The January cleanse: my two cents
As defined by Webster for our purposes today: cleanse: a very restrictive short-term diet primarily intended to remove toxins from the body.
Most preventative health professionals must be pretty excited for January, as it is the month when many people are going to make healthy living a priority. Now, the mechanisms many people will use for this commitment will vary widely, to include a very wide range of what would be labeled as a “cleanse”.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve thought about this, which I would say is an overall cultural event in our country. It’s just what a lot of us do after the holidays. And it makes sense. Many of us just beat our bodies up over the holidays, drinking, eating a lot of very tasty, yet less nutritious food, and not exercising. Once the new year arrives and the holidays are over, we are tired of spending money, going to parties, and overindulging.
Even if you thought to yourself that this is the year you will not be participating in this “be super kind to your body” challenge, you soon see that, everyone else is doing it. No one is having parties (ok, maybe the Superbowl), your co-workers are bringing healthy lunches to work, your good friends are all on “veganuary” or “dry January”. Might as well join in the fun, since your entire environment is supporting it right now, yes?
So, with that being said, a few things to keep in mind.
1- Our bodies are pretty amazing at self-cleansing. For most of us, extreme measures are unnecessary for our bodies to run optimally. Nutritionally, a well-balanced diet, and avoiding alcohol and excessive sugar will do the trick for most of us.
2- Include mental, physical, and nutritive aspects in your plan. I see many people participate in a challenge of diet & exercise, but no psychological care. Some participate in a diet-only plan, or an exercise-only plan. Yes, I’d rather see you do one of those than nothing ;-), but consider a challenge that incorporates more aspects of well-being, such as mindfulness, spirituality, financial, social, in a addition to diet and exercise.
3- You are unique. The optimal plan for you will be different than everyone else. When considering how you will be good to your body in 2019, I highly suggest speaking with a qualified health professional who has YOUR best interests in mind, only. Most people have an agenda, even if they mean well. Speak to one (or more!) professional that is focused on your best interests, values and goals.
There is a plethora of avenues for optimal health. I hope that whatever your goals are in the new year, being good to yourself is one of them :-) Happy New Year, and as always, I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me if you have any questions.