s all about lean meats, healthy fats, and veggies from whole foods.
  3. Use vinegar, herbs, and spices to flavor food. This will make number six much easier.
  4. Eat more vegetables if you’re still feeling hungry at a meal. It’s a better strategy than finishing up with a growling stomach. That could lead to poor choices later.
  5. Drink at least eight cups of water a day. Better yet, add fresh lemon juice, and also incorporate two cups of green tea.
  6. Avoid all added sugars and sodium. Yes, this will be tough, but focus on flavor-enhancers like vinegar and spices.
  7. Avoid all alcohol. Mocktails, anyone?
  8. Sleep seven to eight hours per night. To function optimally, your body needs rest just as much as it needs nutrients.
  9. Exercise each day. That could mean simply going on a long walk, or completing a Pilates class or a short at-home circuit training session.
  10. Do one thing just for YOU each day that you’re cleansing. For example, get a massage or set aside time to meditate.

Download the Guide to Cleansing, now!

The 3 Best Detox Foods

Today, we’re talking detox foods. Why? Because let’s be real. Your eats can’t always be ideal.

Even though (I hope!) you’re trying your best to eat as clean as possible, it’s normal to sometimes end up on the couch on a Friday night with salty takeout or spend a rainy Sunday afternoon curled up with an oversized chocolate chip muffin.

But when this does happen, we need to focus harder on those foods that are going to help cleanse us. Don’t let a little bit of an overindulgent weekend wreak havoc on your health and digestive system.

Eating detox foods will help to flush out your GI tract, wake up your digestion, and will also help enable your body to more efficiently absorb all of the crucial nutrients in the whole foods that you eat regularly.

Here Are Some of My Fave Detox Foods:

 

Should You Exercise With a Cold?

By Cassie Piasecki, NLC

You’ve been kicking booty at the gym and are finally in the habit of daily exercise when ka-BOOM, you wake up with a sore throat and a stuffy nose.  

You feel deflated because you were finally starting to see the results of your hard work. You sit on the edge of your bed, holding a box of tissues, thinking to yourself, “Should I exercise with a cold?”

The docs will tell you that if your symptoms are above the neck like a sore throat and a stuffy nose, it’s okay to workout. If your symptoms are below the neck, like a fever, a cough, body aches or worse, the docs want you to stay home and chill.

As a Pilates Instructor who has had plenty of clients show up for class with a cold, I have some added advice.  

When you have a cold, it’s a sign that your body is trying to cleanse itself. It’s looking for rest and rehab vs. the rigors of your usual workout. Does that mean that you need to sit at home?  No way.  

My favorite ways to exercise with a cold:

These low-intensity workouts will allow you to exercise with a cold while you body’s trying to recover. Do you notice what else these types of workouts have in common? They involve NOT going to the gym, the indoor cycling studio or the barre class.

That’s right! While rehabbing your body, you’re keeping your germs to yourself. And because not everyone has good manners like you do, here are my top ways to avoid catching a cold in the first place:

If you still feel like you’re dragging, and the above suggestions don’t feel right, it’s OK to give your body a few days off from all workouts. A short break won’t unravel all of your efforts.

You should feel empowered that you listened to your body and return to your usual plan with positive energy both mentally and physically when the time is right.

 


Cassie PiaseckiAbout Cassie: Cassie Piasecki, NLC is a Pilates Method Alliance, Certified Pilates Teacher, personal trainer, and Nutritious Life Certified Nutritionist based in Newport Beach, California. With over 24 years of experience, Cassie has taught fitness to over 10,000 people! She now connects with clients both in the studio and online via her website. Her favorite quote comes from Joseph Pilates, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”

How to Cleanse with Food and Yoga

By Danielle Diamond, NLC

If you’ve spent these last few weeks of winter hiding under thick wool sweaters and  indulging in your favorite foods, then you aren’t alone in feeling warm…and, well, maybe a little heavier than you’d like to be.

And if you overdid it to the point of messing with your digestion, and are dreading the fact that spring break is right around the corner, then I have a great video that will help you get back on track- a brand new twisting video. Yep! I’m going to show you how you can cleanse with food and yoga!

Iyengar (that famous yoga guy), likened twisting your body in yoga poses to what you do when you’re wringing out a sponge- it releases all the bad stuff like toxins in the organs and stale breath in the lungs,  then when you unwind you replenish those stores with a fresh supply.

Of course it’s much more scientific than that, but I prefer to just go with the metaphor.

