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September 2010

To Cleanse or not to Cleanse?

Hopefully, we all know that eating healthy is EQUALLY as important as exercise. Anyone who has ever had success with weight loss knows that a healthy diet in addition to regular exercise is the key to seeing results. You have to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Period.

It seems like the recent fad in weight loss is the cleanse, but it's important to recognize that a cleanse is more than just shedding some pounds. A cleanse helps with many functions of the body and can be tailored to an individual for detoxification, skin clearing, colon cleansing, liver cleansing, kidney cleansing, and pH balancing, but of course the most Americans are opting for concentration on weight loss.

In terms of cleansing for weight loss there are hundreds of options out there. There is the 10 day Master Cleanse, the Juice Cleanse, the Green Diet, the Quantum Wellness Cleanse, the Raw Foods Diet, the Berry Cleanse, the Lemonade Cleanse, and the Eat Stop Eat diet... just to name a few. With so many choices how do you know which cleanse is right for you, if any?

Here is some basic info that you should know before making a decision.

Cleanses usually range from 1 to 30 days and consist of eating or drinking smaller portions of fresh pure lower calorie foods, juices, or teas in order to clean out toxins from the system and flush away fat.  In most cleanses you would need to give up coffee, alcohol and drugs. Usually a cleanse includes drinking a lot of water in order to aid in flushing out toxins.

The Pros of Cleansing:

-Flushing Out Toxins-
You rid yourself of toxins that build up in your body over time (alcohol, caffeine, waste, and other toxins). This helps promote a more efficient digestive system, higher metabolism, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, clearer skin, a stronger immune system, and a higher energy level in the long run.  

- Battling Food Addictions-
Cleansing can help get over hurdles such as addictions to carbs, sugar, coffee, and alcohol. You can also train your body to cut down on portions. You will find that during and after your cleanse it takes less to make your body feel full.

- Weight Loss-
Again- the main principle of weight loss--lower your calorie count. During a cleanse you are ingesting only pure foods that are low in calories, so you are burning more calories than you consume. And after you shed a few pounds you feel awesome!

Cons of Cleansing:

 - Energy Level and Performance-
Although you can experience greater energy levels after you cleanse, during it you may feel irritable and lethargic because your body is taking in less fuel. That's why it is recommended to find a less hectic week or weekend to take on most intense cleanses. Sometimes it is common to feel dizzy, headachey, or lightheaded. Light exercise is sometimes encouraged, but running a marathon during your cleanse is probably not a good idea.

- Money and Time-
Many of these cleanses can be purchased in advance with the juices or meals pre-made.  If you choose this option you may need to pay a pretty penny for it.  If you decide to make the meals yourself you need to devote some time and effort to prepare. Usually you will not find a Chinese take out place that will have what you need after a long day at work.

- Post Cleanse Weight Gain-
A cleanse is not the solution to long term weight loss. If you go back to eating the sugars and carbs and over sized portions that you consumed before the cleanse you will inevitably gain the weight back. That's why I suggest using a cleanse to jump start a lifestyle change in nutrition. You can gradually start adding carbs and other foods into your diet after a cleanse, but the goal should be to maintain a balanced, healthy diet and good portion control.

Here are some websites that may help you in deciding if a cleanse is right for you:

If you have already tried a cleanse I invite you to share with us your experience.  We would love to hear about what did or did not work for you and what kind of results you have seen.

"Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is a nightmare."

I ran across this quote as I was reading Ravi Ravindra's translation Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.  It made me re-evaluate my goals regarding fitness, career, and attitude.  What are my goals (or visions) in regards to these aspects of my life? Are these goals supported by action?

This quote reconfirmed the fact that you need to have BOTH vision and action to succeed.

This is why I ask my clients for a specific goal when beginning any fitness program.  Clients say: "I want to lose weight."  I ask "How much? Where on your body do you feel you need to lose weight?"  Clients say "I want to relieve stress."  I ask "What do you see yourself doing with your time once you are free of stress?  What improvements would you like to see in your work and home life?"  It is important to have a clear vision of what you want, your ideal body or attitude. 

It is only after that goal is set that you can create a plan of action. Then you actually have to DO IT! You have to dive in without hesitation, without procrastination.  There will always be an excuse not to go for that run. You are tired, it is cold outside, it is hot outside, you just ate, you didn't eat enough... The list goes on. If you don't execute and take action, your vision is just a dream. It is not a reality.

And how can action without vision become a nightmare?  Have you ever been  running on a treadmill and thought "Why am I doing this?  I don't want to be here."  Hard work for no good reason does not feel good.  It is a nightmare. But what if you had an answer?  "I am running because I want to fit into that size 4 pair of jeans I use to love." You imagine yourself walking down the street looking awesome in those jeans. That  feels good. That makes the sweat and the hard work bearable, and maybe even enjoyable.  And if it feels good, you are more likely to keep doing it.

So define your goals, set a plan of action, and then execute.
Vision + Action = Success

First blog!

Hi everyone!

I have decided to start this blog to share with clients and friends interesting or inspiring stories, articles, and information that may be helpful on the path to a healthier body and mind.  This way we can all be on the same page (literally and figuratively) when something new and exciting comes up.

A client recently sent me this: 101 Ways to Live Life to the Fullest
Thanks, Deb!

Check it out! Maybe print it out and check things off.  I know there must be about 78 things on there that I have yet to do.

And after you have read it maybe think of a few more things to add to the list. I have one-- My yoga teacher once told our class to spend a whole day smiling.  No matter how stupid you may feel walking down the streets of Manhattan grinning from ear to ear, you will be surprised what it does to your mood...and the moods of others. Can you think of something to add to this list?

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