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Concluding a Cleanse

Posted Apr 11 2011 11:19am

Ah the cleanse is over. Sort of! After doing such a nice job of cleaning up our insides, we couldn’t exactly jump right back in to eating everything we ate before. What a waste that would be! Not to mention rough on the digestion after it had such a nice, long break. I ended my vegetable cleanse with a gentle gravity colonic so I think I put my colon through enough exercise without adding a sudden rush of all sorts of food right away.

Ah yes, I really did a colonic. They sound intimidating but if you go to the right practitioner they are a relaxing, soothing and rewarding experience. I felt great afterwards! While doing a cleanse without finishing it off with colon therapy is not a waste, it makes sense to me to get out all of those toxins. I’d cleaned up all that trash in my system, so I wanted to be sure to clear it out from my body. Otherwise you run the risk of getting all that garbage out of your cells and letting it stagnate inside you. I went to Kim at Nadha Brahma and she was fantastic.

photo by graur codrin

My biggest focus was to make sure I drank tons of water. During the cleanse and definitely after the colonic! The first food I brought back was quinoa. I felt like I needed some more texture and specifically I was craving a bit of grains. But grains tend to give me problems so I stuck with only quinoa. It was definitely time to add some fat back in to my diet – my skin was getting really dry – so I started using some olive oil to my raw veggies and coconut oil to the cooked ones. I’ve never had issues with nuts so I added them back in too. Finally, I really missed fish so I had some last night with dinner. And I’m back! There isn’t much more to add.

photo by Salvatore Vuono

One other thing to note is the importance of chewing. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but especially after a cleanse and colonic you want to help your digestion out by doing your part!

One thing I am trying to be careful about is something that I adhered to during my cleanse. The rules of food combining can be extremely helpful for your digestion. Basically, you never combine nuts, starches or meat and dairy in one meal. Any of those categories can be eaten with vegetables but not with eat other. For example, if you have vegetables with your fish, you wouldn’t want to eat grains too. Fruits are only meant to be eaten on an empty stomach so they are best in the morning and not for the rest of the day.

You may not be interested in getting this vigilant, but I find it really helps me. Plus, it’s not that far from how I have been eating anyway. In case you’re intrigued, here’s a quick rundown of the reasoning behind the rules. First of all, fruit breaks down much faster than any other food. So when you add another food at the same time, it causes the fruit to stick in your system longer even though it’s broken down and thus it starts to ferment. Not something helpful to have sitting around in your gut! Also, different types of food are broken down by different groups of enzymes. For instance, when you eat meat you secrete pepsin to digest it; when you eat grains your system sends out an amylase to break them down. Send out both of these at the same time and they neutralize each other, making it difficult to digest properly.

photo by Arvind Balaraman

Doing a cleanse is a great time to experiment with an elimination diet. In other words, reintroduce foods one by one to see how your digestion reacts. I’ve done this in the past and it’s what led to me finally discovering which foods were responsible for my digestive troubles. To narrow it down it might help to focus on the common contributors to health issues – dairy, eggs, gluten, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish and other fish and soy. Of course if there are any other foods that you have ever thought might not agree with you, try to add these in one at a time as well. As for things like processed, packaged foods, refined sugar and flour and the like… it’s safe to say we don’t need to add those back in at all!

Time for a run!


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