Goodbye, Juice Cleanses—Here’s Why a Food Cleanse Might Be Right for You
The trick could be doing a quickie food cleanse (you know, a cleanse where you still get to eat). When women see health coach Maria Marlowe for symptoms like fatigue and brain fog, she often suggests a food reboot.
Why? “A short-term cleanse can offer big results in terms of how you feel in just a few days or weeks," says Marlowe, author of The Real Food Grocery Guide. To get the scoop on how to do it, we teamed up with Flora Health and tapped into Marlowe's wisdom on doing a total-body reset in the name of optimized health.
"A short-term cleanse can offer big results in terms of how you feel."
Here's the gist: By subbing nutrient-dense foods for processed foods that can negatively impact your gut and mood, you’re helping to support your body’s natural ability to flush out toxins—with no juices or hunger pangs in sight.
"You can still eat three wholesome, nourishing meals a day that'll fill you up and leave you satisfied," Marlowe says. From rainbow veggie bowls for lunch to seared salmon with broccoli rice for dinner, the feel-good possibilities are endless.
Scroll down for the nutrition pro’s pointers on successfully completing a food cleanse so you can take the new year by storm.
What to eat
On the menu for your simple food cleanse: veggies, veggies, veggies. Marlowe suggests loading up on cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) and dark leafy greens (like arugula, spinach, and kale) to help ramp up your body’s natural detoxification mechanisms with a boost of fiber and chlorophyll.
Your meal plan should also check boxes for adequate protein, healthy fat (hello, avocado), and lots of water. According to Marlowe, "Hydration is key in a reset because you’re going to eliminate toxins and waste through urine and bowel movements."
How to supplement
To give your food cleanse a boost, you can tap teas and restorative supplements like Flora’s Flor•Essence®—an all-natural herbal tea concentrate that promotes natural detoxification—to nip sluggishness in the bud.
"I’ll just do hot water with lemon, or lemon and fresh ginger," Marlowe says. "Other times, I’ll use herbal tea blends that include things like burdock root, milk thistle, lemongrass, and dandelion root, which are all noted for their cleansing and/or liver-supporting properties."
Superstar herbs burdock root, blessed thistle, and sheep sorrel—which are found in Flor•Essence®'s eight-herb formula—can help support the key detox organs (liver and kidneys) in the metabolization of nutrients and removal of waste, Marlowe says. Plus, an assist from slippery elm bark, watercress, rhubarb root, red clover, which are known to help aid digestion. See you later, afternoon slump.
When to do it
Though many people like to use the new year as a motivator for embarking on a food cleanse (looking at you, New Year's resolutions), Marlowe says cleanses should be employed whenever you just feel blah.
"Any time someone generally feels crappy—low energy, brain fog, chronic digestive issues, headaches—is prime time, as a cleanse can help you feel vibrant and energetic again," she explains. "You can do a food cleanse for as little as three days to see results and up to 30 days for maximum results. Of course, to sustain the results, you’ll have to keep up your healthy eating habits."
If you generally eat well, you might be wondering if you need to detox. Marlowe explains it like this: "While your body was designed to keep you healthy and constantly detox, we’re bombarded with more chemicals than ever. While we don’t have control over pollution, we do have control over what we eat."
Hence, it's your job to make sure you're providing your body with adequate fuel to keep the good work going—so you can reap the feel-good benefits.
In partnership with Flora Health
Photos: Maria Marlowe
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