A lot of people chose January as the month to change their diet, try a detox or just eat better in general. This January we thought we'd try a 30 Day Cleanse, to see if we could reap any benefits from going back to basics.
There are plenty of diets out there that advocate minimising or even eliminating certain food groups - such as Whole30, Paleo and Keto. Juice cleanses are also another January staple, which usually involves drinking nothing but green juice and smoothies to detox the body. An elimination diet is another quite common option, used to work out any food intolerances and sensitives, as you start from remove certain foods and slowly reintroduce them one by one. For our Cleanse we wanted to strip out processed foods and enjoy only plant-based whole foods for a month.
If you’re interested in doing your own 30 Day Cleanse, here are the tips we’ve discovered so far on this journey.
Plan your Cleanse
How long for? What type of diet are you following? What foods will you need and what will you be avoiding? Are there any important (dinner) dates in your calendar? It’s all well and good to set out with the plan to juice for 30 days, but if you have a wedding or business dinner coming up it’s probably not going to work. Pick a period of time that’ll work for you and you can stick to your diet uninterrupted.
Consume whole foods
For our Cleanse, we’ve chosen to stick to whole foods but we think this is key for everyone. Try to consume foods as close to their natural state as possible. This means eliminating as much processed foods as possible - ditch pre-packaged goods and stick to good, wholesome produce. If you need to buy something that you can’t make at home from scratch, check the ingredients and make sure there are as few as possible – and you can pronounce them all!
3 square meals
The point of your cleanse is getting your body back to enjoying wholesome, unprocessed foods. The goal is to eat 3 proper meals a day, that satisfy your hunger and provide you with a variety of nutrients. If you’re depriving yourself of food, your willpower will only last so long. Studies have shown that over-restriction of foods can lead to you overdoing it down the line and negative consequences such as disordered eating.
Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, which leads to mindless snacking. Stay on top of your water intake, aiming for at least 6 – 8 glasses throughout the day. If you’re feeling peckish between meals, first have a glass of water and see if the feeling goes away.
If you do feel the need to eat between meals, prepare some healthy swaps in advance. Make sure you have fruit or nuts on hand to avoid the temptation of throwing in the towel and polishing off a packet of crisps.
Be aware of your body and how it feels. Think of hunger as a scale – with 10 being so full it hurts and 0 being starving. You want to always remain at between 4-6. Don’t delay eating and slip below a 4 and instead fight hunger before it begins.
You will crave all the food. Chocolate, biscuits, crisps, sweets – you name it. The human body is programmed through evolution to prefer high fat, high sugar foods as these were scarce for most of our history on the planet. We now live in a time where this type of food is in abundance, but we still crave it. However, as you eliminate processed foods and refined sugars from your diet, each day the cravings will lessen and your tolerance to sweet tastes will build back up.
Are you doing any kind of Cleanse? What are your thoughts on elimination diets? We’d love to hear!
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