Yesterday, at the behest of my youngest daughter, and only still-at-home child, we embarked on a dietary cleanse.  The specific cleanse is one which I have completed two or three times before.  This is the first time that my partner and any of the children have participated, so we are heading into new directions when my usual experiment-of-one becomes an experiment-of-one-family.

I like this cleanse because it is simple and easy.  Complicated is not valued in my life.  The cleanse is 5 days long.  This allows me to place the cleanse during the working week, so dietary limitations are short-term and manageable and the end of the week comes quickly, bringing relief if one is feeling overly deprived.  This latter feature is a nice one when I recommend the cleanse to friends or clients who tend to see cleansing as deprivation.

the book

the book

A couple of years ago I attended a workshop with Dr. Joey Shulman.  The information she presented was interesting and the book she was hawking, the natural makeover diet: a 4-step program to looking and feeling your best from the inside out, was not something I would ever have purchased off the shelf.  However, with her personable and intelligent presentation, I was swayed.

I tried the cleanse almost immediately after the purchase and liked a lot about it.  Best of all I liked that it was something I could easily recommend to clients and members of the gym where I worked; people who generally would never consider a cleanse, a detox or a fast.  It was mainstream, did not require extreme stringency, maintained balance and allowed anyone completing the cleanse to come to conclusions about how their body is affected by particular food groups.

Shulman, coming from the angle of beautiful skin and vitality, identifies 3 main physiological processes which have an impact on our inner health and outward beauty.

  1. Faulty Digestion which leads to toxins building up in your body
  2. Chronic Inflammation resulting from irritants introduced into the body on an ongoing basis
  3. Free Radical Damage whereby damage occurs at a cellular level

The cleanse she recommends is based on reintroducing health into the digestion system, eliminating inflammatory foods and increasing anti-inflammatory foods, and ensuring sufficient antioxidants in the daily diet to repair the cell damage of free radicals.

Shulman lists 10 sources of  what she calls internal garbage:

  1. eating refined white flour and sugary foods
  2. dehydration
  3. consumptions of trans fats
  4. lack of omega-3 essential fats in the diet
  5. lack of anti-inflammatory foods in the diet
  6. smoking
  7. stress
  8. lack of exercise
  9. repetitive use of antibiotics
  10. poor sleeping patterns

So, in a nutshell, the cleanse involves the following:

  1. eliminate all grains
  2. eliminate all dairy products
  3. eliminate all red meat
  4. eliminate all white sugar
  5. take a minimum of 3 probiotic capsules daily
  6. increase consumption of phytonutrient rich foods and a greens supplement
  7. drink 8 glasses of water or herbal tea daily (no coffee, juice, pop or alcohol)
  8. consume 1 tsp of ground flaxseed daily

The cleanse is nicely rounded out by breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions.  It helps that Shulman’s partner is a chef and provided balanced, flavourful easy recipes for the book.

So, stay tuned for a posting or two on how we all cope with this cleanse.  I’m guessing the 14 year old, who consumes a lot of juice and dairy, will have some trials this week.  As well, packing her school lunches within the dietary restrictions will be a challenge for her dad.