When twisting you want to really pay attention to keeping the hips square and not letting them get involved in the rotation- you want the twist to occur between the hips and shoulders for the best result.

When you twist, start from the ground up; so first rotating the navel, then the ribcage, then the shoulders, and lastly the head if that movement is available to you- if not, it’s cool to keep your chin in line with your sternum.

Once you feel like you’ve “wrung out” winter, get back on track with healthy eating habits. You can start by adding certain cleansing foods that help you detox in order to clear your system of those last peppermint hot chocolates.

Cleansing foods generally are full of fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that will help to free your body of impurities and maintain liver health (your liver is the main detoxifying organ, so it pays to keep it healthy).

When I was studying for my Nutritious Life certification with Keri I learned that some of the most nutrient dense cleansing foods are:

Artichokes
Avocados
Beets
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celery
Eggs
Greens such as Spinach, Kale, Romaine
Garlic
Green Tea
Green Apples
Lemon
Lentils
Salmon

There are many more foods than can assist in detoxing and cleansing, but this list is a great place to start. Start by adding one of these foods at each meal, and if you really want to boost your cleansing efforts, try to only eat these foods for a few days.

The upside to eating all of these nutritious, cleansing foods? You’ll notice increased energy, decreased bloating, and a loss of those unwanted pounds that are keeping you from feeling spring break ready.

 

 Danielle DiamondAbout Danielle: Danielle Diamond is a yoga expert and Nutritious Life certified coach. She’s passionate about sharing her love of living a yogic lifestyle with her clients through her Xen Strength Wellness method which incorporates meditation, yoga, and clean eating.
Danielle was featured in Bobbi Brown’s Pretty Powerful campaign and book, and is a wellness contributor for Yahoo Beauty. She’s appeared on the Today Show, Dr. Oz, Shape, and Self Online; and on YogaVibes, YogaJournal, and YogaDownload. She’s sold thousands of her Xen Strength Yoga videos, and is currently training teachers globally in her Xen Strength Yoga with Weights method.
3 Cleansing Foods You Can’t Live Without

Your eats can’t always be ideal.

Lots of us do a pretty good job most of the time but there’s usually at least a few times a week when we’re snacking on what’s around, eating the Friday pizza or enjoying a menage a trois with Ben and Jerry on the couch.

Call me crazy, but I think that’s normal.

You can be “normal” but you also gotta clean up the mess that less-than-healthful-just-ate-it-cuz-it’s-delish foods wreak on your system.

Calling the internal squeegee, I’m sharing 3 foods that are the Arm & Hammer, Clorox and Lysol of foods (I’m talking results here, without the toxic chemical part).

Cleansing foods are foods that flush the GI tract, wake up your digestion, rid you of gunk in your pipes and release super powerful nutritional properties.

3 Cleansing Foods You Can’t Live Without:

Artichokes

artichoke

If you know me at all, you know how strongly I believe in the choke.

Between the antioxidants, fiber and sky high vitamin C content, artichokes are famous for soothing your tummy’s reflux, stomach upset, nausea and constipation.

Trust me, I know they are a pain to steam to perfection. That’s OK! Frozen and canned in water artichokes are super simple to keep on hand. Pop ‘em in a stirfry or load ‘em on your salad.


 

Garlic

garlic

That little bulb of garlic that sits on your countertop is a liver cleansing powerhouse of sulfur containing healthfulness.

It boosts your immune system, fights cancer and prevents infection. We all need that! (Plus, it keeps vampires away).

Smash a bulb and warm it up in a little olive oil over a low heat and grate it into your pesto.

Get the smell out of your fingertips by rubbing a metal spoon under running water and cleanse your breath with a chop of parsley (also a cleansing food. Woot woot!).


 

Dandelion root

dandelion greens

Yeah, the damn yellow weeds that ruin your dad’s perfect lawn actually have benefits!

Dandelion root is an amazing digestive aid that promotes peeing (yeah, you want to pee a lot because urine gets rid of toxins).

It also cleans the liver and kidneys, and has a role in diabetes, cancer and blood pressure management.

You can find these greens at farmer’s markets, and sometimes at your local market, but they’re easiest to get in as a tea.

You can even make your own (just make sure you get ‘em from your dad’s lawn for the extra brownie points).

Go on and get your cleanse on with artichokes, garlic and dandelion root.

You’ll feel healthier and feeling healthier will make you want to do healthy things, like strap on your sneaks and sip down the H2O.

They will also have you feeling so good about yourself, that those less-than-healthful-just-ate-it-cuz-it’s-delish foods won’t be as tempting. Go you!