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Beach Body Week: Body Cleansing

May 2, 2011

Okay, it is now officially May. You know what that means, right?  Bathing suit season is right around the corner. To help kick off the countdown, we are going to feature health and fitness articles every  day this week. You’ll read exclusive advice on exercise, diet, and wellness. We’ll get you motivated, the rest is up to you.

Today, Health and Wellness coach Michelle Derry weighs in on body cleansing, and why it is essential for full body wellness. So what exactly is a body cleanse? Often times it is called detoxification, but basically it a process that helps eliminate toxins and impurities from the body. It is considered an alternative medicine practice, and can brought about by diet, fasting, chelation therapy or by consumption of a  prepared product.

In recent years, there has been a surge in “colon cleansing” products that are now readily available over the counter. Obviously people have become more aware of this practice, as evidenced by the amount of products available.

Detox diets and fasting have been hotly debated, with experts pointing out that drastic diets do more harm than good. We’ve all heard of the “grapefruit” diet and nasty concoctions comprised of cayenne pepper and maple syrup. The truth is, most of these diets eliminate too many nutrients to be considered safe, and they can cause some unpleasant side effects. Be prepared to spend most of your time in the bathroom.

However, following a healthy (not fad) diet can help with the cleansing problem. An article from Women’s Health explains:

“Most people eat way more food than necessary, which taxes the liver and kidneys,” says Ronald Stram, M.D., director of the Center for Integrative Health and Healing in New York. Not only does a healthy detox give your digestive system a break, but by eliminating added sugar, saturated fats, and alcohol, it also rids your diet of things that can exacerbate health issues.”

If you think you might like to try a reasonable dietary approach to body cleansing, that same article features a very sensible plan developed by Jennifer Ventrelle, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. It is a well rounded, 1,400 calories a day diet featuring lots of fruits and vegetables as well as lean meats like salmon and chicken.

As for the benefits of a cleanse, Michelle explains, “A great way to enter into a healthy paradigm and move away from a sickness paradigm is to cleanse the body of impurities and put good nutrition back into it.” She continues,”The human body is programmed for health. We have been around for 40,000 years or so and if we were programmed for sickness, we would have all died off. This should give us hope that we can adapt and overcome most obstacles.”

“With over 500,000 new toxins in our world today, it is critical that we cleanse in order for optimum health and wellness.”

Like most trainers and fitness experts, Michelle doesn’t care what your motive is, just that you do something to get healthy, “Getting truly healthy requires a reason. If the reason we are trying to get healthy is so that we can fit into a cool/sexy bikini that is just fine! It doesn’t matter why we want to improve our health, it just has to mean enough to us so that we will really try to change away from our current habits.”

In addition to a healthy, well rounded diet, Michelle prefers taking a supplement to aid with cleansing. She is a fan of Isagenix. “It has the BEST 30 day cleanse today. It supports the body with what it needs while flushing the toxins and ridding the body of what it needs not. Most cleanses today only take away from the body and can be quite stringent.”

“Isagenix is an excellent bridge to take us from some pretty bad eating habits- over the river of complacency- and onto much healthier ground. All of us need to enter into a healthier world by making good choices as they relate to eating, moving (exercise,) sleeping and thinking.”

Of course, many argue that none of these steps are necessary. After all, we are equipped with organs that are designed to cleanse our bodies of waste and by-products. However, most of us abuse our bodies at one point or another by consuming alcohol, sugars, heavily processed foods, and other contaminants. Doing a light cleanse can help aid our body’s natural mechanisms. Even taking a small step like adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help these natural processes.

For more information you can visit the following links:

Women’s Health Magazine “A Body Cleanse That Isn’t Crazy”

Michelle Derry

Web MD “Detox Diets: Cleansing the Body”

Xenobiotic Metabolism (a scientific breakdown on cleansing)




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