Cleansing at Home
The “Be Light” Lifestyle
There are many elements of a cleanse that can be integrated into your lifestyle. Although there are many people who live a very healthy raw/vegan life, we don’t advocate you make the transition unless it feels right for you. You can, however, integrate more raw/vegan meals into your daily routine. Starting your day with fresh fruit and following that with a veggie salad for lunch will keep the majority of your diet alkalizing which will reduce the plaque in your digestive track. Reducing your consumption of processed foods will greatly reduce toxic ingredients and salt intake, both of which can create intestinal plaque. You can also integrate more herbs into your diet. At the end of this article there’s a list of herbs that are included in the Be Light Cleanse, as a well as a recommended reading list where you can find a lot more information on using herbs for cleansing.
Creating a Healthy Home
Removing toxins from your environment is one of the best things you can do for your body. Some people will buy organic produce and then chop it on a cutting board that has been cleaned with toxic soap. Others think a lot about what they put in their body and then cake toxic creams on their skin to protect them from the sun, or use highly toxic hair products or bug sprays. As much as 70% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed by our body and gets processed in the liver. One good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put in on your body. This even includes soaps and shampoos. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a wonderful organization that focuses on helping consumers make more educated decisions. They maintain a database of products called SkinDeep which lists the ingredients of thousands of consumer products and ranks them based on toxicity. SkinDeep
We also receive a lot of toxins through our water supply. The predominant contaminants found in water are fluoride, chlorine, pesticides and a variety of metals including mercury. Filtering your water with a carbon filter (like a Britta) helps remove as much as 99% of all harmful chemicals… very recommended.
There has been a lot of debate about whether organically grown food is more nutrient rich than conventional food. There is no question, however, that organic food contains significantly less herbicides and pesticides then conventional food. When possible, choose Organic. If Organic isn’t always feasible or out of your budget, the EWG has created a list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15. The Dirty Dozen are foods that have the highest degree of pesticides and the Clean 15 are okay to eat even if they are conventionally grown. Environmental Working Group
The “Be Light” Herbs:
- Psyllium – Laxative, High Fiber, Reduces Cholesterol
- Peppermint Leaf – Expectorant
- Sheep Sorrel – Antioxidant, immunity booster
- Myrrh Gum – Blood Cleanser
- Ginger Root – Diaphoretic
- Rosehips – Highest food source of vitamin C, Immunity booster
- Dandelion Root – Hepatic, Laxative
- Yellowdock Root – Hepatic, Laxative
- Marshmallow Root – Diuretic, Expectorant
- Hawthorn Berry - Used to promote the health of the circulatory system, treat angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia and has been found to strengthen the heart
- Bayberry Root Bark - It has been used for increasing circulation and toning of the arterial and capillary tissues. It has also helped to stop hemorrhage of the bowels, lungs, and uterus; decreases profuse menstrual flow
- Golden Seal Root – Lymphatic, Antimicrobial
- Licorice Root – Hepatic, Laxative, Expectorant
- Lobelia Herb – used to treat respiratory and muscle disorders and as a purgative
- Raspberry Leaf – Supports reproductive health and tonifies the blood
- Fennel Seed – Expectorant
- Chickweed Herb – Anti-Rheumatic, Anti-Inflammatory
- Rhubarb Root – Laxative
- Plantain Leaf – Tonifies liver and supports bowel function
- Alfalfa Leaf – Laxative, Diuretic, Detoxifies Urinary Tract
- Irish Moss – Super Nutrient… does everything… eat often
- Cascara Sagrada – Laxative
Key of Terms
Hepatic Herbs – Herbs that work specifically on the liver
Diuretic Herbs – Herbs that work specifically on the kidneys and urinary tract to stimulate urination
Laxative Herbs – Herbs which help to facilitate bowel movements
Diaphoretic Herbs – Herbs which stimulate perspiration by promoting increased circulation
Lymphatic Herbs – Herbs which stimulate cleansing of the network of lymph vessels and glands
Expectorant Herbs – Herbs that facilitate the removal of excessive mucus from the lungs
Antimicrobial Herbs – Herbs which have direct action against bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microorganisms
Ending a Cleanse
Congratulations on choosing to take care of your body, it’s the only one you get for this lifetime. But now comes the real challenge, taking your refreshed body home and ending your cleanse delicately. The most important part of any cleanse is the immediate few days after your last full day of cleansing. The length of this “come down” period depends entirely on how long and what type of cleanse you have engaged in. A good rule of thumb is to spend 2 days coming down for every week you’ve been cleansing. Compared to a juice cleanse or a fast, the “Be Light” cleanse has a fairly easy come down because you have been eating throughout the experience which keeps your stomach enzymes active. If you adhere to the guidelines that follow, your post cleanse experience will be smooth, easy, and healthy.
- The first day after your cleanse, drink a shake upon waking… this will be your last, woohoo! Whenever you would usually drink a shake, drink a veggie juice, fruit juice, or smoothie. Keep your meals raw/vegan as usual. At night, take one more dose of herbs before bed.
- On the second day, start by adding heat to your diet, not ingredients. The perfect cleanse breaking food is steamed veggies or veggie soup because there are no new ingredients; you’re merely adding heat to the foods you have already been eating.
- Reintroduce foods very slowly. Whatever new food you’re eating, start with a bite or two and increase the portion the following day.
- Don’t reintroduce more than one new ingredient per meal.
- Listen to your body, it knows best. But be careful, sometimes you think you’re listening to your body but it’s actually your mind that’s asking for those French fries.
- Keep your meals simple, not too many ingredients. Careful with sauces because they often are a mix of many ingredients that are difficult to digest.
- Start with simple grains like white rice or quinoa. Then add easily digestible legumes like lentils and sprouted or cooked mung beans.
- When adding dairy, the easiest form to digest is goat yogurt, followed by other yogurts, followed by goat cheese. Remember, take it slowly!
- Finally, you can add meats, starting with fish and chicken before heavier meets like pork and beef.
- Don’t binge… people have a tendency to binge after a cleanse which will absolutely reverse all of your hard work. If you do accidently binge, don’t feel guilty, but do learn from your experience. Simply go raw for a couple of days to reset your system.
- Take a probiotic every night before bed for at least a week after your cleanse. Cleansing strips your body of both good and bad flora, so it’s important to reintroduce it to the body.
Living In Balance
The Chinese have been preaching the philosophy of Yin/Yang for thousands of years, its main philosophy emphasizing the importance of balance. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Even cleansing too much makes the body weak to toxins. After periods of detox there will naturally be periods of retox. The worst thing we can do for our body, mind, and spirit is to feel guilty about what we consume. Eat with joy, celebrate the beautiful foods that we have available to us, send gratitude to the Earth for providing us with such delicious bounty, and occasionally cleanse. Detox… retox… repeat… detox… retox… repeat... As long as this cycle is done without extremes it is the cycle of a healthy life. Be joy, be love, Be Light. Thank you for cleansing at Present Moment.
14-Day Herbal Cleansing by Laurel Vukovic
Cleanse & Purify Thyself by Rich Anderson
The New Detox Diet by Elson M Hass
Thank you so much for taking care of your health. We would love to stay in touch and hear about your cleansing experiences. We are also here to answer any questions that may come up, our emails are below. Happy cleansing!!
Con Amor y Gratitud,
CJ & Coby